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HIVers whose virus uses CXCR4 receptors to infect immune system cells'either alone or in combination with CCR5 receptors'experience more rapid CD4-cell loss and a greater risk of illness than those infected with only CCR5 strains, researchers report in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. --------------------- For the first time, U.S. researchers have witnessed and recorded the assembly of a complete HIV viral copy inside an infected immune system cell, reports the journal Nature. They hope to use their observations to identify new ways to thwart the viral-assembly process. --------------------- Phase III clinical trial data from NeurogesX's neuropathy treatment NGX-4010 have shown that the product, a skin patch containing capsaicin (the compound that gives chili peppers their heat), is effective in reducing neuropathy-related pain. Users reported a mean pain reduction of 22.8% that lasted 12 weeks or longer from a single patch application. --------------------- HIVers taking Kaletra should not also take the lipid-lowering medication Crestor, researchers warn in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Interaction between the medications deceases Crestor's ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels. --------------------- A regimen of Trizivir plus Viread is effective in lowering viral levels in adults with multidrug-resistant infections, Spanish researchers report in HIV Medicine. --------------------- Australian researchers are beginning human studies of a therapeutic vaccine that uses key HIV proteins to train the immune system to recognize and attack the virus. --------------------- A too-rigorous immune system reactivation through antiretroviral treatment could hamper the effectiveness of anti-HIV salvage regimens and lower the chances for reducing viral levels, according to a study in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Monitoring blood-based levels of proteins showing elevated immune activation may help predict response to therapy much better than standard viral load and CD4-cell tests, the researchers say.

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