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Issue No. 31 | July 17, 2009

News and Features

Study: Possible Progress on HIV Eradication

"Latently infected, resting memory CD4+ T cells and macrophages represent a major obstacle to the eradication of HIV-1. For this purpose, "shock and kill" strategies have been proposed (activation of HIV-1 followed by stimuli leading to cell death). Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) induce HIV-1 activation from quiescence, yet class/isoform-selective HDACIs are needed to specifically target HIV-1 latency. We tested 32 small molecule HDACIs for their ability to induce HIV-1 activation in the ACH-2 and U1 cell line models. ... The results of the present study may contribute to the future design of class I HDACIs for treating HIV-1. Moreover, the combined effects of class I-selective HDACIs and the glutathione synthesis inhibitor BSO suggest the existence of an Achilles' heel that could be manipulated in order to facilitate the "kill" phase of experimental HIV-1 eradication strategies."

Study: Differences in Disease Progression between HIV-Infected Men and Women

"HIV-1-infected women tend to have lower viral loads early in HIV-1 infection but progress faster to AIDS for a given viral load than men. Here we show substantial sex differences in the response of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) to HIV-1. ... [S]ex differences in TLR-mediated activation of pDCs may account for higher immune activation in women compared to men at a given HIV-1 viral load and provide a mechanism by which the same level of viral replication might result in faster HIV-1 disease progression in women compared to men. Modulation of the TLR7 pathway in pDCs may therefore represent a new approach to reduce HIV-1-associated pathology."

Study: Nearly One in Four HIV-Infected Women Not Receiving Annual Pap Test

"HIV-infected women are at increased risk of cervical cytologic abnormalities. HIV treatment guidelines recommend annual Papanicolaou (Pap) tests for HIV-infected women. We assessed screening prevalence and associated factors among HIV-infected women. ... Nearly 1 in 4 women did not receive an annual Pap test. HIV care providers should ensure that HIV-infected women receive annual Pap tests, recognizing that missed Pap tests are more likely among older women and women with low CD4 cell counts. Integrating HIV and gynecologic care and educating clinicians about recommendations may increase screening."

Study: Long-Acting Injectable Nanoparticles as Possible Antiretroviral Delivery Vectors

"Long-acting parenteral formulations of antiretrovirals could facilitate maintenance and prophylactic treatment in HIV. Using the poorly water- and oil-soluble non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) TMC278 (rilpivirine) as base or hydrochloride (HCl), nanosuspensions were an aqueous carrier. ... In conclusion, this study provides proof-of-concept that 200-nm sized TMC278 nanosuspensions may act as long-acting injectable."