April 10, 2015
To beat HIV, we have to follow the science! However, that can be challenging since there's so much going on. To help you stay informed on interesting developments in HIV research and clinical news, here's our selection of highlights and under-the-radar developments from the past several days.
One of the biggest changes seen in this update was moving atazanavir (Reyataz) plus ritonavir (Norvir) and efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine (Atripla) from "recommended" to "alternative" regimens, based on concerns over toxicities and a possible association with suicidality for efavirenz.
On April 7, Gilead submitted a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking approval for emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide, at two fixed doses, for the treatment of HIV. The combination includes the improved version of tenofovir, tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), and would effectively replace emtricitabine/tenofovir dipivoxil fumarate, sold under the brand name Truvada.
Richard Jefferys of Treatment Action Group breaks down a new study that confirms the potential of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) against HIV in humans, results that are consistent with data seen in studies with humanized mice and macaques. Broadly neutralizing antibodies are one of the keys to developing a successful HIV vaccine, given their unique ability to protect against many different antigens (hence "broadly neutralizing").
In addition to broadly neutralizing antibodies, HIV vaccine research focuses on other components of the immune system, including natural killer (NK) cells and CD8 T cells, which may be elicited by the cytokine interleukin 15 (IL-15). A new study found an association between IL-15 and delayed viral load rebound after treatment interruption.
New data suggest that social desirability bias may have been the reason why participants exaggerated their adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in the FEM-PrEP study, which was stopped early in 2011.
This analysis in The Lancet HIV further emphasizes how cost-effective antiretroviral therapy is when individuals are tested, diagnosed and linked to care.
Is there a development this week in HIV research that you think we missed? Send us a tip!
Warren Tong is the senior science editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.
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