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Issue No. 33 | August 8, 2008

News and Features

Updated Pediatric Treatment Guidelines: Your Feedback Is Important!

The Pediatric Antiretroviral Guidelines Working Group would like to hear your feedback on the latest revisions to the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Infection and the updated Pediatric Antiretroviral Drug Information supplement. Please send your comments with the subject line "Pediatric Comments" to by August 15, 2008.

CDC: Rate of New HIV Infections in U.S. Is Higher than Previously Estimated

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced [...] that an estimated 56,300 HIV infections occurred in the United States in 2006. That estimate differs from the agency's previous estimate of 40,000 because CDC is now using a more precise method for estimating annual HIV incidence, which is the number of individuals who become newly infected with HIV in a given year."

For more information, read the full CDC press release.

NIDA: HAART Equally Effective in Patients with or without History of Injection Drug Use

"[S]ome doctors have been reluctant to prescribe HAART to HIV-infected injection drug users because of concern that they may not fully benefit from the therapy. A new study by investigators funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and led by the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Canada, suggests that this is not the case: in their large, community-based study of HIV-infected people, injection drug users and people who did not inject drugs had equivalent survival rates seven years after initiating HAART."

For more information, read the full NIH press release.

International AIDS Society Recommends Earlier Antiretroviral Treatment

"A U.S. panel of the International AIDS Society has published new guidelines advising that people infected with HIV receive antiretroviral drug treatments earlier than previously recommended. The previous guidelines, issued 12 years ago, suggest that physicians initiate drug treatment after HIV has significantly affected the immune system. This is typically when there are fewer than 200 to 250 CD4 cells per microliter of blood. These recommendations were introduced when the drugs had more toxic side effects and there were fewer drugs to choose from. The U.S. panel cited mounting evidence from recent clinical trials that supports raising the threshold to 350 CD4 cells per microliter of blood or higher."

For more information, read the full story.

Study: Once Daily Atazanavir/Ritonavir as Effective as Twice Daily Lopinavir/Ritonavir

"Once-daily treatment with atazanavir/ritonavir (A/R) is as effective as twice-daily treatment with lopinavir/ritonavir (L/R) in HIV patients who are starting antiretroviral treatment for the first time, a European study shows."

For more information, read the full story.

Study: Growth Hormone Use in HIV Patients

"A small study has shown that low-dose injections of human growth hormone (HGH) given to HIV-positive patients reduced fat deposits around abdominal organs by about 10 percent and lowered blood pressures and triglycerides. However, the injections resulted in elevated blood sugar levels."

For more information, read the full story.

Persistance of Nevirapine Could Result in Development of Resistant HIV

"New research presented Tuesday at the 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City suggests that nevirapine persists in the mother's blood and breast milk for at least two weeks, which could lead to the development of resistant viral strains. 'In the short term, nevirapine is better than nothing,' said Dr. David Katzenstein, a member of the Stanford University School of Medicine team that authored the study. 'But in the long term, I'm concerned about conferring resistance. If you're talking about resistance on a broad scale, it could jeopardize future treatment for mothers and infants.' "

For more information, read the full story.

Researchers Plan Trial to Test Daily Anti-HIV Pill for Pre-Exposure Prevention

"Researchers are conducting and planning clinical trials worldwide to test the concept that a daily dose of antiretroviral drugs, called PrEP, for pre-exposure prophylaxis, can prevent HIV infection."

For more information, read the full story.