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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

October 15, 2003

FluMist Not Safe for People With HIV

Although flu shots are still safe for HIV-positive people, the FluMist nasal flu vaccine might not be, researchers say. Until they know for sure, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends avoiding the use of FluMist if you are HIV positive or regularly come into contact with HIV-positive people.

Looking for an AIDS Organization Near You?

The Body just got even better! We're pleased to offer the "ASO Finder," a new, searchable listing of U.S. AIDS service organizations (ASOs). Visit our main hotline/organization page to use this new search engine, or browse through our links to ASOs throughout the world!

Catholic Church Says, Wrongly, That HIV Can Pass Through Condoms

Members of the Roman Catholic clergy have ignited controversy worldwide by telling people that condoms are permeable enough to allow HIV to pass through, despite scientific consensus that condoms are effective in preventing HIV transmission.

Today Is Latino AIDS Awareness Day!

The first-ever National Latino AIDS Awareness Day takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 15, and not a moment too soon: One out of every five people with AIDS in the U.S. is Hispanic. Find out more about this important day and how you can be a part of it.

Warning Issued on Triple-NRTI Combinations

The three-NRTI regimen 3TC (lamivudine, Epivir), ddI (didanosine, Videx) and tenofovir (Viread) should not be used in people with HIV, warns Gilead Sciences, Inc., which manufactures tenofovir. Recent studies have also raised doubts about the effectiveness of other triple-NRTI regimens, Gilead notes.

Circumcision Appears to Reduce Risk of HIV Infection

Circumcised male patients had an eight-fold reduction in HIV-1 risk compared to uncircumcised patients in a study of 2,300 men at three sexually transmitted disease clinics in Pune, India.

HIV: Still a Disease of the Young

Every 14 seconds, another young person between the ages of 15 and 24 becomes infected with HIV -- that's about 6,000 new cases every day, according to a United Nations report. Half of the estimated five million new HIV infections worldwide each year occur among this age group, the report says, showing that HIV/AIDS is still a "disease of young people."

Review of HAART Side Effects

Antiretrovirals have saved the lives of tens of thousands of HIV-positive people, but they do carry the risk of long-term side effects. Click here for a quick primer on some of the most common long-term health problems associated with HIV medications.

British Columbia: One in Three Never Get Their Free HIV Care

One-third of British Columbia, Canada residents who died of HIV-related causes never took advantage of the free HIV antiretrovirals and healthcare provided by the provincial government, according to a recent study. Many of those who died without treatment may have found it too difficult to access the care they needed.

Abstinence-Only Education Spreads to New Jersey

Next month, Newark, N.J. public schools plan to roll out a sex education program for ninth graders that will teach only abstinence, without mentioning condoms or other contraception. In Newark, sexually transmitted disease and teenage pregnancy rates are among the highest in the state. Newark's position echoes that of a growing number of school districts nationwide and is supported both financially and philosophically by the Bush administration.

Why Treating Prisoners Is Good for Everyone's Health

Diagnosing and treating sexually transmitted diseases in U.S. prisons can be much more difficult than doing so in the general public, but it's no less essential: If prisoners are released without having been treated, they can quickly infect others.

Is a Failed HIV Vaccine Worth a Second Look?

Could AIDSVAX, the HIV vaccine that failed spectacularly in a late-stage clinical trial early this year, actually work in minorities even though it didn't in whites? Almost certainly not, writes Richard Jefferys of Treatment Action Group -- but the debate over whether it does shows how important it is that more minorities be included in clinical trials.

HIV-Positive Woman Denied Adoption Can Sue State

A U.S. appeals court narrowly ruled that the state of Nebraska and its Department of Social Services could be named as defendants in a lawsuit seeking damages for the state's refusal to allow an HIV-positive woman to adopt a child.

HMO Reverses Course, Allows Transplant for HIVer

The health maintenance organization (HMO) Kaiser Permanente has approved a kidney transplant for an HIV-positive Denver man, reversing an earlier decision. Kaiser previously rejected the transplant on the grounds that the immune-suppressing drugs used after a transplant to prevent rejection would put an HIV-positive person's health at too great a risk.

AZT/Nevirapine Combo Can Help Prevent HIV in Newborns

Doctors at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found that giving nevirapine (Viramune) and AZT (zidovudine, Retrovir) to newborn babies of HIV-positive mothers reduces mother-to-child transmission of the disease by 36 percent. The finding suggests that, when it's not possible to treat a baby while still in the womb (which happens often in resource-limited areas such as the developing world), a post-exposure prophylaxis regimen after birth could work quite well.

Web Highlights

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

"He Played With My Life"
One of the women "deliberately" infected with HIV by Mohammed Dica has said her "sentence has just begun." This week in England, Dica was convicted on two counts of causing "biological" grievous bodily harm.
From BBC News (October 14, 2003)

Never a Lull in a South African's AIDS Battles
Famed South African HIV treatment activist Zachie Achmat has a new lease on life -- and a new sense of guilt -- now that he's started taking antiretrovirals.
From The New York Times (October 14, 2003)

Vatican Position on Condom Use and HIV Scientifically Incorrect -- UN Agency
The Vatican's statement that condoms don't protect against HIV is just plain wrong, United Nations officials warn -- and by making it the Roman Catholic Church could cause HIV to spread further.
From United Nations News Centre (October 13, 2003)

Impact of Concomitant Antiblastic Chemotherapy and HAART on HIV Viremia and Genotyping in HIV-Infected Patients With Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
HAART can still be used successfully while people are receiving chemotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a recent study finds.
From Clinical Infectious Diseases (September 15, 2003)

To Switch or Not to Switch: When Is It a Question?
Dr. Steven Deeks offers his wisdom on what options are left for people who have failed one, two or many more HAART regimens.
From The PRN Notebook (September 2003)
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