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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

August 6, 2003

Emerging HIV Medications

So many HIV drugs are in development this summer -- 44 of them, to be exact -- that it takes effort just to figure out which most deserve to be talked about. The editors of TAGline, though, have whittled those 44 down to seven top prospects.

A Treatment Holiday Changed His Life

Eric Goldman's two-year holiday from HIV meds has given him a whole new perspective on HIV treatment. When he starts HAART again, he says, "I know that I won't be relying solely on the meds to fight the disease -- I'll have all the resources I've developed over the past twenty-one months to support me. Including the knowledge that my treatment is my choice."

Has U.S. Culture Made it OK for Gay Men to Get HIV?

"In our effort to remove the stigma of having AIDS, have we created a culture of disease?" award-winning gay actor Harvey Fierstein asks in a New York Times opinion piece. His thoughts highlight a growing debate within the gay community over whether HIV prevention and treatment messages need to be rethought because of the sharp increase in new infections.

Coping With Sustiva's Side Effects

One of the most popular antiretrovirals today is the NNRTI efavirenz (Sustiva). The drug's appeal comes not only from how well it suppresses HIV as part of a HAART combination, but also from the fact that it's one of the easiest meds to take: just one pill, once a day. Like all medications, though, efavirenz has side effects that are sometimes difficult to manage. Here's a list of those side effects and tips on how to deal with them.

Have You Visited The Body's BBS Lately?

Have you checked The Body's bulletin boards lately? Lots of people are posting. Meet new people; share your story. We even have a bulletin board available in Spanish!

When Your Son or Daughter Has AIDS

"I think the one thing I've learned about HIV and AIDS is you've got to cope; you've got to find out what's happening; and you've got to get information. You have to start dealing with it immediately." Betty Stern recounts her HIV-positive son Robert's life and death in the days before effective medications were available. She is the founder of Chicago's Family AIDS Support Network.

American HIVers to Bush: What About Helping Us for a Change?

Although President Bush has been applauded by some AIDS advocates for his efforts to fight the epidemic in Africa, he is also facing criticism for his domestic AIDS policies.

Check Out Visual AIDS' August Web Gallery!

This month's striking Visual AIDS Web Gallery is now live! Browse through 19 thought-provoking photos, sculptures and portraits from Robert Blanchon, an artist whose life was claimed by AIDS in 1999.

Overview of FTC, the Newest Nuke

Last month, FTC (emtricitabine, Emtriva) quietly became the third new antiretroviral to be approved in the U.S. this year. If you're looking for a primer on FTC, this review has the details: What does research currently show about how well FTC works and how safe it is? How will it be prescribed? What aspects of the drug have yet to be studied?

Updated Chart of Approved HIV Meds

Looking for a quick reference on HIV antiretrovirals? This newly updated chart from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes links to FDA approval information and medication labeling for all HIV drugs approved in the U.S.

French Prevention Campaign Turns Paris Landmarks Into Condoms

"Paris is the city of pleasure, fashion and light; it shouldn't be the capital of AIDS, but it is," said Olivier Henry, an advertising agency executive. Displaying frankness unheard of in the U.S., the Mayor of Paris is directing an HIV prevention campaign that features colorful illustrations of condoms on postcards and posters throughout the city.

Most New HIV Infections Still Among Those Under 25

Of the roughly 40,000 estimated new infections last year in the U.S., more than half are thought to be in people younger than 25, with most infections contracted sexually.

HIV Still a Risk Among Injection-Drug Users

Of the 765,559 cumulative AIDS cases diagnosed in the U.S. as of December 2000, a total of 193,527 (25 percent) occurred among injection-drug users (IDUs). For the latest statistics and information on HIV among IDUs, click here.

From AZT-Only to Today: 15 Years of HIV Treatment

Carlton Hogan was one of the first people ever to receive AZT in the late 1980s. A participant in a clinical trial, he was desperate to know whether he'd been given the real drug or a placebo. How could he tell the difference? "I checked out the AZT as though I was testing coke. I put my study med and AZT side by side on a piece of aluminum foil and heated it with a lighter." In this article, Carlton discusses his long treatment history.

Black Men on the "Down Low" in the U.S.

Both the Washington Post and The New York Times recently published articles about black men on the "down low," an expression that describes black men who have sex with men but who never tell their friends, family members or female sex partners. These men rarely use condoms and can act as an "infectious bridge," experts say, spreading HIV to unsuspecting wives and girlfriends.

China Sees First Public Wedding of HIV-Positive Couple

HIV-infected people in China's cities can't legally get jobs if they fail mandatory health tests. In certain parts of China, people with HIV can't even get married, activists say. But Cao Xueliang, 37, and his bride Wang Daiying, 34, recently married in the town of Gongmin, in the southwestern province of Sichuan. They are the first HIV-positive couple to allow the press to cover their wedding.

Canada's Stance on Needles Angers U.S.

In the past year, Canada has shifted its approach to intravenous drug users from punishment to harm reduction. The Dr. Peter Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of the first "safe injection" sites in North America, where drug users legally shoot up under a nurse's supervision. The site's existence has generated a storm of criticism from the Bush Administration's drug policy officials.

Web Highlights

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

Muffling the Left
The Bush Administration is actively seeking to punish social service organizations that challenge the party line on such matters as health care for poor children and HIV prevention, according to a new report
From Village Voice (August 6-12, 2003)

Outrage at New Block on AIDS Drug
South Africa's first national AIDS conference opened with an attack on the government for threatening to restrict the use of nevirapine
From The Guardian (August 4, 2003)

Brothers in Arms
Black and gay in London: Can you be both, or are you forced to choose?
From Positive Nation (July/August 2003)

Baring Our Souls
Two gay British men -- one HIV positive and one HIV negative -- discuss why they've decided to keep using condoms (or "rubbers," as they're called in London)
From Positive Nation (July/August 2003)

South's Politeness Backfires in Face of Disease
Sex advice columnist Michael Alvear asks readers, "Who is the least likely to ask if you have HIV?" The unanimous answer: Southerners
From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (July 25, 2003)

Clinical Characteristics of Kaposi's Sarcoma
A clinical overview and detailed description of Kaposi's sarcoma symptoms
From HIV InSite (July 2003)

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