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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

May 7, 2003

Iraq's Brutal Treatment of AIDS Patients

With the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq, physicians in the country have begun to divulge details of the brutal manner in which AIDS patients were handled. The government (which never acknowledged that the country had an AIDS problem) completely isolated AIDS patients in secret locations, quarantined their families, and permitted no one to see the patients' remains after they died.

The Body Pro: Your Home for CME/CE Credit

Attention U.S. healthcare professionals: Free AMA PRA category 1 and Nursing Continuing Education credit is now available at The Body Pro, The Body's sister site for HIV healthcare professionals! Visit The Body Pro's CME/CE Central to learn more. (Quick, free registration at The Body Pro is needed to view this page.)

Does HAART Hurt Your Heart or Not? Nobody's Sure Yet

If you're confused about whether HAART causes heart problems, you're not alone: HIV researchers are, too. There's a lot of conflicting information out there, as this summary from GMHC shows, and it'll be a while yet before researchers can say anything for certain.

Sponsored Resource: New Anemia Resource Center

Feeling tired or sluggish lately? Perhaps you have anemia, a lack of oxygen in the blood common to many people with HIV. Visit the Anemia Resource Center for a wide range of useful tools that can help you determine whether you might have anemia -- and if you do, how you can make sense of your blood tests and manage this treatable illness.

¿Hable Español? Spanish-speaking HIVers can also use our Centro de Recursos de Anemia for Spanish versions of the tools mentioned above.

Alcohol, Drugs and HIV Meds: Which Combos Are Dangerous?

OK, you've heard plenty about how taking recreational drugs or drinking alcohol while you're on HIV meds can be dangerous to your health. But what specific combinations of meds and drugs have been proven to be risky, and what can they do to you? This "Risky Cocktails" chart from AIDS Survival Project has many of the answers.

Starting Treatment: What it Was Like

Deciding whether or not to go on anti-HIV drugs can bring up complex emotions. In this short article, four PositiveWords board members discuss what this decision was like for them.

Why Can't We Protest AIDS the Way We Protest War?

"Tell me, was there ever a time that over 100,000 people took to the streets of New York to say 'No more AIDS?' That's how many were in the streets on Saturday, the 22nd of March, to say 'No war.'" Jim Pickett contrasts the war on AIDS with the anti-war rallies in New York and Chicago.

Tenofovir Linked to Risk of Kidney Damage

Compared to most antiretrovirals, tenofovir has been found to have few side effects. Recently, however, Vancouver researchers found that tenofovir users were about three times more likely than abacavir users to develop higher-than-normal levels of creatinine in their blood, which is indicative of kidney damage.

U.S. Global AIDS Relief Bill Slogs Through Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation pledging $15 billion over the next five years to fight AIDS overseas, directed mainly at programs for Africa and the Caribbean. The final bill was supported by President Bush, even though it contained few of the measures conservative politicians pushed for. The bill now moves along to the Senate, where another ideological fight is expected.

Outlining some of the reasons that this bill's passage has been such a hot-button issue, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) expressed its mixed support and disappointment in the current legislation.

Meet the Global AIDS Fighters

"Our friends, colleagues, and brothers and sisters from around the world are dying senselessly, but we are doing something about it." International AIDS advocate Andy Quan talks about the Global AIDS Fund and the people who are working tirelessly to push for worldwide access to HIV treatment.

Meanwhile, AIDS Funding Vanishes on the Home Front

While the U.S.'s $15 billion global AIDS funding bill makes its way through Congress, AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) here in the U.S. are in dire straits. The California ADAP, for instance, may have to reduce its number of covered drugs and start a waiting list for new enrollees, thanks to rising drug costs and the state's $34.6 billion budget deficit.

Bill Seeks to Make More HIVers Eligible for Medicaid

Medicaid benefits can help low-income HIVers in the U.S. pay for their expensive HIV meds, but many people can't receive those benefits because the government doesn't officially consider them "disabled." The Early Treatment Act for HIV is looking to change all that; read this article to find out how.

New Visual AIDS Web Gallery Ventures Into Fantasy

In this month's intriguing Visual AIDS Web Gallery: artists with HIV give their unique take on animals, costumes and fantasy.

How Can You Get Your Cholesterol Down?

Increases in blood cholesterol are becoming more common in people taking anti-HIV medication. Dietitian Margaret A. Davis offers tips for lowering your cholesterol, in PositiveWords.

Could People With AIDS Be Protected From SARS?

Doctors at a Chinese hospital are baffled as to why several dozen AIDS patients didn't develop severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), even though they were being treated on the same floor as SARS patients. Both the AIDS and SARS patients were tended to by the same healthcare workers -- some of whom eventually developed SARS themselves.

New York City: Updated HIV/AIDS Numbers

The numbers are in, and they're not pretty: as of March 31, 2002, more than 76,000 New Yorkers -- the vast majority of them black or Hispanic -- were known to be living with HIV, and 25,000 more are believed to have HIV and not even know it. Read this article for a rundown of the latest HIV/AIDS statistics for New York City.

AIDS Drastically Shortens Zambian Lives

In Zambia, where an estimated 20 percent of adults are infected with HIV, average life expectancy has dipped from 44 to 33 in the past decade.

Syphilis Infections Up Sharply for Gay New Yorkers

New York City's health department is predicting that the current syphilis outbreak among gay and bisexual men will continue through 2003 and might even accelerate by the end of the year.

Web Highlights

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

AIDS Help: House's Moral Restrictions Limit Funds' Effectiveness
A Detroit newspaper urges the U.S. Senate to "just say no" to conservative amendments to the global AIDS funding bill
From Detroit Free Press (May 6, 2003)

Ph.D. Takes Fall to Addiction
The use of crystal meth in the gay community is starkly highlighted in this profile of an addict who's also a Ph.D. graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
From San Francisco Chronicle (May 5, 2003)

HIV "Hijacks Immune System"
Researchers learn more about how HIV uses the body's own defenses to help it proliferate
From BBC News (May 2, 2003)

Total Joint Arthroplasty in HIV-Positive Patients: An Alarming Rate of Early Failure
An unexpectedly high rate of complications was found after knee and hip replacements in people with HIV
From Journal of Arthroplasty (April 2003)


Last week's update included mention of an article from AIDS Survival Project in which the author wrote about his experience at an AIDS conference. The article's author was given as Dan Durable, instead of Dan Dunable. The Body regrets this error.
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