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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

January 23, 2002

HIV Care Takes a Great Leap Forward

In a move that could greatly improve care for HIV patients nationwide, California is set to become the first state to certify HIV medical specialists. This means that every single HIV-positive person in California who's part of a managed-care plan will get the best medical care they can get. Until now, no state in the union has ever bothered to define just what an HIV specialist is, and many HIV-positive patients have suffered as a result. The American Academy of HIV Medicine is the group that'll set the rules by which California specialists can become certified.

Women and HIV: By the Numbers

How many women are currently living with AIDS in the United States? (67,993.) What percentage of women who are at risk for HIV were sexually abused as children? (42%.) These and other questions are answered in AIDS Action's new fact sheet on women and HIV.

STAY TUNED: "The Body Features: Women & HIV," the maiden voyage of our ground-breaking new features area, is coming early next week! Throughout the year we will publish new feature sections, each focusing on an important issue in HIV/AIDS. Our first offering will contain an extraordinary collection of interviews, articles, artworks and helpful resources on the epidemic among U.S. women. Check our "What's New" page soon for more details!

Adherence Tips

Struggling to stay adherent to your HIV meds? Ernie Rodriguez, manager of AIDS Project Los Angeles' Treatment Education Program, offers up a list of useful suggestions.

Lucy in the Sky With Didanosine

The ever-amusing Jim Pickett is starting to see HIV everywhere: "When I find myself in times of trouble, HIV comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, HIV. And in my hour of darkness, it is standing right in front of me, whispered words of wisdom, HIV. Let it be, HIV. Let it be, HIV. There will be an answer. HIV. There's still a chance that you will see. There will be an answer. HIV."

Stay One Step Ahead of Wasting

Few of HIV/AIDS' physical effects are more emotionally devastating than wasting -- which, along with Kaposi's sarcoma, defined the "look" of AIDS sufferers through the first decade of the epidemic. Though anti-retroviral drugs have greatly reduced wasting, there's a test that all HIV patients can take to monitor their risk of developing it. AIDS Project Los Angeles fills us in.

Where Has All the Pot Gone?

"For years, the L.A. Cannabis Resource Center in West Hollywood maintained a low profile. With no sign on its building, the center's staff quietly went about its business, handing out marijuana to terminally and chronically ill patients. Now, the center is shut. And it's no longer quiet." The story, from AIDS Project Los Angeles.

A Condom With Your Paycheck

Now here's progressive thinking: A company in Ivory Coast has been including condoms with its pay slips for the past 10 years, in an attempt to prevent HIV from decimating its workforce. The result: a 65 percent reduction in STDs.

The Revenge of Adefovir: Hep B's New Enemy

Adefovir, which dropped off many HIV patients' wish lists after early trials showed it potentially causing kidney damage, is back -- and this time it's fighting hepatitis B. GMHC Treatment Issues provides the details on the kinder, gentler version of this anti-HIV/HBV drug.

Also check out this interview with Dr. Douglas Brust, author of the article mentioned above. In it, GMHC Treatment Issues asks the good doctor some key questions about HIV, HBV and adefovir.

Monkey's Death Complicates Vaccine Hunt

A promising AIDS vaccine hits a major speed bump, as HIV figures out how to dodge the hyped-up immune system of a vaccinated monkey. What does this mean for the field of vaccine research?

Welcome to Your Immune System

The human immune system: How it works and what it's made of. A play in 11 parts, from AIDS Community Research Initiative of America.

How I Became a Non-Progressor

"It bothers me that I may have chanced on an effective way to slow HIV disease, but that no one else will benefit. If low-dose prednisone actually works to slow progression, it would be the answer for people who don't have advanced HIV disease." Mark Milano of AIDS Community Research Initiative of America wonders aloud (or, rather, in print) about what's keeping himself -- and what may keep others who have HIV -- from ever developing AIDS.

College Students and Risky Behavior

A recent study finds that college students who have had same-sex sexual experiences are less likely to use condoms than students who have only had partners of the opposite sex. More on this, from the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

Nominate Your Favorite Activist!

The Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights has been established to honor Jonathan Mann, a key figure in the 20th-century fight against global poverty and illness. Think you know someone who has helped to call attention to the vital links between health and human rights? The deadline for nominations is Feb. 1.

GMHC to Docs: Who Are You in Bed With?

GMHC Treatment Issues gets hot and bothered over disclosure: Why aren't doctors who present at conferences required to let the world know if they're receiving money from pharmaceutical companies?

Web Highlights
A Selection of the Top HIV/AIDS Stories From Across the Internet

Is C-Section Always Needed to Cut HIV Transmission?
A new study suggests that it may not be, provided it's a low-risk pregnancy
From Daily University Science News (January 21, 2002)

California vs. AIDS
An editorial: the governor's budget for drugs is helpful, but education is crucial
From Mercury News (January 21, 2002)

Durability of HIV-1 Viral Suppression Over 3.3 Years With Multi-Drug Antiretroviral Therapy in Previously Drug-Naive Individuals
Speaks for itself
From AIDS (January 18, 2002)

Eurasia Policy Forum: HIV/AIDS and Harm Reduction in Central Asia
Summaries of fact-finding missions in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
From EurasiaNet (January 18, 2002)

HPV -- The Most Common Sexually Transmitted Virus
Planned Parenthood discusses human papilloma viruses and condoms
From Planned Parenthood (December 3, 2001)

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