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[ by | Jun 27, 2011 2:57 pm | Comments Off ]

Texas AIDS Drug Assistance Program Faces Budget Shortfall – The Texas AIDS Drug Assistance Program has failed to secure additional funding and will face budget shortages starting in September 2012. State officials have said that they will likely implement cost-cutting measures, such as excluding more expensive HIV drugs and asking pharmaceutical companies for discounts, to mitigate the shortages. The Texas legislature had previously decided not to give the program an additional $19 million to prevent cutbacks (see related AIDS Beacon news), instead deciding that the program could receive additional funds from the state’s Medicaid budget if needed. However, Medicaid also faces a $4.8 billion shortfall, making such assistance unlikely. For more information, please see the Associated Press article.

GeoVax Adds Los Angeles Site To Phase 1 Trial Of Therapeutic HIV Vaccine – Biotechnology company GeoVax Labs has announced that it is adding a third location, in Los Angeles, to its Phase 1 trial of a therapeutic vaccine to treat HIV. The first two sites are in Atlanta and Birmingham, AL. The trial is testing the safety and efficacy of the vaccine in controlling HIV replication in people already infected with the virus; participants will stop taking antiretrovirals for 12 weeks as part of the trial. GeoVax expects to enroll 10 participants. For more information, please see the GeoVax press release or the U.S. Clinical Trials Registry.

Tibotec Therapeutics Changes Name To Janssen Therapeutics – Tibotec Therapeutics, the maker of the HIV drugs Prezista (darunavir), Intelence (etravirine), and Edurant (rilpivirine), has changed its name to Janssen Therapeutics. The name change is an attempt to create a common link between all of the Janssen companies, which are subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson and include Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Biotech. The company’s new website includes links to information on its antiretrovirals and patient assistance programs to help low-income patients pay for the drugs. For more information, please see the Johnson & Johnson press release or the Janssen Therapeutics website.

Reminder: Free HIV Testing Today – As part of National HIV Testing day, many locations nationwide will offer free HIV testing today (see related AIDS Beacon news). To find a testing location, please see the Centers for Disease Control’s National HIV Testing Day website.

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[ by and | Jun 17, 2011 5:25 pm | Comments Off ]
Better Assessment Of Drug Resistance May Improve Treatment Of People With HIV

Results from a recent small Spanish study indicate that a more sensitive technique for detecting drug resistance, called deep sequencing, more accurately identified drug resistance in HIV-positive individuals who had previously been treated with antiretrovirals and were suffering from drug failure.

“Our study suggests that more sensitive genotypic HIV drug resistance assays, such as deep HIV sequencing, may help clinicians design antiretroviral treatment combinations better suited for [patients] infected with multidrug-resistant viruses,” said Dr. Roger Paredes, a key investigator of the study, in correspondence with The AIDS Beacon.

“Deep sequencing …

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[ by and | May 24, 2011 12:01 pm | Comments Off ]

Johnson & Johnson Finds Trace Amounts Of Fungicide In Select Prezista Lots – The pharmaceutical company Janssen, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, has found trace amounts of the fungicide tribromoanisole (TBA) in certain lots of Prezista (darunavir) in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and Austria. No contamination has been reported in the United States so far. The discovery was made after several consumer reports indicated the presence of a moldy, musty odor. No serious side effects have been reported due to the presence of TBA, although a small number of patients have reported stomach problems. Patients who smell a musty or moldy odor coming from their Prezista 400 mg or 600 mg tablets should immediately seek replacement medications from their pharmacists. Patients may also contact the company toll-free at 0800-032-3013 (phone number is in the U.K.). For more information, please see the Reuters article or the Janssen press release.

NIAID, White House Mark The 30th Anniversary Of HIV/AIDS – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the White House will be holding events next week to mark the 30th anniversary of the first reports of AIDS in the U.S. NIAID Director Anthony Fauci will give a talk, titled “Thirty Years of HIV/AIDS: A Personal Journey,” at 2 p.m. EST on May 31, which will be streamed live over the Internet. In addition, the White House will hold a live video chat, including a question and answer session, at 1 p.m. EST on June 1. Viewers may submit questions online ahead of time or live during the chat. For more information, please see the Aids.gov website.

HRSA Releases “Living With HIV” Educational Video – The HIV/AIDS Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has released an educational video entitled “Living With HIV.” The video features patients talking about their personal experiences with HIV and AIDS, including their lifestyles and the stigma they have faced due to the disease. The video is part of The Living History project at the HIV/AIDS Bureau. For more information, please see the Aids.gov website or the video on YouTube.

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[ by and | Jan 28, 2011 9:31 am | One Comment ]
Switching Antiretrovirals May Improve Vitamin D  Deficiencies In People With HIV

According to a recent study, people with HIV who are vitamin D deficient may see improved vitamin D levels after switching antiretrovirals. In addition, the study found that low vitamin D levels were associated with regimens containing Sustiva or zidovudine, black ethnicity, and winter calendar months.

Based on their results, the study authors recommended that people with HIV be monitored for vitamin D deficiencies and given supplements or alternate antiretroviral regimens if severe deficiencies develop.

People living with HIV often have lower levels of vitamin D, which is an important …

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[ by | Dec 21, 2010 5:12 pm | Comments Off ]
Study Confirms That Prezista And Isentress Are Effective In People With Drug-Resistant HIV

Results of a recent study confirm that Prezista and Isentress, used alone or in combination, are effective and well tolerated in people who have HIV that is resistant to other antiretroviral regimens.

The study also found that treatment with Prezista (darunavir) plus Norvir (ritonavir) or with Isentress (raltegravir) was associated with a lower risk of treatment failure and less chance of switching or stopping treatment.

The study authors indicated that further studies assessing the optimal combinations of newer antiretrovirals are still needed.

Approved in 2006, Prezista is a protease inhibitor …

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