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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

August 20, 2003

After Years of Treatment, a Welcome (if Brief) Break

When Jim Pickett's doctor offered him a respite from years of HIV treatment (and the intolerable diarrhea it brought), it was like a gift from heaven. "[I] was so happy I wanted to cry, marry him, and snap the neck of a virgin chicken in his honor," Jim writes. "Hail Fine Doctor! Doctor Is Good! Long Live Doctor!"

African AIDS Orphans: The Most Tragic Story of All

"Almost without exception, children orphaned by AIDS are marginalized, stigmatized, malnourished, uneducated, and psychologically damaged. ... They deal with the most trauma, face the most dangerous threats and have the least protections. And because of all this, they too are very likely to become HIV-positive." UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy discusses African AIDS orphans in this fascinating article from Positively Aware.

Marijuana Use May Not Worsen HIV

Short-term use of marijuana or dronabinol (Marinol, a cannabinoid capsule) does not accelerate HIV infection by lowering CD4 T-cell counts or increasing viral loads and does not hinder treatment with protease inhibitors, according to a newly released study.

When All Else Fails ... T-20?

Former police officer Greg Braxton hasn't had a T-cell count of more than 20 cells/mm3 in the last 10 years. Finally off of drugs and alcohol, he never expected to see his kids grow up but he recently became a grandfather. He has now started taking T-20 (Fuzeon) and is hoping for the best.

A Different Perspective on HIV Treatment

Though most people -- and all HIV experts -- would not agree with his views, Devan Nambiar has decided against taking meds and doesn't even monitor his CD4 count and viral load. "When the need arises, I'll go back to getting my blood work done and taking meds," he says. In the meantime, he's devoted his life (ironically enough) to helping people in southern India get the HIV meds they need.

Don't Forget About The Body's IAS 2003 Coverage!

Still don't know what the most important research presented at the International AIDS Society conference was? We asked our experts to summarize the highlights of the conference. Click here to read what they had to say.

For detailed expert summaries of more than 50 different conference presentations, The Body is the place to be! Visit our main page for thorough coverage of the 2nd International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment. Browse our coverage by topic, use our keyword search or read through all our coverage using our comprehensive index.

Getting Back to Work After a Disability Leave

Have you been out on disability and now feel ready to re-enter the workforce? Here are some tips from PositiveWords to make re-entry easier.

HIV/AIDS Cases on the Rise in U.S.

A sharp increase in new cases of HIV infection, and the first rise in new AIDS cases in a decade, are causing concern among health officials in the U.S.

Extensive U.S. HIV/AIDS Statistics

If you're looking for detailed statistics on people living with HIV or AIDS in the U.S., look no further: Click here for a breakdown of HIV/AIDS statistics by sex, age, ethnicity, location and other categories.

Do You Work for an HIV-Related Organization?

AIDS Community Research Initiative of America is collaborating with researchers from Indiana University on a study of issues facing people who work or volunteer for HIV organizations. If you work in an HIV prevention or HIV care program, we invite you to participate in this study.

Abstinence Education Not Enough to Prevent HIV

"Teaching abstinence is good," says Charles W. Martin, the Executive Director of the Julius Adams AIDS Task Force, "but we should also teach our children how to protect themselves if they are engaging in sex. To do this is not condoning sex. It is condoning life." He writes about the shame and ignorance surrounding AIDS in black America.

Web Highlights

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

Major Risk Factors as Antecedents of Fatal and Nonfatal Coronary Heart Disease Events
Still smoking cigarettes? A massive U.S. study of HIV-negative people finds that deaths related to heart disease almost never occur without cause. Although the HIV-heart disease connection is still unproven, that means traditional risk factors are still very much a cause for concern
From Journal of the American Medical Association (August 20, 2003)

Over a Third of Syphilis Cases in Manchester Involve HIV-Positive Gay Men and Oral Sex Key to Spread
Only 7 percent of men used a condom for oral sex, even though 61 percent said they were aware they could get syphillis by not using protection
From (August 19, 2003)

China Meets AIDS Crisis With Force
Police, not physicians, answer villagers' pleas for help
From The Washington Post (August 17, 2003)

In HIV Patients With Lipoatrophy, Antioxidants Lead to Only Modest Improvement in LDL Cholesterol
Prescriptions of vitamin E, vitamin C and N-acetyl cysteine have little effect on fat loss, according to this very small U.S. study
Article from (August 15, 2003)

Mandela Joy at AIDS Decision
Former South African President Nelson Mandela joins millions throughout South Africa in celebrating the government's long-awaited decision to provide HIV meds to its citizens
From Sunday Times, Zambia (August 10, 2003)

Mental Health AIDS (PDF)
The latest edition of this quarterly newsletter features research updates on HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment from a mental health perspective
From AIDS Education and Training Centers National Resource Center (Summer 2003)

HIV Surveillance and Epidemiology Program: 2nd Quarter Report (PDF)
Wondering how many people in New York City have HIV/AIDS and in which neighborhoods they live? This publication has it all
From New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (April 1, 2003)

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