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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

March 14, 2002

Retrovirus Conference Coverage, Part II

Hate trying to make sense of the doctor-speak that so often riddles coverage of major HIV/AIDS conferences? The Body is on your side: We've hand-picked some of the more interesting presentations at this month's Retrovirus conference and summarized them in words you won't need an M.D. to understand.

Don't forget to check out the rest of our excellent Retrovirus coverage from some of the top AIDS specialists!

HIV's Huge Impact on Minorities

Frightening numbers from AIDS Action Council's new policy factsheet on HIV and communities of color.

Your Thoughts on Resistance Testing

How much do you know about resistance testing? Take this survey, brought to you by the resistance test manufacturer ViroLogic.

If You Help Youths, We Want to Know

Calling all HIV service organizations! The Body is teaming up with Advocates for Youth to create a nationwide listing of all U.S. groups, clinics and organizations that provide HIV-related services specifically to people 21 and under. If you work for such a group, or if you know of any, e-mail us at content@thebody.com and let us know. Whether the organization provides education or support, counseling or free HIV testing, we want to give it the credit it deserves!

Why Abstinence-Only Education Doesn't Work

There's no problem at all with teaching abstinence, AIDS Action Council says. But studies show that in order for STD/HIV infection rates to drop, it has to be taught WITH other safe-sex methods, not instead of them.

Major Cities See Sharp Jump in Syphilis

Reported cases of syphilis more than doubled in New York City from 2000 to 2001, mostly among gay men, and numbers are also up in other large cities. Can this mean HIV infections will rise as well?

A Chink in Spermicide's Armor

The world's most widely used spermicide -- Nonoxynol-9 -- does not kill the bacteria that cause gonorrhea and chlamydia, according to a new report.

The Day Rapid HIV Testing Died (A Sad and Sordid Tale)

Up to a third of people who get tested for HIV don't return for the results. Rapid HIV testing -- which yields results in minutes, rather than days -- could greatly improve that number, yet it's been stuck in a quagmire for years. Bob Huff, editor of GMHC Treatment Issues, tells us why.

The block on U.S. production of rapid HIV tests comes down to patents -- the very same things that have caused African countries so much trouble getting cheap anti-HIV drugs. How do pharmaceutical companies get drug patents, and how do they use them? GMHC Treatment Issues' patent primer will fill you in.

In the end, although rapid HIV tests are readily available throughout most of the world, U.S. patent laws have allowed companies to prevent the tests from entering the U.S. But is that really such a bad thing, GMHC's Bob Huff asks? Faster, after all, doesn't always mean better.

Coping With Shock and Loss

Though six months have passed since the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, many still suffer from their emotional impact. Traumatic events like those that occurred on 9/11 -- or like an HIV/AIDS diagnosis -- can often cause a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder. How can you know if you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD? Body Positive walks us through the telltale signs.

Breast Feeding as an HIV-Positive Mom

Rebecca Denison, HIV-positive mother of twin girls, writes about HIV and breast feeding: What's a mother to do?

CDC to Discuss Screening Pregnant Women

Note to HIV counselors, educators and prevention staff: The Centers for Disease Control will nationally broadcast a discussion of its "Revised Recommendations for HIV Screening of Pregnant Women" on April 25. If you have any questions about the CDC's new standards, you can fax them in before and during the broadcast. For more info on where to send your questions and where you can watch the broadcast, check out the CDC's release.

Pediatric AIDS Research Gets a Boost

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases today announced $36 million in renewed funding for the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group, a large network that has conducted pivotal research on the treatment of pregnant women, babies and young children.

Helms to Public: I'm Not THAT Sorry

Well, thank goodness for the clarification! Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) said the shame he feels about his inaction on the AIDS epidemic doesn't mean he's altered his views on homosexuality or his belief that government spending on AIDS research is excessive.

Studies Shed Light on Male vs. Female Treatment

Studies are finally beginning to clarify some of the differences between how men and women develop HIV/AIDS. The U.S. Department of Health reports on a few of these recent studies in a supplement to its recently released guidelines on the treatment of HIV-infected adults and adolescents.

AIDS Advisors Gather -- Finally

The President's Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS is set to meet this week for its first meeting since George W. took office 26 months ago. For this and other interesting news in AIDS policy, read AIDS Action's new weekly update.

Upcoming HIV/AIDS Update Conference

The National HIV/AIDS Update Conference meets in San Francisco from March 19-22. Topics covered will include prevention, treatment, and care.

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

Changes in Mitochondrial DNA as a Marker of Nucleoside Toxicity in HIV-Infected Patients
A study reveals NRTIs' effects on lactate levels.
Abstract from The New England Journal of Medicine (March 14, 2002)

Spirituality, Compassion Linked to AIDS Survivial
A little prayer and some inner peace can go a long way, researchers say.
Article from Reuters Health (March 13, 2002)

Estimated Global Distribution and Regional Spread of HIV-1 Genetic Subtypes in the Year 2000
A look at HIV strains found throughout the world.
Report summary from the AIDS Education Training Centers (March 11, 2002)

Drive to End U.S. Curb on HIV Visitors
Many say the U.S.' ban on HIV-positive visitors treats them like they're criminals.
Article from The Guardian (March 5, 2002)

  
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