Aims & Scope | Current HIV Research

Aims & Scope

Current HIV Research covers all the latest and outstanding developments of HIV research by publishing original research, review articles and guest edited thematic issues. The novel pioneering work in the basic and clinical fields on all areas of HIV research covers: virus replication and gene expression, HIV assembly, virus-cell interaction, viral pathogenesis, epidemiology and transmission, anti-retroviral therapy and adherence, drug discovery, the latest developments in HIV/AIDS vaccines and animal models, mechanisms and interactions with AIDS related diseases, social and public health issues related to HIV disease, and prevention of viral infection. Periodically, the journal invites guest editors to devote an issue on a particular area of HIV research of great interest that increases our understanding of the virus and its complex interaction with the host.




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Press Release | Cloud computing load balancing based on ant colony algorithms improves performance

The article by Dr. Awatif Ragmani et al. is published in Recent Patents on Computer Science, 2018


Cloud computing has strongly contributed to the revolution of the traditional IT model. This paradigm has also contributed to the rise of applications using large amounts of data. Particularly, the quality of service and cost are two major points in the Cloud environment. This new concept which proposes to offer applications and IT infrastructures in the form of service available on demand and payable according to the duration of use must optimize both the performance of its resources and the respect of attractive pricing policies.

The Cloud computing model relies on the exploitation of several datacenters installed on different geographical locations. Each datacenter hosts servers which include the virtual machines in charge of processing users’ requests. The geographic extent of the cloud architecture, as well as the number of interactions that exist between the physical components, make the mission of analysis and optimization of the performance highly complex. Our study proposes to study the performance by considering the Cloud model as a black box with a list of inputs gathering the factors that can influence the performance of the system and the outputs that translate the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Each KPI makes it possible to measure the evolution of an aspect of the system performance such as the response time or the cost of service. The process of identifying and evaluating the influencing factors was carried out on the basis of Taguchi experience plans. This study includes two steps that aim to improve the performance of Cloud services while ensuring a lower price level. The first step is the evaluation of the Cloud model via a performance analysis methodology inspired by Taguchi concept and the second step details the implementation of a three-tier architecture.

The modeling of the system, as well as all the simulation scenarios, were carried out via the CloudAnalyst simulator. This simulator dedicated to Cloud architecture allows the implementation of various inputs configurations defined on the basis of Taguchi tables in order to find out the function f that links each output to the system’s inputs. The conclusions of this study revealed the impact of the load balancing policy as well as the size of the queries and the location of the datacenters with respect to the user on the response time, the processing time and the total cost. Particularly, the load balancing demonstrated a substantial impact on the performance of the Cloud system.

Following a comparative study of several load balancing algorithms, it was possible to define a three-tier solution based on an ant colony algorithm. The choice of the ant colony algorithm was justified by its ability to identify an optimal solution within a reasonable time and to be able to manage a wide area network encompassing thousands of nodes. These characteristics have made it possible to have a solution that satisfies both the response time and cost criteria. The architecture has also two controllers in order to decrease the load of the main controller and contribute to improving the processing time of the system.

Browse the article details atA Performed Load Balancing Algorithm for Public Cloud Computing Using Ant Colony Optimization

Most Accessed Articles | Structural Barriers to Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Use Among Young Sexual Minority Men: The P18 Cohort Study

Journal Name: Current HIV Research

Author(s): Jessica Jaiswal*, Marybec Griffin, Stuart N. Singer, Richard E. Greene, Ingrid Lizette Zambrano Acosta, Saara K. Kaudeyr, Farzana Kapadia, Perry N. Halkitis.



Graphical Abstract:



Background: Despite decreasing rates of HIV among many populations, HIV-related health disparities among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men persist, with disproportional percentages of new HIV diagnoses among racial and ethnic minority men. Despite increasing awareness of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), PrEP use remains low. In addition to exploring individual-level factors for this slow uptake, structural drivers of PrEP use must also be identified in order to maximize the effectiveness of biomedical HIV prevention strategies.

Method: Using cross-sectional data from an ongoing cohort study of young sexual minority men (N=492), we examine the extent to which structural-level barriers, including access to health care, medication logistics, counseling support, and stigma are related to PrEP use.

