Health News

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HIV has a similar impact to diabetes on heart disease risk

National Aids Manual (UK) - 21/06/2017
Living with HIV carries the same lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease as having diabetes, even after taking into account smoking, a US study has estimated. The investigators say that more research is needed to find out whether preventive treatments such as statins could reduce this risk in people who don’t

Researchers say rule out depression, anxiety, unemployment and other stresses before blaming cognitive impairment for everyday difficulties

National Aids Manual (UK) - 19/06/2017
One in five people living with HIV in a European study reported a decline in everyday functioning as a result of cognitive problems such as memory loss, difficulties in solving problems, poor concentration or reduced attention span, researchers from the CIPHER study group report in the Journal of Acquired Immune

Risk score can identify which HIV-positive people with controlled viral load are at greatest risk of neurocognitive decline

National Aids Manual (UK) - 16/06/2017
Four factors are associated with neurocognitive decline in people living with HIV with an undetectable viral load, investigators from Canada report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The strongest individual risk factor was impaired kidney function, indicated by eGFR < 50ml/min/1.73 m2. People with

Experts question Cochrane review of hepatitis C treatment

National Aids Manual (UK) - 15/06/2017
A systematic review of hepatitis C direct-acting antiviral (DAA) studies published by the Cochrane Collaboration has been strongly criticised by doctors and advocates for its conclusion that there is no evidence that the expensive drugs prolong life or reduce liver-related disease in people who achieve a sustained virologic response to

HIV drug resistance testing not a priority for resource-limited settings, trial finds

National Aids Manual (UK) - 14/06/2017
Resistance testing is unlikely to improve the effectiveness of second-line HIV treatment in resource-limited settings and the introduction of routine HIV drug resistance testing is not a high priority, investigators from a large international study have concluded in a report in the journal The Lancet HIV.Instead, their findings and those

Fractures occur at an earlier age among men with HIV

National Aids Manual (UK) - 13/06/2017
The incidence of fractures begins to rise a full decade earlier in HIV-positive men compared to their HIV-negative peers, investigators from the United States report in AIDS. Analysis by age group showed that fracture incidence among men in their 50s was double that observed in HIV-negative men in the same

High prevalence of tobacco use among HIV-positive individuals in low- and middle-income countries

National Aids Manual (UK) - 12/06/2017
There is a high prevalence of tobacco use among HIV-positive adults in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), investigators report in The Lancet Global Health. Overall, 27% of HIV-positive men and 4% of HIV-positive women reported tobacco use, significantly higher than the rates seen in the general population. The authors call for targeted policy and interventions

Taking PrEP has a profound impact on gay men’s sexual health and wellbeing

National Aids Manual (UK) - 09/06/2017
Men who have sex with men (MSM) in Seattle who had recently begun to take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) described profound impacts on their sexual health and wellbeing that go beyond PrEP’s primary function of preventing HIV infection, according to a qualitative study recently published in the International Journal of Sexual Health. “By lowering

Swiss Grindr survey finds 50% want to use PrEP in the next six months

National Aids Manual (UK) - 08/06/2017
A survey of Swiss gay men and men who have sex with men recruited through the Grindr networking app has found that while only 4.3% had taken HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), 50% would consider taking it within the next six months and 79% would either take it some time in the future or

Point-of-care CD4 counts improve linkage to HIV care in Kenya

National Aids Manual (UK) - 06/06/2017
Carrying out a point-of-care CD4 count immediately after a person was diagnosed with HIV by home-based testing doubled the rate of linkage to HIV care, a randomised study in Kenya has shown. The results were published on 31 May in The Lancet HIV. In an accompanying Comment article Rosanna Peeling of

MSM, especially if HIV-positive, have an increased risk of meningococcal disease, according to US research

National Aids Manual (UK) - 06/06/2017
Men who have sex with men (MSM) have an increased risk of meningococcal disease, investigators from the United States report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The number of cases was small, but overall incidence of meningococcal disease was four times higher among MSM compared to non-MSM, with

Belgium, Portugal and Brazil will provide PrEP through their health services; Morocco announces a PrEP study

National Aids Manual (UK) - 05/06/2017
In the last two weeks, several countries have announced that they will soon launch pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) programmes. On 19 May, Belgium announced that it would start rolling out PrEP provision and had set aside €1 million to pay for it. had learned this will be introduced gradually from 1 June. Two hundred

Six-question risk score can identify HIV-positive gay men needing testing for acute hepatitis C

National Aids Manual (UK) - 05/06/2017
Six questions can identify HIV-positive gay men who are at elevated risk of having acute (recent) hepatitis C infection and who would benefit from further testing, according to a paper published in Eurosurveillance last week. The risk score was based on data from a Dutch cohort and has been validated

Young women in Zimbabwe in sexual relationships with older men have an especially high risk of infection with HIV

National Aids Manual (UK) - 02/06/2017
Young women in Zimbabwe have an especially high risk of infection with HIV if they have a sexual partner who is ten or more years older, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. Such inter-generational relationships increased the risk of contracting HIV by approximately 75%. “We found that age-disparate sexual relationships are associated with increased

HIV treatment targets for people who inject drugs will be missed without focus on rights, privacy and prisons

National Aids Manual (UK) - 31/05/2017
Reaching ambitious HIV treatment targets for people who use drugs requires efforts to protect privacy, to promote access to opioid substitution treatment and to keep people out of prison, the 25th International Harm Reduction Conference (HR17) in Montréal, Canada, heard earlier this month. Attention to HIV and related issues at the

High frequency of recurrent high-grade pre-cancerous anal lesions in HIV-positive MSM

National Aids Manual (UK) - 31/05/2017
A high proportion of HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) successfully treated for high-grade pre-cancerous anal lesions experience a recurrence of disease within 18 months, investigators from Barcelona report in the online edition of AIDS. Risk factors for the recurrence of high-grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia (HGAIN) included a

Agreements with cash incentives boost patient adherence to HIV therapy and rates of viral suppression

National Aids Manual (UK) - 30/05/2017
People who enter into a contract with their HIV healthcare provider to receive cash incentives in return for high levels of antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence are more likely to achieve sustained viral suppression compared to people in a control arm, investigators from the United States report in the online edition of AIDS. The study

Heroin combined with fentanyl is driving overdose crisis in US

National Aids Manual (UK) - 24/05/2017
New sources of heroin and increasing adulteration with fentanyl and other stronger analogues are contributing to a growing epidemic of opioid overdose deaths in several regions of the US, researchers reported at the 25th International Harm Reduction Conference (HR17) last week in Montréal. Nationally, heroin-related overdoses rose by 8% annually from 2006 to 2013,

Indonesian buyers club helps people obtain generic hepatitis C treatment

National Aids Manual (UK) - 24/05/2017
A community-led buyers club in Indonesia has helped more than 100 people get generic direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs to treat hepatitis C and is seeing a high cure rate, according to a presentation at the 25th International Harm Reduction Conference (HR17) last week in Montréal. An estimated 3 million people in Indonesia are living

Injecting drug use increases worldwide, but no increases in needle and syringe programmes

National Aids Manual (UK) - 24/05/2017
Despite reports of expanding rates of injecting drug use in a new list of countries around the world, no new countries have established needle and syringe programmes in the last three years. This is one of the headline findings of an exhaustive review of the state of harm reduction services around the world conducted by international