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Opinion

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  • Book cover of 'HIV pharmacotherapy: the pharmacist’s role in care and treatment'

    One-stop resource for pharmacists in HIV care Subscription

    HIV pharmacotherapy: the pharmacist’s role in care and treatment, edited by Jason J Schafer, Jennifer M Cocohoba, Elizabeth M Sherman and Alice L Tseng.

  • Micrograph of T-cell infected with HIV viruses

    Optimising the health and wellbeing of older people living with HIV in the United Kingdom Subscription

    Comments (1)

    Care for people with HIV has improved, meaning that more people are living with HIV into older age with normal life expectancy. Therefore, there are various challenges and opportunities facing healthcare professionals when providing care to this changing demographic.

  • Meg Caroline Doherty, co-ordinator of treatment and care at the department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organisation (WHO)

    The World Health Organization warns of increasing HIV drug resistance and issues new guidelines to address threat Subscription

    Meg Caroline Doherty from the World Health Organization discusses the increasing number of cases HIV drug resistance, and the new guidelines and global action plan developed by the WHO to help countries address the threat.

  • HIV virus attacking a T cell

    HIV services need to evolve to meet new needs Subscription

    Comments (1)

    A stronger, less fragmented system of HIV services is needed in order to keep pace with the changing needs of patients.

  • Montage of researchers and a the hiv virus

    What healthcare professionals can do to help limit HIV resistance Subscription

    Limiting HIV resistance must not be neglected in an era where we continue to see breakthroughs in treatment for the infection once labelled a death sentence.

  • Unanswered questions about proposed PrEP trial Subscription

    With 17 new HIV diagnoses made every day in the UK, we need to be bold and ambitious in our approach to HIV prevention — and this must include access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for all who need it.

  • Ending stigma towards HIV is the first step towards ending AIDS Subscription

    On this World AIDS Day the National AIDS Trust’s theme is stigma, and there is so much that healthcare workers can do to help to combat stigma from the frontlines. The recently published UK Stigma Index highlighted the real problem in healthcare, with only 58% of people living with HIV feeling well supported by their GP practice, and 13% having heard negative comments ...

  • Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a lymphocyte with HIV cluster

    Pre-exposure prophylaxis should be a key component of a comprehensive HIV prevention package fully funded on the NHS Subscription

    Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is the medication taken by HIV-negative individuals to reduce their risk of contracting HIV infection. The large evidence base for the use of PrEP has been reviewed and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), a specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), England’s health ...

  • Hand holding two pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Truvada pills, manufactured by Gilead

    NHS England needs to make a transparent decision on PrEP without further delay Subscription

    A decision on whether to fund HIV prevention treatment on the NHS should be based on the evidence, not politics.

  • Luiz Loures is deputy executive director of programme at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

    Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030: can it be done? Subscription

    Luiz Loures from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) talks about ending the epidemic, and the challenges in fighting the disease that has claimed over 34 million lives.

  • NHS England continues to add insult to injury with regard to PrEP funding Subscription

    On 2 August 2016, the National AIDS Trust (NAT) won its judicial review of NHS England’s removal of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the highly effective HIV prevention drug, from its commissioning process. The judge ruled that NHS England was wrong to assert that it cannot fund PrEP because it is a prevention intervention.

  • NHS England has a clear role in commissioning PrEP Subscription

    On 31 May 2016, NHS England confirmed it would remove pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP, an HIV prevention drug which has been proven to be effective) from the NHS specialised commissioning process.

  • Providing HIV care in community pharmacy Subscription

    By Kirsteen Hill

    HIV is a long-term, chronic condition which is usually only managed by clinical teams in secondary care and antiretroviral (ARV) treatment is usually supplied by hospital pharmacies or homecare companies.

  • NHS England’s backtracking on its refusal to fund pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) funding is a step forward for public health Subscription

    In March 2016, NHS England removed HIV prevention drug pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) from its official commissioning process — just months before it was due to conclude.

  • NHS England pulling the plug on PrEP for HIV prevention is unacceptable Subscription

    I wish to draw your attention to NHS England’s sudden abandonment of its own processes in a shocking U-turn on access to HIV game changer pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP; emtricitabine/tenofovir, marketed as Truvada).

  • Flawed decision from NHS England on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention Subscription

    Like the countless people affected by HIV in the UK, we are angry and confused by the decision of NHS England to halt its work to ensure that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP; (emtricitabine/tenofovir, marketed as Truvada), which drastically reduces the chance of infection with HIV, is available on the NHS. We know that PrEP is efficient and cost-effective and we share the frustration that NHS England has pulled the plug on more than 18 months of hard work.

