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Archive for June, 2012

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June 29th, 2012

HIV Testing Roundup, and a Brief Rant

I’ve written so many times about HIV testing that a complete list of the headlines fills two full web pages. But since the last entry on the topic was more than a month ago, one might think I’ve lost interest in the topic. Never! Three items on the HIV Testing radar, two national, one local. First, [...]


June 24th, 2012

ID Learning Unit — Choosing a Quinolone

We love quinolones on medical services, and it’s easy to understand why. Advantages: Ideal spectrum for several common infections, including community-acquired pneumonia, UTIs, and more complex infections when combined with other drugs Great oral absorption Few drug-drug interactions Once- or twice-daily dosing Generally well tolerated Reasonable cost But how do you choose between them? Below, [...]


June 20th, 2012

Abacavir Becomes the Latest Generic Antiretroviral Agent

Hot on the heels of generic nevirapine comes generic abacavir: On June 18, 2012, FDA granted approval for a generic formulation of abacavir tablets, 300 mg, manufactured by Mylan Pharmaceuticals, indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. FDA has determined that the generic formulation is bioequivalent and, therefore, therapeutically equivalent to [...]


June 18th, 2012

ID Learning Unit — Serologic Tests for Syphilis

Diagnosing syphilis is tricky for lots of reasons, including: The protean disease manifestations, many of which were best described in older medical literature — and hence not known to people who don’t read words on paper (vs a screen) very often. You can’t visualize the bug (Treponema pallidum), unless you happen to have a darkfield [...]


June 17th, 2012

For Inpatients, HIV Medication Errors Common — Then Promptly Corrected

Several papers have shown that antiretrovirals may be incorrectly prescribed for hospitalized patients with HIV. How do they do at Johns Hopkins — the site of one of the best comprehensive HIV programs in the country (and perennial US News and World Report #1 Hospital in the Universe)? As described in a new CID paper, investigators reviewed [...]


June 15th, 2012

ID Learning Unit — The D Test

I suppose it’s not surprising that we’d follow-up the Etest with the D test, though perhaps if I were being alphabetical, the order would have been reversed. The D test is important, because it screens for a form of clindamycin resistance in MRSA that might otherwise not be detected — the “inducible” kind, which can [...]


June 13th, 2012

Questions About HIV Cure, and a Very Funny Quote

The single case of HIV cure following allogeneic bone marrow transplant is in the news again, this time because of data just presented at “The International Workshop on HIV and Hepatitis Virus Drug Resistance and Curative Strategies” (formerly known as the “HIV Resistance Workshop” — how’s that for rebranding?). I’m not at the meeting, which is [...]


June 12th, 2012

ID Learning Unit — The Etest

Every year I attend on the general medical service, so it gives me a chance to work directly with the medical residents — and to brush up on my non-ID-related Internal Medicine. In exchange for what they teach me, each day on rounds I try to tell them about at least one ID-related thing that [...]


June 8th, 2012

SPARTAN: Two-Drug, NRTI-Sparing Strategies Continue to Disappoint

Just published is the cleverly named “SPARTAN” study — spartan because it leaves out both NRTIs and ritonavir – and the results are very interesting. Ninety-three treatment-naive HIV-positive study subjects were randomized 2:1 to receive either a two-drug regimen of raltegravir 400 mg BID + atazanavir 300 mg BID, or a standard regimen of TDF/FTC + boosted [...]


June 6th, 2012

A Fun Internet Poll for ID Nerds

Over on Medscape, one of my ID heroes, John Bartlett, has a new series called, “The Medscape Awards in Infectious Diseases” and it looks like a winner. Here’s how it works: The Medscape Awards in Infectious Diseases is a new series that will honor the greatest achievements in the field of infectious diseases during 1980-2012. [...]


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Editor-in-Chief

NEJM Journal Watch HIV/Aids Clinical Care

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

Learn more about HIV and ID Observations.