amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

TREAT Asia Research Roundup

TREAT Asia-funded researchers presented important findings at the 2014 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, held in Boston, March 3–6. These presentations included:

Cancers in HIV-infected patients in Asia
Dr. Yi-Ming Arthur Chen of Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan is performing the first study in Southeast Asia comparing cancer incidence and survival rates among HIV-positive patients to rates among the general population. He reported that the incidence of AIDS-defining and non-AIDS-defining cancers decreased substantially in HIV-infected males and females in Taiwan between 2000 and 2009, a result caused by the large expansion of access to antiretroviral therapy in the region during that period. However, the incidence of most AIDS-defining and non-AIDS-defining cancers remained higher among HIV-positive patients than among the general population.   

Treatment of hepatitis B co-infection in Thai HIV-positive children
Chiang Mai University’s Dr. Linda Aurpibul reported that adding tenofovir to the antiretroviral regimens of Thai children co-infected with HIV and hepatitis B markedly improved the regimen’s efficacy against hepatitis B. The World Health Organization recommends that patients infected with HIV and hepatitis B receive two of three HIV drugs at are also active against hepatitis B —tenofovir, lamivudine, and emtricitabine as part of their antiretroviral regimen. However, tenofovir is still rarely available for children in resource-limited settings. Dr. Aurpibul’s results provide further evidence of the importance of access to drugs that optimize treatment efficacy for children co-infected with both viruses.