Archives for 2015 | Body Positive News

World Health Organisation's new guideline on antiretrovirals

01Oct15
Body Positive applauds the World Health Organisation's (WHO) early release of their new guideline on antiretrovirals. Anyone infected with HIV should begin antiretroviral treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible, WHO announced Wednesday. With its 'treat-all' recommendation, WHO removes all limitations on eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) among people living with HIV; all populations and age groups are now eligible for treatment. Read More...

Singapore lifts ban on HIV-positive visitors

11Sep15
Singapore has lifted its two-decade-long ban on HIV-infected people entering the country, but will limit their stay to a maximum of three months.

The health ministry said on Monday that the ban was lifted on 1 April, “given the current context with more than 5,000 Singapore residents living with HIV and the availability of effective treatment for the disease”. The three-month restriction is apparently aimed at preventing long-term residence by foreigners, such as those looking to work in the island-nation or to accompany a child studying here. “The policy on the repatriation and permanent blacklisting of HIV-positive foreigners was recommended in the late 1980s when the disease was new, fatal and no effective treatment was available,” said a ministry spokesman. Read More...

Third of people with HIV who use drugs intentionally miss doses of HIV treatment when planning to use drugs

25Aug15
Beliefs about possible toxic interactions between antiretroviral therapy (ART) and illicit drugs are causing large numbers of people living with HIV who use drugs to intentionally miss doses of their HIV treatment when planning drug use, US investigators report in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

The prospective study involved 530 people reporting current drug use in Atlanta. All were taking ART and approximately a third reported missing treatment doses because of beliefs about potential interactions with drugs and alcohol. This planned non-adherence was associated with sub-optimal compliance to treatment and poor control of viral load. Read More...

Auckland Health Alert - Syphilis

22Jun15
An important message to men who have sex with men in the Auckland Area

Body Positive has received an update from the Auckland Sexual Health Service that there is a serious increase in syphilis among men who have sex with men in the Auckland Area.

Half of syphilis cases show no symptoms and can only be detected through testing. If you are sexually active it is important that you ensure your GP conducts testing for syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections to ensure you receive appropriate treatment. Body Positive provides Rapid Testing for Syphilis throughout the week at BP House in Auckland and also hosts a free Sexual Health Clinic on Tuesday afternoons. Read More...

Latest NZ figures show a rise in annual HIV diagnoses

04June15
The latest figures for HIV in NZ shows the highest number of diagnoses for Gay and Bi-men since the HIV epidemic began. There has been a consistent increase over the past 3 years. In addition there is a marked increase in the number of recent local infections over previous years which may indicate an increase in recent transmission. While this shows that people are testing earlier and are taking control of their health it raises concerns over the increasing number of people now living with HIV. With more people being diagnosed with HIV and people now living longer through improved clinical care we now have 2900 people living with HIV in NZ at the end of 2014. Read More...

Depression strongly associated with risky sex in UK gay men

03Jun15_1
HIV-negative gay men who have several symptoms of depression are more likely to report sex without a condom, according to a study presented to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) conference in Glasgow.

Several past studies have shown that poor mental health is frequently experienced by gay men. Some American studies have found an association between depression and risky sex, or depression and seroconversion to HIV, but there has been little data on the issue in HIV-negative gay men in the UK. Read More...

START trial finds that early treatment improves outcomes for people with HIV

03Jun15
Starting at a CD4 count over 500 cells/mm3 is safer than waiting till 350 cells/mm3.

A major international randomised clinical trial has found that people living with HIV have a considerably lower risk of developing AIDS or other serious illnesses if they start taking antiretroviral treatment (ART) sooner, when their CD4 cell count is above 500 cells/mm3, instead of waiting until their CD4 cell count drops below 350 cells/mm3. Read More...

US guidelines shift to integrase-based combinations for first-line treatment: Atripla relegated due to side effects

20May15_1
The latest update of the leading US treatment guidelines, produced by a panel from the Department of Health and Human Sciences (DHHS) was published online on 9 April 2015.

These comprehensive, evidence-based guidelines now run to almost 300 pages including over 30 tables previous. This is the first update since May 2014. Read More...

HIV positive workers take less than a week off

20May15
The majority of people living with HIV take less than four days off work a year but still find it hard to get protection, research has shown.

The study by medical financial advisers Unusual Risks showed that 89 per cent of HIV positive people took less than a week in sick leave a year.

Meanwhile, 74 per cent said they had taken less than the national average of four days. Read More...

No HIV transmissions from HIV-positive partner seen in Australian gay couples study

01Mar15
An Australian-based study of gay male couples of opposite HIV status (serodifferent couples) has so far seen no transmissions from the HIV-positive partner within the couple in a two-year interim analysis.

The Opposites Attract study started recruiting in May 2012. It recruits gay male serodifferent couples regardless of whether the HIV-positive partner is on antiretroviral therapy (ART) or has an undetectable viral load, and also regardless of whether or not they use condoms. Read More...

HIV treatment at CD4 above 500 beneficial in African study

27Feb15
Starting HIV treatment at a CD4 cell count above 500 reduced the risk of tuberculosis, other serious illnesses and death by 44% when compared to starting treatment according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

The Temprano study, conducted over seven years in Ivory Coast, was designed to test the safety and efficacy of early treatment initiation compared to standard treatment initiation in a lower-income setting with a high prevalence of tuberculosis and bacterial infections. There may be particular benefits to starting HIV treatment early in settings where such infections cause substantial ill health in people living with HIV. Read More...

A game-changer: 86% fewer HIV infections in two PrEP studies

26Feb15
The most exciting news from CROI concerns pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the use by HIV-negative people of antiretrovirals to prevent HIV infection.

Two studies of PrEP in gay men and trans women have demonstrated that the availability of PrEP reduced the rate of infection by 86%. This amounts to the highest effectiveness yet seen for PrEP and is superior to most other HIV prevention interventions. Extraordinarily, two separate studies which provided PrEP in very different ways found exactly the same level of effectiveness. Read More...

Māori Wāhine living with HIV makes international list of 15 HIV advocates to watch in 2015

07Jan15
Marama Pala, Executive Director of INA (Māori, Indigenous & South Pacific) HIV/AIDS Foundation, Māori woman living with HIV was listed in marksking.com international list of 15 HIV advocates to watch in 2015.

“This is a first for New Zealand and Indigenous peoples” says Marama Pala, “To be listed as an international advocate and be represented on these high profile committees. Being included as a vulnerable population is all we’ve wanted on an International scale” The rise of HIV infections amongst Indigenous Populations continues to create a concern internationally. Read More...