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Other Infections

CROI 2015: Early ART and Isoniazid Preventive Therapy Reduce Risk of Illness and Death in Africa

Starting HIV treatment at a CD4 cell count above 500 cells/mm3 reduced the risk of serious illness, including tuberculosis (TB), and death by 44% when compared to starting treatment according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, results from the 7-year Temprano study show. The findings were presented on at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last week in Seattle. The study also found that a 6-month course of isoniazid preventive treatment (IPT) reduced the risk of developing TB by 35%.

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CROI 2015: International Ebola Response Too Little, Too Late [VIDEO]

An HIV clinic in hard-hit Guinea saw a 50% drop in people coming to the facility in the midst of the Ebola epidemic, and the global response has been inadequate, researchers said at the opening press conference of the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) taking place this week in Seattle. According to another report, the antiviral drug favipiravir (Avigan) appeared to help some patients with less-severe Ebola virus disease, but more effective therapies are still needed.

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13. Ebola Death Toll Tops 8000, Stigma Recalls Early AIDS Epidemic

Outside the HIV and hepatitis fields, the major health topic in 2014 was the emergence of an Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. While only a small number of cases have been seen in the U.S. and Europe, the resulting stigma and panic reminded many of the early AIDS epidemic.

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Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Deadline Coming Up February 15

Sunday, February 15, is the final deadline to enroll in Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") health plans during the annual open enrollment period. Finding the right plan can be a challenge for people with HIV or hepatitis C and those who want coverage for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). It is important to balance monthly premium costs, copays, and deductibles to best meet individual needs.

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14. Delegates Killed in Plane Crash Going to International AIDS Conference

The 2014 International AIDS Conference in Melbourne got off to a somber start in July after several HIV researchers and advocates en route to the meeting were killed on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, which crashed after being hit by a missile near the Russia-Ukraine border.

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Ezetimibe Did Not Reduce Liver Fat in NASH Trial, New Therapies Under Study

Ezetimibe (Zetia) did not perform significantly better than placebo in reducing liver fat among people with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), according to a report in the December 6 edition of Hepatology. In related news, the FDA has designated Tobira's cenicriviroc -- also active against HIV -- as a fast-track therapy for NASH and Gilead Sciences announced a partnership to enter the NASH arena.

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Latest CDC Sexually Transmitted Disease Report Shows Gonorrhea Stable, Syphilis Rising

The number of cases of chlamydia declined slightly from 2012 to 2013, while cases of gonorrhea remained nearly stable and syphilis increased by 10%, according the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) annual STD surveillance report. These broad trends, however, mask some notable differences between population groups, including high STD rates among gay men.

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12. New Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Protects Against 9 Strains

In December the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new "9-valent" human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from Merck that protects against more cancer-causing strains. The new Gardasil 9 vaccine is expected to prevent about 90% of cervical, anal, and genital cancers. The vaccine is approved for young women ages 9-26 and young men ages 9-15.

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WHO Recommends 2-Dose Vaccine, HPV Screening for Cervical Cancer Prevention

The World Health Organization (WHO) last week released new guidance for preventing and controlling cervical cancer, which causes more than 270,000 deaths annually worldwide. The guidelines call for girls to receive 2 rather than 3 doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and for women to be screened using less frequent HPV tests rather than Pap smears.

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