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CROI 2016: HIV-Related Factors Increase Risk of Stroke

HIV-related risk factors seem to increase the risk of stroke -- the sudden death of brain cells due to a rupture or obstruction of blood vessels in the brain -- according to ongoing research in a growing number of large epidemiological cohort studies. Recent data from 5 of these were presented during the first-ever poster discussion session on stroke at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), which took place last month in Boston.

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CROI 2016: START Study Shows People Starting HIV Treatment Earlier Have Better Quality of Life

Rather than treatment side effects having a negative impact on people’s quality of life when they start HIV treatment, data from the large randomized START study show a modest but statistically significant improvement in quality of life, according to a presentation at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016) in Boston.

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CROI 2016: Maraviroc May Work as PrEP in a Combination, but Probably Not Alone

Two studies presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016) last week in Boston outlined the first findings from the NEXT-PrEP study, otherwise known as HPTN 069. What NEXT-PrEP has discovered so far indicates that the drug maraviroc (Selzentry) could have a role in pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, when used alongside either tenofovir or emtricitabine (the component drugs in Truvada), but is not potent enough to act as PrEP by itself.

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CROI 2016: High Levels of Chemsex and Slamsex Seen Among HIV+ Men at U.K. HIV Clinics

A survey of HIV-positive clients attending 30 HIV clinics in England and Wales, presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016)last month in Boston, has found that nearly a third (29%) of gay male patients reported engaging in "chemsex" (defined by the researchers as "the use of drugs to increase disinhibition and arousal") in the past year and that 1 in 10 reported "slamsex" (injecting or being injected with such drugs). Figures were higher for some subgroups: 37% of Londoners reported chemsex and nearly 1 in 5 (19%) of men on antiretroviral therapy (ART) reported slamsex.

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CROI 2016: Studies Look at Condom Use in IPERGAY French PrEP Trial

An analysis of condom use in the placebo-controlled phase of the French IPERGAY trial of intermittent pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016) last week in Boston, found that just over half of the participants had high levels of PrEP use but rarely used condoms, and about a quarter were "belt-and-braces" users who had high levels of both PrEP and condom use. However, this left about 1 in 6 trial participants who had low levels of use of both PrEP and condoms. While their condom use did not change, in a minority of this group their PrEP use declined significantly during the study.

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FDA Approves Second TAF-Containing Single-Tablet HIV Regimen

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week approved Gilead Sciences' new once-daily single-tablet regimen Odefsey, containing the NNRTI rilpivirine (developed by Janssen), emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide or TAF, a new formulation that is easier on the kidneys and bones than the older tenofovir disoproxil fumarate or TDF.

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CROI 2016: Early Antiretroviral Therapy Has No Impact on Cardiovascular Disease Marker

Starting treatment at a CD4 cell count above 500 cells/mm3 does not lead to improvement in an important early warning sign of cardiovascular disease, and investigators are still unsure whether people who start treatment at high CD4 counts will have the same increased risk of cardiovascular disease as that reported in people with HIV over the past 15 years, according to findings presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2016) in Boston last week.

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