• LIVING WITH HIV
HIV Does Not Define Me: How One Woman Came to Accept Her Diagnosis
A few months after she turned 19, Marvelyn Brown was hospitalized with a case of pneumonia. Then her doctors told her that she was also HIV positive. Marvelyn was completely floored: "I
thought I was above HIV, not even knowing that the 'H' in HIV stood for human. I thought it stood for homosexual or heroin addict. ... [A]nything but me." Five months later, Marvelyn
started speaking publicly about HIV, and she hasn't stopped since. One of her goals is to help others understand what she has figured out since her diagnosis: "HIV is not an adjective.
It does not define a person." (Web highlight from Savvy Miss)
Hitting the Road With HIV
Travel can be liberating, but venturing out into the world when you're HIV positive is often complicated. In this article, you'll find some great pointers on how to navigate the challenge
of being an HIV-positive traveler. Get tips on making sure your destination is friendly to HIV-positive visitors, figuring out what shots you'll need (and which ones to avoid), managing your
meds on the road and ensuring you stay fit during your vacation.
Study Finds More Depression Among People Who Switch HIV Meds Often
Are HIVers who are still on their first or second treatment regimen happier than HIVers who have been through multiple regimens? The answer appears to be yes, according to a new British study.
The study found higher rates of depression among people who had switched HIV meds many times or stopped treatment entirely than people who were still on
their first or second regimen. Though the findings may raise as many questions as they answer, they do point to how important mental health is for people with HIV -- whether they're new to
treatment or have been on many regimens.
(Web highlight from aidsmap.com)
• HIV TREATMENT & COMPLICATIONS
First-Line Therapy: What Should You Take?
Looking for an in-depth rundown of the latest treatment options for people who are about to take HIV meds for the first time? Take a look at this comprehensive review by David Wohl, M.D.
-- it's the latest addition to our library of educational materials for HIV health care professionals at The Body PRO. In this article, Dr. Wohl discusses the ins and outs of the official
U.S. HIV treatment guidelines, and explains how to fine-tune a person's first HIV treatment regimen. CME/CE credit is available for physicians, pharmacists and nurses!
Study Shows TH9507 May Help Treat HIV-Related Fat Gain
Results of a recent study suggest that an artificial growth hormone releasing factor may be an effective treatment for HIV-positive people with extra fat around the middle. The study found that
people with HIV who took TH9507 for 26 weeks lost enough fat around their belly to go down one pants size. However, much more research must be done on TH9507 to ensure that it's safe and
effective over the long term.
Want to learn more about recent research on TH9507? You can listen to, or read a transcript of, a presentation on TH9507 that
Steven Grinspoon, M.D., made earlier this year at the 14th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. You can also listen to, or read a transcript of, our
interview with Dr. Grinspoon about insurance coverage for TH9507 and other growth hormone
The HIV-HPV Connection
Cancers appear to be growing more common among people with HIV, and a common sexually transmitted disease, human papillomavirus (HPV), may be partly to blame. Check out this article to learn more about
HPV, including an explanation of HPV's link to anal and cervical cancer, an overview of HPV vaccines and tips on how people with HIV can protect themselves from HPV and its complications.
• HIV NEWS
Well-Known HIV Activist Succumbs to Liver Cancer
Ferd Eggan, a well-known HIV activist and former AIDS coordinator of Los Angeles, Calif., died earlier this month of liver cancer. Diagnosed with HIV in 1986, Ferd used his experience as
a civil rights worker and gay activist to help launch the Chicago, Ill., chapter of ACT UP in the late 1980s. He continued his activism in Los Angeles, where he championed the establishment
of needle-exchange programs and was one of the first to shine a spotlight on the link between crystal meth use and HIV risk. (Web highlight from Los Angeles Times; free registration required)
Hillary Clinton Criticized for Comments on HIV Among African Americans
A black advocacy group accused Hillary Clinton of "pandering" to African Americans when talking about HIV during a televised debate in June between Democratic U.S. presidential
candidates. "I found it interesting that [Clinton] chose a presidential debate, held before a largely African-American audience, to speak out on the fact that HIV/AIDS funding does not
fairly reach African Americans with HIV," wrote the president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. "I only wish [Clinton] had voted the same way last year in the United States
Senate, when we really needed" her, he added.
• HIV TRANSMISSION
Even HIV-Positive Women Struggle to Get Their Negative Sexual Partners to Use Condoms
If you knew your sexual partner was HIV positive, would you practice safer sex? If you're an HIV-negative man dating an HIV-positive woman, it appears the answer is often no. According
to a small U.S. survey of HIV-positive women, 18 percent said they had unprotected sex on a regular basis with their monogamous partner. In nearly all of these relationships, the man was
HIV negative. Researchers found these women were unable to insist on condom use; as a result, they lived in constant fear of passing HIV to their partner, and felt guilt and distress at their
inability to control their sexual choices. (Web highlight from aidsmap.com)
Migrant Workers May Spread HIV From U.S. to Mexico, Research Suggests
Mexican migrant workers come to the United States hoping to provide their families with money and a better way of life. But what many may not realize is that they can also get HIV. In fact,
according to researchers, migration increases the risk that a person will get HIV. This means that places in Mexico with the highest U.S. migration rates also have the highest rates
of HIV. Unfortunately, those places are often rural areas that have the least resources and experience in dealing with the virus.
Study Explains Why It's Harder to Get HIV Through Oral Sex
Why is it so much harder to get HIV through oral sex than anal sex? New research may provide at least part of the answer. Researchers have found that the CD4 cells in a person's rectum are much more likely
than CD4 cells in a person's tonsils to have CCR5 coreceptors -- which HIV usually uses to attach itself to, and infect, a CD4 cell. (Web highlight from aidsmap.com)
New York City Syphilis Cases Climb Sharply; Many Are HIV Positive
Yet another warning sign that safe sex is still important for HIVers, even if they're in a pos-pos relationship: New cases of syphilis are way up in New York City, and half of all new syphilis infections
are in people with HIV, officials report. The sudden jump marks the first increase in syphilis cases in New York City in more than two years, and it's especially pronounced among men who have sex with
• HIV OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES
Zimbabwe's Economic Collapse May Be Reducing HIV Rate, Researchers Suggest
There's nothing like rampant inflation to change a man's habits. Usually we hear about how poor areas of the world are hit harder by HIV than richer areas, but Zimbabwe appears to
be a surprising exception to that rule. Some researchers suggest that the economic situation in Zimbabwe has gotten so bad that men can no longer afford to juggle
multiple relationships, have mistresses or even visit sex workers, thus resulting in Zimbabwe's recent drop in HIV rates.
Indian Official Says Women "Cannot Trust Men," Should Use Condoms
"You cannot trust men or your husbands ... If you believe that men will be careful, then you can forget about protecting yourself." These aren't the words of an outspoken HIV activist:
They came from the lips of Renuka Chowdhury, a high-ranking female member of India's government. Speaking at a meeting that focused on HIV among Indian women, she called for stronger efforts
to provide condoms to women and urged women to use condoms no matter what.