At the XIV International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain this summer, the CDC presented data from their investigation of how many people with HIV/AIDS in the United States have ever been incarcerated. Of the 2,639 patients questioned, 48 percent answered that they had been incarcerated at least once. Twelve percent of that group were initially diagnosed in a correctional facility. (Nakashima A.K., Campsmith M.L. et al. XIV IAC, Barcelona Spain, 2002. Abstract WePeC6127.)
An updated "Health Status of Soon-to-Be-Released Inmates" has just become available from the US Department of Justice Statistics. Compiled by experts in communicable diseases, chronic diseases, and mental health, the report assesses the health status of the 11.5 million Americans who cycle through correctional systems each year. Eighteen percent of people in the US with HCV cycle through corrections every year, along with 8 percent of those with HIV and 33 percent of those with active tuberculosis. Highlights were shared at the International AIDS Conference. The report is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov or www.ncchc.org/pubs_stbr.html.
Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Hoffmann-LaRoche, and Bristol-Myers Squibb have announced price freezes on their antiretroviral medications for as long as two years. Many of the price freezes apply to wholesale prices and/or costs to state ADAP programs. (New York Times, 6/21/02.)
A recent report from the Public Health Commission found that the number of hepatitis C cases in Boston rose 300 percent from 1998 to 2001. Experts believe this increase reflects public health campaigns that have encouraged people to get tested, not a new outbreak of the virus. HCV has a long incubation period, meaning that people recently tested and diagnosed may have been infected for many years previously. (Boston Globe, 6/5/02.)
A new drug that reduces serum levels of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is likely to be FDA-approved by the end of the year. Gilead's "Adefovir Dipivoxil" has shown activity against wild-type and lamivudine-resistant HBV in patients co-infected with HIV. Adefovir allow easier administration; it can be taken once a day, with or without food, does not interact with hepatic cytochrome P450 and has not shown any clinically significant interactions with other drugs. Gilead offers an early access program to all patients, including inmates, who can provide informed consent. For more information call 1-800-GILEAD-5, or visit www.gilead.com. (Benhamou Y. et al. The Lancet, 358: 2001 Sept 1; Y. Benhamou et al. poster 40774, 52nd AASLD, 2001.)
An international study of children with chronic hepatitis B demonstrated that lamivudine creates a higher virologic response than placebo after 52 weeks of treatment. The study compared 191 children randomly assigned to receive lamivudine to 97 children who received placebo. (Jonas et al. Clinical trial of lamivudine in children with chronic hepatitis B. NEJM: 2002 May, 346(22):1706-1713.)
This article was provided by Brown Medical School. It is a part of the publication HEPP Report.