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In a Phase III study, researchers have found that tesamorelin, an analogue of a naturally occurring growth hormone-releasing factor, decreased patients' abdominal fat by 15% on average--compared to a 5% average increase for the placebo group--with minimal side effects. Results were reported in the December 6 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. A confirmatory trial is ongoing to comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations. -------------------- Boehringer Ingelheim has reported on a three-year study that has shown protease inhibitor Aptivus, used with ritonavir, provides a superior and durable treatment response for up to three years in HIVers who had previously been treated with antiretrovirals and displayed drug resistance. -------------------- Reporting 48-week data from a Phase III clinical trial, Gilead Sciences says patients who switched from Combivir to Truvada, both in combination with Sustiva, experienced improvements in a number of treatment-related side effects, including lipoatrophy. -------------------- Studies find that antiherpes medication valacyclovir significantly reduces rectal and plasma HIV levels in study participants coinfected with HIV-1 and HSV-2. Researchers conclude, in a report in the November 15 edition of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, that herpes simplex virus suppression might provide clinical benefits to people not receiving antiretroviral therapy. -------------------- From 2000 to 2006, public and philanthropic funding for HIV vaccine and microbicide research and development almost tripled, according to a report released in December by the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group, a watchdog organization. The total global investment in preventive vaccine R&D in 2006 was about $933 million, a 23% increase over 2005 levels. Microbicide R&D during the same year reached a worldwide investment of about $222 million, a 35% increase. Between 2000 and 2006, five public-sector funders and two foundations provided $183.6 million for research and development in support of new prevention options, the report found. -------------------- HIVers with CD4-cell counts of 200 or lower who use protease inhibitor Crixivan have complications with dry skin more often than participants in a study who had higher CD4 counts or who were HIV-negative, according to research reported in the October 2007 issue of the journal AIDS. -------------------- Gilead Sciences says a second late-stage trial has shown that its anti-HIV medication Viread was more effective in treating hepatitis B than Hepsera, another Gilead , which is already approved for treating liver infection in adults.

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