Results: While almost all participants indicated awareness of PrEP, only 14% had ever used PrEP. PrEP use was associated with lower concerns about health care access, particularly paying for PrEP. Those with greater concerns talking with their provider about their sexual behaviors were less likely to use PrEP.

Conclusion: Paying for PrEP and talking to one’s provider about sexual behaviors are concerns for young sexual minority men. In particular, stigma from healthcare providers poses a significant barrier to PrEP use in this population. Providers need not only to increase their own awareness of and advocacy for PrEP as an effective risk-management strategy for HIV prevention, but also must work to create open and non-judgmental spaces in which patients can discuss sexual behaviors without the fear of stigma.


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Open Access Articles | Sexual Roles, Risk Sexual Behaviours, and HIV Prevalence among Men who Have Sex with Men Seeking HIV Testing in Changsha, China

Journal Name: Current HIV Research

Author(s): Yunxiao Lei, Kaili Zhang, Xueling Xiao, Chulei Tang, Xianhong Li, Honghong Wang*.

Graphical Abstract:


Background: HIV infection is prevalent among men who have sex with men (MSM), and sexual roles may be important factors related to it. This study aims to describe the sexual roles, risky sexual behaviors and HIV prevalence among MSM, and to determine associated factors for HIV prevalence.

Methods: A convenient sampling method was used to recruit participants in a non-government organization in Changsha, China. The participants were asked to complete a 38-item self-administered questionnaire regarding demographic characteristics and risky sexual behaviours before collecting blood samples for HIV testing. Chi-square tests and logistic regression analysis were conducted with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences Version 18.0 and other indexes were statistically described.

Results: A total of 601 MSMs who came to a local non-government organization for voluntary counseling and testing completed a pencil-and-paper survey and were tested for HIV. The overall HIV prevalence of this sample was 13.3%, and that of the bottoms (16.3%) was similar to the versatiles (15.9%) but higher than the tops (6.1%). Bivariate analyses showed that there were significant differences in age, marital status, monthly income, sexual orientation, age at first sex, sex of the first sex partner, sex with a woman in the last 6 months, oral sex with a man in the last 6 months and role of oral sex among 3 subgroups of MSM (p < 0.05). Multivariate analyses indicated that MSMs who played the role of either the bottoms or the versatiles were more likely to be HIV positive than the tops. While MSMs who used condoms in anal sex in the last 6 months, had sex with a woman in the last 6 months or had oral sex with a man in the last 6 months were less likely to be HIV positive.

Conclusion: Different sexual roles are associated with high-risk sexual behaviors among MSMs and their HIV infection status. Further research should target preventive interventions, and improve the effectiveness of the intervention according to the characteristics of the subgroups to reduce the HIV transmission among Chinese MSM.


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Press Release | Modified LDL particles activate inflammatory pathways in monocyte-derived macrophages

The article by Dr. . Alexander N. Orekhov et al. is published in Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2018


One of the main characteristics of atherosclerosis is the accumulation of lipids in the intimal layer of the arterial wall. In atherosclerotic plaques, phagocytic cells, such as macrophages, engulf atherogenic low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles, but are unable to process them, and thus become foam cells, having cytoplasm packed with lipid droplets. Foam cells are characterized by several typical features: they have decreased ability to migrate, while displaying enhanced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore foam cells participate in maintaining chronic inflammation in the lesion. Such changes of phenotype in comparison to normal macrophages should be based on changes in gene expression patterns of these cells. The study of foam cell formation is of key importance to our understanding of atherosclerosis pathogenesis and for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools. However, little is known so far on gene expression changes that take place during conversion of macrophages to foam cells.

Previous studies have shown several clusters of genes up- or down-regulated in macrophages in response to oxidized LDL, which is known to be atherogenic. Among the up-regulated genes were scavenger receptors SCA and CD36, nuclear receptors PPARγ, LXRα and RXRγ, and cholesterol efflux protein ABCA1. Regarding the inflammatory response, modified LDL appeared to trigger up-regulation of genes with anti-inflammatory activities, such as IL1-RA, DSCR1, annexin 1, and the Burton’s tyrosine kinase repressor SH3 protein, and down-regulation of a number of pro-inflammatory genes, including leukotriene A4 hydrolase, cathepsin G, elastase 2, RNase A family 2 and 3 proteins, cytochromeb-245, and CD64. However, modern powerful tools, such as transcriptome analysis, may provide more detailed data on change of gene expression patterns during atherosclerotic plaque development and reveal causative relationships between gene expression patterns and pathologic phenotypic alterations.

