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Issue No. 52  | December 12, 2008
View HTML version is pleased to provide you with a weekly update of highlights about what has happened in the world of HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and research. We hope you find this encapsulated view of HIV/AIDS news useful.

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Adult and Adolescent Guidelines Panel Announces New Members

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents (a working group of the Office of AIDS Research Council) is pleased to welcome the following new members to the Panel. The new members will begin a 4-year term beginning February 2009.

New Scientific Members: 

  • Robert Dodge, Ph.D., R.N., A.N.P. (University of North Carolina)
  • Christopher Gordon, Ph.D. (National Institute of Mental Health, NIH)
  • Michael Hughes, Ph.D. (Harvard University)
  • William Kapogiannis, M.D. (National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, NIH)
  • Daniel Kuritzkes, M.D. (Harvard University)
  • Mark Sulkowski, M.D. (Johns Hopkins University)

New Community Member:

  • Nelson Vergel (Houston, Texas)

The following members will be concluding their services to the Panel in February 2009. The Panel thanks them for their contributions over the years.

  • A. Cornelius Baker (National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition)
  • Charles Carpenter, M.D. (Brown Medical School)
  • Suzanne Willard, Ph.D., C.R.N.P. (Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation)

Microbicide Fails to Demonstrate Efficacy in Phase III Testing

"A vaginal microbicide based on a seaweed-derived compound failed to prevent HIV infection during a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase III trial in South Africa....

Among 3,011 women given the carrageenan-based gel, Carraguard, HIV incidence was 3.3 per 100 woman-years. That compares to an HIV incidence of 3.8 per 100 woman-years among the 2,994 women given the placebo, ... a nonsignificant difference. In addition, there was no significant difference in time to seroconversion. "

Antibody Treatment Shows Promise in SIV-Infected Monkeys

"Nine rhesus macaque monkeys infected with a virus known as SIV underwent treatment and remain alive eight months later. The treatment appears to work by preventing virus[-infected] cells from fooling the immune system.

There's no guarantee that the treatment will work in people. But if it's effective in humans, the treatment could allow patients to avoid taking AIDS drugs for the rest of their lives, said study co-author Rama Rao Amara, an assistant professor at Emory University's Yerkes National Primate Research Center. ...

In the new study, Amara and colleagues injected nine monkeys with an antibody that blocks a kind of 'don't kill me' signal that cells infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) send to immune cells.

When the SIV-infected cells emit the signal, 'the killer cell thinks, "You are not my enemy. You're my friend,''' Amara said. But when the signal is blocked, the killer immune cells can do their job and wipe out the virus." Info

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