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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

March 20, 2002

No More HIV-Infected Babies in the U.S.?

Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission has been so successful that public health officials have their sights set on eliminating it completely in the U.S. Click here for the details.

The Dangers of HAART

People with safe CD4+ counts who are taking antiretroviral drugs are at low risk of developing AIDS or experiencing opportunistic infections. The odds are far higher, however, that some other life-threatening complication will develop, according to a large government study. The most common dangerous events include liver disease, bone marrow damage and pancreatitis. Is HAART the reason? As researchers reported at last month's Retrovirus conference, no one's really sure.

Ritonavir Bad for the Liver

More news confirming the dangers of ritonavir among those with hepatitis C: Researchers at Johns Hopkins have just finished up a two-year study showing that ritonavir is much more likely than other protease inhibitors to cause severe liver damage. More on this from STEP Ezine.

A Safer Tuberculosis Treatment?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that HIV-positive patients with active tuberculosis use rifabutin for chemotherapy, rather than rifampin. The reason: Rifabutin doesn't interact with anti-HIV regimens that include protease inhibitors. Get more details from this CDC release.

A United Front vs. HIV and Other STDs

Combining prevention efforts for HIV and other STDs is becoming increasingly important, especially as STD infection rates (and, with them, the risks of HIV) spike in many large cities. Of great concern have been findings, presented at this year's National STD Prevention Conference, that although more people are engaging in riskier sex, they're also falling through large gaps in the U.S.' network of STD screening and treatment services.

Gauging Transmission Risk in HIV+ Women

A blood test might show that a woman's viral load is low, but that doesn't mean her chances of transmitting HIV are low too. In fact, a study has found that HIV levels can be higher in women's genital tracts than in their blood, meaning a higher risk of transmission during sex or childbirth. The upshot: Blood tests aren't always the most reliable way to gauge transmission risk.

Been Pierced? Keep Your Blood to Yourself

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel voted on Thursday to continue a policy that requires people who have been pierced or tattooed to put off donating blood for a year after the procedure.

Controlling PI Resistance Like a Switch

One specific gene in a person's body could literally be a drug-resistance switch -- it may turn on and off a person's ability to develop resistance to some protease inhibitors. GMHC Treatment Issues reports.

How Do Proteins Cause Drug Resistance?

Proteins for dummies: GMHC Treatment Issues provides a primer on how proteins work in the body -- and in HIV -- and how mutations can cause drug resistance.

Concerns at the Mexican Border

Health officials in California and Mexico have detected "alarming" increases in HIV infections among gay and bisexual Latino men moving across the border.

Microbicides Are Everywhere

Or, rather, they're not, but a growing number of people want them to be: Bill Gates has even committed to spending a fortune to speed their development. What's all the fuss about, you ask? Many believe microbicides are the prevention tool for the future. Read on to find out more.

The Latest on HIV in Prison

One U.S. state found that one-third of people who tested positive for HIV between 1989 and 1999 were tested at the state prison. The Centers for Disease Control looks at HIV testing and counseling in the criminal justice system.

Did you know that imprisoned women have higher rates of HIV infection than imprisoned men? Read more facts about HIV and women in prison, from the CDC.

Keeping Healthcare Workers Safe

Take a look at post-exposure prophylaxis recommendations for healthcare workers, in handy chart form, courtesy of HEPP News.

It seems healthcare workers in correctional facilities are often at danger for contracting infectious diseases, but don't do enough to protect themselves. Michelle Gaseau of The Corrections Connection talks about the risks of correctional healthcare and how they can be reduced.

Overview of HIV Treatment Strategies

Treatment advocate and activist Matt Sharp looks back at AIDS treatment over the past 20 years and details possible future treatments, from Positively Aware.

Diet & Exercise Can Fight Lipodystrophy

Although much about lipodystrophy is not known, growing evidence shows that exercise and a change of diet can help. Read this handy little fact sheet from The Center for AIDS for more information.

Eleven Vaccines and Counting

HEPP News provides a quick look at the AIDS vaccines currently in development.

Quick Look at AIDS-Related Cancers

HIV-positive people -- and especially those with AIDS -- are at a greater risk for developing several types of cancer. This fact sheet from The Center for AIDS provides the lowdown.

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

California Is Tightening Rules on HIV Care
HIV patients receiving managed care will be referred to certified HIV specialists
From The New York Times (March 19, 2002) -- Free registration required to read article

Condoms Stay Under Wraps in Schools
Some Maryland schools are wary of condom demonstrations
From Washington Post (March 18, 2002)

HIV Epidemic Blamed on Flies
Some scientists suggest that blood-sucking flies may have been to blame for the HIV epidemic being unleashed on humans
From BBC (March 14, 2002)

Abstinence Only vs. Comprehensive Sex Education (286K Microsoft Word Document)
What are the arguments? What is the evidence?
From AIDS Policy Research Center and Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (March 2002)

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