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Issue No. 2 | January 12, 2007

News and Features

The 2007 National Conference on African-Americans and AIDS

The 2007 National Conference on African-Americans and AIDS will take place February 12-13, in Philadelphia, PA. The featured speaker this year is Reverend Jesse L. Jackson.

This conference is a national forum on HIV/AIDS for health professionals who provide care for African Americans. It will help health care providers update their knowledge, skills, and attitudes about HIV/AIDS. The conference was also designed for health care media, Federal and state legislators, AIDS service organization officers, social workers, pharmacists, nurses, peer counselors, church leadership, and corrections health care personnel.

Conference topics this year include:

1. Clinical Management Strategies
2. Transgender Health
3. STDs in Women and Men
4. Management of Hepatitis B and C
5. Drug Resistant TB
6. OB/GYN Considerations
7. HIV and Substance Abuse
8. Vaccine Updates

Read more about the program schedule.

Register or get more information about this important event.

Long-Term Study Suggests Immune Response and Age, Not Initial HAART Regimen, Predicts Clinical Success

A recent article by Gutierrez et al. published by the Public Library of Science suggests that the initial highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimen chosen for HIV-infected patients does not affect mortality. Their study, one of the longest broad spectrum studies to date, followed the CD4 count and viral load of 757 participants on various treatment regimens for 3.3 years. The researchers found that the strongest predictor of survival was the level of immunologic response to HAART in the first year. These findings are similar to those found in 2005 by Moore et al., published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. However, the current study found immunologic response at 12 months was a more accurate predictor than at 3 to 9 months as the Moore et al. study suggested.

Age at HAART initiation was also a good predictor of clinical outcome. Previously, poor clinical outcomes in patients over 50 were thought to be due to a slower immunological response to HAART. However, in this study, when immune response was corrected for statistically, advanced age itself was found to contribute to disease progression. Finally, the study noted that a significant number of deaths reported were due to non-AIDS-defining illnesses. This has been observed in other studies as well, confirming that immunodeficiency increases the risk for all diseases, not just those currently thought of as AIDS-defining illnesses.

Read the abstract for this study. The full report, "Clinical Outcome of HIV-Infected Patients with Sustained Virologic Response to Antiretroviral Therapy: Long-Term Follow-Up of a Multicenter Cohort" was published in the Public Library of Science 2006 Dec 20;1:e89.

Clarification to Expanded Access Information

The January 5, 2007, At-A-Glance incorrectly implied that the experimental entry inhibitor maraviroc is now available through expanded access. While maraviroc will soon be available through expanded access, it is not currently available. For more information, please consult Pfizer's maraviroc expanded access program Web site.