  • Daklinza licence extension Subscription

    Daklinza (daclatasvir; Bristol Myers Squibb), used in combination with other drugs to treat hepatitis C, has been approved for extended use for patients co-infected with HIV and also post liver transplantation by the European Medicines Agency. 

  • January 2016: AWMSG approvals Subscription

    The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) has approved the following medicines for use by the NHS in Wales: atazanavir/cobicistat (Evotaz) for adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1); efavirenz (Sustiva) for children aged between 3 months and 3 years who are infected with HIV-1; macitentan (Opsumit) for adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (only where the approved patient access scheme is used); empagliflozin (Jardiance) for type 2 diabetes. Full details ...

  • December 2015: AWSMG approvals Subscription

    The following medicines have been approved for use in NHS Wales by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG): Abasaglar (a biosimilar of insulin glargine; Eli Lilly and Company) for diabetes mellitus in patients aged 2 years and above. Sucroferric oxyhydroxide (Velphoro; Vifor Fresenius Medical Care Renal Pharma) for controlling serum phosphorus levels in adults with chronic kidney disease who are on haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis where non-calcium based ...

  • Fuzeon product update Subscription

    The summary of product characteristics of the HIV medication Fuzeon (enfuvirtide; Roche) powder for solution for injection has been updated to warn that as a peptide, enfuvirtide can cause cutaneous amyloidosis at the injection site.

  • A visual history of HIV survival in the UK

    A history of HIV survival in the UK Subscription

    Treatment for HIV has radically improved since the beginning of the epidemic in 1981. HIV-infected people in the UK are now surviving for decades, rather than months or years.

  • Societal attitudes towards HIV need to keep up with the advances in drug development and treatment for the illness. In the illustration, a man is huddled in a corner with a big, red AIDS symbol - ribbon - painted on a wall

    Stigma towards people with HIV will undo advances in drug treatment Subscription

    Societal attitudes towards HIV need to keep up with the advances in drug development and treatment for the illness.

  • Reyataz boosted regimen Subscription

    Ordinarily, treatment of HIV-1 with Reyataz (atazanavir; Bristol Myers Squibb) is boosted by co-administration with ritonavir. However, the summary of product characteristics has been updated to reflect that, under certain circumstances, ritonavir does not need to be co-administered, for example in patients with hepatic impairment. 

  • Sustiva oral solution discontinued Subscription

    Sustiva oral solution 30mg/ml (efavirenz), used to treat HIV infection, has been discontinued by Bristol Myers Squibb. The “capsule sprinkle” method has been upgraded to the primary dosing method for patients who cannot swallow pills. In addition, as a result of the Sustiva oral solution discontinuation, the paediatric indication for the Sustiva hard capsules and film coated tablets has been extended to include children from three months of age and weighing at least 3.5kg.

  • The recent 5000% price increase for toxoplasmosis treatment Daraprim has sparked a wider discussion on the problems in the pharmaceutical industry in the US. In the image, dollar bills inside prescription pill bottles

    Drug price hikes in the United States must be stopped Subscription

    The recent 5,000% price increase for toxoplasmosis treatment Daraprim has sparked a wider discussion on problems with the pharmaceutical industry in the United States.

  • Daklinza for HIV co-infected patients Subscription

    The summary of product characteristics of Daklinza (daclatasvir; Bristol-Myers Squibb) has been updated to reflect the results of a study, which found the medicine is effective at treating hepatitis C when patients are also infected with HIV. This includes changes to the posology and information on interactions with other medicines. 

  • Pharmaceutical Care Awards 2015 audience choice winners Video

    The audience choice winners explain why their Pharmaceutical Care Awards project should be replicated.

  • ‘The chimp and the river’, by David Quammen

    Discovering the origins of HIV Subscription

    ‘The chimp and the river’, by David Quammen.

  • People reluctant to get tested for HIV clinic new home test without professional support

    HIV self testing should not replace face-to-face diagnosis

    People who are reluctant to get tested for HIV at a clinic may opt to use a new home test, but they will do so without professional support.

  • There is growing evidence that pre-exposure prophylaxis is efficacious, safe and cost-effective in preventing high-risk individuals from getting HIV

    Time to expand use of PrEP to prevent spread of HIV infection Subscription

    There is growing evidence that pre-exposure prophylaxis is efficacious, safe and cost-effective in preventing high-risk individuals from getting HIV.

  • Sustiva oral solution discontinuation Subscription

    Bristol-Myers Squibb is discontinuing Sustiva (efavirenz) 30 mg/ml oral solution in the UK and Ireland on 31 October 2015. As a result of the Sustiva oral solution discontinuation, the paediatric indication for the Sustiva hard capsules and film coated tablets has been extended to include children from three months of age who weigh at least 3.5kg.

