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HIV research a total JOY

Angus Morgan

19 February, 2015

The crew from JOY94.9's 'Is Nothing Sacred' (L-R): Patrick Weyland Smith, Steph Amir, Dr Clovis Palmer, Jim Hyde

Burnet Institute researcher Dr Clovis Palmer has treated listeners to Melbourne’s JOY94.9 to a preview of his HIV research relating to the immune system to be presented in the United States later this month.

A regular guest of Jim Hyde and co-hosts Patrick Weyland Smith and Steph Amir on the program ‘Is Nothing Sacred’, Dr Palmer is preparing to travel to Seattle, Washington for the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) from February 23-26.

“We previewed some of the conference hot topics including my presentation of data relating to drugs used to re-energise the immune system in persons living with HIV infection, so that the body can fight the infection without requiring daily, lifelong antiretroviral medication,” said Dr Palmer, Immunometabolism Group Leader, Centre for Biomedical Research.

“The work I will present also has implications for other chronic illnesses or inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

“We also discussed the new long-acting antiretroviral drug, cabotegravir for treating HIV and for use as PrEP (antiretroviral therapy for the prevention of HIV in people who are at high risk of infection).

“Because cabotegravir only requires a subcutaneous injection every three months, this would help to improve adherence to PrEP, which is important for success of this new strategy to prevent HIV transmission.”

Other topics for discussion included the focus on stigma as a major factor in the escalating rate of HIV infection in young African American men who have sex with men, and the new highly effective hepatitis C drug, sofosbuvir.

Dr Palmer also addressed the growing evidence of depression caused by HIV, and how HIV-related inflammation causes premature ageing and the lifestyle changes that can be adopted to combat this.

“We discussed the difficulties for patients to adhere to some of these lifestyle changes and the role of their doctors in this,” Dr Palmer said.

“We will continue to discuss more practical tips in future shows.

“On the next show I will summarise the main findings from CROI and address more issues on inflammation and ageing, outlining some practical solutions.”

Listen to Dr Palmer on ‘Is Nothing Sacred’, which goes to air on Mondays at 10pm AEDT.

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For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Burnet Institute

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