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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

October 29, 2003

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Taking T-20 (Fuzeon)

T-20 has been a lifesaver for many people who are resistant to most HIV medications. If you're wondering what makes T-20 (enfuvirtide, Fuzeon) so different from other HIV meds, or if you're already taking T-20 but want to know how to make your injections easier, our new guide to T-20 can help. One of The Body's most popular online experts, Dr. Cal Cohen, has written this thorough, easy-to-read review of what makes T-20 tick -- including 10 useful injection tips for people currently taking it.

A Tale of Survival: HIV Positive and Choosing to Live

"Just before Christmas of that year, I walked into my doctor's office without my cane, standing tall, dressed to the nines with a gift for him in my hand. He had tears in his eyes; I had tears in my eyes." For Bil Romain, living with HIV became a choice: Whether to let go and allow himself to fade away, or whether to fight his infection with everything he had. After a long struggle with himself, he chose the latter -- and has never looked back since.

Why Has Barebacking Become So Popular?

Almost half of the 518 gay and bisexual men included in a New York City survey last year said that barebacking among HIVers has risen in popularity because of the success of HIV meds, because they felt safe-sex campaigns were too boring, or because they were sick and tired of worrying about AIDS.

Women, HIV and Microbicides: Reversing the Infection Trend

In the early part of the U.S. epidemic, there was a general denial that women were at risk for getting HIV from sex. Even when it was clear that women were being infected, the risk was not taken seriously. Now, half of all new HIV infections occur in women. Jen Curry talks with epidemiologist Zena Stein about women and HIV, and the reason microbicides are so important to preventing HIV transmission in women.

The Struggle for Microbicides Continues

The Global Campaign for Microbicides has been struggling for years to build support among policy makers, opinion leaders and the general public for increased investment in microbicides and other user-controlled HIV prevention methods. Anna Forbes and Megan Gottemoeller describe what the campaign has been doing lately.

Want to read the latest news and research on microbicides and learn more about how they can prevent HIV in women and gay men? Read through The Body's collection of articles.

Alternative Methods for HIV Prevention in Women

Although condoms and abstinence are perhaps the most effective ways for women to prevent themselves from becoming HIV positive, those options aren't always possible, especially for women in the developing world. So what else can a woman do to protect herself? We've already discussed microbicides, but there's at least one other method in the works: a vaginal suppository. STEP Ezine has more on this unique prevention method in development.

Why Do Treatment Regimens Fail? Too Many Forget Their Meds

Think it's OK to miss a dose of your meds every now and then? Think again: Missed doses, even just a handful, can result in drug resistance, which makes it far more likely that your treatment will fail. A huge number of people, though, don't take all of their meds: The World Health Organization estimates that only 50 percent of all people worldwide actually follow their doctors' orders on taking prescribed medicines.

Are Some Men "Hard-Wired" for Unsafe Sex?

Ten to 20 percent of men may be inherently more likely not to care about the dangers of engaging in high-risk sexual behavior, according to a recent study. The study found that for these men, depression or stress actually makes them more likely to seek out casual sex -- contrary to most other men, whose libido is unchanged or lowered by stress.

Bush's "Compassionate Conservatism"? Not on HIV/AIDS

Remember "compassionate conservatism," the battle cry of George W. Bush during his presidential campaign? Atlanta HIV-positive AIDS educator David Salyer points out that Bush's stance on HIV/AIDS in the U.S. has looked anything but compassionate.

Asian-American HIV Risk Just as High as Other Groups

Contrary to a widely believed myth, Asian-American and Pacific Islander men who have sex with men (MSM) are just as likely to get HIV as the MSM population as a whole, according to a San Francisco study. The study found that Asian Americans make up a small but growing number of the city's new AIDS cases.

New AIDS Film Documentary: "Damaged Goods"

"Damaged Goods" is a new documentary film that looks at life with HIV through the eyes of five HIV-positive men and women, as well as HIV-negative people who worry about becoming infected. Part of this year's New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, "Damaged Goods" will be showing in New York City beginning Nov. 8. Click here to view the film's poster.

What to Eat With Nelfinavir (Viracept): A New Guide

A new wallet-sized meal planning guide called "Viracept On-the-Go" is being distributed by the makers of nelfinavir (Viracept), Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The guide explains the importance of taking nelfinavir with meals and provides tips on how to read food labels, nutritious foods to eat with the drug and who to turn to for help in planning healthy meals.

Clinton Foundation Unveils Huge Treatment Plan for Africa, Caribbean

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has announced that his foundation has reached agreements with generic drug manufacturers to provide discounted HIV meds to as many as two million people in the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States by 2008.

Cocaine Worsens HIV Infection, Studies Show

There's not much argument that cocaine is a serious drug that can have some pretty dangerous effects on your mind and body. But did you know it's even more of a health risk in people with HIV? Read on for the details.

Boldly Going Where No HIVer Has Gone Before

Say what you will about the effect of TV on our society, but since its early days, TV has been used to help spread awareness of everything from civil rights to the dangers of using club drugs. Some of the shows at the forefront of those efforts have been the Star Trek series: Last year an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise took on HIV/AIDS, with mixed results. AIDS Survival News provides a review.

Web Highlights

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

Atazanavir Begins to Lose Its Clout as Protease Mutations Rise
Two studies have found that people whose HIV has more than four different kinds of resistance mutations to protease inhibitors are less likely to be successful on atazanavir (Reyataz).
From (October 28, 2003)

Induction/Maintenance Approach Revived -- But Will Patients Stick With It?
Researchers are still looking into the idea of "induction therapy," in which people with advanced HIV start treatment with an intense regimen like Trizivir/efavirenz, and then switch to a less-potent, less-toxic regimen after their viral load becomes undetectable. This analysis suggests that there are limitations to this plan.
From (October 28, 2003)

The Senate's Last Chance on AIDS
The New York Times urges the U.S. Senate to increase its 2004 donation to the Global Fund to $400 million.
From The New York Times (October 28, 2003)

Saudis Report Jump in AIDS Cases
Saudi Arabian officials announce that the kingdom has registered more than 6,700 AIDS cases, though it says more than 5,000 of them are among foreigners.
From BBC News (October 23, 2003)

Women and HIV/AIDS in the United States: Setting an Agenda for the Future, a Policy Forum
Watch a documentary, browse through fact sheets and read transcripts of key speeches.
From Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (October 23, 2003)
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