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Issue No. 29 | July 15, 2011

News and Features

Research Suggests PrEP Can Reduce Risk of Acquiring HIV Infection Among Heterosexual People

“A new CDC study called the TDF2 study, along with a separate trial released today, provide the first evidence that a daily oral dose of antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV infection can reduce HIV acquisition among uninfected individuals exposed to the virus through heterosexual sex.

“The CDC TDF2 study, conducted in partnership with the Botswana Ministry of Health, found that a once-daily tablet containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate and emtricitabine (TDF/FTC, known by the brand name Truvada) reduced the risk of acquiring HIV infection by roughly 63 percent overall in the study population of uninfected heterosexual men and women. The strategy of providing daily oral antiretroviral drugs to uninfected individuals prior to HIV exposure is called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

“In a separate announcement, the University of Washington (UW) released preliminary results of the Partners PrEP study, which also found that daily PrEP reduced HIV transmission among heterosexual couples in Kenya and Uganda. ... The Partners PrEP study found that two separate antiretroviral regimens – tenofovir (known by the brand name Viread) and TDF/FTC – significantly reduced HIV transmission among serodiscordant couples, in which one partner is infected with HIV and the other is not. ... 

“In the wake of today’s announcements, CDC will fully review the data from all of the heterosexual trials and will begin working with a range of stakeholders and with established guidelines development working groups to develop guidance specific to the use of PrEP among heterosexual men and women in the United States. ...

“For more information on efforts to evaluate and plan for PrEP implementation in the United States, visit

“For a complete list of PrEP trials being conducted, see”

More information is available:

NIH Announces New Funding for HIV Research

“Three research teams focused on developing strategies that could help to rid the body of HIV are receiving grants totaling more than $14 million a year, for up to five years, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health announced today.

“The grants are part of the Martin Delaney Collaboratory, a funding opportunity designed to foster public-private partnerships to accelerate progress toward an HIV cure. Delaney, an influential AIDS activist, died of liver cancer in 2009.

“Although antiretroviral therapy enables many people infected with HIV to effectively control their virus levels and thereby stay relatively healthy, some virus remains hidden in a latent or persistent form in cells and tissues where it is not susceptible to antiretrovirals. Each research team will pursue a unique and complementary approach aimed at eradicating these remaining HIV reservoirs. …

“The research teams receiving the grants include the following:

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) in Seattle, working with Sangamo Biosciences Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in Richmond, Calif. — … scientists will attempt to develop proteins that directly attack HIV reservoirs, and they also will study whether a patient’s immune cells can be made resistant to the virus. These approaches for eliminating the viral reservoirs will be further tested in a preclinical model. …

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), working with Merck Research Laboratories, headquartered in Whitehouse Station, N.J. — … The researchers aim to enhance the understanding of how HIV persists in patients on antiretroviral therapy, and to develop small-molecule drug candidates and other therapies to target the viral reservoirs. …

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI) in Port St. Lucie, Fla., also working with Merck Research Laboratories — … The researchers seek to define the nature and location of the cells where HIV hides, better understand the immunology of how these viral reservoirs are created and maintained, and develop and test targeted treatments that eliminate HIV reservoirs without broadly activating the immune system.”

More information is available:

AIDSinfo Health Education Series “HIV and Its Treatment” Updated

AIDSinfo has updated and redesigned “HIV and Its Treatment,” a series of easy-to-understand fact sheets intended for people living with HIV and their family members and friends.

The series was updated based on the current Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents and includes information about HIV testing, anti-HIV medications and recommended treatment regimens, the importance of treatment adherence, HIV coinfections, and the prevention of HIV transmission.