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Dolutegravir + Rilpivirine HIV Maintenance Regimen Looks Good in Phase 3 Studies

Switching to a 2-drug regimen of dolutegravir plus rilpivirine maintained viral suppression among people on successful 3- or 4-drug antiretroviral therapy (ART) in a pair of Phase 3 clinical trials, according to an announcement last week from ViiV Healthcare.

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U.K.'s Largest Sexual Health Clinic Saw 40% Drop in New HIV Diagnoses in 2016

The clinic at 56 Dean Street in Soho, central London, the largest sexual health clinic in the U.K., saw an unprecedented 40% drop in new HIV diagnoses this year. Another clinic, the Mortimer Market Centre a mile away from Dean Street, has seen an even bigger 50% fall.

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2. Quicker, Simpler, and Better Antiretroviral Therapy

Modern antiretroviral therapy (ART) is highly effective and well-tolerated, but researchers continue to refine, streamline, and optimize treatment strategies. Studies presented this year show the benefits of starting ART as soon as possible after HIV diagnosis and suggest that fewer drugs taken less often may be effective for many people.

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First Large Study of Long-Acting Injectable for HIV Prevention Now Underway

The National Institutes of Health and industry collaborators last week launched a large-scale clinical trial to test long-acting injectable cabotegravir for HIV prevention. Study HPTN 083 will compare cabotegravir injections administered every 8 weeks versus once-daily oral tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Results are expected in 2021.

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3. Renewed Focus on HIV Vaccines and Antibodies

Researchers intensified the search for novel types of therapies to prevent, treat, and potentially cure HIV, including immune-based strategies such as antibodies and vaccines.

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1. HIV Undetectable = Uninfectious

Evidence continues to accumulate showing that HIV-positive people on effective combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) with a consistently undetectable viral load have a very low -- perhaps as low as zero -- risk of transmitting the virus.

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4. PrEP Use Widens, But Disparities Remain

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was again a major HIV story in 2016. The latest figures from a pharmacy survey by Gilead Sciences showed that more than 79,000 people in the U.S. have started Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) for HIV prevention, but the survey does not include all PrEP providers and most experts think this estimate is low.

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