Welcome to The Body PRO Newsletter, a bi-weekly review of the latest breaking news and research in HIV medicine, aimed specifically at informing health care professionals.

August 5, 2010

In This Newsletter:

Welcome flags at AIDS 2010  THEBODYPRO.COM COVERS AIDS 2010

TheBodyPRO.com was on the scene last month at the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) in Vienna, Austria. This newsletter features several highlights from the conference, but you'll want to visit our AIDS 2010 homepage for much more coverage. Head there for a thorough rundown of research highlights; videos of key sessions; interviews with experts and thought leaders; blogs from people throughout the U.S. HIV community; and much more from the largest gathering of HIV health care professionals and community members on the planet!


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  HIV TREATMENT & COMPLICATIONS

TMC278 (Rilpivirine) Stands Up to Efavirenz in Battle of First-Line NNRTIs
Efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin) is one of the most popular first-line antiretrovirals, but its associated risk of neurological events sometimes leaves clinicians seeking other options. An NNRTI in late-stage development, TMC278 (rilpivirine), appears firmly set on offering treatment-naive patients a viable alternative -- and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval may be on the near horizon.


An Anti-Inflammatory Antiretroviral? Meet the CCR5/CCR2 Antagonist TBR-652
When it comes to HIV/HAART-associated health complications, inflammation is the flavor of the day. In the case of TBR-652, a CCR5 antagonist in early-phase clinical testing, that fact is an asset. What sets TBR-652 apart from other antiretrovirals on the market is that it's also designed specifically to block another chemokine receptor: CCR2, which has been tied to inflammation.


FDA Decision on Tesamorelin Delayed Until Fall
It was widely expected that July 27 would be the day that tesamorelin (Egrifta) became the first approved treatment for lipohypertrophy (specifically, visceral adiposity) in HIV-infected people. But the day came and went with no approval. What gives? TheBodyPRO.com takes a quick look at the possible reasons behind the delay.


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  HIV NEWS & VIEWS

ADAP Update: State and Federal Programs Get an A for Effort, but Waiting Lists Keep Growing
For what feels like the first time in months, there's good news about U.S. AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting lists. But despite a sharp reduction in North Carolina's waiting list, numbers keep going up nationwide -- and $25 million in emergency federal funds is being viewed by some as a Band-Aid on a gushing wound.


New Jersey Vows to Continue HIV Treatment for Hundreds Cut From State ADAP
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration has announced that nearly 1,000 residents who were to be cut from the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) on Aug. 1 would still be able to access treatment through a temporary program. Under Christie's budget, tighter income restrictions for ADAP clients were enacted in order to save an estimated $7.4 million.


Svetlana AntoniakWhere HIV Care Is Rare and Precious, 4,000 May Be About to Lose It
One of the 20,000 people in Vienna for AIDS 2010 was Svetlana Antoniak. The vivid gleam in her eyes is offset by a face that has become drawn from exhaustion and worry. Antoniak looks soulworn, and no wonder: She's the head of one of Eastern Europe's most successful HIV/AIDS clinics. And it may be about to die.


Some U.S. Health Care Reform Changes Are Right Around the Corner
How quickly will U.S. health care reform begin to impact your HIV-infected clients and patients? Benefits counselor Jacques Chambers combs through the massive health care bill passed earlier this year and points out the bits that are most likely to affect the health care of Americans with HIV in the near future.


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  THE PATIENT PERSPECTIVE: FEATURED ON THEBODY.COM

Svetlana AntoniakAIDS 2010 Up Close and Personal: Mark S. King's Video Blogs From Vienna
How do you explain to your clients and patients what a meeting like last month's XVIII International AIDS Conference was all about? TheBody.com's fabulous video blogger Mark S. King produced a series of daily blogs from Vienna throughout the conference that drive home some of the most important themes of the conference -- and highlight how the developments at AIDS 2010 impact the HIV/AIDS community at home and abroad.


Dr. BobDr. Bob on So-Called-Alternative Medicines (SCAMs): "The Acronym Says It All"
"The allure of So-Called-Alternative Medicine (SCAM!) is easy to understand. ... Who wouldn't want to believe in a simple natural cure to eradicate the virus?" asks Bob Frascino, M.D. But in this blog entry, which covers "SCAMs" from coconut milk to bloodletting, he cautions: "These mythical cures and treatments deceive hapless victims and can cause significant harm."


Enrique FrancoEnrique Franco: "This Is Where Stigma Is Born"
Many people with HIV know all too well how much stigma is associated with the virus. But that stigma begins long before someone with HIV is diagnosed, writes Enrique Franco: "When we hear about ... someone getting tested for HIV/AIDS, what types of questions filter in our minds? ... 'What has he/she has been secretly doing?'"


fogcityjohnFogcityjohn: Mask, or, Losing Face: My Battle With Lipoatrophy
Three years of PMMA injections restored fogcityjohn's face -- but it's not the face he remembers. "In some ways, my new face is 'better' than the one it replaced," he writes in his latest blog entry. "But while this treatment has masked my illness, it can't restore to me the thing I've lost -- my image of myself."


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  HIV/STD TRANSMISSION

Study Finds Microbicide Containing 1% Tenofovir Lowers Infection Risk in Women by 39%
For the first time, a microbicide gel containing an antiretroviral has been found to have some protective effect against HIV infection -- and even more protective effect against infection with herpes simplex virus type-2. Although the findings are only from a proof-of-concept study, the gel's early success still represents a huge step in the development of an HIV prevention method that puts the receptive partner in control during intercourse.


The Rise of PrEP: "Treatment as Prevention" Moves Ahead
Although the microbicide news captured global headlines, it's not the only type of experimental prevention strategy progressing through clinical trials. Research also continues on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), in which an HIV-uninfected individual takes one or more antiretrovirals prior to a potential exposure in hopes it will reduce his or her infection risk.


HIV/AIDS Vaccine Experts Discuss Hopes and Fears for the Future of Vaccine Development
Some of the luminaries in the HIV/AIDS vaccine field gathered at AIDS 2010 to talk about how bright and bubbly the future looks for vaccine development. All right, it wasn't quite that simple. In fact, a whiplash-inducing change in the vaccine climate has left the field in a precarious position: There's suddenly a lot of excitement, but apparently not a lot of unified direction.


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Also Worth Noting

HIV Management Today

In HIV Management Today, an informative online series from TheBodyPRO.com, we consult with some of the top clinical minds in HIV on some of the most important issues in HIV/AIDS clinical management.

Read or listen to the first two installments of this excellent resource!

•  New Paradigms of First-Line HIV Therapy: Determining When (and With What) to Start, featuring Eric Daar, M.D., and Trevor Hawkins, M.D.

•  Clinical Management of the HIV-Infected Women, featuring Kimberly Smith, M.D., M.P.H., and Valerie Stone, M.D., M.P.H.