We performed a transcriptome analysis of macrophages treated with atherogenic LDL that causes intracellular cholesterol accumulation. We used the strategy of upstream analysis for causal interpretation of the expression changes. This strategy has three major steps: (1) analysis of promoters and enhancers of identified differentially expressed genes to identify transcription factors involved in the process under study; (2) reconstruction of signaling pathways that activate these transcription factors; and (3) identification of master-regulators of these pathways.

In this study, we used human monocyte-derived macrophages treated with different lipoprotein-containing samples : high-density lipoprotein (HDL), native LDL, which does not induce cholesterol accumulation in cultured cells, and 3 types of modified atherogenic LDL (oxidized LDL, acetylated LDL and desialylated LDL). In this experiment, low concentrations of native LDL and HDL did not increase the total or esterified cholesterol content in cultured macrophages. After incubation with the substances, mRNA was isolated from the cells and analysed using high-throughput sequencing on HiSeq 1500.

In this study, we discovered 27 transcription factors, including c-Ets, GR-alpha, BRCA1, E2F-1, E2F-6 and EGR-1, that were potentially responsible for the changes in gene expression induced by modified atherogenic LDL. These transcription factors were used for identifying the master-regulators (genes and proteins) responsible for regulation of large cascades of differentially expressed genes. The most reliable of identified master-regulators were IL7R, TIGIT, CXCL8, F2RL1, EIF2AK3, IL7, TSPYL2, ANXA1, DUSP1 and IL15. In the Discussion section of our paper, we give more detail on each of these master-regulators. In general, the genes that were up-regulated in response to lipid accumulation in macrophages induced by atherogenic LDL were mostly involved in inflammation and immune response, and not in cholesterol metabolism. Our results suggest a possibility that it is not cholesterol accumulation that causes an innate immunity response, but rather the immune response is a consequence of a cellular reaction to modified LDL. These results highlight the importance of the inflammatory component in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.

Bentham Science Free Trial in Shanxi Medical University | Free Trial ends on February 15, 2019


Shanxi Medical University, founded in 1919 and located in Taiyuan, the capital city of Shanxi Province, has nearly a hundred years of history. It is a comprehensive university of modern medical science that integrates humanities, natural sciences and engineering as well as management into medical education. Shanxi Medical University strives to become a top level research-oriented university while emphasizing undergraduate and postgraduate education with its distinctive characteristics.

As of 2018, Shanxi Medical University has 31 Academic departments, 12 Directly affiliated hospitals, 12 Non-directly affiliated hospitals, 29 Teaching hospitals, 111 Teaching bases,15 Training bases for postgraduates, and 2 Science and research bases. There are 1,600 faculties and 19,200 students which include undergraduates, postgraduates, doctoral students, and international students. Shanxi Medical University has a vibrant alumni community of more than 120,000 members around the world.

The university has three campuses ( respectively Yingze campus, Chuanzhi campus, Zhongdu campus) that cover a total area of nearly 240 acres with a building area of 710,000 square meters. The university’s total estimated value of fixed asset is 1.2 billion RMB. The total annual funds for scientific research amount to 110 million RMB. With an area of 8766.46 square meters, in library there are 11 reading rooms, 6 Chinese and foreign library, 2 electronic reading rooms, 1014 reading seats.



eBook | Phytochemicals in Vegetables: A Valuable Source of Bioactive Compounds


Phytochemicals in Vegetables A Valuable Source of Bioactive Compounds



Spyridon A. Petropoulos, Isabel C.F.R. Ferreira, Lillian Barros


Vegetables play a crucial role in the human diet, being relevant contributors to the intake of micronutrients (i.e., vitamins and minerals) and dietary fiber and prebiotics, as well as occasionally of digestible carbohydrates and proteins (e.g., tubers and pulses). Furthermore, beyond their nutrient composition, vegetables contain a range of non-essential bioactive compounds (i.e., phytochemicals), among which carotenoids and polyphenols, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, stilbenes, lignans or tannins, are prominent, with others such as glucosinolates (in Brassicaceae), cysteine sulfoxides (in Allium species) or betalains (in beets) having more limited distribution.

