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Issue No. 52 | December 10, 2010

News and Features

Winter 2011 Issue of mental health AIDS is Released

The quarterly biopsychosocial research update on HIV and mental health, mental health AIDS, is sponsored by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is disseminated free of charge through the SAMHSA Web site in both PDF and HTML formats.

The Winter 2011 issue features “Measuring the Quality of Mental Health Care for Persons Living with HIV.”

“Recent publications disclose an increasing focus on the quality of HIV care in the United States. Concurrently, and despite multiple challenges to their development and implementation, efforts have been made to identify quality indicators for the delivery of mental health care to persons living with HIV/AIDS. Two sets of mental health quality indicators – one for HIV-related mental health care in general and the other ‘for depression detection, diagnosis and treatment for patients with HIV’ – are presented in this tool box to stimulate discussion about and utilization of quality measures among administrators and practitioners in the field.”

More information is available:

Research Suggests Certain Mutations in HIV Protease Affect CD4 Cell Death

“[Researchers] have studied the circumstance of HIV-infected patients in whom antiretroviral therapy results in immunologic benefit, despite virologic failure. In such patients, two protease mutations, I54V and V82A, occur more frequently. Expressing HIV protease containing these mutations resulted in less cell death, caspase activation, and nuclear fragmentation than wild type (WT) HIV protease or HIV protease containing other mutations. The impaired induction of cell death was also associated with impaired cleavage of procaspase 8, a requisite event for HIV protease mediated cell death. Primary CD4 T cells expressing I54V or V82A protease underwent less cell death than with WT or other mutant proteases. Human T cells infected with HIV containing these mutations underwent less cell death and less Casp8p41 production than WT or HIV containing other protease mutations, despite similar degrees of viral replication. The reductions in cell death occurred both within infected cells, as well as in uninfected bystander cells. These data indicate that single point mutations within HIV protease which are selected in vivo can significantly impact the ability of HIV to kill CD4 T cells, while not impacting viral replication. Therefore, HIV protease regulates both HIV replication as well as HIV induced T cell depletion, the hallmark of HIV pathogenesis.”

More information is available: