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Scientists May Be Closer to Effective HIV Vaccine

It's thought that for an HIV vaccine to be widely effective, it will have to spur the body to make special antibodies that can neutralize a broad range of HIV strains. Now scientists say they have taken an essential step in that direction.

In an early study, researchers found that an experimental HIV va...

On World AIDS Day, White House Announces Plan to End Epidemic by 2030

The United States will renew its focus on ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, with new funding and a five-year strategy, the White House said Thursday.

The Biden administration announced its ambitious p...

Gut Microbes Could Play Role in HIV Infection

Could key differences in the trillions of bacteria found in the human gut actually affect the risk of becoming infected with HIV? A small, new study suggests the answer may be yes.

The intriguing possibility stems from a detailed analysis of the gut bacteria ("

  • Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 4, 2022
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  • HIV & Hepatitis Can Be Deadly Combo for the Heart

    As people with HIV age, their odds for heart attack rise -- and those with untreated hepatitis C have an even higher risk, a new study finds.

    "HIV and hepatitis C co-infection occurs because they share a transmission route -- both viruses may be transmitted through blood-to-blood contac...

    STD Cases Soar in US Amid Calls for Better Prevention Efforts

    Soaring numbers of sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases have prompted U.S. public health experts to call for more prevention and treatment.

    This includes rising rates of syphilis and gonorrhea and

  • By Cara Murez and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • September 20, 2022
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  • Texas Judge Says Obamacare Can't Require Coverage for Meds That Prevent HIV

    Hundreds of thousands of Americans take medications intended to prevent infection with HIV, but a federal judge in Texas ruled Wednesday that a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires free coverage of the drugs violates the religious beliefs of a Christian-owned company.

    U.S. District J...

    COVID Crisis Has Stalled Fight Against HIV/AIDS

    Efforts to end the global HIV epidemic have slowed as money and attention go toward fighting COVID-19, new report shows.

    "This is an alarm to the world to say that COVID-19 has blown the AIDS response significantly off track," Matthew Kavanaugh, deputy executive director of UNAIDS, said of the

    HIV Testing Plummeted During Pandemic

    Testing for HIV suffered a sharp setback during the first year of the pandemic, new government data shows.

    The number of HIV tests funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administered in health care settings dropped 43% between 2019 and 2020, the study showed. Tests administered in non-he...

    Pets Have Helped People With HIV Through Two Pandemics

    Pets have helped people weather both the HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 pandemics, a survey of long-term HIV/AIDS survivors shows.

    "The underlying question in our minds has always been: What role do pets play for people who are so isolated and suffering so much stigma?" said study leader Lynette Hart, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis.

    She and her coll...

    New Approach Cuts Odds for Anal Cancer in People With HIV

    Treating precancerous anal growths in people with HIV slashes their risk of anal cancer by more than half, according to a new study.

    Researchers found that treating these growths - called high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) - is a safe a...

    COVID Breakthrough Infections More Likely in People Living With HIV

    Even after vaccination, living with HIV ups the odds for COVID infection, new research shows.

    The study found that vaccinated people living with HIV have a 28% higher risk of developing a "breakthrough" COVID infection compared to those who don't have the AIDS-causing virus.

    That's the bad news. But there's good news, too: The overall risk for COVID infection among people vaccinate...

    Could HIV Meds Help Slow Advanced Cancers?

    The introduction of HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy) in the mid-1990s revolutionized the treatment of HIV/AIDS, halting disease progression and dramatically extending lives.

    Now, a small new study suggests another potential use for one of the standard HAART medications: It halted disease p...

    HIV Meds May Also Shield Against COVID Infection

    Certain antiviral drugs used to treat HIV may also guard against COVID-19 infection, a new study suggests.

    The researchers found that people with HIV who are on antiretroviral treatment (

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 28, 2022
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  • FDA Approves First Condom Designed for Anal Sex

    The first condom specifically designed to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections during anal sex has been approved for sale in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

    The One Male Condom can also be used to help reduce the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during vaginal intercourse.

    When having ana...

    Woman Cured of HIV After Umbilical Cord Blood Transplant

    A woman with HIV who received an umbilical cord blood transplant has become the third person in the world to be cured of the virus that causes AIDS.