Phytochemicals have attracted much attention in recent times as they may provide additional health benefits to the consumption of vegetables and other plant foodstuffs. The dietary intake of these compounds has been related with the prevention of some chronic and degenerative diseases that constitute major causes of death and incapacity in developed countries, such as cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, some types of cancers or neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Nowadays it is considered that phytochemicals contribute, at least in part, for the protective effects of fruit and vegetable-rich diets, so that the study of their role in human nutrition has become a central issue in food research. Read out the full version here.

eBook | Redefining University Leadership for the 21st Century



Christina Chow, Clement Leung


This is the authors’ second book on universities in the 21st century, and it couldn’t come at a more relevant time, when public confidence in higher education is fading. With rising graduate unemployment, bloated administrative costs and student dissatisfaction, it’s no surprise that people are questioning the value of a degree, not to mention the university’s viability as an institution. If the essential work of teaching and research is to continue, the management model must change – and that begins with an honest examination of a university’s function and purpose.

In this marvelously insightful book, the authors offer some valuable strategies to help university leaders and students succeed in this uncertain era, when technology and artificial intelligence make knowledge rapidly redundant. They show us how thinking and behaviour need to change, from the top down. This book gets to the heart of what makes a great university – and one that can survive. Read out the full version here.

EDITOR’S CHOICE ARTICLE | Sodium Oxybate Therapy for Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome and Keeping of Alcohol Abstinence

Journal Name: Current Drug Metabolism

Author(s): Carmen Mannucci, Simona Pichini, Elvira Ventura Spagnolo, Fabrizio Calapai, Sebastiano Gangemi, Michele Navarra, Gioacchino Calapai*.


Graphical Abstract:


Background: Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB or sodium oxybate) is both an exogenous and endogenous molecule with neuromodulator properties. In the United States, GHB is an approved drug for the treatment of narcolepsy and narcolepsy with cataplexy in adults. In some European Union countries, sodium oxybate is applied for the treatment of opioid and alcohol withdrawal.

Objective: The aim of the present review was to describe the state of art of the pre-clinical research and the clinical evidence related to GHB used alone or in combination with other treatments in alcohol withdrawal syndrome and alcohol abstinence maintenance.

Method: Internationally published pre-clinical findings and clinical studies investigating the effects of GHB on alcohol withdrawal syndrome and alcohol abstinence maintenance were collected and described considering seven clinical studies involving GHB in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal abstinence and five clinical studies involving GHB in the treatment of alcohol abstinence maintenance. Furthermore, GHB pharmacology and characteristics of abuse were briefly detailed.

Results: Clinical evidence indicates that GHB is effective in reducing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome and produces beneficial effects comparable to those of benzodiazepines or chlometiazole. GHB proved effective in increasing alcohol abstinence maintenance and in reducing alcohol craving, but it did not show any influence in relapses of heavy drinkers when given alone. Conversely, it seems to be effective in reducing relapses in alcohol dependent patients when given in combination with naltrexone and escitalopram.

Conclusion: Despite this bunch of evidence, studies are still limited and investigations including a larger number of patients are needed. In addition, some safety concerns, such as insufficiency against hallucinations in alcohol withdrawal and potential development of GHB dependence have to be more investigated.


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EDITOR’S CHOICE ARTICLE | Heat Shock Factor (HSF): The Promoter of Chaperone Genes. A Mini Review

Journal Name: Current Proteomics

Author(s): Natália Galdi Quel,Carlos H.I. Ramos*.



Graphical Abstract:



Protein homeostasis, or proteostasis, is required for proper cell function and thus must be under tight maintenance in all circumstances. In crowded cell conditions, protein folding is sometimes unfavorable, and this condition is worsened during stress situations. Cells cope with such stress through the use of a Protein Quality Control system, which uses molecular chaperones and heat shock proteins as its major players. This system aids with folding, avoiding misfolding and/or reversing aggregation. A pivotal regulator of the response to heat stress is Heat Shock Factor, which is recruited to the promoters of the chaperone genes, inducting their expression. This mini review aims to cover our general knowledge on the structure and function of this factor.


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