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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

October 1, 2003

Visual AIDS Explores Eroticism in Art

"What makes a piece of art erotic?" Curators Durk Dehner and SHARP explore this scintillating question in October's evocative Visual AIDS Web Gallery.

Are Flu Shots Safe for People With HIV?

That chill those of you in the Northern Hemisphere may feel in the air can mean only one thing: Flu season is coming! If you have HIV and are worried about the effect flu shots could have on your immune system, read these reassuring words from The Body's experts.

For more information on flu vaccines for people with HIV, read through The Body's collection of articles.

Men: HIV Doesn't Have to Keep You From Having a Baby

Are you an HIV-positive man who wants to have a child with a negative woman? You'll probably need a doctor's help. However, there are laws in a few states making it illegal for any tissue (including sperm) to be donated from an HIV-positive person. This prevents many couples from taking advantage of reproductive technology. Enid Vázquez from Positively Aware summarizes everything we know to date about this issue.

For those determined HIV-positive men wanting a child with a negative woman, sperm washing is the way to go. Click here for the complete lowdown from Enid Vázquez at Chicago's Positively Aware.

How HIV/AIDS Became a Crisis in the U.S. South

While the South represents only slightly more than one-third of the U.S. population, it accounts for 40 percent of people who have AIDS and 46 percent of new HIV diagnoses. The South has become the epicenter for the epidemic in the U.S., particularly among women. For the sad story of why this is happening, click here.

Jim Pickett: DHIVA by Default

"Eight years ago in August I tested positive. If you had told me then that my name would be so closely linked to this vile and disgusting disease, I would have said, 'Uh, you got the wrong queen, missy.' I'm still the wrong queen, but now I'm an HIV/AIDS diva too. As in, DHIVA, as in, you can't spell DIVA without HIV." Jim Pickett writes about his reluctant ascent toward a leadership role in the fight against HIV.

Could Rapid HIV Testing Overburden U.S. Health Care?

How would the U.S. AIDS Drug Assistance Programs handle a large influx of new HIV/AIDS patients if the Centers for Disease Control succeeds in significantly increasing HIV testing rates with rapid testing? Considering estimates that 200,000-300,000 persons in the U.S. are HIV positive and do not know it, more people diagnosed with HIV means trouble for already overburdened states.

Be a Part of Postcards From the Edge

It's art on an index card, and it wants you to take it home! Visual AIDS' sixth annual Postcards From the Edge benefit takes place next month in New York City, and you're invited to take part in this truly unique and exciting event. Click here to find out more about how you can donate your artwork to the benefit or attend next month's exhibit.

Vitamin C May Interact With Protease Inhibitors

A huge number of people with HIV take vitamin C supplements to boost their immune systems, but a small pilot study warns about a possible downside: Vitamin C, when taken in high doses, might also reduce the effectiveness of protease inhibitors.

Beating HIV and Cancer -- Again, and Again, and Again

HIV isn't all L. Joel Martinez has had to grapple with since he was infected in the 1980s: He's also been diagnosed with four different types of cancer in the past 13 years. Click here to read his remarkable story of survival.

Cancer Scans Can Also Measure HIV Progression

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans may be able to track the progression of HIV and could lead to new treatment options and to the development of the next generation of AIDS drugs, according to two recent studies.

The Body: Your Home for ICAAC 2003 Research

Still looking for details on the important research presented at last month's major HIV/AIDS conference? For thorough summaries of dozens of ICAAC 2003 presentations, written by top medical faculty, The Body is the place to be!

San Francisco: Syphilis Spreads, Especially Among HIVers

San Francisco's syphilis epidemic continues to spread: The city expects 750 new cases by the end of the year, which represents a 50 percent increase since 2002. About two-thirds of the new cases affect HIV-positive people, officials say.

Web Highlights

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

Chinese Herb Blocks Chemokine Receptor, May Have Anti-HIV Effect
Intriguing findings on shikonin, a traditional Chinese medicinal herb
From Reuters Health (September 29, 2003)

Further Case Report of Lactic Acidosis Linked to Tenofovir/ddI
Doctors in Spain appear to have discovered the first case of tenofovir potentially causing extremely high levels of lactic acid; the patient who developed the illness died
From (September 29, 2003)

Bearer of Bad News
Rapid HIV testing may mean it takes less time to receive results, but it also means there's less time to emotionally prepare for them. That new reality is tough both on the newly diagnosed and on the people who have to break the news
From The New York Times Magazine (free registration required) (September 28, 2003)

"This Proves Mbeki Is an AIDS Dissident"
(In yet another impressive display of his ignorance about HIV, the president of South Africa, where over five million people have the virus, says he doesn't know anybody who has died of AIDS
From The Daily News, Zambia (September 26, 2003)

U.S. Anti-Abortion Rule Backfires
President George W. Bush's anti-abortion policy is having serious health repercussions in poor countries, according to a new report by the Planned Parenthood Federation
From Radio Netherlands (September 25, 2003)

Association Between Protease Inhibitor Use and Increased Cardiovascular Risk in Patients Infected With Human Immunodeficiency Virus: A Systematic Review
Increasingly, evidence shows that use of protease inhibitors involves balancing their benefit in fighting HIV against their risk of contributing to cardivascular disease, especially for those already in danger of developing heart problems
From Clinical Infectious Diseases (September 12, 2003)

When to Begin Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy? Evidence Supporting Initiation of Therapy at CD4+ Lymphocyte Counts <350 Cells
A study finds a slight increase in health risk when an HIV-positive person's CD4 count is between 200 and 350
From Clinical Infectious Diseases (September 12, 2003)
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