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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

September 3, 2003

HIVers in U.S. Die as ADAP Waiting Lists Grow

Three HIV-positive people in West Virginia have now died while waiting to receive free antiretroviral drugs through the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), which stopped taking new patients nearly seven months ago. Fourteen people remain on the program's waiting list.

Import of Generic Drugs Finally Legalized for Poor Countries

After months of wrangling, the World Trade Organization has agreed to allow developing countries to import generic versions of patented medicines without violating patent rights. National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" reports.

To read a recap of this historic agreement, click here.

How Did HIV Treatment Get So Expensive?

Sure, HAART has saved thousands of American lives over the past few years. But what about the people who don't have access to HIV medications? The cost of HIV treatment is rising, but the U.S. government isn't helping offset it, and low-income HIVers are caught in the middle -- and some are now dying as a result. How did things get this bad? Treatment expert Bob Huff explains.

HIV Prevention Update

The U.S.'s biggest HIV prevention conference of the year took place in Atlanta this summer, and there was plenty to talk about. Social worker Mary Lynn Hemphill provides a recap of the latest in prevention research.

Wait Six Months Before Switching Treatment, Researchers Say

It takes at least six months after a person begins HAART to determine whether the regimen he or she is on is really working, researchers say. A new study has found that a person's risk of HIV progression while on a certain drug regimen can be much more accurately determined after half a year of observation.

Was Iraq a Greater Threat Than AIDS in Africa?

Georgia AIDS educator David Salyer has a question: Why will it take the U.S. five years to spend $15 billion on AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean? "We spent twice that in one month invading Iraq and bombing it back to rubble," he says.

Vitamins May Not Help People With Lipodystrophy

Once again we are discovering that even vitamins may not be safe for people with HIV. A pilot study of two women and eight men with HIV-related lipodystrophy revealed that although antioxidants appear to improve cholesterol levels and midriff weight gain, they may have a negative impact on blood sugar levels.

California to FDA, Condom Makers: Stop Using Nonoxynol-9

Recent studies published by many respected journals have concluded that the spermicide nonoxynol-9, which is still used in some condoms and lubricants, actually increases people's risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. California state lawmakers, HIV/AIDS advocates and women's advocacy groups recently sent this letter to the FDA and to condom/lubricant companies calling for an end to the use of nonoxynol-9.

Why the Rest of Latin America Can't Be Like Brazil

Brazil has received worldwide acclaim for its handling of its HIV/AIDS epidemic, and deservedly so. But the rest of Latin America hasn't been so fortunate, and we can't assume that dealing with the epidemic in those countries is simply a matter of doing what Brazil did. As AIDS and human rights advocate Richard Stern writes, the situation is more complex than that.

Slumping Economy, T-20's High Price Means Many Go Without

Thousands of T-20 (Fuzeon) doses leave the manufacturing plant each month, headed for clinics worldwide. But many HIVers who are resistant to older drugs go without T-20 because it is too expensive. The slumping economy has drained U.S. government-funded drug assistance programs and, though most private insurers cover T-20, they often cover only part of the cost.

Developing an HIV Program at Your Business

The Centers for Disease Control has terrific training tools to educate people about how HIV can impact the workplace. Their manager's kit includes all the resources businesses need to build comprehensive HIV/AIDS workplace programs.

The kit is also available in Spanish.

Web Highlights

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

Two Rare Cases of Family HIV Transmission Between Adults Reported
In a sobering reminder that HIV can sometimes be acquired via unexpected routes, Australia has reported two cases in which people have apparently been infected by family members -- one potentially through sharing a razor, the other through possible contact with psoriasis lesions
From (August 29, 2003)

Feeling Positive "Boosts Survival Chance for HIV Patients"
A study links feelings of hope, happiness and enjoyment with a lower risk of dying from AIDS among men with HIV
From (August 28, 2003)

To read the abstract of the original study on which the above article is based, click here.

Bone Thinning in HIV Patients Not Tied to Therapy
No particular drug class is more or less likely than another to cause bone thinning, a study finds -- though the disorder does appear linked to being HIV positive
From Reuters (August 27, 2003)
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