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HIV/AIDS News You Can Use

November 19, 2003

HIVers' Civil Rights Still Violated in U.S.

Widespread civil rights violations continue against people with HIV/AIDS throughout the U.S., according to an American Civil Liberties Union survey. For the gory details, click here.

Your Rights as a Person Living With HIV

What are your fundamental rights as an HIV-positive person? Twenty years ago, a group of AIDS activists created a list of rights called the "Denver Principles" -- a list that many AIDS advocates and others still live by today.

Having HIV Is Enough; Why Smoke as Well?

"It's not like I hadn't tried. I 'tried' switching to the 'ultra light' cigarettes. I 'tried' smoking only half a cigarette. I 'tried' smoking only with a beverage: morning coffee, lunchtime soda, happy hour cocktails. The funny thing was, all of these 'attempts' to quit smoking curiously involved still smoking!" Read Eric L. Watts' inspiring story of how he got through one of the most difficult -- but necessary -- periods in his life.

Sponsored Message: Earn Extra Money as a Model or Spokesperson!

One of our pharmaceutical sponsors is looking for HIV-positive people on HIV medications to take part in an upcoming photo shoot in Manhattan. If you live in the New York metropolitan area and would like to be considered, click here to learn more and submit your application online.

Interfering With HIV's Genes

Last year we began to hear about a little-known process called RNA interference (RNAi), which in theory can prevent viruses like HIV from reproducing by fouling up their replication process. Project Inform's overview of RNAi explains this exciting, but complicated, new prospect for HIV treatment.

Could Sports Help Lower Girls' HIV Risk?

Are there lower rates of substance abuse and risky sexual behavior among adolescents involved in vigorous physical activity or team sports? Researchers have found that both activities were associated with fewer risky behaviors among young women, but not young men.

An HIVer Who Took His Job and Shoved It

Dennis Rhodes left the corporate world behind after his HIV diagnosis. As this scathing poem about one of his old bosses shows, he's not sorry he left: "Early in my career I had a boss / who wielded blame as skillfully as a knife / in the deft hands of a butcher ..."

Interleukin Returns ... Again

The on-again, off-again study (called SILCAAT) of the experimental HIV treatment interleukin-2 has begun again for the nearly 2,000 volunteers even if the drug's producer has pulled support. Click here for more.

Quebec Turns Up the Heat With New AIDS Awareness Ads

Quebec's Health Department is about to unveil a new series of "racy and explicit" government-sponsored ads to promote AIDS awareness. They include tombstone statues of a young girl using injection drugs and heterosexual and homosexual couples having sex.

New Guidelines for Treating Cardio Problems

The Infectious Disease Society of America recently released a new set of guidelines aimed at helping doctors treat HIV-positive people with high cholesterol, high triglycerides or other lipid problems that can lead to heart disease. One surprise: Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise (and of course quitting smoking) are recommended before taking lipid-lowering drugs, except in urgent cases. Read AIDS Treatment News' succinct summary of the guidelines.

The Basics on FTC, a New NRTI

This primer on FTC (emtricitabine, Emtriva) will quickly get you up to speed on who can benefit from this new NRTI, what its side effects are and what other concerns to keep in mind if you're considering adding it to your next regimen.

The Aftermath of the Infamous "Bug Chaser" Article

Earlier this year, Rolling Stone magazine caused a huge stir when it published its "bug chaser" article, which said that as many as 25 percent of HIV infections among gay men occurred because those men deliberately tried to get themselves infected. Since the story broke, however, it's been almost completely discredited. David Salyer has the details.

This excellent rebuttal in Salon, published shortly after the Rolling Stone article appeared, also explains why the article was an irresponsible piece of investigative journalism.

Where HIV-Positive Women Go for Healing

Every year, AIDS Survival Project hosts its Women's Healing Retreat, a day-long series of activities, workshops and discussions about living with HIV. Sheryl Johnson, who helped organize this year's event, tells us what it's all about.

Web Highlights

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

"I Hate Knowing I Will Leave My Son"
As part of a BBC series on AIDS, people living with HIV from around the world tell their own stories in their own words. This essay is by, Niza, 32, who lives in Mexico City with her parents and her beloved 10-year-old son.
From BBC News (November 19, 2003)

Cheap Multivitamin Pill Increases Survival in Those With Low CD4 Counts
An inexpensive multivitamin-mineral supplement was found to make HIVers with CD4 counts below 200 more likely to be alive after 48 weeks, yet didn't appear to impact their CD4 counts, viral loads or the odds they'd be admitted to a hospital.
From (November 13, 2003)

NNRTI-Based HAART Associated With Quicker CD4 Cell Gains Than PI-Based Therapy
Most of the patients in this large but non-randomized Canadian study were taking nevirapine [Viramune]. It was also found that this more rapid increase occurred in people with CD4 counts under 200, i.e., those most in need of a quick immune boost.
From (November 13, 2003)

HIV Infection Predisposes to Antibiotic Allergies
People with HIV are more than twice as likely to have an allergic reaction to antibiotics as HIV-negative people, a U.S. study suggests. Sulfonamides, cephalosporins and penicillin were found to carry the greatest risk.
From Reuters Health (November 12, 2003)

Why a Red Ribbon Means AIDS
A brief story of how the once-ubiquitous AIDS awareness ribbon came to be.
From BBC News (November 7, 2003)
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