March 25, 2009
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LIVING WITH HIV

Mark King The Pain and Glory of Getting New Cheeks: Mark King's Video Blog
What's it like to get your face filled? See for yourself in Mark King's latest video blog! It's a rare look into what actually happens when an HIV-positive person receives treatment for facial lipoatrophy, also known as facial wasting. You'll tag along with Mark as he visits an HIV physician who specializes in facial wasting treatment, gets tips on what to look for in a facial treatment doctor, and is treated with Radiesse (calcium hydroxylapatite, Radiance) and Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid, New-Fill). Judge the results for yourself! (Blog and video from TheBody.com)


Rohan Hazra, M.D. At Least 5% of HIV-Positive Kids May Be Long-Term Nonprogressors, U.S. Study Suggests
Are teenagers who were born with HIV more likely to be long-term nonprogressors than people who became HIV positive later in their lives? In what may be the first study of its kind, Rohan Hazra, M.D. (photo on right), and other researchers have found that 5 percent or more of HIV-positive U.S. adolescents (all of whom contracted HIV from their mothers) may have immune systems that are able to fight off HIV without taking HIV meds. (Article and podcast from The Body PRO)

Also Worth Noting: Visual AIDS

Image from the March 2009 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
"Do You Smell My Virus," 2003; Edward T. Lightner

Visit the March 2009 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Liminal:Subliminal:
Sublime," is curated by Bernard Leibov.
HIV IN THE NEWS

 Federal Raids on Medical Marijuana Providers May End in California, Other U.S. States
For years under the Bush administration, medical marijuana providers in California were raided and shut down for violating federal law -- even though medical marijuana is legal in California (as well as several other states). Those days might be over: Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. suggested that the federal government will stop raiding medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized them. (Article from The New York Times)

The announcement by Holder has already borne results: A judge delayed sentencing of a man in Los Angeles who was convicted of running a medical marijuana dispensary, and owners of medical marijuana businesses in California expressed cautious optimism about their future.


 Better Meds Have Made the World Complacent About HIV, Experts Warn
Is HIV prevention losing ground because HIV treatment has been so successful? "Some people in my country, France, and other Western countries have become complacent -- they see HIV/AIDS as a chronic disease -- not as one that can kill," said Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, one of the researchers who discovered that HIV is the cause of AIDS. She's one of many experts who worry that the success of today's HIV meds has made much of the world feel like having HIV is no big deal -- thus resulting in a resurgence of HIV among some groups. (Article from Agence France-Presse)


Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
Feeling Trapped in an Abusive Relationship
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

I have been in an abusive relationship for 10 years. I was with this man eight years ago when I was diagnosed HIV positive. I have stayed because I am completely terrified of trying to date again as a positive person. And we have three children. I see the deck as stacked so high against me I am absolutely paralyzed. Can any women out there relate to this? Have any of you overcome similar obstacles? I live in a very conservative, southern [U.S.] town and I don't have many places to turn for advice.

-- pozmarie

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

HIV TRANSMISSION & TESTING

 HIV and Herpes Are Partners in Infectious Crime, Study Finds; Circumcision Can Protect Men From Both
Having HIV makes a man more likely to get herpes, and having herpes makes a man more likely to get HIV, according to a new study in South Africa. Experts have known for a while that men and women with herpes simplex virus-2, which causes genital herpes, are more at risk for HIV simply because genital herpes outbreaks make it easier for HIV to enter the body. This study adds evidence that HIV increases herpes risk in men. The study also found that circumcised men were less likely to contract HIV or herpes than uncircumcised men. (Article from aidsmap.com)


 Researchers Still Hope Long-Term Nonprogressors Can Pave Path to HIV Vaccine
For years now, HIV researchers have been talking about how long-term HIV nonprogressors may hold the key to finally developing a reliable HIV vaccine. Long-term nonprogressors are a rare group of people who have been living with HIV for many years but whose HIV disease doesn't appear to have progressed at all, even though they've never taken HIV meds. In this brief update, a British newspaper reviews some of the basics that we've learned to date about long-term nonprogressors. (Article from The Independent)

To learn much more about long-term HIV nonprogressors, browse TheBody.com's library of articles. Also be sure to read the blog of Loreen Willenberg, who has been living with HIV for 16 years but has never had a detectable viral load.

Also Worth Noting: The Buzz: Follow TheBody.Com on Twitter
Why wait for our weekly mailing when you can receive all of our HIV/AIDS news and headlines as we post them? TheBody.com is now on Twitter! This free service provides an easy way to stay up-to-date with the latest HIV/AIDS news. Join at twitter.com and visit our page. Click "follow" to receive all of our news and headlines as we post them! You can even receive headlines as text messages on your cell phone!
MAKING A DIFFERENCE

 Charity Attempts to Add HIV Surcharge on Travel Web Sites
Next time you book a flight for a vacation, you could have a chance to help treat HIV-positive people in the developing world. UNITAID, an international organization that buys HIV, tuberculosis and malaria medications for people in developing countries, is in talks with major online travel companies (including Amadeus and Travelport, which operate CheapTickets.com, Expedia, Orbitz and other sites) to add an optional $2-per-flight donation to their booking process. If it happens, the fee would allow one 300-passenger flight to raise enough funds to treat an estimated 10 HIV-positive children for one year. (Article from the Financial Times)


 Register Now for AIDSWatch 2009: Go to Washington, D.C., April 27-29!
Want to help take the fight against HIV straight to Capitol Hill? Join the National Association of People With AIDS and other U.S. organizations at AIDSWatch, the largest annual HIV advocacy and education event in the U.S.! HIVers, their families, friends, care providers and other advocates are welcome to join in the action in Washington, D.C. (Web page from the National Association of People With AIDS)

You can register for AIDSWatch online, or download a registration form (PDF) and mail it in (or print out copies for others to fill out).

HIV THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

 Global HIV-Related TB Deaths Are Double Previous Estimates
For every four people who died from tuberculosis (TB) worldwide in 2007, one of them also had HIV, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO). That's twice as many HIV-related TB deaths as had previously been estimated -- although the WHO notes that the increase is mostly due to better methods for gathering data, not to changes in the TB or HIV pandemics. In 2007, an estimated 1.4 million HIVers developed TB worldwide, the WHO report says; in the same year, 456,000 HIVers died from TB, making it the No. 1 cause of death among HIV-positive people worldwide. (Article from kaisernetwork.org)

The full WHO report is available online in PDF format.


Neha Shah, M.D., M.P.H. High HIV Rates Found Among Male Partners of Thai Sex Workers
Experts talk a lot about HIV risk among female sex workers. But what about the men who visit those sex workers or who are in relationships with them? A recent study in Thailand, which has a thriving sex trade that draws customers from around the world, found that a staggering 17 to 23 percent of male clients were HIV positive, and 26 percent of those HIV-positive clients were married. The study also found that HIV rates were higher than 10 percent among regular (non-paying) partners of those sex workers. In this interview, study presenter Neha Shah, M.D., M.P.H. (photo on left), discusses the findings. (Article and podcast from The Body PRO)