HIV/AIDS Newsroom: January 25, 2001
Manhattan: New AIDS Study
New York Times (www.nytimes.com)
01/25/01; P. B5; Ramirez, Anthony
A new survey reveals that, in New York City, 33 percent of gay or bisexual African-American men between the ages of 23 and 29 tested positive for HIV. The Health Department statistics also show that 2 percent of white gay men in that age group in New York City have HIV, compared to 14 percent of Hispanics.
New statistics indicate a significant rise in HIV infections among gay men in San Francisco. According to the latest analysis, the rate has increased from 1.04 percent in 1997 to 2.2 percent, and that means there will be about 748 new infections this year. Willi McFarland, an epidemiologist for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said, "We're now on the upswing of a rebound epidemic, although it's not nearly what we were seeing in the late 1970s and 1980s," when thousands of people became infected every year. Federal health officials are concerned by the trend, noting that what is happening in San Francisco is also being reflected in Seattle, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago. Robert Janssen, director of the division of HIV/AIDS prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, notes, "What we're hearing from San Francisco is very concerning." Federal health officials will meet in February to discuss what to do about the new trends, Janssen said.
African Health Agencies Fear U.S. Funding Ban Will Cripple Efforts to Fight AIDS
Philadelphia Inquirer (www.philly.com)
01/25/01; Maykuth, Andrew
The new abortion restrictions President Bush has placed on U.S. foreign aid has many international health agencies concerned about providing other kinds of health care, such as HIV prevention and sexually transmitted disease (STD) screening. On Monday, Bush reinstated a law that strictly prohibits American foreign aid from being distributed to any organizations that "perform or promote" abortions. Patricia Sears, of the Washington-based Center for Development and Population Activities, feels this curtailing of funds because of the abortion stipulation will have broad negative effects. In India, where abortion is legal, Sears notes that there is a health clinic where family planning and HIV education take place on one side -- funded by the United States, European donors, and private foundations -- and abortions are performed on the other side. According to Sears, Bush's new order would keep the AIDS education and family planning program from receiving U.S. funds because of its association with the abortion clinic.
British health officials reported Thursday that the number of people diagnosed with HIV in the United Kingdom in 2000 is probably the highest on record. Although all the data is not yet in, HIV diagnoses are already 7 percent higher for 2000 than they were in the previous year. U.K. health officials reported that 2,868 new HIV infections were recorded last year. Barry Evans, head of the HIV division of the Public Health Laboratory Service, noted that "many of those being diagnosed are people who were infected some years ago, but who are now only coming forward for testing." Meanwhile, Derek Bodell, head of the National AIDS Trust, asserted that the government must make fighting the AIDS epidemic a priority.
The Journal of the American Chemical Society recently published a study by researchers who have discovered a molecule that can stop one of the key components of HIV. The researchers hope that the molecule, a polyoxometalate, will be able to stop the spread of HIV, by attacking the build-up of HIV protease, which creates the proteins that provide the invasion path for the virus. The researchers caution that the new finding is not a cure, but could be a way to manage the spread of HIV and delay the on-set of AIDS.
The International Labor Office has reported that nearly 500 million new jobs will be needed during the next 10 years to accommodate the world's unemployed or underemployed population. The report determined that more attention should be paid to core labor market issues, such as human capital and discrimination, and that employment should be a focused goal of economic policy. Regarding developing countries, the labor report contended that governments of those countries would need to consider new policies availing technological education and equipment to their people so that those nations are able to "cross the digital divide" of today's computer age. In sub-Saharan Africa, meanwhile, the HIV epidemic is expected to substantially reduce the number of people looking for work, with much higher losses among professional and other skilled workers.
A new report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases (2001;183:383-391) indicates that anal human papillomavirus (HPV) appears to be common in HIV-positive and HIV-negative women who are at high-risk for infection. Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco studied 251 HIV-positive women and 68 women who had similar risk factors but were not infected with HIV. Approximately three-quarters of the women with HIV and two-fifths of the HIV-negative women had anal HPV DNA. The researchers also discovered that in a subset of 200 women for whom cervical HPV information was also available, anal HPV was much more common.
Russia's deputy justice minister, Yury Kalinin, reported Thursday that the World Bank has offered $48 million in credits to help fight tuberculosis (TB) and AIDS in the country's prisons. The funds, to be paid over three years, will be used to train health care personnel and buy treatments and equipment. Kalinin noted that of the approximately 100,000 Russian prisoners with TB, only about a third are receiving treatment.
One key reason for clinicians to help their HIV-infected patients with planned pregnancies is so they can help reduce the risks with detailed counseling. "I just think the most important thing is to prepare HIV-positive women for the fact that there is always the potential for the child to become HIV-positive," explains Dr. Rani Lewis of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Experts suggest that HIV-positive women who have a desire to become pregnant should, among other things, consider taking increasing their insurance coverage; discontinue risky activities, such as drug use; and prepare to accept the realities of a child infected with HIV. Another reality is that if the child is born HIV negative, the parents may have to confront their own mortality, possibly not surviving long enough to see the child grow up. HIV management and counseling are two essential measures that clinicians need to take when advising HIV-positive women about possible pregnancy. Other key issues that need to be discussed include delivery and breast-feeding.
The HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Services (ATIS) announces the release of the updated Public Health Service Task Force Recommendations for Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant HIV-1 Infected Women for Maternal Health and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV-1 Transmission in the United States guidelines. The primary changes include:
The updated guidelines are available at http://hivatis.org/trtgdlns.html. You can request a copy of the updated guidelines in hardcopy or have a PDF file sent directly to your email address through our easy on-line ordering system at http://hivatis.org/request.html?list. Or if you prefer, you can call us at 1-800-448-0440 to request a single copy. For information about the treatment of HIV and AIDS-related illnesses, contact our ATIS Health Information Specialists at 1-800-448-0440 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.