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Public Health

Integrated Intervention Benefits People Who Inject Drugs and Have HIV

In this international trial, participants who received the intervention engaged in HIV treatment, achieved viral suppression at higher rates, and died at half the rate of participants in a control group.

Basic Science

A New Tool for Investigating HIV in the Brain

Researchers developed a tool that enables them to closely monitor HIV activity in key brain cells. The tool may accelerate the development of treatments for HIV in the brain.

Public Health

Blocking Protein Complex May Lock Down HIV Reservoirs

Inhibiting mTOR, a regulatory protein complex, can prevent reactivation of latent HIV. Medications to inhibit mTOR might help people with HIV achieve and maintain undetectable HIV viral loads.

Basic Science

Gene Variant Is Associated With Reduced HIV Transmission

A gene variant appears to partially shield people whose behaviors entail high risk for exposure to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from becoming infected.

Treatment

Distinct Challenges Affect Women’s HIV Treatment Outcomes After Jail

Women who are infected with HIV and are transitioning back to communities after serving jail time are less likely than their male counterparts to have a regular HIV care provider, to take and regularly adhere to an HIV medication regimen, and to have suppression of the virus.

Basic Science

Study Assesses Functional Deficits Due to HIV and Methamphetamine Use

Methamphetamine use and HIV infection raise the risk for functional dependence, or the need for assistance with everyday tasks. People who use methamphetamine and are HIV positive showed the highest levels of functional dependence in most domains of daily life.

Treatment

New Approach Uses Immune Cells To Deliver Anti-HIV Medications

Nano-antiretroviral therapy (nano-ART) turns macrophages—one of the very cell types that HIV uses to replicate and spread through the body—into carriers for anti-HIV medications. The approach has the potential to make treatment for HIV easier and more effective.

Prevention

Expanded HIV Screening Projected To Decrease Spread of the Virus

Intensified screening for HIV among injection drug users receiving opioid agonist therapy could prevent more than twice as many new infections as current screening practice. A recent study based on mathematical modeling found that screening every 6 months instead of annually, and adding viral RNA testing to the currently used HIV antibody testing, could improve both effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Treatment

Study: Treat Jail Detainees’ Drug Abuse To Lower HIV Transmission

Active drug use before incarceration was associated with decreased engagement in HIV treatment among HIV-infected jail detainees. The severity of drug dependence correlated with worsening measures of engagement in HIV treatment. The study concludes that evidence-based treatment for drug abuse in jails may result in improved HIV treatment outcomes, which in turn could help slow HIV-transmission rates in the United States.

Treatment

HIV Infection Accelerates Hepatitis C–Related Liver Fibrosis

Study patients with HIV­­–hepatitis C coinfection progressed to successive degrees of severity of liver fibrosis 9 years sooner than those infected with HCV alone. Further findings from the study suggest that suppressing HIV with antiretroviral medications may slow HCV-related liver fibrosis.

NIDA Notes

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