November 12, 2009
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HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES

 Immune Boosters in Development: An Overview
The idea seems like a no-brainer: Develop drugs that can boost the immune system, making it able to better confront HIV on its own. However, the idea hasn't quite panned out. To this day, not a single immune booster has been approved for use against HIV. But hope is still alive: There are still many immune boosters in development, as this fact sheet explains. (Article from AIDS InfoNet)

Want to learn more about the theory of immune restoration as a form of HIV treatment? Check out this fact sheet for the basics, or learn a little more about Interleukin-2, which once held great hope as an enhancement for antiretroviral therapy but hasn't lived up to the early hype.


 In Men, Topical Treatment May Reduce Risk That Anal Lesions Will Develop Into Cancer
A common treatment for genital warts may also help treat abnormal anal cell growths before they turn into cancer, according to a new U.S. study. Fifty-four gay men, the majority of whom had HIV, received a topical treatment called trichloroacetic acid. More often than not, the treatment reduced or eliminated their pre-cancerous anal lesions. (Article from aidsmap.com)


HIV Management Today The Nitty-Gritty of First-Line HIV Treatment: A New Expert Discussion on TheBodyPRO.com
Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall as top HIV doctors discuss some of the most important issues in HIV treatment? Here's your chance: You've got a front-row seat as two of the most experienced HIV specialists in the world discuss the ever-changing recommendations for initiating and choosing HIV treatment. It's the first installment of HIV Management Today, a brand-new series on TheBodyPRO.com, our sister site for HIV professionals. (Article and podcast from TheBodyPRO.com)


Also Worth Noting: U.S. HIV/AIDS Plan: Tomorrow is Your Last Day to Testify Online!
The White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP)'s series of HIV/AIDS community discussions is sweeping the U.S. You have only until Friday, Nov. 13, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time to submit your testimony online! You can also check the list of cities to see if a discussion is coming to your area, and follow the directions to prepare for the meeting of your choice. The next discussions will take place in Jackson, Miss., on Nov. 16, and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Nov. 20.
LIVING WITH HIV

 Just Diagnosed: Taking the First Steps in the Rest of Your Life
You've just been given the news: You're HIV positive. So ... now what? There's a lot to take in, but it's important to just take things one step at a time. Sue Saltmarsh of the HIV/AIDS publication Positively Aware walks you through some of the major things to keep in mind as you adjust to your HIV diagnosis. (Article from Test Positive Aware Network)

Be sure to visit TheBody.com's Just Diagnosed Resource Center for a wealth of additional advice, personal stories and information for people whose HIV test just came back positive.


Art: Two People Hugging Why Do -- or Don't -- People Disclose Their HIV Status?
What makes some people more comfortable disclosing their HIV status than others? It's a complicated question, but one key answer may be finding a supportive group of people who are in the same situation as you. A recent study of gay, HIV-positive men in Chicago explored what factors made a man more likely to disclose his status. (Article from Test Positive Aware Network)

Looking for your own source of support? If it's an online community you seek, be sure to browse TheBody.com's bulletin boards or read our huge collection of first-person stories from people living with HIV. Also check out an HIV hotline or service organization near you, where you can find out about local support groups and get the face-to-face help you need!


Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
In a Mixed-Status Couple and Looking to Meet Others on My World Tour
(A recent post from the "My Partner Has HIV" board)

"I'm a 27-year-old female and I'm the negative pole of a 'magnetic' couple (i.e., my husband is poz) living in South Africa. Between January and July 2010 I am traveling around the world and I am very keen to meet up with other couples in the same situation as me. Ironically, although I'm living in the country with one of the highest incidences of HIV, I have to date not met up with a single couple going through the same thing. The countries I'll be visiting are Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Dominican Republic and Mexico; then I'll be spending six weeks in the U.S. and Canada. All I really want to do is chat, exchange experiences and hopefully make some friends. If there are any other people out there who are keen to link up, even if you're not en route, please contact me." --magneticmama
Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

To do this, you'll need to register with TheBody.com's bulletin boards if you're a new user. Registration is quick and anonymous (all you need is an e-mail address) -- click here to get started!

Also Worth Noting: Medicine Recycling

Aid for AIDS

Your extra medications are needed by many people with HIV. Organizations such as Aid for AIDS will pay for you to send them your extra meds for HIV and related illnesses, and then ship them to people in South America and Africa who would die without them.

If you have extra meds you don't need, please take a moment to learn more about Aid for AIDS. Click here for additional news and information about medication recycling programs.
HIV IN THE NEWS

 Kentucky's ADAP Waiting List Nears 100; Other States' Lists Growing
On the heels of a recession, the dark days of waiting lists for U.S. AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) have returned. HIV-positive people are currently "on hold" for HIV meds in eight U.S. states, and the waiting list in Kentucky is the longest in the nation. (Article from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

As the ADAP Watch report from Oct. 8 shows, the ADAP "safety net" has only grown weaker since TheBody.com's managing editor provided an assessment of the worsening ADAP situation in several states.


 American Express: Do More ... Unless You Have HIV?
Even 30 years into the HIV/AIDS pandemic, stigma and discrimination are still realities for many people living with HIV. In the U.S., for example, a former American Express employee is suing the company after allegedly being fired for having HIV. The ex-employee says his supervisor refused to enter his cubicle, and wouldn't even speak to him unless it was from a "safe" distance. (Article from the New York Post)


TESTING/TRANSMISSION OF HIV & OTHER STDS

 Which Condoms Are Least Likely to Burst Your Bubble?
Sometimes the quality of a condom makes the critical difference, particularly if you're in a mixed-status relationship and want it to remain that way. So which condoms are least likely to pop under pressure? Consumer Reports recently put 20 popular condoms to the test; all met regulators' minimum standards, but seven in particular earned a perfect score. (Article from TheBody.com)


 Circumcision May Have Large HIV Protection Benefit for Gay "Tops"
We've heard all about how circumcision can reduce the risk of heterosexual men getting HIV from their female partners. But how about gay men? A new study suggests that being circumcised may greatly reduce the risk of getting HIV among Australian gay men who prefer being the "insertive" partner. (Study abstract from the medical journal AIDS)






Activist Central

 Participate in the White House's HIV/AIDS Community Discussions on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy


 Alert: Don't Let Dems Wimp Out on Opposing Abstinence-Only Funding


 U.S. Territories Separate and Unequal in Health Care Reform; How You Can Help


 Can't Make It to a White House HIV/AIDS Community Discussion? Provide Your Testimony Online for the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy!


 Urge President Obama to Lift the Ban on Federal Funding for Syringe Exchange Programs