Johns Hopkins researchers will present results showing that tighter, dual testing standards work better for accurately distinguishing between new and old cases of HIV. Current testing standards are based on a single test called the serological testing algorithm for recent HIV seroconversion, or STARHS for short. STARHS relies on differentiating newly infected from chronically infected individuals based on the quantity, or levels, of antibodies to HIV present in patients blood. Normally, the antibody concentration to HIV increases over time during the first six months of infection. However, effective use of anti-retroviral therapy can depress viral counts in patients to undetectably low levels, which also lower the antibody-to-HIV concentration in the blood. This creates confusion for those responsible for monitoring new infections and spread of HIV. According to the researchers, large numbers of artificially "new" cases also have the potential to hamper measurements of how successful are global treatment efforts in Africa, where aid from the United States is set to make antiretroviral therapy more widely available.
The Hopkins team successfully determined new cases from old by adding the Affinity/Avidity test to the current STARHS protocol, the test widely used by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This second test measures the strength of antibody-antigen binding in the immune systems response to HIV infection. An immature response from a new infection produces weak binding, whereas a mature infection involves strong binding. In a cross-sectional study of more than 1,500 patients showing up in the Hopkins Emergency Department from June to August 2001, the testing of blood samples by STARHS showed 11 cases of new infection, but dual testing with Affinity/Avidity showed only six. Information gathered from interviews with two of the five discrepant patients confirmed that these two were taking antiretroviral therapy, masking their old infection as new.
David March | EurekAlert!
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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