June 24, 2012


NIH Scientists Identify New HIV-Suppressing Protein in the Blood of People Infected with HIV

We get excited when we read stories like this from the scientific field. Researchers led by Paolo Lusso, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Section of Viral Pathogenesis in the Laboratory of Immunoregulation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH identified a new HIV-suppressing protein in the blood of people infected with the virus. In laboratory studies, the protein, called CXCL4 or PF-4, binds to HIV such that it cannot attach to or enter a human cell. The CXCL4 belongs to a family of molecules called chemokines that help regulate the movement of immune cells around the body. In the mid-1990s, four chemokines – three discovered by Dr. Lusso, Robert Gallo, M.D., and their colleagues – were found in laboratory experiments to function as HIV inhibitors. These chemokines as well as CXCL4 may regulate the level of virus replication in infected individuals and thus the pace at which HIV disease progresses.
According to Dr. Lusso, the site where CXCL4 binds to the outer coat of HIV seems to be different from other known vulnerable sites targeted by HIV-blocking antibodies and drugs. His team is working with scientists at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center to define the atomic-level crystal structure of this binding site, which potentially may play a role in the future development of HIV treatments or vaccines.
So developments are moving quickly in the research field at an astonishing pace here.  Some major breakthroughs have to be just around the corner.  The last cure was polio I believe which was a long time ago so the worlds due a cure in some disease. We’ll be watching.

Tom Thayer

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June 28, 2009

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May 29, 2009

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Scientists develop a new HIV microbicide -- and a way to mass produce it in plants

New research in the
FASEB Journal describes a one-two punch in the battle against HIV

In what could be a major pharmaceutical breakthrough, research published online in The FASEB Journal describes how scientists from St George's, University of London have devised a one-two punch to stop HIV. First the report describes a new protein that can kill the virus when used as a microbicide. Then the report shows how it might be possible to manufacture this protein in quantities large enough to make it affordable for people in developing countries.

Marijuana rivals mainstream drugs for HIV/AIDS symptoms

Those in the United States living with HIV/AIDS are more likely to use marijuana than those in Kenya, South Africa or Puerto Rica to alleviate their symptoms, according to a new study published in Clinical Nursing Research, published by SAGE.


Extensive HIV-1 Intra-Host Recombination Is Common in Tissues with Abnormal Histopathology

There is evidence that immune-activated macrophages infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are associated with tissue damage and serve as a long-lived viral reservoir during therapy. In this study, we analyzed 780 HIV genetic sequences generated from 53 tissues displaying normal and abnormal histopathology. We found up to 50% of the sequences from abnormal lymphoid and macrophage rich non-lymphoid tissues were intra-host viral recombinants. The presence of extensive recombination, especially in non-lymphoid tissues, implies that HIV-1 infected macrophages may significantly contribute to the generation of elusive viral genotypes in vivo. Because recombination has been implicated in immune evasion, the acquisition of drug-resistance mutations, and alterations of viral co-receptor usage, any attempt towards the successful eradication of HIV-1 requires therapeutic approaches targeting tissue macrophages.

May 24, 2009

HIV Research News


New Contraceptive Device Is Designed To Prevent Sexual Transmission Of HIV

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College have published results showing that a new contraceptive device may also effectively block the transmission of the HIV virus. Findings show that the device prevents infection by the HIV virus in laboratory testing. The promising results are published in the most recent issue of the journal AIDS.


Adelaide HIV carrier 'had sex with two children'

AN HIV-positive Adelaide man is being held in custody after he was yesterday charged with having sex with two children over a period of several years.


Sustained release of microbicides by newly engineered vaginal rings - TMC120/tenofovir/AZT

Five combinations of microbicides were tested: TMC120 and PMPA (5 mg each), TMC120 (5 mg), and Boc-LBA (5 mg) alone were incorporated into Acacia gum rings; TMC120 and PMPA (10 mg each) and ZDV alone (10 mg) were incorporated into HEMA rings.

