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The Viral Truth


Raltegravir Lovefest, Vienna Edition: AIDS 2010 Studies Explore Various Strategies for Use
By Myles Helfand
July 20, 2010

The first set of scientific presentations at AIDS 2010 brought us some new research on raltegravir (Isentress), a study on raltegravir and some new data on ... let me see here ... ah, yes! Raltegravir! How could I forget.

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At Opening of AIDS 2010, Creative Action Turns Conferees' Attention to Governments' Broken Funding Promises
By Olivia Ford
July 20, 2010

HIV/AIDS activists from around the world collaborated on a demonstration set to coincide with the opening ceremonies of AIDS 2010. In addition to a banner drop, which, sadly, I missed (though I did procure a photo, courtesy of Kaytee Riek from Health GAP), a diverse contingent marched through the conference exhibit hall shouting. At the entrance of the opening ceremonies, the contingent staged a "die-in" to illustrate the avoidable deaths that inevitably result from a lack of funding for HIV treatment. Health GAP's official press release provides more details about the issues behind the demonstration.

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An Anti-Inflammatory Antiretroviral? CCR5/CCR2 Antagonist TBR-652 Monotherapy Study Results
By Myles Helfand
July 19, 2010

When it comes to health problems in people with HIV, inflammation is the flavor of the day. In the case of TBR-652, a CCR5 inhibitor in the earliest stages of testing in humans, that's an awfully good thing. What sets TBR-652 apart from other CCR5 inhibitors -- heck, all other antiretrovirals on the market today -- is that it's also designed specifically to block another receptor, CCR2.

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A "Family Reunion" for Some Fierce Activists: The Global Forum on MSM and HIV
By Olivia Ford
July 18, 2010

In what's becoming a tradition around International AIDS Conference time, the Global Forum on MSM and HIV (MSMGF) held its pre-conference gathering on the day before the conference officially opened. MSMGF, to paraphrase its Web site, works worldwide to fight HIV and promote the health and human rights of men who have sex with men (MSM).

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HIV/AIDS Vaccine Experts Discuss Hopes and Fears for the Future of Vaccine Development
By Myles Helfand
July 18, 2010

Before AIDS 2010 had even officially begun, some of the luminaries in the HIV/AIDS vaccine field gathered to talk about how bright and bubbly the future looks for vaccine development.

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An HIV/AIDS Vaccine Breakthrough? On CNN, Community Leaders Offer Perspective
By Kellee Terrell
July 12, 2010

Off the cusp of the exciting news that scientists have discovered two potent antibodies that can stop more than 90 percent of HIV strains, CNN anchor Don Lemon interviewed Phill Wilson, CEO and founder of the Black AIDS Institute, and Sherri Lewis, HIV/AIDS activist and TheBody.com blogger, to discuss what this development means in terms of a possible HIV/AIDS vaccine.

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What Does an ADAP Waiting List Really Mean? A Look at the Deepening Crisis From HIV/AIDS Service Organizations' Point of View
By Becky Allen
July 8, 2010

Waiting lists for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) are at an all-time high, having grown steadily all year: They're now at 2,090 people across a total of 11 states. An unknown number of additional people -- perhaps thousands -- have lost their ADAP coverage entirely or seen it reduced due to other cost-cutting moves.

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New HIV Risk Estimates Are In: Anal Versus Vaginal Sex
By Warren Tong
July 8, 2010

When it comes to calculating risk of HIV transmission, some people can really get fixated on specific percentages. That's not something to condone. But it's still interesting -- and useful -- when studies use those percentages to shed new light on key topics in HIV transmission. Which is what a group of British researchers did recently for the age-old question: When it comes to HIV/AIDS, how much riskier is anal sex than vaginal sex?

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When Will the Media's Obsession With the "Down Low" Die?
By Kellee Terrell
July 8, 2010

On the June 22 episode of The View, guest host D.L. Hughley attempted to school America on why HIV is so prevalent among African-American women. He said with confidence, "They are getting it from men who are on the down low."

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During Pride Month, President Obama Vows to Make Progress on LGBT Issues
By Becky Allen
June 28, 2010

Obama concluded his speech optimistically, praising young LGBT people -- particularly activists -- for standing up for themselves and their rights. "I believe because of them that the future is bright. It's certainly bright for them," Obama said. "And I want you all to know that as this work continues, I'm going to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you, fighting by your side every step of the way."

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