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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

August 13, 2003

Heart Disease Survey: Be a Part of HIV Research!

Do you have HIV? Take this five-minute survey on the risk of heart disease for people with HIV! [Editor's note: This survey has since concluded.] Help researchers determine the best way to educate others with HIV about how to keep their hearts healthy! This survey comes to us from the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care, which seeks to improve health care for people with HIV/AIDS throughout the world.

Taking the "Naive" Out of Treatment-Naive

"I was treatment naive, meaning that I had never taken any anti-HIV medication -- and I was certainly naive about treatment," says Christopher Murray, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1990. Over the last eight years he's learned a lot about different drug regimens -- and a lot about how to come to terms with his HIV status.

Nelfinavir-Related Diarrhea Treatment Appears Promising

People with diarrhea who are taking nelfinavir (Viracept) may be able to ease their symptoms with a combination of dietary changes, fiber supplements and higher-than-normal doses of calcium, according to a recent study.

The Body: Your Home for IAS 2003 Coverage

Looking for detailed summaries of research presented at last month's International AIDS Society conference? The Body is the place to be: Our medical experts have provided analyses of 55 different studies, including of some of the year's most important research!

Healthcare professionals, don't forget to check out The Body Pro for even more IAS 2003 coverage -- including a review of the conference's highlights and a PDF of all our coverage for easy offline reference!

HIV Testing in Church

More than 10 churches in Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo, N.Y., recently participated in a statewide program designed to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in the African-American community by offering free HIV testing during church hours.

Hepatitis C Coinfection May Reduce HAART Success

Researchers in Vancouver, British Columbia, have discovered that coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) may somehow weaken the immune system's ability to rebuild itself despite the use of HAART.

Fighting HIV Discrimination in the U.S.

Arguing that Cirque du Soleil violated state and federal laws by denying a highly qualified gymnast an integral part in its "Mystere" show this spring, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a federal discrimination complaint against the company.

Lambda has also announced it will file a complaint against six Louisiana nursing homes, which the organization says have violated federal law by refusing to care for a stroke victim because he also has HIV.

Health Care 101: Finding the Help You Need

It can be a dizzying experience, trying to make sense of all the various ways a person with HIV in the U.S. can get help paying for health care and treatment. In this detailed but easy-to-read overview, Project Inform explains the basics of Medicaid, Medicare, Ryan White and other types of healthcare assistance.

South Africa Says It Will Give Its People HAART

With nearly five million people in South Africa already HIV positive, President Thabo Mbeki's government has finally announced plans to create a national program to provide antiretroviral drugs to its citizens.

Several U.S. newspapers have reacted to the big news from South Africa: The Washington Post, for instance, welcomes the announcement, but warns that the government has a lot of work ahead to make a workable treatment program a reality.

Drug Maker Issues Warning on Atazanavir/Tenofovir Combo

Physicians should use caution when prescribing unboosted atazanavir (Reyataz) with tenofovir (Viread), according to a statement from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). BMS warns that ongoing studies have shown decreased blood concentrations of atazanavir when combined with tenofovir, and thus recommends boosting atazanavir with 100 mg ritonavir (Norvir) in this situation.

"Alternative" Therapy Research: Still So Far to Go

In the past decade, extremely little research has been done on "alternative" treatments for HIV/AIDS -- that is, treatments that don't rely on antiretrovirals. Jon Greenberg, a prominent advocate of alternative and complementary HIV treatments in the early '90s, once wrote that U.S. researchers shouldn't be so afraid to learn more about them. Apart from Greenberg's death from AIDS in 1993, the alternative treatment scene doesn't seem to have changed much since.

The problem with herbal and nutritional treatments for HIV and hepatitis is that few have been through clinical trials, so we actually know little about how well they work and how best they can be used. The Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research (FIAR) is a nonprofit organization created to spur interest in clinical trials of herbal and nutritional HIV and hepatitis treatments. It's had some successes; click here to learn more about FIAR's latest efforts.

Experts Discuss Uses of Atazanavir

Ever wonder what goes on during one of the meetings in which doctors decide whether an HIV drug should be approved in the U.S.? Gay Men's Health Crisis brings you a partial transcript of the Food and Drug Administration's committee meeting on atazanavir (Reyataz) in May, weeks before the drug won final approval.

Most Women Don't Know What HPV Is

A recent survey in London showed that most women are unaware that human papillomavirus (HPV) exists, much less that it's the main cause of cervical cancer. Many women also don't know that birth control pills offer no protection against HPV.

Newsletter on HIV, Other Health Issues in U.S. Prisons

Interested in learning more about HIV and hepatitis in the U.S. prison system? Consider signing up for Prison Health News, a newly published free newsletter for prisoners, their family members and prison medical staff.

Web Highlights

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

A Generation Orphaned by AIDS
In Kenya, the responsibilities of work and family are being passed to a new type of family: One led entirely by children left behind after their parents die from AIDS
From The Washington Post (August 13, 2003)

Overcoming the False Dichotomy of Curative vs. Palliative Care for Late-Stage HIV/AIDS
As people with advanced AIDS survive longer, their need for care increases, as does their need for psychosocial, family and care planning support
From Journal of the American Medical Association (August 13, 2003)

Women Experience Slight but Significant Increase in HIV Viral Load in 18 Months After Giving Birth
A study raises concerns that HIV disease in women may accelerate in the months after their babies are born
From aidsmap.com (August 11, 2003)

India Teaches the Kama Sutra to Combat HIV
A new program trains sex workers on how to pleasure their clients -- safely
From Sapa-DPA (August 7, 2003)

Higher Than Recommended Dose of Nevirapine Needed for HIV Suppression in Children
Nevirapine is safe in kids, a British study says, but the current recommended dose isn't strong enough to be fully effective
From aidsmap.com (August 6, 2003)

HIV/AIDS Obstetrics: No Increase in Complication Risk During Caesarean Section
Having HIV doesn't make C-sections any more dangerous, researchers in Thailand say
From AIDS Weekly (July 7, 2003)

  
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