Interaction of Ginkgo biloba with efavirenz

Ginkgo biloba is one of the most widely used herbal drugs in the world. It is commonly used because of its assumed beneficial effects on concentration, memory, dementia and depressive disorders. Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) is made of Ginkgo leaves and is usually standardized to contain 24% flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin), 6% terpenoids (ginkgolides A, B, C, J, M and bilobalide) and not more than 5 ppm organic acids (ginkolic acids and alkylphenols)

Here, we report virological failure in a 47-year-old HIV-infected patient who received antiretroviral therapy for 10 years. He had always been very drug-compliant, never missing a single dose. He was using EFV for 2 years in combination with emtricitabine (FTC) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). At the end of 2007, a virological failure developed, and a K103N and M184V mutation in the reverse transcriptase gene was demonstrated. After directed questioning, the patient appeared to be using Ginkgo biloba for some months. No other comedication was used or discontinued in this timeframe. To explain the virological failure, plasma EFV concentration measurements were conducted on several plasma samples dating back 2 years. Concentrations of EFV decreased over time, coinciding with a n increase in viral load (Table 1). From March 2008, the patient was successfully switched to alternative antiretroviral therapy.


How Effective Are Boosted Dual Protease Inhibitor Regimens with No Additional Drugs in Treatment-naive HIV Patients?

In the current study, published in the May 6, 2009 advance online issue of the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, researchers evaluated the efficacy and tolerability of a ritonavir-boosted dual protease inhibitor regimen, without any additional antiretroviral drugs, in treatment-naive patients.

GlaxoSmithKline Meta-analysis Does Not Show Elevated Cardiovascular Risk Associated with Use of Abacavir (Ziagen, Epzicom)

An analysis of more than 50 clinical trials conducted by abacavir manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) did not find an increase in heart attacks or other cardiovascular events.

First-line Therapy with Zidovudine/lamivudine plus Lopinavir/ritonavir Leads to Greater Bone Loss than Nevirapine plus Lopinavir/ritonavir

Bone loss (osteopenia and the more severe osteoporosis) can be a major problem for HIV patients using combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), but its causes are not fully understood. In the current study, published in the May 6, 2009 online edition of AIDS, researchers evaluated changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover after initiation of combination ART, in particular the contribution of zidovudine/lamivudine (AZT/3TC; Combivir fixed-dose combination pill).

HIV Positive Men with Prostate Cancer Have Similar Short-term Outcomes and Respond as Well to Radiation Therapy as HIV Negative Men

It remains unclear whether prostate cancer is more common in HIV positive men compared with their HIV negative counterparts, but it appears that HIV infection does not accelerate cancer progression or compromise the effectiveness of treatment, according to 2 recent journal reports.

HHS to Award $1.79 Billion to Help People Living with HIV/AIDS

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the release of $1.79 billion to ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS continue to have access to life-saving health care and medications. The grants are funded through the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, which helps more than 529,000 individuals every year obtain the care and services they need to live longer, healthier lives.

May 22, 2009


Don't take Gingko with efavirenz

The herbal remedy Ginkgo should not be taken with the anti-HIV drug efavirenz, Dutch investigators warn in the June 1st edition of AIDS. They report the case of an individual whose viral load became detectable with the development of drug resistance because Ginkgo interacted with efavirenz

Immune suppression has important role in development of non-AIDS cancers

Immune suppression plays an important part in the development of non-AIDS-defining cancers in people with HIV, Australian investigators argue in a letter published in the June 1st edition of AIDS. The investigators were prompted to write to the journal after the publication of a US study earlier this year that found that neither CD4 cell count nor use of antiretroviral therapy were risk factors for such cancers.

Less than one in a hundred French HIV patients long term non-progressors

Few HIV-positive patients who are not taking HIV treatment remain free of symptoms of HIV infection in the long-term and maintain a high CD4 cell count or a very low viral load, French investigators report in an article published in the online edition of AIDS. They believe that their findings could benefit HIV vaccine research.

HIV viral load linked to inflammatory markers on and off therapy

Levels of inflammatory, anti-inflammatory and endothelial activation markers of cardiovascular disease are associated with HIV replication, say researchers with the Swiss-Thai-Australian Treatment Interruption Trial (STACCATO) study group. These data, reported in the May 15thAIDS, support the growing links between endothelial dysfunction, cardiovascular disease and HIV disease and treatment, and might help not only explain current discrepancies in trial results, but also provide insight into future treatment options.

Testosterone treatment has benefits and few risks for women with HIV

Long-term testosterone therapy in HIV-positive women is safe and has significant benefits, researchers report in the May 15th edition of AIDS. The US investigators found that 18 months of testosterone treatment improved women’s lean body weight, bone density and mood, without causing side-effects.


