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Issue No. 8 | February 23, 2007

News and Features

New Spanish Content Now Available on AIDSinfo

AIDSinfo has created a new Health Topics section in Spanish. This section includes up-to-date and reliable Spanish-language resources from the Federal government in one location on the AIDSinfo Web site. The new section provides links in Spanish on a variety of topics:

    HIV Treatment
    HIV Prevention
    Opportunistic Infections
    Cultural Competency 

In addition to the new Health Topics section, AIDSinfo has also released a new Publications Ordering page in Spanish to allow Spanish-speaking users to order publications about HIV treatment. This new page allows Spanish-speaking users to preview publications in Spanish and order either English or Spanish versions of them by postal mail or e-mail.

Nuevo Contenido en EspaƱol Disponible Ahora en AIDSinfo

AIDSinfo ha creado una nueva sección de temas de salud en español. Esta sección contiene recursos actualizados y fiables en lengua española provenientes del gobierno federal en un lugar determinado del sitio web de AIDSinfo. Proporciona enlaces en español sobre una gran variedad de temas:

    Tratamiento de la infección por el VIH
    Prevención de la infección por el VIH
    Infecciones oportunistas
    Competencia cultural

Además de la nueva sección sobre temas de salud, AIDSinfo también ha creado una nueva página de pedidos de publicaciones en español para que los usuarios hispanohablantes puedan adquirir publicaciones sobre el tratamiento de la infección por el VIH. Esta nueva página permite a los usuarios hispanohablantes ver las publicaciones en español antes de pedirlas en inglés o en español ya sea por correo postal o por correo electrónico.

Anti-Herpes Drug May Reduce HIV Transmission

A study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that use of an anti-herpes drug can reduce the levels of HIV in the bloodstream and genital tract and may be a relatively simple way to help reduce the incidence of HIV transmission.

It is estimated that approximately 20% of Americans and 60% of Africans are currently infected with some form of herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV coinfection is believed to increase the likelihood of HIV transmission during sexual intercourse. In addition to producing genital ulcers for HIV to pass through, infection with HSV causes activated T cells primed for HIV infection to gather at the site of an active herpes infection. HSV coinfection also results in increased HIV shedding in the genitals.

The study was conducted in the West African nation of Burkina Faso with 140 women who were seropositive for both HIV and HSV-2 and who were not receiving antiretroviral therapy at the time. Study participants were given the anti-herpes drug valacyclovir (Valtrex) or placebo twice a day for 12 weeks. The women receiving valacyclovir experienced a significant decrease in the amount of time that HIV was active in the genital tract. They also experienced a significant reduction in viral load in the bloodstream and genital tract.

The relationship between HIV and HSV replication, one of the main findings of this study, will hopefully be exploited in the future by new treatments including valacyclovir and/or acyclovir (a similar and much less expensive drug) to help control HIV transmission.

For more information on prevention of HIV transmission, see the AIDSinfo fact sheet "Understanding HIV Prevention" as well as our Health Topics section.

14th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections--February 25-28, 2007

The Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) is one of the premiere forums for scientists and clinicians to present their investigations into human retroviruses and related diseases. The main goal of CROI is to help translate research into progress against HIV/AIDS.

Some of the many subjects that will be highlighted at this year's conference include: immunology; virology; primary/acute infection; pathogenesis; antiretroviral therapy; clinical pharmacology; drug resistance; opportunistic infections; hepatitis co-infections; epidemiology of HIV infection; HIV prevention science (including microbicides and vaccines); pediatric, adolescent, and perinatal studies; HIV infection in women; diagnostics and monitoring; research on clinical care and scale-up in developing countries; and much more.

The 14th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections will be held in Los Angeles, California on February 25-28.

When CROI 2007 commences, AIDSinfo will keep subscribers informed of developments. For more information about CROI 2007, visit the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' calendar of events.