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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.

30 April 2015

Increased risk of HIV immediately following circumcision

Men who have undergone circumcision are at increased risk of infecting female partners with HIV immediately following surgery suggests research from the Johns Hopkins University and the Rakai Health Sciences Program in Uganda. Male circumcision is used as an HIV prevention method as it is known to reduce the of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by 60%.

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27 April 2015

HIV self-testing kits go on sale in Britain

Britain’s first legally approved HIV self-test kits are on sale as of today in England, Scotland and Wales. The HIV self-kit allows people to do an HIV test in the safe environment of their home without the need to fill out paperwork or the intervention of a clinic.

The UK lifted its legal ban on HIV home testing in April 2014, but manufacturers were not able to market a test with a CE mark - indicating that the test conforms to minimum European standards for accuracy and ease of use - until today.

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23 April 2015

Best results for women when using PrEP daily

Woman who take daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) adhere significantly better than woman who take PrEP only twice a week, or before and after sex, as suggested by findings from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 067 trial.

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21 April 2015

Should PrEP be rolled out worldwide?

Multiple randomised controlled trials have proven that the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) significantly reduces the risk of HIV among people at risk. Despite its proven efficacy, PrEP is not widely implemented as an HIV prevention tool. With nearly two million new HIV infections last year, it would seem that PrEP is being overlooked, as commented by a group of scientists in last week editions of The Lancet.

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15 April 2015

Rates of transmitted HIV drug resistance increased only slightly

Rates of transmitted HIV drug resistance in low- and middle-income countries most affected by HIV have only increased modestly, according to recently published research in PloS Medicine. The findings describe a low increase in sub-Saharan Africa and no increase in the prevalence of transmitted HIV drug resistance in South Asia and Southeast Asia. In fact, overall drug resistance prevalence varies widely, with a prevalence of 2.8% in sub-Saharan Africa compared to a much higher prevalence of 11.5% in North America.

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10 April 2015

First successful use of synthetic antibodies against HIV in humans

The first human trial with newly designed synthetic antibodies showed a 300-fold reduction of viral load in trial participants, as reported in the journal, Nature. The antibodies, known as 3BNC117, are designed to block the key viral protein receptor, HIV’s entry point into the blood cells. The designed antibody attaches itself to the proteins on the outside of HIV itself, making it difficult for the virus to connect to blood cells.

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02 April 2015

Early uptake of HIV treatment has doubled in the UK

Early uptake of HIV treatment among people living with HIV in the UK has more than doubled over a five-year period between 2008 and 2011. The new figures were recently presented at a meeting held by Public Health England last week, and reported in Aidsmap.

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01 April 2015

OST positively affects treatment adherence for people who inject drugs

People living with HIV who inject drugs have a 68% increase in the odds of refilling their antiretroviral treatment (ART) prescriptions after being exposed to opioid substitution therapy (OST). The research, published ahead of print in the journal AIDS, gives further evidence to the benefits of OST, particularly for ART adherence.

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