    The two others, both men, were cured after receiving bone marrow transplants from donors who carried a mutation that blocks HIV, The New York Times reported.

    The woman -- who is of mixed race -- was diagnosed with HIV in 2013 a...

    More Destructive Variant of HIV Spotted in the Netherlands

    If the pandemic taught the world nothing else, it's that viruses can mutate, potentially giving rise to new and more harmful variants.

    Now, new research reveals that's exactly what has happened with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

    Called VB (for virulent subtype B), the "new" HIV variant actually seems to have emerged more than 30 ...

    First Shots Given in Trial of Moderna's mRNA-Based HIV Vaccine

    Vaccinations have been given to the first volunteers in a Phase 1 trial of Moderna's experimental HIV vaccine, the company has announced.

    The vaccine uses mRNA technology -- similar to that utilized in breakthrough COVID vaccines -- to deliver HIV-specific antigens that could trigger an immune response against the virus that causes AIDS, the company said in a

  • Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
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  • February 1, 2022
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  • Amid U.S. Blood Shortage, New Pressure to Ease Donor Rules for Gay Men

    A three-month sexual abstinence rule for blood donations from sexually active gay and bisexual men should be dropped by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, critics urge as the country struggles with a blood shortage.

    Right now, based on the slight chance of infection with HIV, men who have sex with men must abstain from sex with other men for 90 days before being eligible to donate blo...

    Once-a-Day HIV Pill Works Well for Kids

    An international trial found that a once-a-day antiretroviral medication for kids with HIV is not only cheap and easy to take, but also better at suppressing HIV than standard treatments.

    "Our findings provide strong evidence for the global rollout of dolutegravir for children with HIV," said Dr. Diana Gibb, a professor of epidemiology at University College London and a principal investig...

    FDA Approves First Injection Regimen for HIV Prevention

    The first injection drug to prevent HIV infection was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday.

    "Today's approval adds an important tool in the effort to end the HIV epidemic by providing the first option to prevent HIV that does not involve taking a daily pill," Dr. Debra Birnkrant, director of the Division of Antivirals in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Rese...

    People Living With HIV Face Higher Odds for Heart Failure

    People with HIV have an added risk of heart failure, so they and their health care providers need to be alert for early signs such as shortness of breath, fatigue, leg swelling, coughing and chest pain, according to a new study.

    “Cardiovascular disease has been an important concern for people with HIV for many, many years,” senior author Michael Silverberg said in a Kaiser Permanente ...

    An mRNA Vaccine Against HIV Shows Promise in Animal Trials

    Cutting-edge mRNA technology brought safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines to a world in crisis -- could it do the same for a much older foe, HIV?

    An experimental HIV vaccine that uses the same

  • Robert Preidt and Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporters
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  • December 10, 2021
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  • Stool Samples From the 1980s Hold Clues to Fighting HIV Today

    What do all the microbes living rent-free in your gut have to do with disease risk? Perhaps a lot.

    A groundbreaking analysis of decades-old stool and blood samples from the early AIDS epidemic suggests that men who had high levels of inflammation-causing bacteria in their intestin...

    Biden's New HIV/AIDS Strategy Calls Racism a Roadblock to Victory

    Racism is "a public health threat" that must be tackled to end the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Biden administration said Wednesday in announcing its new strategy to fight the disease.

    Over generations, “structural inequities have resulted in racial and ethnic health disparities that are severe, far-reaching, and unacceptable," according to the strategy released on World AIDS Day, the ...

    WHO Approves First Long-Acting Device to Shield Women From HIV

    With HIV a continuing threat to women's health, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the first long-acting device to protect women from sexually transmitted HIV.

    The device is a vaginal ring made of silicone elastomer, a flexible rubber-like material that makes it easy to insert and comfortable to use. The ring releases the antiretroviral drug dapivirine into the vagina slowly...

    HIV Rates Fall Among Gay White Americans, But Not Minorities

    Some progress has been made in the U.S. fight against HIV, with new infections falling among white gay and bisexual men over the past decade. But their Black and Hispanic counterparts did not see that advance, health officials say.

    The continuing inequities show up in a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    From 2010 to 2019, the number of new HIV infe...

    A Woman May Have Rid Herself Naturally of HIV -- But How?

    Researchers have identified a second HIV-positive person whose body might have naturally cleared the infection -- sparking hope that studying such exceedingly rare events will help lead to a cure.

