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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

October 16, 2002

Is Therapeutic Drug Monitoring the Future of HIV Treatment?

Therapeutic drug monitoring -- known as TDM -- is the practice of checking the levels of a drug in a person's bloodstream. Though TDM is still largely experimental in the U.S. (it's used in Europe), many healthcare professionals hope that it will someday allow HIV patients to customize drug doses for optimum results.

HIV Transmission: Crime and Punishment

What happens if an HIV-positive person knowingly transmits HIV in Arkansas without telling the person they gave it to? How about in Alabama? Nevada? New York? Take a look at this strange -- though handy -- legal chart put out by Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Wasting Treatment Back on Shelves

After being banished from the U.S. for more than half a year, nandrolone (Deca-Durabolin), a wasting treatment, is back in production. Read more about the drug's availability in The Center for AIDS' "FDA Bits."

For a list of other treatments for HIV-related weight loss (both officially approved and not), click here.

Mixed Reactions to Global AIDS Fund Grants

Both supporters and skeptics of the Global Fund to to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria had something to cheer (or sneer) about when the fund recently announced its first set of grants to developing nations.

Free T-20 Offered as Rescue Treatment

People with HIV who have failed multiple HAART regimens and who meet certain criteria may be able to access T-20, also known as Fuzeon, through a compassionate use program expected to begin this month.

Alternative Meds: Keeping the Quacks Away

Don't let yourself fall victim to alternative-treatment scams! Just because something is labeled as alternative or complementary does not mean it works! Quacks and frauds continually try to take advantage of people with HIV in hopes of making a quick buck; read this news brief from The Center for AIDS to learn more about how you can protect yourself.

Older Women Living With HIV

Project Inform interviews Hulda, a woman infected with HIV 11 years ago -- when she was 47.

HAART for Children: Recent Research

Test Positive Aware Network provides a rundown of some of the latest research on HIV treatment in children.

Four-Drug Therapy Proves Extremely Effective at Lowering Viral Loads

In contrast to many studies with triple-drug HAART, a once-daily quadruple-drug HAART regimen of adefovir dipivoxil, lamivudine, didanosine, and efavirenz had more than 90 percent of patients achieving viral load levels of less than 50 copies/mL by week 48. The consistently high overall adherence -- 85 percent -- may have accounted for this.

Miniature Masterpieces for Sale

More than 700 talented artists have created postcard-size artworks that will be sold for $50 each at Visual AIDS' annual Postcards From the Edge benefit on Monday, October 28. Click below to see how you can support one of the most unique HIV/AIDS art-charity events of the year!

An Unexpected HAART Side Effect: Complacency

New study findings suggest that HIV-positive patients who believe they will live for many years are more likely to miss medication doses and not practice safe sex than their peers who are less hopeful.

HAART's Impact on Mitochondria

Mitochondria: They're the energy sources that power our cells, but they're also extremely fragile. As a result, HAART can have a pretty major impact on their function, causing a wide range of illnesses from fatigue to peripheral neuropathy to diabetes. STEP Perspective has more.

Barcelona's Effect on HIV Treatment

Research presented at the International AIDS Conference in Barcelona several months ago could have a major impact on doctors' and their patients' treatment decisions. Charles Clifton of Test Positive Aware Network provides the highlights.

Correction

In a STEP Perspective article titled "Viread-Videx EC Drug Interactions: What's a Person to Do?" (Volume 2, Number 2, Fall 2002) it was incorrectly stated that the 250 mg dose of Videx (ddI) is not available in the enteric coated preparation. The 250 mg dose of Videx is available as Videx EC. What is not available is the pharmacokinetic (pK) data when this dose is administered with tenofovir to determine if it is the correct dose of Videx EC that should be used with tenofovir. The corrected article is available here.

Web Highlights

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

Annan Warns China of an AIDS Epidemic
The head of the United Nations says it's literally do-or-die time for China
From The New York Times (free registration required) (October 14, 2002)

An Optional Catastrophe
Sebastian Mallaby writes on AIDS in Africa and why getting medications to its dying millions should be our priority
From The Washington Post (October 14, 2002)

Medical Marijuana Users File Suit Against U.S. Government To Halt DEA Raids
Two California residents assert the U.S. violated the constitution when it took away their medical marijuana
From Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report (October 11, 2002)

Cryptococcosis and HIV
Another chapter from the comprehensive, online textbook on HIV disease from the University of California-San Francisco and San Francisco General Hospital
From HIV InSite (October 2002)

Risk of Progression to AIDS and Death in Women Infected With HIV-1 Initiating Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment at Different Stages of Disease
More evidence in support of waiting until CD4 count nears 200 before starting HAART
From Archives of Internal Medicine (September 23, 2002)

  
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