Showing posts with label HIV Cure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HIV Cure. Show all posts

December 4, 2019

Three HIV Vacs For 2021 *All You Need is One to Work and End Game for The Virus

By Tim Fitzsimons

The global fight against the human immunodeficiency virus is poised to make important advances thanks to three experimental HIV vaccines that are entering the final stages of testing at sites across the globe.
While any of these three late-stage HIV vaccine trials — known as HVTN 702, Imbokodo and Mosaico — could fail, scientists say they are more hopeful than at any time since 1984, when Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler raised hopes by predicting that there would be a test-worthy HIV vaccine within two years.
This is “perhaps one of the most optimistic moments we have been in," said Dr. Susan Buchbinder, director of the Bridge HIV research program at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and a chair of both the Imbokodo and Mosaico trials.
“We have three vaccines currently being tested in efficacy trials," she said, "and it takes quite a bit to actually be promising enough in the earlier stages of trials to move you forward into an efficacy study."

HVTN 702

The oldest ongoing HIV vaccine trial, known as HVTN 702, is based on a prior vaccine candidate, RV144, that was effective, but not effective enough. In 2009, the RV144 clinical trial released findings showing that the vaccine lowered the rate of HIV infections by about 30 percent. To this day, RV144 remains the only HIV vaccine that has ever demonstrated any efficacy against the virus.
HVTN 702, launched in South Africa in 2016, was the first vaccine trial approved after the failure of RV144. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the modified vaccination regime “aims to provide greater and more sustained protection than the RV144 regimen and has been adapted to the HIV subtype that predominates in southern Africa,” also known as HIV-1 clade C. While RV144, at 30 percent effective, did not suffice for global distribution, it pointed the way forward for vaccine researchers, who adapted RV144’s successes to create HVTN 702. Buchbinder said even a partially effective vaccine would be “a tremendous breakthrough,” and "would really have the power to change the trajectory of the epidemic.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID and a longtime advocate for a vaccine that is at least 50 percent effective, said he feels “even more strongly now” that a partially effective vaccine would be worth deploying. He said that is because prevention strategies like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and treatment as prevention (TasP) “are being so successfully used, even in the absence of a vaccine, that if one or more of these vaccines look good, have a 50-60 percent efficacy, I think that’s going to be the game-changer for turning the epidemic around.”
HVTN 702 completed enrollment this summer, and clinical results are expected in late 2020 or early 2021.

Imbokodo and Mosaico

Imbokodo, the second trial, began in five southern African nations in 2017 and completed enrollment of 2,600 women this summer. In southern African nations, heterosexual women are at extremely high risk of HIV infection.
“It’s almost unbelievable, but it’s true, women between the ages of 18 and 25 — the prevalence of infection is well over 50 percent,” Fauci said. “If ever you wanted to get a population that, if the vaccine works, you’re going to know pretty quickly, then you want to go in women.”
Unlike HVTN 702, Imbokodo uses “mosaic” immunogens, which are “vaccine components designed to induce immune responses against a wide variety of global HIV strains,” according to the National Institutes of Health.
“The presumption is that a mosaic is going to give you broader coverage,” Fauci said.
In November, the third vaccine trial, Mosaico, marked its informal start after the first study participant received an injection. Mosaico is based on Imbokodo’s unique mosaic immunogen approach.
Imbokodo and Mosaico are largely identical and consist of six injections, with slightly different vaccine formulations administered during the final two clinic visits. In addition, while Imbokodo is only being tested in African women, Mosaico will recruit 3,800 gay men and transgender people for its clinical trials at 57 sites in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. For any HIV vaccine, Fauci said there’s a need to prove it works in different at-risk populations.
Imbokodo completed enrollment of study participants this summer, marking the formal end of the recruitment process. Results from Imbokodo are expected in 2021, and results from Mosaico are expected in 2023.

