The latest international news, analysis and features on the HIV epidemic from Avert. Share your views and expertise with your peers in the comments box below the articles.
The large majority of cases of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, were acquired via person-to-person, and not as a result of treatment failure, as originally believed. These results were presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle this week, and demonstrate the need to focus attention on infection control and prevention in the region.
HIV remains a major health concern in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Areas (EEA), states last week’s European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) report, Annual epidemiological report, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and blood-borne viruses 2014.
An engineered protein has been developed which has successfully blocked all known strains of HIV-1 and HIV-2 in a lab environment, and SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus) in monkeys. The protein, named eCD4-Ig, has been described as “the broadest and most potent entry inhibitor described so far”, and could form the basis of a vaccine alternative for HIV – either as a long-term preventative drug, or treatment that works to subdue HIV in the body.
As UNAIDS and UNICEF launch All In! on 17 February, a global initiative to reduce the unnecessary deaths of adolescents living with HIV, James Odongo reports on the realities faced by teens in Uganda.
New research from South Africa shows that HIV infection is not a barrier for kidney transplants between people living with HIV (PLHIV), making kidney transplantation from an HIV-positive donor an additional treatment option for PLHIV requiring renal-replacement therapy. An estimated eight to twenty-two percent of the people on HIV treatment in South Africa experience kidney failure, for people not on treatment this percentages is as high as 20 to 27 percent.
Mortality rates of black and African Americans living with HIV decreased by 28 percent from 2008 to 2012, according to new data released from the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) last week. However, despite this consistent decline in deaths of people living with HIV (PLHIV) over time, the overall numbers and rates of deaths among black Americans are still higher than any other race or ethnicity in the United States.
In most countries, the local HIV epidemic is still dominated by the strain of HIV which first entered that specific population. There are several different strains of HIV, organised into types, groups and sub-types; however the global mixing of these different strains has so far been slow. New research in PLOS Computational Biology explains that this slow spread is caused by the first comer advantages, making it very difficult for an invasive strain to enter that same population.
Researchers from Colombia University have developed a device that can be plugged in to a smartphone, and has the ability to test for both HIV and syphilis. The dongle can conduct point-of-care testing from a finger prick of blood, using cheap and disposable cartridges, delivering a result in just 15 minutes, and at a fraction of the cost of a typical HIV test.