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This Week In HIV Research

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This Week in HIV Research: Sustained SIV Remission Study Paves Way for Human Trials, and New Case of HIV Transmission Despite PrEP

October 21, 2016

This week, a study reports that an experimental treatment regimen, using a specific antibody plus antiretroviral therapy, induced sustained SIV remission in monkeys for up to two years. Another study reports the second case of HIV transmission despite adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). To beat HIV, you have to follow the science!


Scientists at NIH and Emory Achieve Sustained SIV Remission in Monkeys

Using an experimental treatment regimen, researchers have been able to induce prolonged remission in SIV-positive monkeys, according to a study published in Science.

The treatment regimen consisted of 90 days of antiretroviral therapy along with a laboratory-derived antibody that works against a cell receptor known as a4b7 integrin, according to the study press release. Therapy was started five weeks after infection with SIV, the simian version of HIV.

After treatment interruption, some of the monkeys have been able to maintain SIV remission for up to two years so far, stated study co-author Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., during a presentation at HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) 2016.

The monkey antibody is similar to a human drug vedolizumab, which is currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Based on the extraordinary results in monkeys, the researchers have begun recruiting for a phase-1 study to show a proof of concept in humans.

Related: This Week in HIV Research: Inflammatory Biomarkers Predict Mortality Regardless of Viral Load


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Second Case of Drug-Resistant HIV Infection in Person Adherent on PrEP

A man who was on daily oral tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) as PrEP acquired multi-drug-resistant HIV, according to a case study presented by Howard Grossman, M.D., at HIVR4P 2016.

The patient reported having condomless sex with two people other than his main partner, who is HIV-positive and on treatment with an undetectable viral load. Phylogenetic testing showed that the patient's HIV did not come from his main partner. Additionally, the patient self-reported adherence at 100%, which was also confirmed by high drug concentrations in blood and hair samples.


Potential for EFdA as PrEP to Prevent HIV Transmission in Women and Their Infants

An experimental nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) known as EFdA showed high potency against HIV in a humanized mice study, which was presented at HIVR4P 2016. The study examined the effectiveness of using EFdA against vaginal and oral transmission, with the potential to prevent transmission during sex or breastfeeding. EFdA has the potential to be formulated into a slow-release removable implant that could deliver drug doses for up to a year.

Warren Tong is the senior science editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.


Copyright © 2016 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.


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