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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

April 16, 2003

From Their Lips to Your Ears: Audio Webcast Provides Overview of Major HIV Conference

This year's Retrovirus conference took place in February, but the research presented there has only just begun to impact HIV doctors and the people they treat. For the first time ever, The Body now offers a special, exclusive audio Webcast of a conference recap hosted by Search for a Cure. Listen in as two HIV physicians summarize the conference's highlights for those of us who don't have medical degrees.

If you're more of a reader than a listener, The Body provides its own written summary of Search for a Cure's conference recap. Click here to read it!

New Insight on How HIV Is Transmitted

Not all of the research presented at the Retrovirus conference was about scientific mumbo-jumbo; some of it focused on what's known as HIV epidemiology, the study of who gets HIV and how they get it. In this recap, The Body summarizes three interesting studies that shed new light on how some prisoners and gay men pass (or don't pass) HIV on to others.

Despite Dangers, Many Gay Men Still Use N-9

Despite warnings that using the over-the-counter spermicide nonoxynol-9 (N-9) can actually increase a person's HIV risk, a survey of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the San Francisco Bay Area found that 67 percent used N-9 during anal sex within the last year -- and that 41 percent of them didn't use a condom. Although public health warnings have told women to avoid using N-9 because it can irritate the vagina (making it more susceptible to infection), many MSM may not have realized that the same risk applies to the lining of the anus.

Breaking the News to an HIV-Negative Partner

"'So,' I say, 'since you want to know more about me ... there is something very important I want to tell you.' ... You know what came next. And he was silent for a moment, as is the custom, and then he didn't say a word. He just leaned over and kissed me, and he held me, more sweetly than he had ever leaned, kissed or held me prior." Jim Pickett writes brilliantly about mixed-status dating.

Could Viread Prevent HIV, Too?

Viread (tenofovir), one of the most recently approved drugs used to treat HIV infection, may also be an effective tool for preventing transmission of the virus in the first place.

T-20's Long Road to the Pharmacist's Shelf

Did you know that the long road for T-20 (Fuzeon) from development to approval took more than five years? The treatment activists at Gay Men's Health Crisis look back over their archives, and offer up a unique view of T-20's trip through the development pipeline.

U.S. Global AIDS Bill Still Mired in Debate

Nearly three months after President Bush first announced he would spend $15 billion over the next five years to fund the HIV/AIDS battle in the developing world, the U.S. Congress still can't agree on how the money should be spent. Conservative members are even considering writing a completely new proposal that would include tougher language on abortion and condom distribution.

Opportunistic Infections: No Longer AIDS History

Before combination drug therapy (also known as HAART) became available in 1996, AIDS-related opportunistic infections (OIs) such as PCP, cryptosporidiosis or MAC killed the vast majority of people with AIDS. Though OIs happen much less frequently today, a growing number of people are failing their HAART regimens -- and there's a growing concern that a large number of new AIDS-related OIs could result.

The Search for Kaposi's Sarcoma Treatments

Cases of AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) have decreased 90 percent in HIV-positive gay men since the availability of combination antiretroviral therapy. But clinical studies for KS treatments are still ongoing. Dr. Jeffrey T. Schouten explains why in his update on AIDS-related cancers.

Fighting HIV in Castro's World

Partly because of its rocky relationship with the U.S., Cuba's battle with HIV has had its own share of ups and downs. amfAR, the foremost U.S. organization dedicated to supporting HIV/AIDS research, takes a closer look at Cuba's efforts to prevent and treat HIV infection.

Pregnancy, Youth and HIV Up Close

"This month has been hard for me. I delivered the youngest HIV-positive pregnant patient I ever had -- 13 years old -- with the smallest infant I've ever delivered, 15 ounces. The results were good: HIV-negative baby by two PCR tests [viral load]. It's a common story: an older boyfriend. He's 18. He infected her with chlamydia, herpes and HIV all at the same time." Enid Vázquez reports on gynecologist Dr. Patricia Garcia's talk about women and HIV, in Positively Aware.

Why Substance-Using HIVers Should Talk to Their Docs

Are you HIV positive and a substance user? If you're avoiding a talk with your doctor about your substance use, think again. Most doctors are quite aware that some of their patients may be using drugs, and they can advise you about any potential interactions with HIV medications. Click here for more reasons why it's worth the risk to come clean to your doctor.

Don't want to disclose to your doctor? Browse through our extensive collection of articles on the interactions between recreational drugs and HIV medications.

How to Get Help Paying Your Bills

One of the most stressful problems faced by HIV-positive people who can no longer work is figuring out how they will support themselves and cover their bills. Fortunately, in the U.S. there are disability benefits and public entitlement programs that can help. Click here to find out more.

You can also browse through The Body's collection of articles on public assistance programs in the U.S.

HIV Prevention Isn't Just About Safe Sex

Officials at Haymarket Center, Chicago's largest substance abuse treatment agency, don't need studies to realize that HIV prevention can only work if it focuses on substance abuse among men who have sex with men.

For Women, Testosterone and Weight Loss May Be Related

Low testosterone levels may be linked to dangerous weight loss in HIV-positive women, according to Massachusetts General Hospital researchers.

England on Verge of an STD "Crisis"

The number of people contracting sexually transmitted diseases in England is rising so fast that a top strategist is now calling it a "public health crisis." By 2005, 33,930 British people are expected to have HIV, versus 20,800 in 1999. New cases of chlamydia have risen by 73 percent in the past five years.

Web Highlights

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

HIV-Positive IV Drug Users Have Poorer Response to HAART
HIVers currently using injection drugs have lower adherence and are less likely to see their viral load reach an undetectable level
From aidsmap.com (April 15, 2003)

No Higher Risk of Non-AIDS Cancers in Advanced HIV Disease, Says U.S. National Cancer Institute
A study from the pre-HAART era finds that the risk increased only for AIDS-related cancers like Kaposi's sarcoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
From aidsmap.com (April 14, 2003)

Immune-Based Therapy in HIV
A review of presentations from the 10th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
From The Hopkins HIV Report (March 2003)

Treatment of Tuberculosis in the HIV-Infected Patient
A review of presentations from the 10th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections
From The Hopkins HIV Report (March 2003)

  
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