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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

January 29, 2003

$15 Billion for Global AIDS: Godsend or Gimmick?

In his State of the Union speech Wednesday, George W. Bush, who's never been a friend to the AIDS community, said he'd tack another $10 billion onto the $5 billion the U.S. is spending over the next five years to fight global AIDS.

That's great news -- maybe. Lots of questions remain to be answered: One, where's this money going to come from, especially with an expensive war just around the corner? Two, what's the catch -- will this money only be available to abstinence-only programs? Three, what about the thousands of HIV-positive people here in the U.S. on ADAP waiting lists for treatment? And finally, why did he choose to announce this initiative in virtually the same breath with his diatribe on Iraq?

These two articles discuss the new Bush announcement in greater detail. The first is an overview from The New York Times (requires free registration to read). The second is an article from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Fighting to Keep ADAP Afloat

Advocates are trying to limit the shortfalls that are keeping more and more people from getting medically necessary treatment.

Psychiatrist Moves Into The Body's Mental Health Forum

Got a question that only a psychiatrist can answer? The Body is pleased to add Dr. Ewald Horwath as an expert to our already popular forum on mental health and HIV. Eminent in his field, his research centers on the psychiatric and neuropsychiatric aspects of HIV. He is also the director of the Washington Heights Community Service Inpatient Unit at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Click here to ask your question!

Immune Boosting the Drug-Free Way

"Nine years after my diagnosis, I'm still not taking medications and have no allergies, good digestion, no illnesses, and almost never even get a cold." In the latest edition of Body Positive, Gary Rosard describes how he enhances his immune system the natural way: with food.

When Your Support Group Is Short on Support

People criticizing you in your support group? Dr. J. Buzz von Ornsteiner explains how you can get the help you need from your group members.

Pain in HIVers: An Underestimated Problem

It is estimated that only 15 percent of HIV+ people receive adequate therapy for their pain. This is a serious problem, since pain can significantly reduce quality of life.

Avoiding Drug Interactions

Worried about possible drug interactions? Look through The Body's comprehensive collection of drug interaction materials.

HIV Positive and Over 50

A growing number of older people in the U.S. are being diagnosed with HIV. Ironically, many are becoming infected because they don't even realize how great their risk is. Terri Wilder provides the lowdown.

Jane Fowler is one of the few people in the over-50 crowd who travels the country to discuss her HIV status. Read her story in The Body's Women & HIV feature section.

For more news and information, visit The Body's page on HIV and older people.

Keeping Your Heart Happy

Dangers to your cardiovascular health involve a combination of genetics and environment. Taking HAART can complicate matters, but there are steps you can take to keep your heart in optimum shape.

Advice on Conquering Diarrhea

Many HIV medicines -- and sometimes HIV itself -- can cause diarrhea, as can illnesses unrelated to your HIV infection. But there's always something that can be done about it: ACRIA's "Treatment Issues for Women" guide has some useful advice for both men and women.

A Life With AIDS, One Conference at a Time

"I can only view my life as Before and Since AIDS. Since AIDS, especially from 1987-2001, it became extremely difficult to keep track of time. The best marker I have is the International AIDS Conference." David Barr's "irreverent, more factual than you might imagine" history of the International AIDS Conference is a rare synthesis of the public and private faces of AIDS treatment activism over the years.

Can C-Sections Reduce HIV Risk for Baby?

Today we know that HIV-positive women who are on effective combination therapy and have undetectable viral loads already have low transmission rates -- 1 percent or less -- for vaginal births. So can a C-section help in any way?

Bush Administration Attacks Condoms

In a move that surely appeased his abstinence-only constituents, the Bush administration tinkered with a key CDC fact sheet to play down the fact that condoms do an excellent job of protecting people from STDs. Lots of people noticed, though, and sounded the alarm -- including 14 Democratic congressmen, who wrote this angry letter in response.

For more on this story, read this article from Kaisernetwork.org.

U.S. Smallpox Plan Gets a Second Look

A new report from the prestigious Institute of Medicine, asked by the U.S. government to study its smallpox vaccination program, urged several changes.

Ziagen: Read All About It

Are you taking Ziagen (abacavir)? Get the details with this easy-to-read fact sheet from The Center for AIDS.

Or, for even more information, visit The Body's archive of articles on Ziagen.

Hospice Care for People With AIDS

Though antiretrovirals and other treatments have extended the lives of people living with AIDS, hospices remain an essential element in the continuum of AIDS services. For details about hospice care, click here.

Therapeutic Drug Monitoring: A New Adherence Tool?

Policing adherence? According to researchers in the Netherlands, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) -- which measures the amount of a drug in someone's blood stream -- can effectively gauge how well an HIVer is adhering to his or her HAART regimen.

For more on therapeutic drug monitoring, browse through our TDM section!

Web Highlights

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

Bug Chasers: The Men Who Long to Be HIV-Positive
This article in Rolling Stone has angered an awful lot of people; see the article below for more.
From Rolling Stone (February 6, 2003)

Sex- and Death-Crazed Gays Play Viral Russian Roulette!
Andrew Sullivan explains why the Rolling Stone story on bug chasers was an irresponsible piece of journalism.
Op-ed from Salon (January 24, 2003)

Growth Hormone Treatment Linked to Carcinoid Tumours in HIV Patient
New concerns about a treatment for lipodystrophy.
From AIDS Map (January 28, 2003)

Absurd Choice for AIDS Post
Jerry Thacker -- who once described being gay as having a "death style" -- won't be on the president's AIDS advisory commission, but the fact that he got so close is terrifying.
Editorial from San Francisco Chronicle (January 24, 2003)

  
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