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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

February 5, 2003

What's in Store at Next Week's Retrovirus Conference? Find Out at The Body!

Beginning Tuesday, The Body and its HIV experts will provide next-day coverage and topical overviews from the 10th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. This major conference is sure to include breaking research, so be sure to bookmark this page for details as they come in!

Wondering what Retrovirus 2003 will have to offer? David Scondras provides a short preview of next week's conference.

20-Minute HIV Test Will Be Widely Available

The U.S. government has announced the expanded availability of a recently approved rapid HIV test, from the 38,000 laboratories that currently administer it to more than 100,000 sites, including physician offices and HIV counseling centers. The decision means that potentially hundreds of thousands more people can be easily and quickly tested for HIV infection.

Supervised Kids Have Less Risky Sex

Strong parent/child relationships and after-school supervision are a young person's best protection from high-risk behaviors that would put them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases, researchers say. Click here to take a look at the results from their study.

Dr. Alan Berkman: Ex-Hippie, Ex-Con, AIDS Activist

Read this fascinating interview with Alan Berkman, M.D. He's the medical director of a Bronx residence for individuals and families with AIDS, a treatment-access advocate and a former 1960s activist who spent more than eight years in prison.

New HIV Drugs Near U.S. Approval

It's a busy season for the folks at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- the people who approve HIV drugs for use in the U.S. At least five new products have passed or are soon to pass under their scrutiny on the way to your medicine shelf. Bob Huff looks at these new drugs, in GMHC's Treatment Issues.

One of these drugs, atazanavir (Zrivada), is a once-a-day protease inhibitor expected to be approved soon for use in the U.S. Initial studies have shown that unlike other protease inhibitors, atazanavir does not appear to affect triglyceride or cholesterol levels. Check out this easy-to-read fact sheet.

To view The Body's collection of articles on atazanavir, click here.

AIDS in South Asia: We're Running Out of Time

Speaking at a meeting of South Asian governments this week, two United Nations leaders declared that AIDS was stalking South Asians and warned that the region has only a narrow window of opportunity for turning back the disease.

Bush AIDS Plan Will Include Condoms

Defying some political supporters and pleasing some critics, the Bush administration has announced that part of the President's proposed five-year, $15 billion African AIDS initiative will be used to distribute condoms and generic drugs.

To read back over the HIV-related section of the President's State of the Union address, click here.

Interested in learning more about HIV/AIDS policy in the U.S. and throughout the world? Visit our Policy & Activism section for plenty of news and analysis.

Obstacles Remain to Global Treatment Access

Despite a widespread and growing consensus that drug patents should not continue to block access to treatment in poor countries, the problem persists. AIDS Treatment News provides two recent examples from Nigeria and the World Trade Organization summit in Australia.

The Education of an HIV Educator

It takes a lot more than passion to become a good HIV treatment educator. Just ask Carlos Santiago: He's a treatment educator in New York City who learned the hard way how to keep his audience interested in what he had to say.

N.Y. Senators Fight for Drug Coverage -- And You Can Too!

Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton offer new hope for AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), which help uninsured people in the U.S. afford HIV drugs. Urge your Senators to sign their crucial letter in support of a $162 million increase! Read more about this important issue in this Treatment Action Network Alert.

In the United States, 13 state ADAPs have already closed enrollment to new clients or limited access to antiretroviral treatments. Adding expensive new drugs like T-20 (Fuzeon) or treatments for hepatitis C are out of the question for most ADAPs. Gregg Gonsalves writes a moving call to action, in GMHC's Treatment Issues.

Structured Treatment Interruption: Is There Any Hope Left?

A few months ago, a major European study found that structured treatment interruptions didn't help people with HIV nearly as much as researchers had hoped. But is it possible that the study's findings aren't really as bad as people think? Treatment Action Group takes a closer look.

Women, Human Papillomavirus and Cancer

Cervical cancer (also called cervical dysplasia) is often caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a very common STD that becomes much more dangerous in HIV-positive women. Click here for an excellent review of how HPV-related problems are diagnosed and treated.

Genital Herpes in Women: The Lowdown

Here's a quick overview of genital herpes in women: How it's contracted, what the symptoms are, and what treatments are available.

HAART Slightly Increases Baby Seizure Risk

A study last year found that a mother's use of anti-HIV drugs increases the risk that her baby will experience a seizure. That risk, however, was still very small (less than 1 in 1,000).

Hepatitis C Treatment Chart

Provided courtesy of the HIV Education Prison Project, this flowchart outlines one commonly used approach to the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection.

Web Highlights

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

President's Budget Falls Short of Funds Needed for New Global AIDS Program -- PHR
Press release from Physicians for Human Rights (February 4, 2003)

The White House Gets Religion on AIDS in Africa
An excellent analysis of what appears to be the President's coming of age regarding the global AIDS battle.
From The New York Times (free registration required) (February 2, 2003)

Where AIDS Stalks, Everyone Lives in Fear
Includes a link to a slide show on the African AIDS epidemic.
From The New York Times (free registration required) (February 2, 2003)

Smallpox Vaccination and the Patient With HIV/AIDS
Dr. John G. Bartlett writes up a list of key questions and answers.
From Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies (October 2002)

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