Challenges ahead

Fauci noted that there has been a rapid pace of vaccine-related developments in recent years, with these three vaccine trials starting in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
“In all of these trials, intermittently the data and safety monitoring board takes a look at the data, and either says the data are so bad you have got to stop, or the data are so overwhelmingly good that you have got to stop,” Fauci said. So far, after several reviews of the data in HVTN 702 and Imbokodo, “there’s nothing there to say stop the study,” which happened in 2007 when a Merck vaccine trial was shut down after the monitoring board determined that it had no impact on prevention.
"None of these vaccines is a particularly simple regimen," Buchbinder said, "so it’s going to require quite a bit of effort to deploy.”
“They require multiple injections, and so each one would require a minimum of four different doses in its current configuration,” Buchbinder said. But an effective vaccine could be a “stepping off point” to potentially create a simpler and more effective vaccine in the future.
And if these vaccine trials all fail, public health officials, say enough tools currently exist to stop the spread of HIV — if only people would, or could, use them. PrEP, the daily pill that prevents HIV infection, is safe and effective, but not enough people are using it to slow HIV transmission and end the epidemic. And successful treatment of people living with HIV results in an undetectable viral load that they cannot transmit the virus via sexual activity, known as “treatment as prevention” or TasP.
“It goes exactly to what I have been saying for years and years — if you implement the tools that you have, you will definitely see an impact on the dynamics of the epidemic,” Fauci said. “I have been talking about this for well over a decade. If you implement, the incidence is going to go down. It happened dramatically in San Francisco, and it is happening right now in New York.”

Fauci said President Donald Trump’s Ending the HIV Epidemic plan, which Fauci played a central role in drafting, aims to lower new infections by 75 percent in five years and by 90 percent in 10 years “even in the absence of a vaccine.”
So, if one of the three vaccines currently being tested works, “that would be the endgame," she said.

April 20, 2019

Researchers Say A Single Injection Can Keep HIV At Bay For Four Months

 By  Tech Times

A single injection may have prevented the progression of the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, to up to four months, a new study suggests.
Researchers in Taiwan reported that the antibody called UB-421 was safe and it effectively prevented the virus from destroying the immune system. They reported that a single injection of the antibody is as effective as a daily pill regimen.
They published the results of the Phase 2 trial of the drug in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Injectable HIV Drug

The researchers conducted a clinical trial involving 29 participants who were dignosed with HIV and have been taking anti-HIV medication in pill form. They were divided into two groups: one received an injection once a week while the other received a shot with a higher dose once every two weeks.
After the eight to 16 week-treatment period, all participants went back to their regular antiretroviral therapy, or ART, regimens.
One participant had to discontinue the experimental treatment after developing a mild skin rash. However, the rest were evaluated during follow-up visits and were found to have maintained HIV suppression over the course of the trial.
"We were able to use this antibody to maintain durable viral remission using a single agent instead of a cocktail of drugs," stated Chang-Yi Wang, the lead author of the study. "Such a durable maintenance is unprecedented, and it opens up a host of potential new treatment options for patients with resistance-prone HIV infection."
UB-421 works by binding to the same entry site that the HIV virus uses to infect cells. It competes with the HIV virus and occupy more cells, preventing it from infecting more cells. 
The antibody can even knock out the HIV virus that is already at the entry site of the cell.

More Options For HIV Patients

Today, HIV-positive patients have to take a cocktail of medications every day to suppress the virus, preventing it from progressing or being spread to others. If they miss a dose, the virus might develop resistance and flood the body with new copies. Taking a "pill holiday" can lead to death.
long-acting injectible can offer another option for patients who have the virus.
The next step of the study is to test UB-421 on patients who have recently been diagnosed with HIV, but have not started taking ART. Their goal is to see whether a shot can control the virus to up to six months.

The HIV Virus Used To Cure Bubble Boys Disease

A young patient at St Jude Children's Research Hospital, with his mother
 US scientists say they used HIV to make a gene therapy that cured eight infants of severe combined immunodeficiency, or "bubble boy" disease. 