    The researchers cautioned that they cannot prove the woman has fully eradicated the virus from her body, in what's known as a "sterilizing" cure.

    But in exhaustive tests of over 1.5 billio...

    U.S. Adolescents Are Getting Less Sex Education Now Than 25 Years Ago

    Sex Ed -- it's been a staple of public education for decades, but new research shows that only half of American teens are getting instruction that meets minimum standards.

    "The findings show that most adolescents are not receiving sex education that will enable them to manage their sexual lives," said study author Leslie Kantor, chair of the Department of Urban-Global Public Health at Rut...

    How Two People With HIV Suppressed Virus After Stopping Treatment

    There are two ways that HIV patients' bodies can keep the virus under control after they stop antiretroviral therapy, a new study shows.

    The findings could point to ways to help people with HIV keep the virus in remission without having to keep taking medications that can have long-term side effects, according to researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease...

    Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death Rises in People With HIV

    People with HIV have an increased risk of sudden cardiac death, a new study warns, especially if the virus isn't well-controlled.

    Sudden cardiac death occurs when the heart unexpectedly stops beating, usually due to an abrupt electrical malfunction.

    "People living with HIV are already known to have a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure, blood clots in the lungs and pe...

    Transgender People Face Twice the Odds for Early Death: Study

    Transgender people have double the odds of dying early compared to folks whose identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender), a long-term study finds.

    And the added risk did not decrease over time, according to an analysis of data collected from more than 4,500 transgender people in the Netherlands between 1972 and 2018.

    Study author Martin den Heijer said the ris...

    Another HIV Vaccine Trial Canceled Due to Poor Results

    Another trial of an experimental HIV vaccine has been halted after researchers concluded the vaccine provided only limited protection.

    The trial in five sub-Saharan African countries was launched in 2017 to assess the Johnson & Johnson HIV vaccine in over 2,000 young women at high risk of HIV infection.

    This is the latest in a string of failures for HIV vaccine research.

    "I sh...

    COVID Vaccines Offer Good Protection for People Living With HIV

    COVID-19 vaccination triggers a strong immune response in people with HIV, meaning they're likely protected against the coronavirus, a new, small study shows.

    "Previous research has suggested a suboptimal response to COVID-19 vaccines in people living with HIV; however, these studies did not fully characterize and define that response, both for cellular [where the immune system directly a...

    Bimonthly, Injected PrEP Beats Daily Pill in Warding Off HIV: Study

    When the antiretroviral regimen known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, was launched nearly a decade ago, patients were suddenly able to achieve near-complete protection against contracting HIV by taking just one pill a day.

    But there's a big hitch: Not everyone is equally diligent about sticking to that once-a-day daily pill regimen, and when doses are missed PrEP's protective shield...

    Two PrEP Meds Work Equally Well; One Is Much Cheaper

    The two HIV prevention drugs available in the United States are equally safe and effective, and the biggest difference between them is price, a new study contends.

    However, a sizable minority of patients have switched from the older and cheaper "preexposure prophylaxis" (PrEP) formulation to the newer and much pricier one. In many cases that switch might not have been warranted, the resea...

    PrEP HIV Prevention Pills to Be Free for Insured Americans

    Nearly all health insurers must cover the entire cost of HIV prevention treatments, the U.S. government says.

    That includes the two approved pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs Truvada and Descovy, all clinic visits and lab tests, NBC News reported.

    The guidance, issued this week by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, along with the Department of Lab...

    Americans Living With HIV Have Near-Normal Life Expectancy: Study

    Testing HIV-positive is no longer a certain death sentence, and new research shows that Americans who have HIV today have life spans similar to those of their peers without the virus.

    "In the early days of the AIDS pandemic, getting a diagnosis with AIDS was incredibly bad news and the prognosis for survival was really poor, and that's not true today," said lead author Jessie Edwards, a r...

    People With HIV Have Much Higher Risk for Suicide

    Since the advent of AIDS, major advancements in treating HIV infection has turned what used to be a death sentence into a manageable chronic condition.

    But new research warns that many people living with HIV/AIDS still face a dramatically higher risk for suicide.

    The finding came from a review of 40 studies that involved a total of roughly 185,000 adults with HIV or AIDS (PLWHA -- P...

