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An antibody that can attack HIV in new ways

Proteins called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are a promising key to the prevention of infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. bNAbs have been found in blood samples from some HIV patients whose immune systems can naturally control the infection. These antibodies may protect a patient’s healthy cells by recognizing a protein called the [...]

Study proves pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is effective at preventing HIV in high-risk gay men (PROUD study)

The Lancet today publishes the results of the PROUD study, which shows giving daily HIV medication to gay men who are HIV negative yet at high risk of becoming HIV positive is highly effective at preventing new infections. The authors, led by Professor Sheena McCormack, of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinical Trials Unit at [...]

Why do certain hormonal contraceptives increase the risk of HIV?

In recent years, evidence has been building that injectable contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (Depo-Provera or DMPA) is associated with an increased risk of HIV infection. Now a study published in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, provides a biological explanation for the phenomenon. The findings will help women make more [...]

HVTN 505 vaccine induced antibodies nonspecific for HIV

NIH-supported study explores why candidate HIV vaccine was not protective A study by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Duke University helps explain why the candidate vaccine used in the HVTN 505 clinical trial was not protective against HIV infection despite robustly inducing anti-HIV antibodies: the vaccine stimulated antibodies that [...]

Kicking latent HIV: New strategies to reactivate reservoirs of latent infection

In cells with latent HIV infection, the virus is dormant, and such cells are therefore not attacked by the immune system or by standard antiretroviral therapy. To eradicate the virus from the human body and truly cure a patient, reservoirs of latently infected cells need to be activated and eliminated “the so-called “kick-and-kill” approach. Two [...]