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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

November 14, 2001

Advice for the Newly Diagnosed

D for "diagnosis" or for "denial?" Coming to grips with being newly diagnosed. Psychologist J. Buzz von Ornsteiner offers some helpful advice in Body Positive.

This Weekend: Postcards from the Edge

One last reminder: Postcards from the Edge will hold its annual benefit this Sunday, Nov. 18, from 2 to 5:30 p.m. in New York City. Over 600 original works by established and emerging artists will be on display and for sale. Cards are only $50 each; the name of the artists who created them will be revealed at the end of the benefit. There's no telling how much the one you buy may be worth!

Don't Trust Your Stuffing

We're not here to pass judgement on your (or your loved one's) wonderful turkey stuffing -- we're just looking out for your safety. Body Positive warns us that, at this festive time of year, we should be extra cautious of bacteria-laden food that may be especially dangerous for HIV-positive people.

Can Microbicides Empower Women?

Women around the world are extremely limited in the number of choices they have to protect themselves against HIV and STD infection; they are largely dependent on their male partners' willingness to use condoms. Sarah Chase discusses research on an alternative called "microbicides," also known as germ killers, which may help turn the tide.

African-American Women and AIDS: Alarming Numbers

AIDS is the third-leading cause of death among African-American women ages 25 to 44, and the death rate is 21 times higher in black women compared to white women of the same age group. Read the remarks of Linda Villarosa, contributing writer for The New York Times, at an amfAR-sponsored continuing medical education symposium on women and HIV.

Risks of Oral Sex, in Layman's Terms

Still confused by the current "science" on oral sex risks? David Salyer deconstructs the studies: "The risk of becoming infected with HIV through unprotected (no condom) oral sex is lower than that of unprotected anal or vaginal sex. Bad oral hygiene (bleeding gums, ulcers, gum disease) and taking ejaculate (cum) in your mouth is a hazardous combination that turns a low-risk sexual activity into high-risk behavior."

Juven: What Does it Do?

There are ads about the supplement Juven in all the AIDS magazines. Does it work? Is there any way to get around paying such high prices for it? Guy Pujol discusses the options in AIDS Survival News.

Growing Concern About Bone Disorders

Bone disorders have emerged as a worrisome complication in persons with HIV infection. Over the past few years there have been increasing reports of osteoporosis (wasting of bone tissue due to bone mineral depletion) and osteopenia (moderate bone mineral depletion) in HIV-positive adults and children. Read this latest update from San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Protect Yourself Against Hepatitis B

Like HIV, the most common routes of hepatitis B virus transmission in the United States are through unprotected sex and blood-to-blood contact, such as IV drug use. The difference is that hepatitis B is over 100 times more infectious. Find out how you can get vaccinated!

ADAP Funding May Hit Serious Shortfall

This year, advocates are asking for a $120 million increase for ADAP, but the Senate is considering only a $21 million increase. If this figure does not improve, we may see very serious problems with people being able to access their treatments through many state ADAPs. Read the latest in the federal HIV/AIDS debate, from Project Inform.

Help for the Deaf

More than 28 million Americans are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Some of those individuals are also HIV-positive, but services tailored especially for them are few. Here are some resources.

Read up on The Body's collection of articles about the HIV-positive deaf community.

Sustiva Confused with Marijuana

Inmates at many prisons were put in solitary confinement or lost months of "good" time (which would have reduced their prison sentences) because they tested positive for marijuana. The thing is, they hadn't been smoking pot: each one was HIV-positive and taking the anti-HIV drug Sustiva (efavirenz). Read more in this fascinating story from Positively Aware.

HIV and Smallpox: An Unpleasant Tag Team

Why should people living with HIV be especially concerned about terrorists using smallpox as a biological weapon? Project Inform will fill you in.

Can Our Own Immune Systems Fight Off HIV?

In the United States, long-term studies of HIV-infected and high-risk people have mainly involved gay men -- the group most heavily affected in the epidemic's early years. But a continent away, in the Pumwani district of Nairobi, a group of just over 100 women have become well-known to HIV researchers around the world by offering tantalizing evidence that the immune system can, in rare cases, fight off HIV. Richard Jeffreys prepared this report for Treatment Action Group.

Latest Conference Coverage

Many conferences have taken place over the past month, and that means tons of coverage from our own doctors on the scene. Read up on the latest developments in HIV and in hepatitis at The Body's 2001 conference coverage.

Also, coming up: Coverage of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Dr. Luis Balart and Dr. Jorge L. Herrera were on hand for the Nov. 9-13 meeting, and will provide coverage.

Upcoming Conferences: Still Time to Register!

Last call for community press and those seeking community/international scholarships for the 9th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. The deadline for applications from these individuals is Nov. 16. The conference will take place Feb. 24-28, 2002, at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle.

It's time to start planning for the next International AIDS Conference, which will be held in Barcelona from July 7-12, 2002. For details, click here.

America's Youth: HIV-Ignorant

Wondering why American kids come out of school with little knowledge of HIV or other STDs? Look through the results from the Centers for Disease Control 2000 School Health Policies and Programs Study.

Health Miseducation

Less than half of newly hired health-education teachers in the U.S. are required to have any kind of undergraduate or graduate training in health education. The grisly details can be found in the Centers for Disease Control 2000 School Health Policies and Programs Study.

HIV and Spirituality

". . . guidance toward honesty of heart and spiritual depth is found not only upon the pulpit or within scriptures, but also within our own everyday experience and lives. I believe a tangible, almost visceral wisdom is being taught all around us, everywhere we look. And this is especially true for those of us -- caregivers as well as care receivers -- who live in the world according to HIV." Joseph Sharp discusses his new book, "Spiritual Maturity: Stories and Reflections for the Ongoing Journey of the Spirit."

HIV Vaccine: A Brighter Future

After years of frustration, there is renewed optimism in the HIV vaccine field. Promising research findings combined with new infusions of interest (and money) have recently raised hopes. Bruce Mirken discusses the complex ethical and social issues of HIV vaccines in BETA.

Hitting HIV Where it Hurts

Dr. Dana Gabuzda of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA, was awarded $240,000 for a two-year research project that will involve identifying substances that bind to and inhibit the viral gene vif, which is critical to HIV's replication. Read an interview with Dr. Gabuzda, from amfAR.

NASDAQ to Recognize World AIDS Day

On Friday, November 30 -- the eve of World AIDS Day -- the NASDAQ stock exchange will join amfAR in focusing public attention on the growing global epidemic. The exchange will also urge business leaders to join the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Getting Attention on World AIDS Day

Planning a World AIDS Day Event? Find out how you can get media attention!

Opportunistic Infections: The List

All the opportunistic infections you didn't want to know about . . . in handy chart form, from Project Inform.

HIV Drugs in Development

For extensive information about HIV drugs currently (or formerly) in development, click here and browse through Treatment Action Group's comprehensive chart.

Web Highlights
A Selection of the Top HIV/AIDS Stories from Across the Internet

WTO Relaxes Rule on Drug Patents
Campaigners hope deal will cut cost of remedies for diseases that kill millions
From The Guardian (November 13, 2001)

Patients in China Lack Effective Treatment
From The New York Times (free registration required) (November 12, 2001)

40% of Boys "Never Heard of HIV"
From BBC News (November 9, 2001)

Less Is More? STI in Acute and Chronic HIV-1 Infection
From Nature Medicine (November 9, 2001)

Prevalence of Adverse Events Associated with Potent Antiretroviral Treatment: Swiss HIV Cohort Study
From Lancet (November 9, 2001)

The Road to Eradication: Is HAART Hard Enough?
From PRN Notebook (October 27, 2001)

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