Treatment and Prevention News for Women
"Lives Together, Worlds Apart: Men and Women in a Time of Change" noted that major changes in just discussing issues like rape, incest and female reproductive rights have occurred in the last few years. And stated that the fact that AIDS, the sex trade, and sex education for adolescents can be openly discussed at the United Nations and government offices "is an indication of a massive change in thinking."
Increasing women's power could thus help avoid many of the STDs contracted every year, the report said.
Early AZT therapy enabled the doctors to reduce the babies' treatment time from six weeks to three days. The Harvard study provided AZT to all of the mothers and infants studied, prompting praise from critics of previous mother-to-child studies that involved placebos.
Researchers from Rush Medical College in Chicago assessed vitamin A levels in the blood of more than 1,300 HIV-positive women and studied cervical cells for signs of cancer, including HPV. The study found that 15.5 percent of women had too little vitamin A, and 36.5 percent of the women had abnormalities in their cervical cells.
According to the researchers, HIV-positive women with low blood retinol (vitamin A) concentrations were nearly two-thirds more likely to have specific abnormalities in the cervix than women with higher concentrations of the vitamin.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of 1999, some 78,000 people 50 years of age and older had developed AIDS, approximately 10,000 of whom were over the age of 65. Although people over 50 make up just 10 percent of all AIDS cases, older Americans face unique challenges in terms of treatment and prevention, as well as more complicated disease management due to other health conditions and possible drug interactions.
Studies indicate that older women know far less about HIV than younger women.
Scientists in South Africa assessed the diagnostic tampon on 1,030 women with no signs of infection. Researchers then reported that the tampon detected 247 cases of the STD Trichomonas vaginalis while the traditional swab method detected just 191 cases. Work on product development continues.
It has been established that resveratrol may offer some protection against heart disease. New research finds that a modified version of the chemical has anti-herpes properties and can be added to contraceptive foams or lubricants for condoms.
Casual sexual encounters are becoming more common in middle school, too. Young teen-agers reported that they have oral sex because they think it is "safe," meaning an activity that will not lead to pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases and also because they want the experience.
However, STDs can be transmitted during oral sex, which experts note has emotional consequences as well.
Meanwhile, a recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that parents want help in providing sex education to their teen-agers, and suggests that parents not open the conversation about sex directly.
If parents begin by asking about cliques at school or something else that's emotionally meaningful in their children's lives, that may touch off a conversation about sexuality. Experts believe that conversations about sex between parents and teens must start in middle school.
According to "A Devastating Tragedy: AIDS in Africa," 40 percent of HIV-infected pregnant women in the region transmit the virus to their babies during birth.
The group, based in Washington, D.C., called for more debt forgiveness and better access to health care for African women, including improving attitudes toward AIDS patients and promoting the use of condoms.
Although not a legally binding document in the United States, the Declaration of Helsinki does set the standard for medical research worldwide. The latest revision stems, in part, from a controversy over the use of placebos in trying to find an inexpensive and easy way to reduce HIV transmission from pregnant women to their infants.
Studies in several Asian and African countries gave HIV-positive pregnant women either placebos or short regimens of AZT prior to delivery. The revision would mean that, if treatment is available, giving a placebo would be unethical.
However, defenders of the placebo-controlled studies said the real issue was whether the short-course of AZT was better than nothing, which is generally what was available to the African and Thai women, instead of whether the regimen was as good as a longer AZT regimen, which none of the women typically would have received.
Rebecca Solomon is a case manager in AIDS Project Los Angeles' Case Management Services department. She can be reached by calling (323) 993-1436 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).
This article was provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles. It is a part of the publication Positive Living.