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July 16, 2003

The Body Covers IAS 2003

Many reports from this important international conference have already come in from The Body's outstanding team of medical experts, and much more will flow in over the upcoming week. Here's a taste of what we have so far:

    Boosted Atazanavir Stands Up to Kaletra
    "These study results were a topic of discussion for many, since all previous studies of atazanavir (Reyataz) were done with it as an unboosted drug, and no one had anticipated its effectiveness being similar to Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) as a result of boosting." Cal Cohen, M.D., reports.

    FTC Compares Well to d4T When Combined With ddI
    The newest antiretroviral on the block, emtricitabine (FTC, Emtriva), looks good in comparison to d4T (stavudine, Zerit) when either is taken in combination with both ddI (didanosine, Videx) and efavirenz (Sustiva). However, more comparisons are needed to really show the strengths and weaknesses of this newly approved medication, reports Paul Sax, M.D.

    Africa: Oral Contraceptives Increase HIV Risk
    In Kenya, a significant association was found between oral contraceptive use and infection with HIV, a rate 50 percent higher than that of women using no contraceptive or surgical sterilization.

    Switching Out d4T Helps Some Reverse Lipoatrophy
    Lipoatrophy (also known as wasting) has been associated with many HIV medications. In this study, a significant number of people with lipoatrophy reported improvement when the d4T (stavudine, Zerit) in their regimens was replaced with either AZT (zidovudine, Retrovir) or abacavir (Ziagen). Paul Sax, M.D., reports.

    Rosiglitazone: Wasting Treatment?
    Rosiglitazone may be effective in increasing body fat in patients with fat wasting. Mark Holodniy, M.D., reports.

    Abacavir/3TC/Tenofovir Fails as Naive Therapy
    In a small study, the combination of abacavir/3TC/tenofovir failed to work in the majority of treatment-naive patients -- 58 percent experienced virologic failure by week eight. Timothy Wilkin, M.D., reports.

    More Evidence Ties Heart Problems to Protease Inhibitors
    Evidence mounts linking cardiovascular complications to the use of protease inhibitors. Gerald Pierone, Jr., M.D., reports on this sizeable study, the latest to analyze the effect of HAART on lipid levels.

    Superinfection More Common Than First Thought
    HIV "superinfection" -- infection with more than one HIV strain in a single person -- may be more common than once believed, a finding that could complicate HIV/AIDS vaccine development.

    Tenofovir Has Better Side-Effect Profile Than d4T
    Results at 96 weeks show tenofovir (Viread) still the winner against d4T (stavudine, Zerit) in the side effect gamble -- especially in regards to mitochondrial problems like peripheral neuropathy, lipodystrophy and lactic acidosis. Paul E. Sax, M.D., reports.

    Importance of Resistance Testing
    Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, a prominent AIDS researcher, emphasized at IAS 2003 that resistance testing was an adjunct to -- not a replacement for -- clinical judgment when making decisions about HIV treatment. Mark Holodniy, M.D., reports.

    Efavirenz-Based Regimens Generally Beat Older PI-Based Regimens
    A study on switching HAART regimens shows that once-daily regimens based on efavirenz (Sustiva) were more effective and more tolerable than most older protease inhibitor-based regimens.

    A Look at Twenty Years of HIV Research
    The quest for knowledge about HIV has been an "extraordinary journey," NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci told scientists Monday.

Remember to visit The Body's IAS 2003 page for the latest developments from the conference, including links to Webcasts and audio/video straight from Paris!

Disspelling the Myths of Global AIDS

So who's right: The people who believe that massive prevention efforts are the way to stop the spread of HIV in the developing world, or those who believe that widespread access to HIV treatment is the best solution? This excerpt from "Global AIDS: Myths and Facts" talks about why prevention-only strategies aren't the answer.

AIDS Researcher Talks About Complementary Therapies

AIDS clinical researcher Donald Abrams has been working in AIDS research since the beginning of the epidemic. He's also one of the few clinicians/researchers open to discussing and encouraging research on alternative and complementary therapies. Read this fascinating interview by Bob Huff in GMHC's Treatment Issues.

Could Disabled People Have a Higher HIV Risk?

Little attention has been given to the risk of HIV infection in people who have a physical, sensory, intellectual or mental health disability. Nora Ellen Groce reveals some disturbing statistics on these individuals, who turn out to be particularly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

The Latest in ADAP, Medicaid, Medicare and Other AIDS Policy Issues

There are plenty of problems with U.S. federal AIDS policy that urgently need attention. AIDS Treatment News briefs us on the government's deteriorating ability to prevent -- and treat -- HIV infection on the home front.

Atazanavir Side Effects, Interactions

The makers of atazanavir (Reyataz) put out a press release last month containing information about the new drug's side effects and interactions with other prescription medications. Click here to read the details.

Web Highlights

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

Paris Conference Hears More Bad News on HCV Coinfection
HIV patients with hepatitis C are more likely to get cirrhosis and liver cancer than people with HIV alone, a study finds
From (July 16, 2003)

Tenth of HIV Cases in a Study in Europe Are Resistant to Drugs
A large study supports evidence that a growing number of newly infected HIVers are already resistant to some antiretrovirals
From The New York Times (free registration required) (July 16, 2003)

AIDS Deaths in the HAART Era Examined at Paris Conference
HIVers are dying less and less from HIV, but more and more from other complications -- like hepatitis C and injection drug use -- often related to the factors that put them at risk for HIV infection
From (July 16, 2003) (July 15, 2003)

Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents (PDF)
Newly updated U.S. rules geared toward helping HIVers and their doctors make the most informed treatment decisions they can
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (July 14, 2003)

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