News from aidsmap

Belgium, Portugal and Brazil will provide PrEP through their health services; Morocco announces a PrEP study

In the last two weeks, several countries have announced that they will soon launch pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programmes. On 19 May, Belgium announced that it would start rolling out PrEP provision and had set aside €1 million to pay for it. had learned this will be introduced gradually from 1 June. Two hundred Belgian men who have sex with men are already enrolled in a PrEP demonstration project, Be-PrEP-ared.


High prevalence of tobacco use among HIV-positive individuals in low- and middle-income countries

There is a high prevalence of tobacco use among HIV-positive adults in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), investigators report in The Lancet Global Health. Overall, 27% of HIV-positive men and 4% of HIV-positive women reported tobacco use, significantly higher than the rates seen in the general population. The authors call for targeted policy and interventions to promote tobacco cessation among HIV-positive individuals in LMICs.


Taking PrEP has a profound impact on gay men’s sexual health and wellbeing

Men who have sex with men (MSM) in Seattle who had recently begun to take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) described profound impacts on their sexual health and wellbeing that go beyond PrEP’s primary function of preventing HIV infection, according to a qualitative study recently published in the International Journal of Sexual Health.


Swiss Grindr survey finds 50% want to use PrEP in the next six months

A survey of Swiss gay men and men who have sex with men recruited through the Grindr networking app has found that while only 4.3% had taken HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), 50% would consider taking it within the next six months and 79% would either take it some time in the future or want to learn more about it.


Point-of-care CD4 counts improve linkage to HIV care in Kenya

Carrying out a point-of-care CD4 count immediately after a person was diagnosed with HIV by home-based testing doubled the rate of linkage to HIV care, a randomised study in Kenya has shown. The results were published on 31 May in The Lancet HIV.


MSM, especially if HIV-positive, have an increased risk of meningococcal disease, according to US research

Men who have sex with men (MSM) have an increased risk of meningococcal disease, investigators from the United States report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The number of cases was small, but overall incidence of meningococcal disease was four times higher among MSM compared to non-MSM, with the risk especially high for HIV-positive MSM.


Six-question risk score can identify HIV-positive gay men needing testing for acute hepatitis C

Six questions can identify HIV-positive gay men who are at elevated risk of having acute (recent) hepatitis C infection and who would benefit from further testing, according to a paper published in Eurosurveillance. The risk score was based on data from a Dutch cohort and has been validated with separate datasets from Belgium, the Netherlands and England.


Young women in Zimbabwe in sexual relationships with older men have an especially high risk of infection with HIV

Young women in Zimbabwe have an especially high risk of infection with HIV if they have a sexual partner who is ten or more years older, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. Such inter-generational relationships increased the risk of contracting HIV by approximately 75%.


HIV treatment targets for people who inject drugs will be missed without focus on rights, privacy and prisons

Reaching ambitious HIV treatment targets for people who use drugs requires efforts to protect privacy, to promote access to opioid substitution treatment and to keep people out of prison, the 25th International Harm Reduction Conference (HR17) in Montréal, Canada, heard in May.


High frequency of recurrent high-grade pre-cancerous anal lesions in HIV-positive MSM

A high proportion of HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) successfully treated for high-grade pre-cancerous anal lesions experience a recurrence of disease within 18 months, investigators from Barcelona report in the online edition of AIDS.


Agreements with cash incentives boost patient adherence to HIV therapy and rates of viral suppression

People who enter into a contract with their HIV healthcare provider to receive cash incentives in return for high levels of antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence are more likely to achieve sustained viral suppression compared to people in a control arm, investigators from the United States report in the online edition of AIDS.


Editors’ picks from other sources

‘Miracle’ hepatitis C drugs costing £30k per patient ‘may have no clinical effect’

from The Guardian

Review concludes drugs hailed as cure for potentially fatal liver disease may clear virus from blood, but there is no evidence they prevent harm or save lives.

PrEP stymied in Europe: What’s the hold up?

from AVAC

Europe is the birthplace of the smallpox vaccine and the Renaissance, among other treasures. So why can’t this continent that has brought forth such cornerstones of public health and flourishing civilisation deliver oral PrEP – a mere pill a day to prevent HIV, which already exists and is being successfully implemented in several countries, including Brazil, Kenya, South Africa and the US?

America’s hidden HIV epidemic

from New York Times

Why do America’s black gay and bisexual men have a higher HIV rate than any country in the world?

Expert: Long-awaited CDC HIV report on conception options for serodiscordant couples is disappointing and confusing

from The Body Pro

We’re in the middle of a revolution in our efforts to fight HIV. However, you wouldn’t know it from a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that advises providers about conception when one partner is living with HIV.

South Africa: Has South Africa’s new HIV plan been captured?

from AllAfrica

The new strategy is the first in a decade that does not advocate for the decriminalisation of sex work.

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