Support for ending and managing HIV

Australian Government Department of Health, 29 November 2018

The Australian Government is strengthening its commitment to ending HIV with the announcement of funding for a new strategy that aims to virtually eliminate the transmission of HIV, the approval of the first HIV self-testing kit and the listing of a new medicine on the PBS.

The first HIV self-testing kit, the Atomo Self Test was approved for use by the TGA yesterday. The test is a single-use rapid finger stick test for the detection of antibodies to HIV and will enable people to test for HIV in their own home.

This will make testing accessible and convenient especially for people that need to test frequently or do not test at all.

The medicine Juluca® (dolutegravir and rilpivirine), which works to stop the replication of the HIV virus, will be listed on the PBS on December 1, which is World AIDS Day.

 

How HIV Possibly Jumped From Monkey To Man

Asian Scientist, April 12, 2018

Scientists in Japan have discovered a protein that may have enabled the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) to be transmitted to humans. Their findings are published in Cell Host & Microbe. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is believed to have evolved from a SIV that originated in chimpanzees.

HIV vaccine therapy lets five people control virus without drugs

New Scientist, 22 February 2017

FIVE people with HIV are currently free of detectable virus – and daily drugs – thanks to a new vaccine-based therapy.

Although it is early days, one participant has been drug-free for seven months.

Read  more here 

Small risk of sexual transmission of HIV persists through first six months of ART

nam/aidsmap, 10 May 2016

A risk of HIV transmission to sexual partners persists for six months after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy, investigators from a large prospective prevention study confirm in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Over 1,500 serodiscordant heterosexual couples were included in the analysis. Initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) was accompanied by a fall in the risk of transmission, but the risk persisted during the first six months of treatment. No transmissions were observed once patients had been taking treatment for over six months.

Read more here

Even in undetectable patients, HIV is still replicating in the lymphoid tissues

Slate, January 27 2016

While progress toward a vaccine and even a functional cure for HIV has accelerated in recent years, a major obstacle has been the “viral reservoir”—locations and cell types in a body where the virus can persist at very low levels even when treatment has succeeded at making it undetectable in the blood by standard testing.

Published in the Jan. 27 issue of Nature, a new study reports that even in undetectable patients, HIV is still replicating in the lymphoid tissues.