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Letter from the Editor

February 2001

Dear Colleagues,

The 8th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (8th CROI) had little to say about our patients in the correctional system, but provided a startling picture of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, of which our patients are an integral part.

"Just saying no" to sex has the same impact on HIV transmission anywhere in the world, but differences between the HIV prevalence rates distinguish the impact of "just saying yes" in North Dakota and the Congo, according to Dr. Kevin DeCock of the Center for Disease Control.(1) In areas of the world where most individuals are unaware of their HIV status until they are dying from AIDS, these individuals are highly likely to transmit the virus to their sexual partners, who then transmit to others, including their children. The impact of "just saying yes" without knowledge of HIV infection on sub-Saharan Africa has been catastrophic: AIDS is decimating the ranks of productive adult workers (including health care workers), impoverishing families and dramatically increasing the number of children orphaned by AIDS. While DeCock decried international response to this human emergency of enormous scale, he did not mention in his speech problems closer to home -- such as the impact of HIV/AIDS on selected sectors of US populations including African Americans, women, and incarcerated populations, even though there were many parallels.

This issue of HEPP News brings you commentary and news from the 8th CROI that is relevant to clinical practice in the correctional setting. After reviewing this issue, readers should be able to describe the new changes in the HHS guidelines regarding HIV treatment and resistance testing, how fusion inhibitors may become part of HIV antiretroviral therapy, and explain why strategic treatment interruption is not recommended. Our next issue will cover tuberculosis and HIV infection.

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We apologize for the tardiness of this issue, but we have a good excuse! Our layout editor delivered her first child, a baby boy, on Valentine's Day. HEPP News welcomes the new addition to the staff.

Thank you for your continued support and comments. Be sure to visit us online at www.HIVcorrections.org!

Sincerely,

Anne S. De Groot, M.D.
Joseph Bick, M.D.

  1. DeCock K. Keynote Lecture -- Heterogeneity and public health in the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. 8th CROI; February 4-8, 2001; Chicago, Illinois. Abstract L2.


Back to the HEPP News February 2001 contents page.




  
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This article was provided by Brown Medical School. It is a part of the publication HEPP News.
 

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