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Under the Radar: July 22

By Warren Tong

July 22, 2010

Here's a hodgepodge of underreported news coming out of IAC:


HCV Co-Infection: Another Concern When It Comes to Bone Loss

According to a US study presented at the International AIDS Conference, individuals who are infected with both HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) may be more likely to develop osteoporosis and sustain bone fractures than individuals who are infected with only HIV or HCV.1 Because bone mineral density loss is a hot concern among the HIV community, with about a third of HIV-positive individuals are also co-infected with HCV, Roger Bedimo of the Veterans Administration North Texas Healthcare System and fellow researchers analyzed data retrospectively to see if HCV co-infection increased chances of osteoporosis. They found that those who were co-infected were 27% to 43% more at risk. As aidsmap reports, "These findings led Bedimo and colleagues to conclude that HCV co-infection is a significant risk factor for osteoporotic fractures in HIV-positive people, and that fractures appear to be increasing amongst HIV/HCV co-infected people during the ART era." Meaning, if you?re HIV positive, you may want to look into hepatitis C prevention.

References

  1. Bedimo R, Westfall A, Drechsler H, Maalouf N. HCV co-infection is associated with a high risk of osteoporotic fractures among HIV-infected patients. In Programs and abstracts of the 18th International AIDS Conference; July 18-23, 2010; Vienna, Austria. Abstract TUAB0104.


In the Fight Against HIV, Sex Workers Show Us Their Colors

Sex workers put on a fashion show to raise awareness about discrimination at the International AIDS Conference. They strutted down a makeshift catwalk, wearing colorful sexy outfits, while brightly packaged condoms stuck out of their pockets. One advocate told AFP, "It's important that the sex [professionals], the sex workers, know how to use condoms, and they are the best to make HIV prevention: they have contact with the clients." Camille, a sex worker and model for the show, added, "Visibility of our population is very important to get less discrimination, violence and negative attitude against our group."


When to Start: The Earlier (or Younger), the Better

New research by Dr. Gesine Meyer-Rath and colleagues shows that starting antiretroviral treatment earlier for infants in South Africa could be more cost effective than waiting.2 The first arm of their study started treatment at a median of 10 weeks, resulting in a cost of $1,349 per patient per year. The second arm deferred treatment until a median of 20 weeks, resulting in a cost of $2,432 per patient. The last arm, which was the standard at the time, waited until a median of 27 weeks to start treatment, bumping the cost to $2,908 per patient. As HIVMA Executive Director Andrea Weddle writes, "South Africa updated its guidelines to recommend earlier initiation of HIV treatment for infants in 2010 based on the data."

References

  1. Meyer-Rath G, Violari A, Cotton M, et al. The cost of early vs. deferred paediatric antiretroviral treatment in South Africa -- a comparative economic analysis of the first year of the CHER trial. In Programs and abstracts of the 18th International AIDS Conference; July 18-23, 2010; Vienna, Austria. Abstract THLBB103.




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