Results of the research, developed at a Tennessee hospital, were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. 
The babies, born with little to no immune protection, now have fully functional immune systems.
Untreated babies with this disorder have to live in completely sterile conditions and tend to die as infants. 
David Vetter, the bubble boyThe gene therapy involved collecting the babies' bone marrow and correcting the genetic defect in their DNA soon after their birth. David Vetter, who came to be known in the 1970s as the bubble boy
The "correct" gene - used to fix the defect - was inserted into an altered version of one of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. 
Researchers said most of the babies were discharged from the hospital within one month. 
Dr Ewelina Mamcarz of St Jude, an author of the study, said in a statement: "These patients are toddlers now, who are responding to vaccinations and have immune systems to make all immune cells they need for protection from infections as they explore the world and live normal lives." 
"This is a first for patients with SCID-X1," she added, referring to the most common type of SCID.
The patients were treated at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis and at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco. 

What is this syndrome?

The case of David Vetter is perhaps the most famous case of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a disease that made it impossible for him to engage with the world outside a plastic chamber.
Nicknamed "Bubble Boy", Vetter was born in 1971 with the disease and died at the age of 12 after a failed bone marrow transplant.
David Vetter, the bubble boy S
Within 20 seconds of his birth at the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, he was placed in a plastic isolation chamber, where he lived until the age of six when he was given a special plastic suit designed by Nasa, the US space agency.
His parents had already lost one child to the disease before he was born.
David Vetter, the bubble boy What are other treatment options?
Currently, the best treatment for SCID-XI is a bone marrow transplant with a tissue-matched sibling donor. But according to St Jude, more than 80% of these patients lack such donors and must rely on blood stem cells from other donors.
This process is less likely to cure the bubble boy disease, and is more likely to cause serious side effects as a result of treatment. 
Previous advancements in gene therapy provided alternatives to a bone marrow transplant, but these treatments sometimes involved chemotherapy and had implications for a range of other diseases, including blood disorders, sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia, and metabolic syndrome.

March 7, 2019

Details of The Second HIV-Free Patient With Stem Cell Treatment

Before I start with this report who made headlines yesterday and today, let me say there is nothing new here. It is good that they are trying ways which might have worked in the past but stem cell treatment is no panacea. If a person do not want to suffer from HIV and not transmit it to their sex partner(s) they need to follow Doctors instructions in becoming "UNDETECTABLE". If you have no HIV being detected there is no HIV to transmit to a sex partneer. Everytime you get news like this you run the danger to make people feel there is something else coing next month from what we have today. Why should I go through the trouble of stying undetectable?
Actually injections to be taken once a month so people don't forget their pills which many times is just one or two pill max would be an advance. A vaccine is needed really and it haas nothing to do with a trsansfer of Stem cells.
Getting excited about this particular news does not make a lot of sence since you have only two patients with decades between the two. Yet the case to get excited about is that undetectable is untransmitable. But both the person who came positive and friends and partners need to to teach people about that, just like people have been taught that gays don't all like lipstick and you have more straight men using ladies underwear than gay men unless they are performers or 'Drag-queens'. Most gay men , you can't tell they are gay and is not because they are acting straight, is just the way they are. We also owe a lot of gratitute to those who could be identified as gay beacuse of mannerism or closthes because they are the ones that got the death penalty and beatings first.
{ Page 6} HIV Where are we in HIV?
 HIV being very active in the lymphatic system which they find very cozy. (You can bring the picture to all dark.)

BBC News
A UK patient's HIV has become "undetectable" following a stem cell transplant - in only the second case of its kind, doctors report in Nature.
The London patient, who was being treated for cancer, has now been in remission from HIV for 18 months and is no longer taking HIV drugs.
The researchers say it is too early to say the patient is "cured" of HIV.
Experts say the approach is not practical for treating most people with HIV but may one day help find a cure.
The male London patient, who has not been named, was diagnosed with HIV in 2003 and advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2012. 
He had chemotherapy to treat the Hodgkin's cancer and, in addition, stem cells were implanted into the patient from a donor resistant to HIV, leading to both his cancer and HIV going into remission.
Researchers from University College London, Imperial College London, Cambridge and Oxford Universities were all involved in the case.

