Public Release:  Frequent alcohol use linked to faster HIV disease progression

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

New Rochelle, NY, May 13, 2010--HIV disease tends to progress at a faster rate in infected individuals who consume two or more alcoholic drinks a day, according to an important new paper in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free online.

The article, entitled "Alcohol Use Accelerates HIV Disease Progression," clearly demonstrates that frequent alcohol use, defined as two or more drinks daily, is associated with declining CD4+ cell counts (which indicate a weakened immune system) in individuals with HIV disease who either are or are not receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Based on the results of a 30-month prospective study, the authors, Marianna Baum, Carlin Rafie, Sabrina Sales, and Adriana Campa, from Florida International University (Miami), Shenghan Lai, from Johns Hopkins University, and John Bryan Page, from University of Miami, Florida, conclude that alcohol has a direct effect on CD4 cells and that the accelerated decline in CD4+ cell counts in frequent alcohol users is not simply due to poorer adherence to ART in this population.

Another article by Natascha Ching, Karin Nielsen-Saines, Jaime Deville, Lian Wei, Eileen Garratty, and Yvonne Bryson, from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, demonstrated that children who were infected with HIV while in utero via maternal-fetal transmission, were subsequently given antiretroviral therapy, and had no detectable HIV in their blood, still produced neutralizing antibodies against HIV, suggesting that low levels of viral replication might still be occurring despite drug therapy. In the article "Autologous Neutralizing Antibody to Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 and Replication-Competent Virus Recovered from CD4+ T-Cell Reservoirs in Pediatric HIV-1--Infected Patients on HAART," the authors present data to support their conclusion that the children's CD4 T-cells may contain latent HIV reservoirs that formed early in life before antiretroviral therapy was initiated.

"It is important that HIV infected individuals make informed decisions relating to alcohol consumption. This article will help to achieve that goal," says Thomas Hope, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses and Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

###

AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses is published monthly in print and online. It contains articles, reviews, and case studies documenting the latest developments and research advances in the molecular biology of HIV and SIV and innovative approaches to HIV vaccine and therapeutic drug research, including the development of antiretroviral agents and immune-restorative therapies. The content also explores the molecular and cellular basis of HIV pathogenesis and HIV/HTLV epidemiology. The Journal features rapid publication of emerging sequence information and reports on clinical trials of emerging HIV therapies. Tables of content and a free sample issue may be viewed online.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including AIDS Patient Care and STDs, Viral Immunology, and Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 60 journals, books, and newsmagazines is

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.