A natural approach for HIV vaccine

For 25 years, researchers have tried and failed to develop an HIV vaccine, primarily by focusing on a small number of engineered "super antibodies" to fend off the virus before it takes hold. So far, these magic bullet antibodies have proved impossible to produce in people. Now, in research published by Nature, scientists at The Rockefeller University have laid out a new approach. They have identified a diverse team of antibodies in "slow-progressing" HIV patients whose coordinated pack hunting knocks down the virus just as well as their super-antibody cousins fighting solo.



900 babies a day are born with AIDS virus in the developing world: report

Eight years after the world pledged a dramatic reduction in the transfer of HIV from mother to baby, only 8 per cent of pregnant women in the developing world are getting full treatment, and 900 babies a day are being born with the AIDS virus.


Infant deaths falling but poor countries need boost: WHO

Infant deaths worldwide have fallen by more than a quarter since 1990, but health care still needs a boost in poor nations, the World Health Organisation said Thursday.

The WHO's annual World Health Statistics recorded about nine million deaths of under five year-olds in 2007, 28 percent less than the 12.5 million who died in 1990 but still far short of the Millennium Development Goals.

Child mortality is one of the MDGs adopted by UN member states, with the aim of cutting infant deaths by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.


NHS HIV saliva test available

Patients are now being tested for HIV from a mouth swab and can get their results in just 20 minutes.

The Barts and the London NHS Trust has become the first in the country to offer an HIV saliva test that provides definitive results in 20 minutes.

The test uses a toothbrush to pick up HIV antibody markers from the gum line. The hospital hopes that the new technique will see more people seek testing if the need to give blood and wait perhaps up to a week for results is eliminated. With more than 7,700 infections in 2007, the UK has the highest number of new HIV infections in Western Europe.


Green Tea Chemical Shows Potential As Low-Cost Intervention Against Sexual HIV Transmission, Study Says

A chemical found in green tea might be an effective tool against the sexual transmission of HIV, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, AFP/Google.com reports.

Chlamydia That Avoids Diagnosis DNA Deletion Makes Swedish Chlamydia 'invisible'

New sequencing and analysis of six strains Chlamydia will result in improved diagnosis of the sexually transmitted infection. This study provides remarkable insights into a new strain of Chlamydia that was identified in Sweden in 2006 after spreading rapidly across the country by evading most established diagnostic tests.


AIDS Patients With Serious Complications Benefit From Early Retroviral Use, Study Shows

HIV-positive patients who don't seek medical attention until they have a serious AIDS-related condition can reduce their risk of death or other complications by half if they get antiretroviral treatment early on, according to a new multicenter trial led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Abusive Relationships Increase Women’s Risk Of HIV Infection

A new study of nearly 14,000 U.S. women reveals that those who are in physically abusive relationships are at higher risk for HIV infection.

HIV's March Around Europe Mapped

Those travelling abroad should take seriously advice to pack their condoms and keep their needles to themselves: new research shows that tourists, travellers and migrants from Greece, Portugal, Serbia and Spain actively export HIV-1 subtype B to other European nations.

Face Protection Effective In Preventing The Spread Of Influenza, Study Suggests

A new article in the journal Risk Analysis assessed various ways in which aerosol transmission of the flu, a central mode of diffusion which involves breathing droplets in the air, can be reduced. Results show that face protection is a key infection control measure for influenza and can thus affect how people should try to protect themselves from the swine flu.

Buckyball Computer Simulations Help Team Find Molecular Key To Combating HIV

Rice University's Andrew Barron and his group, working with labs in Italy, Germany and Greece, have identified specific molecules that could block the means by which the deadly virus spreads by taking away its ability to bind with other proteins.


Researchers' work from University of California focuses on HIV/AIDS

New investigation results, 'Quantifying the source of infection for HIV-infected hemophiliacs in the U.K. from 1979 to 1984,' are detailed in a study published in Statistics In Medicine. According to recent research published in the journal Statistics In Medicine, "There is considerable literature on the risk of HIV infection for individuals suffering from hemophilia A in the United Kingdom (U.K.) during the period 1979-1984 when the sources of Factor VIII clotting factor were contaminated with HIV.

Research from University Hospital in HIV/AIDS therapy provides new insights

A new study, 'Maraviroc: perspectives for use in antiretroviral-naive HIV-1-infected patients,' is now available. According to recent research from Belgium, "Maraviroc (Pfizer's UK-427857, Selzentry or Celsentri outside the USA) is the first agent in the new class of oral HIV-1 entry inhibitors to acquire approval by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicine Agency. Considering the mechanism of action, it is expected that this drug will be effective only in a subpopulation of HIV-1-infected people, namely those harbouring the R5 virus"