'Not an anomaly'

This is the second time a patient treated this way has ended up in remission from HIV.
Ten years ago, another patient in Berlin received a bone-marrow transplant from a donor with natural immunity to the virus.
Timothy Brown, said to be the first person to "beat" HIV/Aids, was given two transplants and total body irradiation (radiotherapy) for leukaemia - a much more aggressive treatment.
"By achieving remission in a second patient using a similar approach, we have shown that the Berlin patient was not an anomaly and that it really was the treatment approaches that eliminated HIV in these two people," said lead study author Prof Ravindra Gupta, from UCL.

Hope of a cure?

By BBC Online Health Editor, Michelle Roberts
Although the finding is exciting, it is not offering up a new treatment for the millions of people around the world living with HIV.
The aggressive therapy was primarily used to treat the patient's cancer, not his HIV. 
Current HIV therapies are really effective, meaning people with the virus can live long and healthy lives. 
But the reason this case is so significant is that it could help experts who are looking for new ways to tackle HIV and achieve a cure. 
Understanding how the body can naturally resist the infection does offer up hope of this, even if it is still a long way off.

Prof Eduardo Olavarria, also involved in the research, from Imperial College London, said the success of stem cell transplantation offered hope that new strategies could be developed to tackle the virus. 
But he added: "The treatment is not appropriate as a standard HIV treatment because of the toxicity of chemotherapy, which in this case was required to treat the lymphoma."

Anti retroviral therapy for HIVImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe patient was able to stop taking antiretroviral therapy drugs to control his HIV

How does it work?

CCR5 is the most commonly used receptor by HIV-1 - the virus strain of HIV that dominates around the world - to enter cells.
But a very small number of people who are resistant to HIV have two mutated copies of the CCR5 receptor.
This means the virus cannot penetrate cells in the body that it normally infects.
The London patient received stem cells from a donor with this specific genetic mutation, which made him resistant to HIV as well.
But a reservoir of cells carrying HIV can still remain in the body, in a resting state, for many years.
The UK researchers say it may be possible to use gene therapy to target the CCR5 receptor in people with HIV, now they know the Berlin patient's recovery was not a one-off. 
Prof Graham Cooke, National Institute for Health Research research professor and reader in infectious diseases from Imperial College London, said the results were "encouraging".
"If we can understand better why the procedure works in some patients and not others, we will be closer to our ultimate goal of curing HIV. 
"At the moment the procedure still carries too much risk to be used in patients who are otherwise well."

'Potentially significant'

Dr Andrew Freedman, reader in infectious diseases and honorary consultant physician at Cardiff University, said it was an "interesting and potentially significant report". 
But he said much longer follow-up would be needed to ensure the virus did not re-emerge at a later stage.
"While this type of treatment is clearly not practical to treat the millions of people around the world living with HIV, reports such as these may help in the ultimate development of a cure for HIV."
In the meantime, he said the focus needed to be on diagnosing HIV promptly and starting patients on lifelong combination antiretroviral therapy (cART).
This can prevent the virus being transmitted to others and give people with HIV a near-normal life expectancy.

July 26, 2017

CNN Reports on Something We Have Known: Undetectable Means 99.99 for Transmission

Adamfoxie has been reporting this news for 18 months or more. If you have become undetectable, after you wait a few months you won't be transmitting the disease. Undetectable means in layman's terms if they are not able to detect your virus means you won't be transmitting the virus. There has been a reluctance for the government and pharma to let the good news out and the answer is money from Pharma. Think about it. It's the same reason a "Cure" is not preached and the pharmaceuticals have not been interested in talking about that in a serious way.  Why cure diabetes when it makes so much money for so many? HIV is no diabetes and it killed people a lot faster and it was a pandemic brought under control by money and meds. Under control! If you read yesterday's article about the girl cured after being undetectable together with this article it will enhance your knowledge on this.
Blog Publisher 