  • Speeding up the time it takes to register drugs, vaccines and diagnostics in low and middle income countries is a key strategy for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In the image, the headquarters of the foundation

    Gates Foundation aims to cut drug registration times by 50% in sub-Saharan Africa by 2018 Subscription

    Speeding up the time it takes to register drugs, vaccines and diagnostics in low and middle income countries is a key strategy for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

  • Videx warning Subscription

    The summary of product characteristics for Videx (didanosine; Bristol-Myers Squibb) now warns that while effective viral suppression with antiretroviral therapy has been proven to substantially reduce the risk of sexual transmission of HIV, a residual risk cannot be excluded. It recommends precautions to prevent transmission should be taken in accordance with national guidelines.

  • Use of Incivo for HCV/HIV-1 co-infected patients

    The summary of product characteristics for Incivo (telaprevir; Janssen-Cilag) now states that HCV/HIV‑1 co‑infected patients should be treated in the same way as HCV mono‑infected patients. Drug interactions need to be carefully taken into account. Further changes to the SPC reflect this addition.

  • Rezolsta available for HIV Subscription

    Rezolsta, a darunavir 800mg and cobicistat 150mg combination tablet, is now available from Janssen for the treatment of HIV in adults. NHS list price, 30 tablets, £317.24. 

  • Time to fast-track the fight against HIV Subscription

    There are considerable challenges to address if global HIV/AIDS aspirations are to be accelerated.

  • Aids ‘family tree’ traced back to Kinshasa

    New research has traced the origin of the Aids pandemic back to 1920s Kinshasha, where a “perfect storm” of rapid population growth, a roaring sex trade, and good railway transport facilitated the spread of the HIV virus.

  • Andy Gray of the University of Kwazulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, spoke on the shortage of retrovirals and consequences for patients

    Supply shortages of antiretrovirals can have devastating consequences for patients Subscription

    Medication non-adherence is not always within the patient’s control. Poor supply chain management and natural or other disasters can threaten access as well.

  • Dolutegravir approved in Wales Subscription

    Dolutegravir, in combination with other antiretrovirals, has been approved for use in NHS Wales by the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group to treat HIV infection in those aged 12 years and over.

  • Eviplera shelf life extended Subscription

    The shelf life of Eviplera (emtricitabine/rilpivirine/ tenofovir disoproxil) has been extended from two years to three years in the summary of product characteristics.

  • Joep Lange

    A pioneer in AIDS research from the very start Subscription

    Dutch researcher Joep Lange dedicated his career to groundbreaking HIV and AIDS research and was passionate about improving access to antiretroviral therapy in developing countries.

  • Contraindications for Eviplera Subscription

    Additions have been made to the list of mutations that exclude patients with HIV from treatment with Eviplera (emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir; Gilead). These are the tenofovir resistance-associated substitution K70E, and the combination of L100I+K103N as a rilpivirine resistance-associated substitution.

  • Hatred is the real battle in HIV prevention

    By Chris Chapman

    Eliminating intolerance and bigotry is the first step that should be taken towards winning the war on HIV/AIDS

  • Nelson Mandela

    Nelson Mandela — healing a nation Subscription

    Sybil Seoka, immediate past president of the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa, writes in memory of elder statesman Nelson Mandela, who died on 5 December 2013

  • Will you rise to the challenge of supporting HIV patients in the community? Subscription

    Some of us are old enough to remember when infection with HIV was, in effect, a death sentence.

  • AIDS design (Cienpies design/illustrations/Dreamstime.com)

    World AIDS Day is 25 years old — how things have changed for HIV patients Subscription

    To mark World AIDS Day, HIV consultant pharmacist Heather Leake Date says the outlook for HIV patients has improved and highlights the role of pharmacists in HIV management

  • Breast milk and HIV

    By Glow-worm

    Healthcare agencies are keen to maintain the nutritional and immunological benefits of breastfeeding in developing countries, even in infants whose mothers are HIV positive. Infant retroviral drug prophylaxis can reduce the rate of infection, but other issues such as cost, toxicity and drug resistance can limit its effectiveness.

  • A view from the PJ letters archive

    By Ranveer Bassey

    I recently stumbled across the PJ archive and promptly got lostsomewhere in a 1999 version of pharmacy as depicted by readers' letters.

  • HIV template helps to fight infection

    By Glow-worm

    The development of a potential new treatment for drug-resistant bacteria will be reported in the June issue of the Journal of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

  • Resources: HIVPA study day Subscription

    The HIV Pharmacy Association is running a study day on 20 February 2013 for anyone with an interest in HIV. It is open to non-HIVPA members.The meeting will be held in central London. Visit the HIVPA website for more details.

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