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February 13, 2003

Breaking HIV News and Research From the Year's Biggest HIV Conference

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton started off this year's 10th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) with a pat on the back for George W. Bush's $15 billion HIV/AIDS spending plan for Africa, but a warning to spend the money wisely -- without ignoring growing HIV/AIDS problems here at home.

Doctors and HIVers alike can't stop gushing about tenofovir (Viread), which seems to work wonderfully in almost any situation. Dr. David Wohl takes a look at the latest research on tenofovir: a 96-week study comparing it to d4T (stavudine, Zerit).

More coverage of this major conference will roll in throughout the week; check this page often for our complete coverage index!

Send Someone You Love an E-Card!

In celebration of Valentine's Day -- and, just as importantly, National Condom Week -- Visual AIDS has added four stunning new E-cards to our online collection, featuring artwork by Keith Haring and other HIV-positive artists. Spread HIV awareness and share your love -- safely!

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness: It's More Than Just One Day

February 7th was National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. But all during this month virtually every black media outlet in the United States will run articles on the impact of AIDS on African Americans. AIDS is now the leading cause of death of African-American men 25 to 44 in the United States.

Meet the Faces and Voices of Africa's AIDS Crisis

Forget the statistics; it's time to meet the people whose lives have been consumed by the African AIDS epidemic. At St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York (1047 Amsterdam Ave.) on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m., a choir of HIV-positive singers from Africa will sing and make a plea for your help in fighting the African continent's worsening AIDS tragedy.

You don't need to be religious to be moved by this group's music. The choir is called "Sinikithemba," which means both "give us hope" and "we give hope." For more information about the choir or the event -- which will also feature speeches by top HIV researchers from Harvard, Yale and Columbia -- call Tim Brumfield at (347) 262-0161 or e-mail him at:

Staying in the Closet May Make Sex Riskier

Young men who have sex with men (MSM) who don't disclose their sexual orientation may be at particularly high risk for HIV infection because of low self-esteem, depression, or a lack of the kind of peer support and prevention services that are available to gay men who are more open about their sexuality. These are the results of a six-city survey analyzed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Gauging Lipodystrophy's Impact

Measuring lipodystrophy is not really possible. However, by using what's called "segmental bioelectrical impedance analysis" (BIA), doctors can spot definitive changes in body fat. By repeating BIA tests over a period of time, they may be able to track trends in fat accumulation and loss.

Finding Yourself After an HIV Diagnosis

"I was going to die soon anyway, so why not go out with a bang? I had no idea what to do next and no concept of what I should be doing for myself to survive in the short or long term. ... Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, you are in crisis, my friend." In the final edition of APLA's Positive Living magazine, author Timothy Critzer shares his thoughts on living with the emotional impact of HIV.

Anemia and Fatigue in Women

Do you often find yourself feeling tired, lightheaded or short of breath? Read this quick fact sheet on anemia for tips on how you can help yourself feel better.

When You're Confused, and Your Parents Don't Get It

What do you do when you're a sexually questioning teen who doesn't have HIV, but who does have incredibly paranoid parents? Mental health expert Dr. J. Buzz von Ornsteiner offers some advice.

Link Between HAART and Lung Cancer?

Since HAART has become available, the risk of developing lung cancer has become about eight times greater in HIV-positive people than in HIV-negative people. This was reported by researchers in London, who reviewed information from their database of 8,400 HIV-positive people.

Why You Need a Will, Even If You're Well

Think you need to be on death's doorstep before you need to bother with a will, or afraid that making one is an admission that death is around the corner? Think again! For rich or for poor, wills can be extremely important.

Meet Your Antiretrovirals: AZT

Taking AZT (zidovudine, Retrovir), one of the most commonly prescribed HIV drugs? Click here to view this easy-to-read fact sheet.

For more information on AZT, including links to the latest research, browse The Body's collection of articles.

Web Highlights

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

New York Will Sue 2 Big Drug Makers on Doctor Discount
N.Y. is one of seven states accusing two companies of giving doctors huge discounts when they buy their drugs -- even though Medicare and Medicaid reimburse those doctors for the full price of each drug
From The New York Times (free registration required) (February 13, 2003)

Uganda Starts Human Trials of AIDS Vaccine
It's known as the DNA-MVA vaccine, and was designed by scientists at Oxford and Nairobi universities
From The Guardian (February 12, 2003)

Internet Linked to Some AIDS Spread
A survey of users finds high rates of risky sex -- and suggests the Web helps those high-risk people meet up
From The Washington Post (February 12, 2003)

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