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Issue No. 28 | July 3, 2008

News and Features

NIAID Creates HIV Vaccine Discovery Branch

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has established a new Vaccine Discovery Branch within the Vaccine Research Program in the Division of AIDS (DAIDS). This branch will work to integrate domestic and international HIV discoveries and vaccine design and evaluation by monitoring scientific developments in multiple fields related to HIV vaccine discovery, bridging the gap between basic researchers and HIV vaccine designers, and promoting relevant research to compensate for disparities in knowledge pertinent to a preventive HIV vaccine.

Additionally, the branch will determine funding priorities for vaccine research and oversee extramural grants and contracts to support virology and immunology research relating to novel vaccine concepts while advancing the development and supply of necessary research products and resources. The Vaccine Discovery Branch will have chief oversight of the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), a consortium of universities and academic medical centers established by NIAID to solve major problems in HIV vaccine development and design.

More information is available:

Blood Clots More Likely In HIV-Infected Individuals

In a recent retrospective study, researchers determined that HIV-infected individuals were 10 times more likely than HIV-uninfected individuals to have blood clots known as venous thromboembolisms (VTE). VTEs can be found in deep veins within the body or in the arteries between the heart and the lungs and may lead to serious life-threatening complications.

Study researchers noted no association between antiretroviral therapy and VTEs, and the individuals who had VTE events generally had lower hemoglobin levels, lower CD4 counts, and higher viral loads prior to VTE events than controls.  

More information is available:

PubMed: Study abstract
AIDSinfo: Starting Anti-HIV Medications