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HIV Policy & Advocacy

Shionogi-GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Will Revise Inclusion Criteria for a Clinical Study of the Experimental Integrase Inhibitor S/GSK1349572 To Incorporate Concerns of HIV Treatment Advocates

Shionogi-GlaxoSmithKline is developing S/GSK1349572, an experimental HIV integrase inhibitor, for use as a first-line treatment in HIV patients. Following discussions with two AIDS treatment advocacy groups, the European AIDS Treatment Group and the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition, the companies agreed to revise inclusion criteria for a dose-ranging study of the drug in HIV patients without prior antiretroviral treatment. The revision will raise the minimum allowable CD4+ count for entry to the study to 200 cells/mm3 or higher. The advocacy groups argued that HIV patients with CD4+ counts below 200 cells/mm3 should only be treated with FDA-approved standard of care therapies.

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Gov. Schwarzenegger Slashes California Funding for HIV Prevention and Treatment Monitoring

On July 28, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger used a line-item veto to slash the state's health and human services budget, including funds for HIV prevention, counseling and testing, therapeutic monitoring, and housing for people with HIV. Advocates warn that the cuts could be life-threatening and could lead to an increase in new HIV infections.

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Advocates Decry Drastic Cuts Proposed for California HIV/AIDS Funding

Currently recommended combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens can reduce HIV viral load to "undetectable," or < 50 copies/mL using standard tests. Nonetheless, ultrasensitive tests reveal that very low levels of the virus (residual viremia) remain present over the lifetime of almost all HIV positive people despite use of potent HAART. There is controversy among experts, however, about whether this persistent low-level viremia results from ongoing cycles of viral replication or virus being released from latent viral "reservoirs."

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DHHS Issues Proposed Regulations to Remove Ban on HIV Positive Visitors and Immigrants

The federal government this week issued proposed regulations that would remove current restrictions on HIV positive visitors or immigrants to the U.S. The long awaited policy change is now open for public comment.

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Agencies Release New Report on State of HIV Prevention Across the U.S.

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) has released a new report assessing the status of HIV prevention efforts in the U.S., at a time of increasing budget constraints.

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