The risk network approach to HIV detection: something like contact tracing?

There has been considerable debate on the most effective and cost-effective means of accessing untested HIV- or STI-infected individuals. One frequently canvassed strategy is that of respondent driven sampling (RDS). This involves issuing suitable ‘seeds’ (e.g. recently diagnosed MSM) with coupons to distribute to others in their sexual or social networks.  Wei & Raymond (STI) […]

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How should HIV-specific charitable interventions like PEPFAR be evaluated?

Fauci & Eisinger (F&E), in a short piece for New England Journal of Medicine, celebrate 15 years of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and count the lives saved. PEPFAR was established by President George W. Bush in 2003 in recognition of the obligation owed by a resource-rich country such as the US […]

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Estimating the added value of PrEP where it is not the only prevention tool in the box

LeVasseur & Welles (L&W) model the potential population-level impact of PrEP in combination with other prevention strategies. They seek to quantify the additional benefit of PrEP at various levels of uptake (0%-25%) in terms of prevented infections specifically attributable to that intervention in a range of contexts involving its combination with one or more of […]

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Empirical evidence that achievement of UNAIDS 90-90-90 can deliver promised HIV elimination?

The achievement of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets would reduce levels of viral suppression amongst HIV+ people to 73% by 2020. The target is set at this ambitious level because, modelers suggest, it would bring about the elimination of HIV by 2030. In sub-Saharan Africa the challenge seems so great – especially in regard to the […]

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What is the potential of ‘Treatment for Prevention’ in fighting HIV/AIDS?

UNAIDS 90:90:90 appears to have set the course for a global ‘treatment as prevention’ strategy. In 2015 the US revised its National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) to harmonize its goals with UNAIDS 90% targets for testing, engagement in care, and virological suppression. Though the HIV/AIDS community have been nervous about the impact of the recent change […]

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Boys’ BV?

Recent studies in STIs have drawn attention to the impact of the state of the microbiome of the female genital tract (FGT) and susceptibility to STIs – and, in particular, the protective effect of the hydrogen peroxide-releasing microbe Lactobacillus crispatus (L.c.) (Antonio & Hillier/STIs) (A&H). Such STIs include, not only BV (53% less likely with […]

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‘Scoping’ location: the role of ‘place’/’space’ as an influence on HIV outcomes amongst young MSM

Bauermeister & Stephenson (B&S) is a scoping review addressing the impact of location – ‘space’ and ‘place’ – on HIV prevention and care outcomes for young MSM (YMSM).  It owes much to Diaz & Ayala and their concern to view human behaviour in terms of ‘social location’ ‘within a context of social oppressive factors’ rather […]

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HIV prevention through HAART: a victim of its own success?

A recent study (Kalichman & Allen (K&A)) involving a series of four cross-sectional surveys (1996-2016) at a Gay Pride event in US Atlanta Georgia adds to the mounting body of evidence that substantial changes have occurred in community-held beliefs about the safety of certain sexual behaviours in the era of HIV treatment as prevention. It […]

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UNAIDS 2016 Report: How a ‘life-cycle’ approach can help the world ‘get on the fast track’ to HIV prevention

‘Get on the Fast Track: a Life-cycle Approach to HIV’ is the latest UNAIDS report, following on from the UN Assembly’s 2016 declaration of commitment to ‘Fast Track’ goals for ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The major theme of the ‘life-cycle’ appears to owe much to the findings of the South African CAPRISA study – above […]

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Feasibility of infant circumcision as an HIV prevention tool

Recent trials have shown male circumcision (MC) to be associated with a reduced HIV incidence of up to 60%. For this reason UNAIDS has included ambitious goals for circumcision (20 millions MCs) as a major component of its HIV prevention strategies for 14 priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa (STI/blogs/Roll-out of UNAIDS voluntary male circumcision).  The […]

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