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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

March 12, 2003

Women Discuss Top HIV Health Issues

"What's the most important health issue facing women with HIV today?" The San Francisco AIDS Foundation asked women with HIV, doctors, researchers and others for their opinion. Do you agree with what they have to say?

U.S. Government Gets Tough on Vitamin Safety

Supplementing your diet with vitamins is often recommended for people with HIV. But how do you know you're getting what you pay for? There's currently no guarantee. However, for the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration will establish standards to ensure that vitamins and other dietary supplements are what the labeling on the bottle says they are.

The Body's Community Center: On the Web, You're Never Alone

Are you a person with AIDS (PWA) hoping to talk about life with other PWAs, or just need to get something off your chest? Want to talk with people around the world about HIV treatment, politics, or whatever else is on your mind? Stop in at The Body's Community Center! No registration is required, and anonymous posts are welcome.

Trizivir Alone Not as Good as Regimens With Sustiva

A large study of HAART regimens in people taking HIV drugs for the first time has found that Trizivir by itself is much worse at suppressing viral load than Trizivir or Combivir taken with Sustiva (efavirenz). The findings were so conclusive that researchers made the rare decision to switching volunteers off of Trizivir-only regimens in the middle of the study.

Ask Our Psychiatrist

Feeling unusually moody, depressed or anxious? Talk to Dr. Ewald Horwath, The Body's newest expert in our popular mental health forum. Click here to ask him your question.

Sex Education Debate Rages Across U.S.

Reflecting a trend spreading through the U.S., Washington's State Senate will soon vote on whether abstinence-only sexual education curriculum or "medically accurate" curriculum will be taught in the state's public schools. Right now public schools in Washington are permitted to teach abstinence-only sexual education, though many have complained that information taught in such classes is often false or misleading.

For more on the heated battle between lawmakers who promote abstinence-only sexual education and those who favor "medically accurate" sexual education (which could include abstinence), read this article from SIECUS.

HIV Doctors Should Educate, Not Just Treat

Doctors must work more closely with treatment advocates to ensure that people with HIV get the best possible support and care, says nurse practictioner Debra Johnson. "We are not doing a fabulous job alone in our efforts to improve adherence," she confesses.

Fighting AIDS on the Global Front

Joep Lange, the new President of the International AIDS Society, discusses the organization he now heads and his thoughts on the HIV epidemic in Africa and Asia.

The Next Generation of NNRTIs

In every class of HIV medications there are drugs in development. Here's a short list of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) currently in the pipeline.

For a complete listing of HIV meds in development, browse through The Body's collection of articles!

Human Growth Hormone: An Immune Booster?

Many HIV-positive people use human growth hormone (also known as hGH or somatropin) to treat the symptoms of wasting and lipodystrophy. But did you know that researchers think it might also be able to strengthen the body's immune system?

The Dangers of Genital Tract Infections in Women

If left untreated, female genital tract infections can cause serious problems, including pain, inflammation and reproductive complications. Sometimes the symptoms can be deceivingly common, like stomach or back pain. Click here for advice on how to keep these infections at bay.

AIDS Takes the Stage

In "Markings of the Soul," a one-man touring theatre show starring Kerry O. Burns, Kerry relives the time he spent with his older brother Timothy, an artist who died of AIDS in the 1980s. Timothy lived in Atlanta, where prejudices made the battle against HIV even tougher.

Depression: A Hidden Epidemic Among HIV-Positive Prisoners

Eric Avery, M.D.'s intimate involvement in the psychiatric care of HIV-positive female inmates has led him to some disturbing realizations. "I couldn't believe how often I diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder in these women compared to my 'free world' work," he marvels. Read much more about this and other psychiatric issues in this one-on-one interview.

Web Highlights

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

AIDS Dissident Appointment "Last Straw" in Battle of Activists and South African Health Minister
South Africa's health minister may appoint a nutritional adviser who doesn't believe that HIV causes AIDS
From (March 11, 2003)

Diabetes Risk Increased Threefold in HIV-Positive Women Treated With PI
An alarming finding regarding women who take protease inhibitors
From (March 10, 2003)

UNICEF Calls for More Attention to HIV/AIDS Among Women on International Women's Day
Military conflicts and gender inequalities are accelerating the global spread of HIV, the organization says
From (March 7, 2003)

Politics of Abortion Delays $15 Billion to Fight Global AIDS
As usual, a potentially life-saving HIV/AIDS bill bogs down in the U.S. Congress, as many Republicans insist aid should only be offered to clinics that shun abortion
From The New York Times (free registration required) (March 6, 2003)

Severe Hepatotoxicity During Combination Antiretroviral Treatment: Incidence, Liver Histology, and Outcome
The jury's still out on whether HAART causes liver problems, but this new study suggests that hepatitis, not HAART, is to blame
From Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (March 1, 2003)

Living Well With HIV/AIDS
This detailed manual on nutritional care for people with HIV is meant for the developing world, but includes some very useful advice for everyone on handling some of HIV's effects
From United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (2002)

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