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.
UNAIDS has raised the alarm on new HIV infections among adults and the need to step up prevention efforts with 1.9 million adults becoming infected with HIV globally each year since 2010.
More than 20 organisations representing the voices of people who use drugs and LGBT communities have been banned by their countries from attending next month’s UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS.
Two recent studies show that vaginal rings are effective at cutting HIV infection rates among women. But the overall effectiveness was not significant - less than a third of infections were prevented.
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%.
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.
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.
The introduction of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for people at an increased risk of HIV is challenging healthcare providers. People newly infected with HIV will normally seek care from a doctor specialised in HIV, but for people who protect themselves from HIV through the use of antiretroviral medication (PrEP), they will normally engage with a primary care provider, and not a specialist.
The use of injectable contraceptives moderately increases the risks of HIV in women, this is compared to other women who use other hormonal contraceptives, including the pill. The new research published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, polled results from 12 observational trials. They concluded that woman at a higher risk of HIV infection, and using injectable contraceptives, had a 40 percent increased risk of HIV, will women of the general population have a 30 percent increased risk.
Retention of care for people taking post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for HIV needs to be improved, with only 56 percent of people eligible for PEP completing the 28-day treatment regime. In a study published in AIDS Journal, the authors analyse data on completion rates for PEP, highlighting the need to understand poor adherence rates and integrate this understanding into the broader HIV agenda.