skip to content


Issue No. 42 | September 23, 2011

News and Features

Join AIDSinfo in Observing National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

September 27 marks the fourth annual observance of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day that serves to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS in the gay community. According to the 2009 HIV Surveillance Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the 40 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting, men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 57% of all the diagnoses of HIV infections, indicating that HIV continues to take a heavy toll on this community.

AIDSinfo has developed a page highlighting this awareness day with information and resources about HIV/AIDS and gay men.

More information is available:

Study Finds Over-Activation of Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Inhibits Anti-Viral T-Cell Responses

“A delicate balance between immunostimulatory and immunosuppressive signals mediated by dendritic cells (DC) and other antigen-presenting cells (APC) regulates the strength and efficacy of anti-viral T cell responses. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a potent activator of plasmacytoid DC (pDC). Chronic pDC activation by HIV promotes the pathogenesis of the acquired human immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Cholesterol is pivotal in maintaining HIV envelope integrity and allowing HIV-cell interaction. By depleting envelope-associated cholesterol to different degrees, we generated virions with reduced ability to activate pDC. We found that APC activation was dissociated from the induction of type I interferon (IFN-α/β) and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-mediated immunosuppression in vitro. Extensive cholesterol withdrawal, resulting in partial protein and RNA loss from the virions, rendered HIV a more powerful recall immunogen for stimulating memory CD8 T cell responses in HIV-exposed uninfected individuals. These enhanced responses were dependent on the inability of cholesterol-depleted HIV to induce IFN-α/β.”

More information is available: