July 16, 2015
This week we look at a paper that reviews some of the current data on inflammation and immune activation in people living with HIV. We read about an updated approach to treatment interruption that may help identify potential avenues for an HIV cure. And a new type of vaccine platform is found to be safe, showing promise for future vaccine candidates. To beat HIV, you have to follow the science!
In this paper, Kristine Erlandson, M.D., and Thomas B. Campbell, M.D., review some of the current studies on inflammation and immune activation in people living with HIV who are on treatment. While we know inflammation occurs, the authors note that the role of each immune activation marker on clinical outcomes is still somewhat unclear. They also explore whether different treatment options are associated with greater declines in inflammation and immune activation markers.
In this paper, researchers Jonathan Li, M.D., Davey Smith, M.D., and John Mellors, M.D., present an updated approach to treatment interruption that may help identify biomarkers of treatment-free HIV remission. The proposed approach is an intensely monitored antiretroviral pause (MAP), and it "has the potential to accelerate progress towards an HIV cure," according to the researchers.
Reviewing the findings of the VOICE study, this paper, published in the journal AIDS, reaffirms the need to improve adherence (including more sustainable delivery of treatments and better monitoring) for future PrEP studies. Notably, participants in the VOICE study had reported uncertainty about the efficacy and safety of treatments in HIV-negative individuals, and moreover, were concerned about stigma associated with being identified as HIV positive.
A new type of vaccine platform was found to be safe in adults, according to a study published in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases. The study found that attenuated replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) as a vaccine vector has an acceptable safety profile in adults. The findings open the door for development of new HIV vaccine candidates.
Research in patients coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) "represents a major unmet healthcare need in the United States," according to a paper published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Approximately 30% of HIV-positive individuals are coinfected with HCV, and their sustained virologic response (SVR) rates of HCV are lower than HCV-monoinfected individuals. Moreover, HCV causes progressive liver disease much faster in coinfected patients.
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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