Researchers sent once-a-week texts about HIV, contraceptives, sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy to 300 female college students in rural Kenya. Within six months of the last message, roughly two-thirds (201 women, or 67 percent) in the intervention group had been tested for HIV compared with roughly half (155, or 51 percent) of 300 women in a control group not sent text messages.
A research team wanted to know how HIV uses its tiny genome to manipulate our cells, gain entry, and replicate -- all while escaping the immune system. They've spent a decade developing an experimental approach that finally is yielding answers.
A team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory used neutron analysis to better understand a protein implicated in the replication of HIV, the retrovirus that causes AIDS. The enzyme, known as HIV-1 protease, is a key drug target for HIV and AIDS therapies. The multi-institutional team used neutron crystallography to uncover detailed interactions of hydrogen bonds at the enzyme's active site, revealing a pH-induced proton 'hopping' mechanism that guides its activity.
Using gene editing technology, researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University have, for the first time, successfully excised a segment of HIV-1 DNA -- the virus responsible for AIDS -- from the genomes of living animals. The breakthrough, described online this month in the journal Gene Therapy, is a critical step in the development of a potentially curative strategy for HIV infection.
An early-stage HIV vaccine clinical trial in South Africa determined that an investigational vaccine regimen is safe and generates comparable immune responses to those reported in a 2009 study. NIAID and its partners will advance the experimental HIV vaccine regimen into a large clinical trial. This study, called HVTN 702, is designed to determine whether the regimen is safe, tolerable and effective at preventing HIV infection, will begin in November 2016, pending regulatory approval.
In a study by the US Military HIV Research Program published in The New England Journal of Medicine, scientists enrolled and intensively followed a cohort of high-risk individuals, tracking their HIV status and characterizing the disease through the acute stages of HIV infection.
A small number of patients infected by HIV spontaneously control viral replication without antiretroviral therapy, and do not develop the disease. The ability of these rare patients, known as 'HIV controllers,' to suppress HIV replication appears to be down to a highly effective immune response. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur and Inserm observed that CD4+ T immune cells in these patients were capable of recognizing tiny quantities of the virus.
An oral drug used to treat an illness unrelated to HIV eradicated infectious HIV-producing cells in lab cultures while sparing uninfected cells -- and suppressed the virus in patients during treatment and for at least eight weeks after the drug was stopped, according to results of a clinical pilot trial and researchers at Rutgers University and Dartmouth College.
Scientists from KU Leuven, Belgium, present a new therapeutic approach that may make it possible for HIV patients to (temporarily) stop their medication. The findings shed a completely new light on the search for a cure for HIV.
Following the decision by NHS England to not make pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) available to HIV-negative persons in England at risk of acquiring HIV, Dr Michael Brady, Medical Director of the Terrence Higgins Trust, in an editorial published today in the SAGE journal Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease responds and outlines how: 'PrEP is undoubtedly an essential addition to our approach to combination HIV prevention and needs to be available now.'