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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

June 18, 2003

Helping Poor Countries Develop: The Key to Defeating AIDS

The world is becoming more and more aware that there's a massive HIV/AIDS tragedy unfolding in many developing countries, and that something needs to be done about it as soon as possible. We're a long way, though, from accepting what it'll really take to beat this disease: helping developing countries to actually develop, according to this analysis from IAPAC.

CDC Threatens Controversial HIV Program

On Friday, the Bush administration ordered San Francisco's STOP AIDS Project to immediately halt several explicit programs that "appear to encourage or promote sexual activity" or risk losing as much as $500,000 a year in federal grants. The order came only months after a CDC investigation found that the programs didn't violate any federal guidelines.

Your HIV Questions Answered, FREE!

Ever wish you could ask an HIV specialist a question anytime you wanted, anonymously and from the privacy of your home? Wish no longer! At the Body's "Ask the Experts" forums, you can ask whatever's on your mind, and one of our top HIV health professionals will answer -- free of charge! You can also search through our massive archive of previously asked questions on everything from starting treatment to mental health to having a baby when you're HIV positive. Visit now and get your HIV-related questions answered!

Got a question specifically about starting HIV treatment? Meet Dr. Gerald Pierone, Jr., our newest expert and the founder of an AIDS research and treatment center in Fort Pierce, Fla. He joins Drs. David Wohl and Ben Young to provide you with the answers to your treatment questions!

HIV Testing Has Never Been Easier

Worried you might be infected with HIV but haven't been tested? June 27 is HIV Testing Day in the U.S., and you now have a lot of options! There are free, anonymous clinics in many cities in the U.S., Canada and other countries. An increasing number of clinics even allow you to get your HIV test results within half an hour!

If you're reluctant (or unable) to go to a clinic, doctor's office or hospital for your HIV test, there's always the option of getting a home test. In this "Ask the Experts" forum post, social worker Ryan Kull answers a question about Home Access, the only home HIV test approved for private use in the U.S.

Helping Your Immune System Fight HIV

While we have nearly 20 antiretroviral drugs that attack HIV replication, we have no approved therapies directed at the immune system. But the hunt continues: Positively Aware takes a look at research on immune-based therapies from this year's Retrovirus Conference.

Life With HIV: It's About More Than Just the Meds

If you suspect a substance abuse or mental health issue is preventing you from taking your medications correctly, get help! Addressing these issues will not only make it more likely that you will be adherent to your HIV medications, it could improve your overall quality of life as well.

A Big, Hairy Twist on an HIV/AIDS Fundraiser

Here's a unique idea for a fundraiser! New York's Visual AIDS is hosting its annual benefit: "A Big Hairy Deal." Top professional hair and makeup stylists will provide makeovers, raffles will offer everything from a weekend stay at the four-star Maritime Hotel to a LUUUUV Basket from Astroglide, and live music will keep the bar hopping till 1 a.m.

How Lipids Affect Your Body, and Your Health

You've heard of lipodystrophy before, but how about hyperlipidemia? Unlike lipodystrophy -- which has visible symptoms, like changes in body shape -- hyperlipidemia is more subtle and perhaps more dangerous because of its impact on your cardiovascular health. Dr. Ben Young discusses both HIV-related illnesses in this article from STEP Perspective.

Riveting AIDS Documentary Featured on Cable TV

"Pandemic: Facing AIDS," a five-part documentary exploring the global HIV/AIDS crisis, premiered on HBO this past Sunday, and will continue for the next three weeks. This film by Rory Kennedy follows the lives of individuals dealing with HIV in Brazil, India, Russia, Thailand and Uganda. Click here for a brief review.

The New York Times recently reviewed this documentary: "It's impossible to be unmoved by these and other glimpses it offers of human beings faced with such unbearable and, alas, all too avoidable loss."

Want to visit the Web site for this critically acclaimed documentary? Click on the link here.

WORLD: Making Life Better for HIV-Positive Women

Meet WORLD, a terrific California-based organization founded by Rebecca Denison soon after she was diagnosed with HIV in 1983. It has been helping women with HIV live and cope with the disease for more than 13 years. WORLD, and many other small AIDS service organizations like it, need your help to stay afloat!

Want to learn more about Rebecca Denison and WORLD? Click here to read Rebecca's story, and how she was inspired to do something about the frightening lack of assistance provided to women with HIV in the epidemic's early days.

A Catch-22 in Africa: Why Many Don't Get Meds

The U.S. government and drug companies often don't cover the cost of HIV meds used for studies in Africa, though they normally provide them for free when used in U.S. studies. The reason: The drugs are too expensive for African healthcare providers to continue giving them to patients after the studies end. The result: Ironically, those studies often never begin, and nobody gets the meds at all.

Clinton Promises Treatment for 700,000 in Developing World

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said he hopes to use his foundation to treat at least 700,000 AIDS patients in Africa and the Caribbean during the next five years.

Evangelicals Take to Streets to Fight HIV

Evangelical Christians fanned out across Capitol Hill on June 12 to lobby for full funding of President Bush's five-year, $15 billion program to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean.

Treatment for Neutropenia

Some people taking AZT (zidovudine, Retrovir) -- or who are on medications for CMV, Kaposi's sarcoma or hepatitis C -- develop neutropenia, a rare blood disorder. To treat it they may be prescribed filgrastim (brand name: Neupogen). Click here to learn more about how filgrastim works.

Web Highlights

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

Updated Recommendations for Use of Antiretrovirals in Pregnant HIV-Infected Women
Recently revised by the U.S. Public Health Service Task Force
Recommendations posted on AIDSinfo (June 16, 2003)

AIDS Still Taboo for Many Blacks
Secrecy continues to hamper efforts to fight the spread of HIV among African Americans
From San Francisco Chronicle (June 16, 2003)

Genes Hint at HIV Genesis
More information on the new theory that humans first got HIV by eating chimps, who first got it by eating monkeys
From Nature (June 13, 2003)

Safety and Toxicity of Individual Antiretroviral Agents in Pregnancy: NRTIs
Newly updated clinical guidelines from the U.S. National Institutes of Health
Guidelines posted on AIDSinfo (May 23, 2003)

Multicenter Study of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Related Germ Cell Tumors
Testicular seminoma -- a type of cancer -- is more than five times more likely to develop in HIV-positive men than HIV-negative men
From Journal of Clinical Oncology (May 15, 2003)

Progress in Pharmacology and Drug Interactions From the 10th CROI
A review of recent research on the activity of several different antiretrovirals
From The Hopkins HIV Report (May 2003)

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