Posts Tagged ‘HIV’

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September 4th, 2016

The Most Common Question About the New HIV Testing Algorithm, Answered

A primary care doctor in the Boston area recently emailed me this question: Hi Paul, A 28yo woman had a positive 4th gen +Ag/Ab assay, but a negative HIV-1/2 differentiation assay and negative HIV viral load. She had no signs of acute HIV, but is not using condoms with her partner, whose HIV status she doesn’t know. We repeated the test […]


July 14th, 2016

Must-Read Item: This Year’s JAMA HIV/AIDS Issue

The folks over at the Journal of the American Medical Association have been doing a periodic HIV/AIDS themed issue for years, generally around the time of the International AIDS Conference. The latest issue is out this week, and it’s terrific. Here are some highlights: In serodiscordant couples practicing “condomless sex”, there were zero transmissions if the infected partner […]


May 22nd, 2016

Drug Prior Authorizations Are a Very Blunt Tool for Cost Containment — And They’re Annoying

Insurance prior authorizations, or prior approvals (PAs) — those dreaded forms clinicians have to fill out, usually triggered by prescribing a non-formulary drug — are much on my mind these days. And most of it has to do with three letters, specifically “TAF.” As readers of this site probably know, there are now three tenofovir alafenamide (TAF)-based coformulations […]


March 9th, 2016

Approval of TAF/FTC/RPV, Another Single Pill HIV Treatment Option

The approval last week of TAF/FTC/RPV — that’s coformulated tenofovir alafenamide, emtricitabine, and rilpivirine — brings us another one-pill, once-daily option for HIV treatment. It’s essentially the same as the existing TDF/FTC/RPV, with similar pros/cons, but with three notable differences coming with the substitution of TAF for TDF. Specifically: Likely reduced renal and bone toxicity. Since approval was based on bioequivalnce, this hasn’t […]


February 13th, 2016

“Choosing Wisely” in HIV Medicine — Sensible (But Safe) Suggestions

The American Board of Internal Medicine has a noble program called Choosing Wisely®, which is both trademarked (look, I even included the “®”), and pretty darn sensible — it has the goal of “advancing a national dialogue on avoiding wasteful or unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures.” If you clicked on the above link, you’ll be […]


January 10th, 2016

Medical Marijuana and Painful Neuropathy — An Opportunity to Make Us Believers

Medical marijuana is now officially available in New York, the city with by far the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. Reporting on the first dispensary in Manhattan, the aptly named Julie Weed (yes! her real name!) writes: One of the most promising areas for research is the substitution of medical marijuana for […]


November 26th, 2015

Five (OK, Six) ID/HIV Things to be Grateful for this Holiday Season, 2015 Edition

Some quick ID/HIV gratitude items for 2015, done rapidly as we’re hosting a big meal later today. I wonder what that might be. New Ebola virus disease cases and deaths have dramatically declined. I write that sentence with some trepidation, as cases continue to occur sporadically, and this late relapse in a nurse was a chilling reminder of […]


November 8th, 2015

New HIV Treatment “ECF-TAF” is Really All About the “TAF” Part

HIV providers and patients recently got this news from the FDA: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Genvoya (a fixed-dose combination tablet containing elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide) as a complete regimen for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older. (Disclosure:  I have been […]


October 29th, 2015

The Most Important HIV Study at IDWeek 2015

After reporting my choice for the most important HIV study at ICAAC, I received this email from a colleague: If that’s the most important study, I really didn’t miss much … Now she has notoriously high standards — hard to impress her — but her opinion notwithstanding, I still think the STRIIVING study has some important messages we can apply […]


October 24th, 2015

Pumpkin-Flavored ID Link-o-Rama

As the leaves change colors and fall from the trees, the days grow shorter and colder, and pumpkin-colored and flavored merchandise shows up everywhere, I ask you this important question: What precisely are the infectious risks of bobbing for apples? Off we go. Receiving antibiotics in childhood is associated with weight gain. The important finding in this study is that the […]


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

Learn more about HIV and ID Observations.