The evidence is in and the message is clear: When someone is HIV positive, taking regular treatment can pretty much zero their chance of spreading the infection to others during sex.
Sexual transmission of HIV is negligible when someone is on treatment, whether they're in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship, according to results from previous studies and now a large-scale study of homosexual men, presented at the Ninth International AIDS Conference on HIV Science in Paris on Tuesday.
HIV experts emphasized this aspect of prevention, highlighting the "Undetectable equals Untransmissible" campaign, during a press conference at the international meeting. The campaign works to encourage people worldwide to stay on treatment by ensuring they understand that doing so could mean they cannot infect others.
    This message is not aligned with the status quo in terms of the care people infected with HIV receive today, believes Bruce Richman, founder and executive director of Prevention Access Campaign and the "Undetectable = Untransmittable" initiative. "This is transmission-stopping information," he said.
    New vaccine results have shown promise at the meeting this week and in recent studies, but are still far from becoming a reality to end the epidemic.

    Overwhelming evidence

    In the largest-ever trial on HIV transmission risk among homosexual men, Australian researchers explored the sex lives and HIV rates of more than 350 homosexual couples where one person is HIV positive. The couples were from Brazil, Thailand, and Australia.
    Each couple reported their sexual activity when visiting clinics involved in the trial and HIV-negative partners were regularly tested to diagnose any new infections.
    The couples participating reported having sex almost 17,000 times without condoms between them over four yearsand none of those times resulted in new infections.
    "There was not a single linked HIV infection in these couples," said Andrew Grulich, professor of epidemiology at the University of New South Wales in Australia, who led the study. "Nobody became infected from their partner."
    Three new infections were discovered during the trial, but analysis of the virus showed they had come from sex outside of the relationships, not from the person on treatment within the couple.
    Sex without a condom is not necessarily advised, however, to prevent risk of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). "This (group) had very high STIs," Grulich told CNN, adding that 20% of the men in the trial developed STIs each year, yet there were zero HIV infections. 
    Approximately 10% of men had STIs associated with anal sex, which experts had previously thought aided HIV transmission, Gulich said.
    The new evidence builds on previous studies on couples where one partner is HIV positive and on treatment, including a landmark study in 2011 that found that treatment can prevent new infections among couples by 96% and a second study in Europe in 2016 showing no transmission at all.
    Treatment as prevention is now recommended by the World Health Organization as a key component to include in HIV prevention programs,
    The latest trial is the first to explore the benefits of treatment as prevention across multiple continents, showing this approach could be universally applicable. "We wanted to see if this could be applied in different settings where there are also HIV epidemics among homosexual men," said Grulich.
    An estimated 68% of new HIV infections in Australia in 2015 were among homosexual men, according to the Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations.
    The preventative effects are particularly strong due to the increased risk of transmission that comes with anal sex.

    Protective, despite greater risk

    "We know transmission risk by anal sex is approximately 10 times higher than risk by vaginal sex," said Grulich, who feared this could lead to some infections during the trial. "This provides reassuring evidence that treatment is as effective in homosexual men," he said.
    "This (study) is confirmation of something we have known for some time," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, within the US National Institutes of Health. 
    The fact that transmission risk is clearly greater by anal intercourse shows this is a powerful tool for prevention, he said. "Now is the time to push for it."
    International AIDS Society President Linda-Gail Bekker believes working to ensure more people get tested for HIV and therefore treated is a crucial component of the current fight against the virus, but not necessarily the immediate one.
    "Let's have a reductionist approach, but I think there is also lag in terms of treatment as prevention. You've got to get things up to scale," she told CNN. In the meantime, she said, the services we already have for people who are uninfected to protect themselves should be pushed.
    These currently available services include high-risk groups taking drugs to prevent infection, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), medical male circumcision, which can reduce transmission from women to men by 60%, and condom use. "That will curb the transmission rate more quickly" while we begin treatment as prevention and wait for it to become more widely available globally, she said.
    Bekker used the example of Swaziland, where rates of HIV were reported on Monday to have dramatically declined since 2011, according to the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Swaziland has the highest prevalence of HIV in the world, but new infections have almost halved since 2011, after providing treatment and male circumcision for more than 12 million people.
    By the time these prevention options are extensively promoted and provided to those who need them, Bekker hopes a vaccine may then finally ready. This would truly eliminate the disease, rather than control it, she believes.

