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HIV Media Digest 15 June

Newsletter • 15 June 2012

A roundup of HIV-related news from Australian and selected international media.

In this edition:

Top story

China changes patent law in fight for cheaper drugs

Reuters, 8 Jun

China has overhauled parts of its intellectual property laws to allow its drug makers to make cheap copies of medicines still under patent protection in an initiative likely to unnerve foreign pharmaceutical companies. China is believed to be getting ready to produce a generic version of Gilead Sciences Inc's tenofovir.

tenofovir Gilead China generics treatments-access

Conference news

AIDS 2012: Official Conference programme now online

AIDS 2012 conference, 13 Jun media release

Organisers of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) have announced today that Bill Clinton, South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, philanthropist Bill Gates, and humanitarian Sir Elton John, will be among the high-level speakers who will join thousands of the world’s top AIDS researchers, community leaders, and other stakeholders in Washington, D.C. in July. An estimated 25,000 attendees are expected to attend AIDS 2012.

conferences AIDS 2012

Our Region

Netizens Chatter as Prominent HIV/AIDS Activist Leaves China

The Tea Leaf Nation, 11 Jun

On June 10, news broke on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, that Dr. Lu Guogan, whose non-profit AIDS/HIV clinic in Guangxi province was recently shut down by the Chinese government, has left the country.

social-media politics activists China


Brazil's HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention program may be in jeopardy, some experts say

news (US), 14 Jun

In 1996 Brazil declared that it would offer free antiretroviralA medication or other substance which is active against retroviruses such as HIV. treatment to all citizens with AIDS, however the increasing cost to the government as people live longer than they did in the past may put this program in jeopardy.

treatments-access brazil

AHF: Gilead Pulls AIDS Funding After AHF Advocacy Efforts

Wall Street Journal (US), 13 Jun

After AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) waged fierce and public advocacy campaigns challenging HIV/AIDS drug maker Gilead Sciences Inc. on pricing issues and the company's push for FDAThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency responsible for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of all drugs, biologics, vaccines, and medical devices, including those used in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of HIV infection, AIDS, and AIDS-related opportunistic infections. The FDA also works with the blood banking industry to safeguard the nation's blood supply. The Australian equivalent is the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). approval of its HIV "prevention" pill, Gilead declines to further fund AHF's global programs

treatments-access drug-pricing USA Gilead funding

Zimbabwe Lawmakers Volunteer for Public HIV Testing, Circumcision

Voice of America (US), 13 Jun

Some 61 Zimbabwean lawmakers have volunteered to undergo public HIV testing and counseling on June 22, aiming to ratchet up public awareness and deflate the stigma that comes with the Aids epidemic.

politicians zimbabwe stigma

HIV Treatment and Care

Report on the imminent introduction of personal electronic health records

ABC TV 7.30 Report, 13 Jun video+transcript

An electronic database to store the personal health records of all Australians who choose to opt into it will come into effect on 1st July, however key sticking points, from legal liability to privacy concerns, still aren't resolved.

electronic health records e-health

HIV cure questioned after Berlin patient results released

ABC Radio , 14 Jun

A report on the recent debate about the 'Berlin patient', thought to have been cured of HIV after receiving a bone marrow stem cell transplant in 2007. Includes comments from Australian researchers Tony Kelleher (Kirby Institute) and Paul Cameron (Monash).

stem cells berlin-patient cure

HIV may be back in 'cured' patient

Herald Sun (Melbourne), 14 Jun

A report on the debate over the latest findings on Timothy Brown, also known as the "Berlin patient," which were presented at a conference in Spain last week.

berlin-patient cure

Doctors in Europe and the US disagree over the pace of liver fibrosis in men co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C

Aidsmap (UK), 13 Jun

Doctors in Europe and the US have conflicting opinions about the pace of liver fibrosis in HIV-positive men with hepatitis C infection. In a study published in ClinicalPertaining to or founded on observation and treatment of participants, as distinguished from theoretical or basic science. Infectious Diseases, European investigators showed that the pace of liver fibrosis slowed after the acute phase of infection. However, doctors from the US have published contrasting findings, showing that fibrosis continued to worsen with longer duration of co-infection.

HIV HCV liver-fibrosis coinfection

HIV Prevention

New hope for women who need protection from HIV

The Guardian (UK), 13 Jun

A major trial is being launched in Africa of a vaginal ring which releases antiretroviral drugs to allow women to protect themselves from the Aids virusA small infective organism which is incapable of reproducing outside a host cell.. If successful, it could also be combined with hormonal contraception

prevention trials women

Study shows that use of darunavir/ritonavir and etravirine in HIV treatment as a prevention method is biologically plausible

Aidsmap (UK), 13 Jun

A pharmacokineticReferring to the processes (in a living organism) of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of a drug or vaccine. In clinical trials, measurements are made of the rate at which a drug is absorbed into the bloodstream and then excreted via the kidneys or liver, to determine the optimum dose of the drug. study suggests that ritonavir-boosted darunavir (Prezista) and etravirine (Intelence) achieve high concentrations in semen and rectal tissue, and could therefore help avert HIV transmission and infection, especially in gay men.

treatment as prevention PrEP darunavir etravirine ritonavir

HIV Criminalisation

US: Lambda Legal Appeals Conviction of HIV-Positive Man

Criminal transmission blogspot, 14 Jun media release

The lawyers of a man who in 2008 was convicted with convicted of intentionally exposing another man to HIV, have appealed his sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender after having a one-time sexual encounter with another man during which they used a condom.

USA criminal law criminalisation

Friday Viral Video

HIV Replication 3D Medical Animation

YouTube, 3 Mar

Colourful and spookily Sci Fi.

science boehringer-ingelheim HIV animation


Third of disabled feel help is lacking - report

Sydney Morning Herald, 14 Jun

One in three Australians with a disability say they need more formal support, according to a report to be released 14 June. The report, issued by the Council of Australian Governments reform council, is likely to strengthen support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme.


Science & Medicine

Human Breast Milk May Block HIV, Mouse Study Finds

US News and World Report (US), 14 Jun

Human breast milk seems to kill HIV and block its oral (through the mouth) transmission, according to a new study conducted in mice. The findings suggest that it may be possible to isolate the compounds in breast milk that destroy HIV and use these to combat the virus that causes AIDS, the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine researchers said.

animal-studies prevention breastfeeding women

Lessons learned from the 'ethical odyssey' of an HIV trial, 14 Jun

The landmark HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 study, which established that antiretroviral treatment in people who are HIV positive decreases the likelihood of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners, serves as a case study of ethical challenges faced at every stage of the research trial process in a new paper: "Establishing HIV treatment as prevention in the HIV Prevention Trials Network 052 randomized trial: an ethical odyssey".

HPTN-052 study ethics clinical trials

New chemical-screening method can discover compounds against HIV

news (US), 14 Jun

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have used a powerful new chemical-screening method to find compounds that inhibit the activity of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. Unlike existing anti-HIV drugs, the compounds bind to a protein called "nucelocapsid," which is unlikely to mutate into drug-resistantHIV which has mutated and is less susceptible to the effects of one or more anti-HIV drugs is said to be resistant. forms.

drug development resistance nucleocapsid

Society & Culture

Stellar Writers Fest line-up

Northern Rivers News (NSW), 13 Jun

Former High Court Judge and HIV advocate Justice Michael Kirby will be among the guests at this year's Byron Bay Writers' Festival. At the festival, he will discuss his shift from law into the world of documentary through the creation of his 2010 film, Michael Kirby: Don't Forget the Justice Bit.

activists Michael Kirby

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This newsletter was first published on 15 June 2012 — more than one year ago.

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