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May 30, 2007

In This Update
  • HIV Transmission
  • HIV News & Research
  • Making a Difference
  • HIV Outside the U.S.

    Meth Use Linked to Unprotected Anal Sex for HIV-Negative Gay Men
    If you're a gay, HIV-negative man who uses methamphetamine, you're at an increased risk of becoming HIV positive, new U.S. studies show. The reason? Meth use may lower inhibitions and make sex feel more enjoyable, raising the chances you'll have unprotected anal sex. Take meth and poppers together and your risk increases even more. The findings may seem obvious, but it takes studies like these to generate more support for HIV prevention programs that target meth use. (Web highlight from

    HIV Among U.S. Men Who Have Sex With Men
    What are the basic facts about men who have sex with men (MSM) and HIV in the United States? If you're looking for a comprehensive rundown of HIV statistics, risk factors and prevention programs for MSM, look no further than this fact sheet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Let's Talk About Sex ... Education
    Many parents don't talk to their kids about sex. That may be why sex educator Heather Corinna created It's a judgment-free Web site where teens can get information on just about anything sex-related, including HIV, pregnancy and sexual health. And if teens can't find an answer to their question, they can write in to get personal advice from one of the site's "sexperts."



    HIV Treatment News
    Facts about one of the latest HIV meds: dosing, safety, and efficacy


    FDA Refuses to Reverse Ban on Blood Donation by Men Who Have Had Sex With Men
    If you're a man and you have ever had sex with another man -- even if you used a condom every time, and even if it was just once more than a decade ago -- you can't donate blood in the United States. While the ban seems like an absurd, downright discriminatory policy to some (including the Red Cross), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not backing down. Last Wednesday, it reaffirmed its current policy, saying it won't loosen the restriction.

    After Historic Lung Transplant, HIVer Can Breathe Easier
    The first-ever lung transplant on an HIV-positive person was recently performed in Italy. The man, who had life-threatening respiratory problems, is recovering well from the operation, according to health care providers. Transplants have become increasingly possible thanks to the strides made in HIV treatment over the past 10 years: "We have seen a definite improvement in the long-term survival [of people with HIV]," one doctor said, "which has allowed for some to be considered for organ transplants."

    Notes From the NIAID Workshop on Immune Activation and HIV Pathogenesis
    If you love getting into the nitty-gritty details of how HIV works, you'll get a feast of information from this summary of a recent medical conference. This workshop on immune activation and HIV pathogenesis, hosted by the U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), featured buckets of studies examining various aspects of the way HIV impacts a person's immune system.



    U.S. Capital's Lone Needle-Exchange Program Still Hopes for Backup
    A security guard, a sex worker and a carpenter line up outside a rickety van on a Washington, D.C., street corner. All are clients of the city's only needle-exchange program, which survives on a shoestring budget of private donations. The capital remains the only U.S. city barred by federal law from using local tax money for such programs. As a result, the program's director laments, "For every person I help, there're seven more I can't reach." (Web highlight from the New York Times)

    Put Your Money Where Your Feet Are
    Even though there were fewer people at this year's AIDS Walk New York than previous years, walkers raised the largest sum ever for the event: $6.8 million. If you missed the event itself on May 20, it's not too late to donate or collect pledges!

    Live in the United States or Canada and want to know where (and when) you can participate in an AIDS Walk? Click here to see a directory of events.



    In Africa, No Family Is Exempt From the HIV Epidemic
    "How can this be happening to us?" asks an anonymous South African man. "We are an educated black family. We are not poverty stricken. We are a God-fearing family with a strong value system. We do not fall under the so-called demographic for AIDS." But less than two years ago, he learned that both of his parents had advanced HIV. His mother is now doing well on treatment, but in this powerful essay, the South African man explains what it was like to watch his father succumb to HIV -- and to deal with the secrets exposed by his parents' diagnoses. (Web highlight from Sunday Times)

    This article is part of a regular series of first-person stories written by everyday South Africans who have been affected by HIV. Click here to see the Sunday Times' collection of columns, entitled "Living with HIV: Everyone Knows Someone."

    Women's Rights Central to Fighting HIV in Africa, Study Says
    A new study from Botswana and Swaziland reinforces what we already know: Women's inequality fuels the HIV pandemic in Africa. Researchers found that women often have risky sex because they feel they have no other choice. They're calling on political and social leaders to slow the pandemic by ending discrimination against women in marriage, inheritance, property and employment rights, as well as by boosting efforts to end domestic and sexual violence. (Web highlight from Reuters)

    Shortage of Health Care Workers Cripples HIV Treatment Projects in Africa
    Efforts to save the lives of HIV-positive Africans usually focus on providing HIV meds and opening clinics. But experts on HIV care in Africa say that aid efforts must address a more fundamental issue: the critical shortage of doctors and nurses in African countries hit hard by HIV. Without health care workers, there's no one to dispense HIV meds or operate clinics. (Web highlight from BBC News)

    HIVers in India Unite Against Fake Healers
    HIV-positive people in India have launched a national campaign against thousands of illegal clinics and phony "doctors" who take advantage of patients by claiming they can cure HIV. Discrimination, a government health system which is widely seen as subpar, and the high cost of private care force HIVers to seek care from quacks. (Web highlight from Reuters)

    Also Worth Noting

    Live Chat @ The Body
    HIV Treatment Chat
    Delayed Until June 27 chat logo
    In last week's newsletter, we announced a one-hour chat with Dr. Edwin DeJesus about HIV treatment regimens. Due to scheduling issues, we've changed the date for the chat to Wednesday, June 27, instead of June 6.

    Want an e-mail reminder before the chat begins? Click here to sign up. You can also submit a question in advance that you'd like Dr. DeJesus to answer!

    Connect With Others
    t The Body's Bulletin Boards

    Taking Other People's Ignorance in Stride
    (A recent post from the
    "HIV Treatment" board)

    "I have been living in Los Angeles for seven years now. Since my move out to the jolly ole land of sun, fun and lala people, I have managed to bring this lovely disease called HIV upon myself. I found out I was positive five years ago. It initially came as a shock to me, but I expected no less, since I engaged in lots of anonymous, empty, somewhat unfulfilling sex with many, many men. Mostly very good looking, too-hot-to-handle men. ... This post is for all you guys out there living in other parts of the country [who] feel they are not accepted and feel that [they're in] close-minded surroundings. Whether you live in the Midwest or in sunny L.A., there will be ignorant SOBs when it comes to this subject. I give you all strength, health and prosperity!"

    -- ilovetab

    Click here to join this discussion thread, or to start your own!

    Visual AIDS
    Art From HIV-Positive Artists

    Image from the May 2007 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
    "No Gold," 1996; Stephen Andrews
    Visit the May 2007 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Eclipse," is curated by Laura Gilbert, an internationally exhibited artist in residence at El Taller Latino Americano arts complex in Manhattan.