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Inside News

December 2002

New Guidelines for Metabolic Complications Associated With HIV

The International AIDS Society-USA published its first comprehensive guidelines for metabolic complications associated with HIV and antiretroviral therapy. The guidelines appear in the Nov. 4 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and include recommendations for assessing, monitoring and treating metabolic problems in five areas: abnormal fat distribution, lactic acid disorders, bone disease, abnormalities in lipid metabolism, and insulin resistance with alternations in glucose metabolism. (, 11/6/02)

FDA Accepts New Drug Application for HIV

The FDA has accepted North Carolina-based Triangle Pharmaceuticals' new drug application for the antiretroviral drug Coviracil. According to Triangle, the drug (a nucleoside reverse tran-scriptase inhibitor) could be approved for marketing in the U.S. as soon as the third quarter of 2003. (, 11/6/02)

20-Minute HIV Test Approved by FDA

The FDA has approved OraSure's easy-to-use 20-minute HIV test, OraQuick. According to the FDA, studies show OraQuick is 99.6 percent accurate. The test involves pricking a person's finger and gives results similar to common pregnancy tests. People who test positive need a lab test to confirm HIV infection. OraSure will begin selling the test at the end of this year and at first it will be available only in hospitals and large health clinics. (Associated Press, 11/8/02)

HIV Cases "Soar" in MD State Prisons

According to a recent U.S. Department of Justice Report, Maryland had the second-highest percentage of HIV-positive prisoners in the nation, second only to New York. Of the state's more than 23,200 prisoners, 4.3% (998 inmates) were known to be HIV-positive in 2000, a 21% increase from the 820 HIV-positive inmates the year before. Local AIDS officials attribute the growing problem to high rates of injection drug use and needle sharing among addicts in Maryland's urban areas. (, 11/11/02)

HCV Viremia in HIV+, HCV-Seronegative Patients

A recent article in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (2002; 31(2): 154-162) reviews a study that found that HCV viremia may occur in patients without detectable HCV antibodies. The study con-cludes that HCV infection appears to occur more frequently among HIV-infected, HCV-seronegative patients than previously thought. (, 11/18/02)

Trends in HCV and HIV in Inmates Entering CA Prisons

A report in the November 2002 issue of AIDS studies trends in HCV and HIV infection among inmates entering prison in California in 1994 and 1999. Among other trends, men were more likely to be infected with HCV than were women, but there was a 16% increase in HCV positivity among African-American men. And HIV seroprevalence decreased from 1994 to 1999 for both men and women, but compared with white and Latino inmates, African-American male and female inmates were more likely to be infected with HIV in 1999. (AIDS, November 2002)

Study Tests Pegasys/Ribavirin in African-Americans

Lennox Jeffers compared the efficacy and safety of Pegasys/Ribavirin combination therapy for treating African-American and Caucasian patients infected with the HCV genotype 1. The study followed 78 African-Americans and 28 Caucasians over 48 weeks (with a 24-week follow-up period). Investigators concluded that while African-Americans appear to tolerate the therapy better than Caucasians, African-Americans appear to have lower response rates. (, 11/11/02)

Maryland Officials Studying How to Test, Treat Inmates for HCV

Maryland correctional officials have created a task force to draft a new state policy for testing and treating inmates with hepatitis C. The state does not require inmates to be tested for HIV or HCV, and there is no set treatment policy for prisoners infected with HCV. While there are no statistics for how many inmates in MD are infected with HCV, the state has the second-highest rate of HIV infection among inmates, and the "close association" between HIV and HCV suggests that treating all HCV infected inmates would be expensive. (Associated Press, 11/12/02)

Inmate's TB Prompts Widespread Testing

More than 150 inmates and correctional staff were tested for tuberculosis (TB) after the discovery of TB in an inmate at the state prison in Lansing, Kansas. Of the 154 people tested, 27 tested positive for TB infection, though none have developed full-blown TB, according to health officials. The infected inmate had been housed in several county jails, leading to the widespread testing. (Associated Press, 10/29/02)

Syphilis Rate Rises in U.S.

Syphilis cases in the U.S. are on the rise for the first time in more than a decade, the CDC reports. The syphilis rate increased from 2.1 cases per 100,000 people in 2000 to 2.2 cases per 100,000 last year; more than two-thirds of the new syphilis patients were men. The trend suggests a potential resurgence in transmission of the AIDS virus, the CDC said. (MMWR, 11/1/02)

Back to the HEPP Report December 2002 contents page.

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