    New vaccine promise

    Results from a recent vaccine trial, known as the APPROACH trial, were presented at the conference Monday and revealed this type of vaccine could instigate an immune response against HIV when tested on almost 400 volunteers across five countries.
    The type used were mosaic vaccines, where components of different HIV viruses are combined together to create an immune response in the body.
    Being a 'superhero': The South African volunteers trialing a HIV vaccine
    Being a 'superhero': The South African volunteers trialing an HIV vaccine
    Seven different regimens of the vaccine were tested and all elicited an immune response and were well tolerated in the body. One that previously showed promise in animals shined through, giving the strongest response in humans.
    The researchers stress, however, that simply because an immune response was created does not mean it will prevent someone becoming infected with HIV.
    "The promising, early-stage results from the APPROACH study support further evaluation of these candidate vaccines to assess their ability to protect those at risk of acquiring HIV," said Dr. Dan Barouch, a principal investigator for APPROACH, in a statement.
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    "A safe and effective HIV vaccine would be a powerful tool to reduce new HIV infections worldwide and help bring about a durable end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic," said Fauci, whose Institute supported the trial. "By exploring multiple promising avenues of vaccine development research, we expand our opportunities to achieve these goals." 
    Bekker added that this is one of three avenues currently being explored to create an effective vaccine against HIV, including one being trialed in her home country, South Africa. Whichever one wins the race, it can't come fast enough.
    "Finally, a vaccine will clean (HIV infections) up" after these prevention services are in place, she said. "And hopefully eliminate HIV."

    By Meera Senthilingam, CNN

    June 19, 2017

    6 Experts On White House HIV Advisory Panel Quit Saying Trump Does Not Care About HIV

    HIV Test Tube

    Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) resigned in protest of the Trump administration, which they allege "has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic." 
    Scott Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, explained in a Newsweek op-ed Friday that he and five colleagues decided to leave their posts on the council for a number of reasons. 
    But their largest expressed gripe was that the Trump administration has not sought input from the council when formulating HIV policy. 
    Schoettes, who is openly HIV positive, added that the White House is also pushing legislation that would harm people with HIV and “reverse gains made in the fight against the disease.”  
    "The decision to resign from government service is not one that any of us take lightly," Schoettes wrote on behalf of his colleagues. "However, we cannot ignore the many signs that the Trump administration does not take the on-going epidemic or the needs of people living with HIV seriously." 
    Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses W. Burley III, Michelle Ogle and Grissel Granados are the five other members who resigned. 
    The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment. 
    Formed in 1995 by President Bill Clinton, PACHA was created to counsel the White House about the AIDS epidemic. President George W. Bush renewed its charter in 2001. 
    The board can carry as many as 25 members, but it sat at 18 before the six members resigned. Members include doctors, scientists, HIV advocates, faith leaders, academics, legal experts, health care providers and public health officials. 
    Members typically serve four-year terms. 
    Schoettes and his colleagues often compared President Donald Trump with Barack Obama, whom they called a much more attentive steward of the council and whose Affordable Care Act “benefited people living with HIV and supported efforts to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic." 
    In the op-ed, they note that Trump removed the Office of National AIDS Policy website and has not appointed someone to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, who held a seat on the Domestic Policy Council under Obama. 
    "Because we do not believe the Trump Administration is listening to — or cares — about the communities we serve as members of PACHA, we have decided it is time to step down," Schoettes wrote. 
    "We will be more effective from the outside," he added, "advocating for change and protesting policies that will hurt the health of the communities we serve and the country as a whole if this administration continues down the current path."

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