    Living With HIV Raises Odds for Sudden Cardiac Death

    People living with HIV have to take powerful drug cocktails to keep their disease in check, but a new study finds they also need to worry about a doubled risk of sudden cardiac death.

    Unlike a heart attack caused by a blocked heart artery, sudden cardiac death can happen without warning and is triggered by an electrical malfunction that causes an irregular heartbeat. Within minutes, there...

    Other Health Woes Common When Meth Addiction Strikes

    Methamphetamine users are at increased risk for physical and mental health problems as well as other substance use disorders, new research shows.

    Meth is an illegal and highly addictive stimulant drug that can harm organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and neurological system, and injecting it can increase the risk of infectious diseases, the researchers noted.

    Their analysis of da...

    COVID More Lethal for People Living With HIV

    Like certain health conditions including cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, new research shows that having HIV or AIDS increases a person's risk of catching and dying from COVID-19.

    For the study, researchers from Penn State College of Medicine assessed data from 22 previous studies of 21 million participants in North America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

    The investigators ...

    4 in 10 Transgender Women Have HIV: CDC

    Four in 10 transgender women have HIV, which shows the urgent need to offer them more prevention and treatment services, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

    In interviews with more than 1,600 transgender women in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle in 2019 and early 2020, researchers found that 42...

    Some Blood Pressure Meds Raise Heart Risks in People With HIV

    Beta-blocker blood pressure medications may increase the risk of heart problems in people with HIV, new research suggests.

    For the study, the researchers reviewed the medical records of more than 8,000 U.S. veterans with HIV who developed high blood pressure between 2000 and 2018. Of those, around 6,500 had never been diagnosed with heart or blood vessel problems.

    At the start ...

    Disappointment and Hope From Two HIV Prevention Trials

    An antibody infusion being tested for preventing HIV does not seem to thwart most infections -- but its success against certain strains of the virus suggests researchers are on the right track.

    That's the takeaway from a clinical trial that put the antibody, called VRC01, to the test in 2,700 people at high risk of contracting HIV.

    Researchers found that infusions of the antibody ev...

    Certain HIV Meds Have Patients Packing on Pounds

    A commonly prescribed component of the life-saving antiretroviral drug cocktails used to treat HIV may trigger weight gain, new research warns.

    The concern stems from tracking patients taking antiretroviral therapy (ART). Since the mid-1990s, the therapy has relied on various drug combinations to essentially outwit HIV, controlling viral loads and turning a once-deadly infection into a ma...

    Vaginal Ring Could Shield Women From HIV for 3 Months at a Time

    A vaginal ring that slowly releases an antiviral medication could protect women against HIV for up to three months, a preliminary trial suggests.

    It assessed two formulations of a vaginal ring that releases the antiretroviral dapivirine in the vagina over the course of 90 days. One version contained 100 milligrams (mg) of dapivirine and the other contained 200 mg.

    The trial was cond...

    Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion Helped Find Cases of Undiagnosed HIV

    In another sign that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been good for Americans' health, a new study finds that a large number of undiagnosed HIV cases in the United States came to light after Medicaid's expansion under the health insurance law.

    Not only that, there was also an increase in the use of HIV prevention services, the researchers said.

    "Increasing community awareness of HI...

    1 in 5 Americans Has an STD: CDC

    According to 2018 data, one in five people in the United States probably carries a sexually transmitted infection, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

    On any given day in 2018, nearly 68 million people had a sexually transmitted disease, according to the new CDC report. There were 26 million new cases that year. The agency refers to these diseases -- such as HIV, sy...

    FDA Approves First Once-a-Month HIV Therapy

    The first monthly shots to treat adults with HIV were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday.

    "Currently, the standard of care for patients with HIV includes patients taking daily pills to adequately manage their condition. This approval will allow some patients the option of receiving once-monthly injections in lieu of a daily oral treatment regimen," said Dr. John...

    Are We Getting Closer to a Herpes Vaccine?

    Scientists are reporting early success with an experimental herpes vaccine that uses a genetically modified version of the virus.

    The gene edit prevents the virus from performing its normal evasive maneuver: hiding out in nervous system cells in order to elude the immune system.

    So far, the vaccine has only been tested in lab animals. But scientists hope the genetic tweak will ...