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Issue No. 16 | April 13, 2012

News and Features

Updated AIDSinfo “HIV and Pregnancy” Fact Sheet Series Now Available in Spanish

The AIDSinfo fact sheet series, “HIV and Pregnancy” (“El VIH y el embarazo”), is now available in Spanish on the infoSIDA website. These easy-to-understand fact sheets are intended for women infected with HIV who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. The series reflects the latest updates to the Recommendations for Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant HIV-1-Infected Women for Maternal Health and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV Transmission in the United States.

To receive updates on HIV/AIDS treatment and research news in Spanish, sign up for al instante, our weekly Spanish-language e-newsletter.

Updated CDC HIV Surveillance Slide Sets Now Available

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated two slide sets. The “HIV Mortality (through 2008)” slide set provides an analysis of trends on rates and distributions of deaths in the United States, focusing on deaths due to HIV disease (i.e., disease that is directly or indirectly attributable to HIV, including AIDS). The trends are presented by sex, age group, geographic region, and race/ethnicity.

The “HIV Surveillance in Women” slide set provides estimated numbers and rates of diagnoses of HIV infection and AIDS in women in the United States and dependent areas. Information is presented by race/ethnicity, transmission category, and age at diagnosis.

Study Suggests Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) Does Not Completely Suppress HIV in Semen of HIV-Infected MSM

“Although HAART can suppress genital shedding and sexual transmission of HIV, men who have sex with men (MSM) have experienced a resurgent HIV epidemic in the HAART era. Many HIV-infected MSM continue to engage in unsafe sex, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or other factors may promote genital HIV shedding and transmission in this population despite HAART. In this study, we determined the prevalence of seminal HIV shedding in HIV-infected MSM on stable HAART, and its relationship with a number of clinical, behavioral and biological variables. …

“Sexually active HIV-infected men using HAART were recruited from an MSM health clinic to provide semen and blood samples. …

“HIV levels were assessed in paired semen and blood samples by PCR. Clinical and behavioral data were obtained from medical records and questionnaires. HSV-2 serostatus, seminal HSV-2 DNA, and markers of genital inflammation were measured using standard laboratory methods. …

“Overall, HIV-1 was detected in 18/101 (18%) blood and 30/101 (30%) semen samples. Of 83 men with undetectable HIV in blood plasma, 25% had HIV in semen with copy numbers ranging from 80 - 2,560. Multivariate analysis identified STI/urethritis (p=0.003), TNF-α (p=0.0003), and unprotected insertive anal sex with an HIV-infected partner (p=0.007) as independent predictors of seminal HIV detection. …

“STIs and genital inflammation can partially override the suppressive effect of HAART on seminal HIV shedding in sexually active HIV-infected MSM. Low seminal HIV titers could potentially pose a transmission risk in MSM, who are highly susceptible to HIV infection.”

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