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Issue No. 32  | August 05, 2011
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AIDSinfo.nih.gov is pleased to provide you with a weekly update of highlights about what has happened in the world of HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and research. We hope you find this encapsulated view of HIV/AIDS news useful.

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HVTN 505 HIV Vaccine Study to Expand Scope

“The world’s largest ongoing HIV vaccine study is changing the scope of its primary goals to include an investigation of whether the experimental vaccine regimen prevents HIV infection. Previously, the study’s main goal was to determine whether the vaccine regimen decreases the amount of virus in the blood of vaccine recipients who later become infected with HIV, and preventing HIV acquisition was one of the study’s secondary goals. However, promising data from other recent studies suggest that this vaccine regimen developed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) might be more protective than originally anticipated. …

“HVTN 505 is testing the safety and efficacy of a two-part HIV vaccine regimen consisting of one vaccine designed to prime the immune system followed by another vaccine designed to boost the immune response. …

“NIAID is expanding HVTN 505 by increasing enrollment from 1,350 participants to 2,200. Having a larger study population will enable scientists to detect whether the experimental vaccine regimen is at least 50 percent effective at preventing HIV acquisition during the 18 months following immunization.

“As of July 5, 2011, more than 1,173 volunteers already had enrolled in HVTN 505. The study team will monitor each participant for five years. 

“The decision to expand the trial’s primary objectives and size was motivated by scientific findings that came to light after HVTN 505 began. First, the September 2009 results of a major HIV vaccine trial in Thailand showed for the first time that a vaccine can generate modest protection against HIV infection in humans. …

“Second, a series of studies in nonhuman primates demonstrated that the monkey version of the HVTN 505 vaccine regimen prevented infection by the monkey equivalent of HIV (called SIV) 50 percent of the time in two-thirds of the monkeys tested. This protection occurred in the presence of robust cellular responses and low levels of SIV-neutralizing antibodies. These results suggested that the experimental HVTN 505 vaccine regimen may have the capacity to prevent HIV acquisition in people.”

More information is available:


CDC Publishes Statistics on Annual Number of New HIV Infections in the United States from 2006 to 2009

“The CDC’s first multi-year estimates from its national HIV incidence surveillance find that overall, the annual number of new HIV infections in the United States was relatively stable at approximately 50,000 new infections each year between 2006 and 2009.  However, HIV infections increased among young men who have sex with men (MSM) between 2006 and 2009, driven by alarming increases among young, black MSM – the only subpopulation to experience a sustained increase during the time period.

“The new estimates were published … in the online scientific journal PLoS ONE. ...

“Men who have sex with men remain the group most heavily affected by new HIV infections.  While CDC estimates that MSM represent only 2 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for the majority (61 percent; 29,300) of all new HIV infections in 2009.  Young MSM (ages 13 to 29) were most severely affected, representing more than one quarter of all new HIV infections nationally (27 percent; 12,900 in 2009). ...

“The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to exact a heavy toll on communities of color. While blacks represent 14 percent of the total U.S. population, the new estimates find that they accounted for 44 percent of new HIV infections in 2009. ...

“Hispanics represent approximately 16 percent of the total U.S. population, but accounted for 20 percent of new HIV infections in 2009. ...

“Announced by White House officials in July 2010, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy seeks to reduce HIV incidence in the United States and prioritizes HIV prevention efforts in the populations where HIV is most heavily concentrated – gay and bisexual men of all races, African Americans and Latinos. ...

“New biomedical tools such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for MSM and heterosexual men and women, along with expanded testing, treatment and linkage to care, could have an important impact on infection rates, if used strategically and in combination with other proven prevention strategies.”

More information is available:


Affordable Care Act Ensures Women Receive HIV Screening at No Additional Cost

“Historic new guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced … by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening, and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible. …

“Last summer, HHS released new insurance market rules under the Affordable Care Act requiring all new private health plans to cover several evidence-based preventive services like mammograms, colonoscopies, blood pressure checks, and childhood immunizations without charging a copayment, deductible or coinsurance. …

“[The] announcement builds on that progress by making sure women have access to a full range of recommended preventive services without cost sharing, including: …

  • sexually-transmitted infection counseling;
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening and counseling; …

“New health plans will need to include these services without cost sharing for insurance policies with plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2012. … 

“For more information on the HHS guidelines for expanding women’s preventive services, please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/womensprevention08012011a.html. The guidelines can be found at: www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines/.

“To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, please visit www.healthcare.gov.”

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ISSN 1558-3228