HIV/AIDS

Infectious disease specialist Glenda Gray spent the last 10 years of her life organizing a clinical trial on HVTN 702, a vaccine she and her team hoped could protect people from becoming infected with HIV.

But during a call with an independent board that evaluates trial safety and efficacy in January, their hopes were dashed; the vaccine was not working.

Ethan Howard cradled his prized Martin-brand guitar, strumming gently as he sang of happiness he thought he'd never find.

With support from his family and community, the 26-year-old is making his way as a musician after emerging from the hell of addiction, disease and stigma. The former intravenous drug user was among the first of 235 people in the southern Indiana community of Austin, Ind., to be diagnosed in the worst drug-fueled HIV outbreak ever to hit rural America.

Congress is set to pass a $1.4 trillion spending package this week, which President Trump has said he'll sign. The legislation includes policy changes and funding increases that public health advocates are celebrating, as well as the permanent repeal of three key taxes that were designed to pay for Obamacare — a win for industry groups.

The Trump administration Tuesday unveiled a plan to distribute HIV prevention medication free to individuals who do not have prescription drug insurance coverage.

Every day, as many as 500 babies in sub-Saharan Africa are born with HIV. Standard practice in many of these countries is to give them treatment if they test positive, but not for weeks or even months after they're born. The concern is that newborns can't tolerate the powerful drugs.

When asked to start a support group for gay black men living with HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, Larry Scott-Walker said no thanks. His friend raised the question in 2015, and by that point, the 35-year-old HIV program manager had accumulated over a decade's worth of experience working in the HIV field, first in Baltimore and then in Atlanta, often leading such support groups.

There's been a lot of excitement lately that the powerful gene-editing technique CRISPR could offer a new way to treat health problems ranging from cancer to blindness.

But there hasn't been much direct scientific evidence in actual patients about whether it might work or would be safe — until now.

Chinese scientists have published the first report in a scientific journal of an attempt to use CRISPR-edited cells in a patient--a 27-year-old man who is HIV-positive.

Today, antiretroviral medicines allow people with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, to live long, productive lives. But at the onset of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, the disease was considered a death sentence. No one was sure what caused it or how it was spread. Some doctors and nurses refused to treat patients with the disease; others protected themselves by wearing full body suits.

In high-income countries like the U.S., the standard of care for people infected with HIV is to provide antiretroviral pills when the virus is found, even when there are no symptoms of AIDS. The strategy staves off the disease and has a second — big — benefit. It has been shown to prevent the spread of HIV in sexual encounters. It's called "treatment as prevention" (TasP in medical jargon), or "test and treat."

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has a new recommendation aimed at preventing HIV infections and AIDS. The influential panel's guidance says people at high risk of being infected with HIV should be offered preventive antiretroviral medications — taken in a daily pill.

There's lots of evidence that preexposure prophylaxis — also known as PrEP — is effective. The Food and Drug Administration-approved pill Truvada contains two antiretroviral medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine).

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