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Issue No. 22 | May 18, 2007

News and Features

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day: May 18, 2007

The 10th annual National HIV Vaccine Awareness Day will be observed on May 18, 2007. HIV Vaccine Awareness Day is dedicated to recognizing HIV vaccine research efforts and educating communities about the importance of developing an HIV vaccine. On May 18, wear your red AIDS ribbon upside down, forming a "V" for vaccine, as a sign that you share the hope of finding a vaccine to prevent HIV infection.

AIDSinfo is pleased to participate in the commemoration of this important day. Check out the AIDSinfo HIV Vaccine Awareness Day Web site, which includes links to information about HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, AIDSinfo resources, vaccine research and clinical trials.

Also in honor of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, AIDSinfo is proud to release a new HIV vaccine clinical trial search feature on the Vaccines page. This tool allows users to search preventive or therapeutic HIV vaccine trials by city, state, or country to locate a trial near them.

Día de concientización sobre la vacuna contra el VIH: 18 de mayo de 2007

El 18 de mayo del 2007 se observa, por décimo año consecutivo, el Día nacional de concientización sobre la vacuna contra el SIDA. Ese día se dedica a reconocer las actividades de investigación de la vacuna contra el SIDA y a educar a las comunidades acerca de la importancia de la elaboración de esa vacuna. El 18 de mayo, use la cinta roja distintiva del SIDA con la parte de arriba hacia abajo para formar una "V" de vacuna, como símbolo de que usted comparte la esperanza de encontrar una vacuna para prevenir la infección por el VIH.

InfoSIDA se complace en participar en la conmemoración de este importante día. Visite el sitio web del Día de concientización sobre la vacuna contra el VIH de infoSIDA en donde usted encontrará enlaces a información sobre este día, recursos de infoSIDA, investigaciones sobre la vacuna y ensayos clínicos. 

National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: May 19, 2007

May 19, 2007 marks the third annual National Asian and Pacific Islander (API) HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This is a day dedicated to increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS in the API community. The goals of National API HIV/AIDS Awareness Day are to educate the API community about HIV/AIDS and its transmission, to encourage getting tested, to motivate HIV-infected APIs to seek proper treatment, and to encourage people to get involved in their community and combat HIV-related stigmas and discrimination. 

AIDSinfo is pleased to participate in the commemoration of this important day. Check out the new AIDSinfo Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2007 Web page, which includes helpful links to sites providing information on health disparities, treatment guides for clinicians, ongoing HIV/AIDS research, HIV/AIDS statistics, and more - all specific to API communities.

AIDSinfo encourages you to participate in National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day by sharing this information with others. 

FDA Approves Two New HIV Viral Load Tests

On May 11, 2007, the FDA approved two new tests for measuring HIV viral load. The tests are Roche Laboratories' COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HIV-1 test and Abbott Molecular Inc.'s RealTime HIV-1 assay. Both systems use real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), instead of traditional PCR. RT-PCR differs from traditional PCR in that it allows for the collection of quantifiable data throughout the reaction instead of only at the end of the reaction. It also can detect as little as a 2-fold difference in the amount of genetic material present, as opposed to traditional PCR which can only detect a 10-fold difference in the genetic material present. These differences lead to quicker, more accurate results.

Both tests appear to be more sensitive than current viral load tests, with Abbott Molecular Inc. claiming their test has the ability to detect a viral load as low as 40 copies/ml and as high as 10 million copies/ml. Current standard tests can only detect viral loads of between 50 copies/ml and 1 million copies/ml. Both manufacturers stress that their tests are designed for use in conjunction with other tests to assess HIV disease prognosis and response to antiretroviral therapy. Multiple studies have demonstrated that viral load correlates with HIV disease progression. Obtaining as low a viral load as possible is one of the main goals of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) for HIV infected individuals. These new, more sensitive viral load tests will be instrumental in helping to achieve that goal.