Center for Biomedical Modeling News Archive

UCLA researchers suggest unconventional approach to control HIV epidemics

A new weapon has emerged to prevent HIV infection. Called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, it is a strategy of providing medications to at-risk people before they are exposed to the virus. Having shown great promise in recent phase 3 clinical trials, PrEP may soon be rolled out for public use. Because PrEP is based on the same drugs used to treat HIV-infected individuals, the big public health fear is that the dual use of these drugs will lead to skyrocketing levels of drug resistance. But in a new study, UCLA researchers say the exact opposite is likely to happen.   (7 Dec 11)

Do the math, say UCLA researchers

In 2008, Reuben Granich and his colleagues at the World Health Organization published a paper in the medical journal The Lancet that proposed a new strategy for combating HIV in South Africa, a country staggered by the virus, with as much as 18 percent of the population estimated to be infected. Based on a mathematical model, the study suggested a "test-and-treat" strategy. This would involve, among other steps, testing the entire population of South Africa for HIV and immediately beginning anti-retroviral therapy for all who tested positive. The current standard of care calls for waiting until symptoms appear after diagnosis. (16 Sep 10)

Study predicts HIV drug resistance will surge

New research based on a novel mathematical model predicts that a wave of drug-resistant HIV strains will emerge in San Francisco within the next five years. These strains could prove disastrous by hindering control of the HIV pandemic. In a study published Jan. 14 on the website of the journal Science, researchers from the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and the University of California, San Francisco's HIV AIDS Program at San Francisco General Hospital, developed a complex network model that tracks the transmission of multiple strains of HIV.   (22 Jan 10)

Voluntary universal testing and treatment unlikely to lead to HIV elimination

Dr. Bradley G. Wagner and Dr. Sally Blower assessed the likelihood  that HIV could be eliminated within a decade using a universal "test and treat" strategy. Download PDF here. (14 Jan 10)

New Study Raises Concerns about HIV Drug Resistance

The San Francisco Chronicle and TIME Magazine reported Jan. 14 on research by Sally Blower, director of the Center for Biomedical Modeling and a member of the UCLA AIDS Institute, suggesting that the city could face an increase in drug-resistant HIV strains. (14 Jan 10),8599,1953718,00.html#ixzz0ccu2NtdR