News from aidsmap

Massive decline in suicides of HIV-positive people since the introduction of combination therapy, but rate remains high

An analysis of deaths over 30 years in Switzerland shows that suicides fell dramatically after 1996, but have not declined further in men in more recent years as HIV treatment has continued to improve. People with HIV remained three times more likely than people in the general population to die by suicide, according to an analysis of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study report in the Journal of the International AIDS Society.


Combining statins and physical exercise has big benefits for people with HIV and high lipids

Statin treatment and physical exercise – including resistance training and cardiovascular workouts – has a range of benefits for HIV-positive people with high blood lipids, according to Brazilian research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Statins and exercise were individually beneficial, but the very best results were seen in individuals who combined the two. Lipids were reduced, as were markers of inflammation associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, while body composition, cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength also improved.


TB clusters show where HIV treatment is missing in South Africa

Clusters of new cases of tuberculosis (TB) provide strong evidence of areas that need to be prioritised for improved antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage, and improved ART coverage is associated with a reduction in new TB cases, according to research carried out in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, published in July in Nature Scientific Reports.


Curing hepatitis C may reduce inflammation in people with HIV

Successful treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) may lead to a reduction in immune activation related to leakage of bacteria from the gut in people with HIV/HCV co-infection, according to a study presented at the 10th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019) last month in Mexico City.


HIV prevention failing to reach Asian-born gay and bisexual men in Australia

HIV diagnoses are going up in gay and bisexual men born in Asia who have recently arrived in Australia, while they are falling in Australian-born men. The disparity may be fuelled by exclusion from government-subsidised healthcare, including HIV treatment and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), researchers warn.


More sexual problems reported by middle-aged women living with HIV

Being HIV positive is associated with lower sexual function and a higher prevalence of sexual problems, according to research involving middle-aged women conducted in England and published in AIDS Care. Almost twice as many women living with HIV reported low sexual function, with two-thirds of women with HIV also reporting at least one sexual problem in the previous year. Post-menopausal status was associated with sexual dysfunction in women with HIV, an association that was not observed in HIV-negative women.


Barriers to PrEP implementation for transgender people worldwide

Dr Asa Radix gave a plenary presentation at the recent 10th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS 2019) in Mexico about the multiple challenges facing transgender people when it comes to preventing HIV infection globally. Radix, a transgender man himself, remarked upon the significance of transgender issues being brought to the fore by being featured on the main stage of this conference for the first time.


Higher mortality in elderly HIV-positive people with prostate, breast or colorectal cancer

Outcomes for some common cancers are significantly poorer among people with HIV over the age of 65 compared to HIV-negative people of the same age, according to research published in JAMA Oncology. The study is especially important because all the patients received appropriate therapy for their cancer soon after it was diagnosed. People with HIV had an increased risk of cancer relapse and death.


People getting PrEP at their clinic have more STI and HIV tests than people who buy it online

The third in an annual series of UK surveys conducted by Public Health England in collaboration with PrEPster and iwantPrEPnow reports that although the proportion of people who have ever used HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has not increased since the previous survey, a higher proportion report currently using PrEP.


Directly observed therapy can be a useful tool in caring for people with HIV treatment failure

Some HIV-positive people with extensive experience of antiretroviral therapy (ART), drug resistance and few treatment options need intensive adherence support in order to suppress viral load to undetectable levels, according to new US research.


Editors' picks from other sources

ViiV Healthcare reports positive phase III study results of investigational, long-acting, injectable HIV-treatment regimen administered every two months

from GSK

The ATLAS-2M study met its primary endpoint, showing similar efficacy of cabotegravir and rilpivirine administered every eight weeks compared to four-week administration.

Opinion: Approval of new TB drug lays bare crisis in TB research

from Spotlight

There is no way to know whether the combination of bedaquiline, linezolid and pretomanid worked because all three drugs made critical contributions, or whether it worked because two of the drugs worked very well and the other just moderately, or not at all.

Older & wiser: How HIV long-term survivors contribute to a better future for everyone

from POZ

As a full-time treatment advocate living in California, Jeff Taylor has served over three decades as a community liaison for numerous research organisations and the Food and Drug Administration, HIV/AIDS groups, scientists, doctors and people living with the virus. 

A tissue sample from 1966 held traces of early HIV

from The Atlantic

To understand the virus’s history, a team worked to reconstruct its genome from a time before anyone knew the virus existed.

Winnie Byanyima chosen to lead UNAIDS

from Devex

Winnie Byanyima will be the next leader of UNAIDS, beating out four male candidates for the top job, the agency announced earlier this month.