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December 10, 2003

Activists Call for Further Study of Long-Term Side Effects

Almost a decade ago, prominent AIDS treatment activist Carlton Hogan argued for the need to rigorously study the side effects of HIV medications even after they've been approved. At the end of 2003 -- with new long-term side effects and drug interactions slowly coming to light -- Hogan's words ring as true as ever. Click here to read them.

Side Effects: What to Watch Out For

You're pretty sure your new HIV meds are causing side effects, but how can you tell which side effects are nothing to worry about and which are potentially serious? This overview from Positively Aware can help you make sense of the more common complications that may be caused by your meds.

Learning Confidence, Independence as an HIV-Positive Woman

It took an HIV diagnosis to make Promise Jackson realize she didn't need a man to fulfill her needs. Of the spiritual journey she's taken since testing positive, Jackson says, "I found that God, not men, places or things, complete me."

Are you a woman with HIV looking to meet other HIV-positive women? Stop in at The Body's bulletin boards for women to talk with your peers about coping with your diagnosis, dealing with medication side effects, having a baby or anything else that's on your mind.

Testing Essential for Sex and Needle Partners of HIVers

More than 200,000 people in the U.S. have HIV and don't know it, which puts them at risk for infecting others. But if the sexual and needle-sharing partners of HIV-positive people were routinely given HIV testing and counseling, the number of people unwittingly transmitting HIV to others could drop dramatically, a recent study says.

U.S. Senate Delays Approval of $2.4B for Global AIDS Initiative

U.S. senators failed to reach an agreement this week on a massive budget bill that included a hard-fought $2.4 billion measure to fight HIV and AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. A vote on the bill, which is already months overdue, will be delayed at least until January, when the Senate returns from its holiday break.

U.S. Officially Requires Testing of New Drugs in Children

U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law on Dec. 3 a bill requiring that children be included in safety tests of developing drugs, including HIV medications.

HIV Barrels Into Eastern Europe

HIV has arrived in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union -- and, as it has everywhere else, the virus is causing devastation. Read this moving summary of how HIV/AIDS has stricken this region.

Lipodystrophy Still a Mystery, But Some Prevention Tips Are Clear

Mark Mascolini went to the 5th Lipodystrophy Workshop in Paris this past summer and found that HIV researchers haven't learned much more about this disfiguring side effect of HIV and/or its meds. What they do know, however, is that if you have HIV, you shouldn't smoke, and if you're overweight or have insulin resistance, you need to exercise.

Should You Be Worried About "Blips"?

Those viral load "blips" (sudden jumps from undetectable to detectable) you see on your labs might not always be a cause for concern, even if they seem to happen relatively often. Bob Huff talks about one recent study that sheds new light on what may cause these blips to occur.

Can Microbicides Be Developed Quickly -- and Safely?

How can we make sure that research on microbicides, which many hope will revolutionize HIV prevention for women and gay men worldwide, moves ahead quickly without risking the health of study volunteers? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently debated this and other issues in microbicide development.

Web Highlights

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

Medicare Changes Put People With AIDS At Risk, Groups Warn
Provisions in the newly approved Medicare overhaul bill could leave thousands of HIVers without adequate drug coverage, advocates say.
From (December 10, 2003)

Religions Rise to AIDS Challenge
In South Asia, orthodox thinkers in most faiths have, in the past, denounced those who fall ill with the virus that causes AIDS, suggesting their fate is divine punishment for immoral behavior. Many don't feel that way any longer.
From BBC News (December 5, 2003)

Help Africa's Gay Men; You'll Save Their Women Too
Africa needs to ignore taboos and target men who have sex with men in its HIV prevention efforts, this column says. Doing so could save the female partners of many closeted gay men.
From The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda (December 3, 2003)

WHO Accused of Huge HIV Blunder
The activist group Physicians for Human Rights says the World Health Organization has severely underestimated the number of HIV infections in Africa caused by dirty needles. It's calling for more resources to be spent on preventing needle infections.
From New Scientist (December 3, 2003)

The HIV Research Network: A Unique Opportunity for Real Time Clinical Utilization Analysis in HIV
Meet The HIV Research Network, an effort by healthcare professionals to keep tabs on who in the U.S. is -- and isn't -- receiving the HIV care they need.
From The Hopkins HIV Report (November 2003)
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