Blog posts

Have HDAC inhibitors fallen from grace?

Two recent papers present conflicting data on the efficacy of histone deacteylase (HDAC) inhibitors, the leading class of latency reversing agents (LRAs). Replication-competent integrated HIV provirus is able to form a persist reservoir in cellular compartments such as resting memory CD4 T cells by remaining in a long-term latent state that is highly stable.  Activation …

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HIV reservoir: CD4 T stem cells may facilitate long-term persistence

A report in Nature Medicine is important for suggesting that a recently discovered and little understood subset of CD4 T cells are a long-term hiding place for the HIV reservoir. Maria Buzon and colleagues at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Boston, describe their analysis of the HIV reservoir in different …

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London’s HIV crisis: A storm seeded in the noughties?

  An alarming increase in the incidence of both HIV-infection and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has been occurring amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) in England over the last two years. A number of news reports highlight an alarming increase in the incidence of gonorrhoea, chlamydia and syphilis among MSM, particularly in …

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Boston bone marrow patients not cured – viral rebounds reported at Viral Persistence During Therapy conference, Miami, FL

The Boston Globe this morning reports:- HIV virus returns after cure hope rose 2 Boston patients had transplants of marrow, halted powerful drugs   This story is being picked up by multiple news outlets now, including the NY Times and NPR. The findings were reported by Dr Timothy Henrich of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in …

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European Approval of Delanamid, a new drug to fight TB: MSF & TAG’s responses

MSF Responds to EMA approval of new tuberculosis drug delamanid Background: On November 22, 2013, the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation for delamanid, only the second new TB drug to be developed in 50 years.  It is hoped that the new drug, …

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Brazil’s continuing fight against intellectual property laws

My friend Mara Kardas-Nelson wrote an excellent piece in the Mail & Guardian on Brazil’s continuing fight against intellectual property laws that make the cost of second and third line HIV treatment unaffordable for public health programmes. Darunavir and Raltegravir (key third line drugs) each cost $5000 per year in Brazil… and there are 6000 …

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Criminalization of People with HIV: Reaction to a breaking story in Ohio

On September 11th 2013, news media outlet WBNS-10TV in Columbus, Ohio, carried a story about a local man who has been charged with “Allegedly Not Notifying Partner of HIV Status”. While the story makes its way round other news outlets, there has been no court hearing as yet, no conviction has been made and all …

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Summary of the new 2013 Guidelines recommendations and key issues from a community and civil society perspective

In the 2013 Consolidated Guidelines on the Use of Antiretroviral Drugs for Treating and Preventing HIV Infection (2013 Guidelines), the World Health Organization (WHO) takes a welcomed step in recommending that people living with HIV everywhere be offered a standard of antiretroviral treatment and care that is closer to what is available in resource-rich countries. …

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Survey for a Community Guide to the 2013 Consolidated ART Guidelines

The Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (the Alliance) and STOP AIDS NOW! (SAN!) have sent out the following request for input on the development of their Community Guide to WHO’s 2013 Consolidated ART Guidelines. Dear fellow community and civil society members, As you may know, WHO recently launched …

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