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HIV/AIDS News Digest: May 3, 2011

May 3, 2011

Here is a quick look at a few HIV/AIDS stories recently reported in the media:

Higher HIV Risk in Black Gay Men Linked to Partner Choice, Risk Perception (From Medical News Today)

Issues of masculinity and power in gay communities of color are a growing topic of discussion -- and a new study has found that those issues may be a factor in the rising HIV rates among young, black men who have sex with men (MSM).

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Children's Hospital Boston and Emory University found that young, black MSM select partners and judge these partners' HIV status in a specific way -- they prefer "more masculine" men. But what's really interesting is that a majority of the participants who were interviewed perceived masculine men as low risk for HIV and feminine men as high risk. Yet, research shows that there is no real difference in HIV prevalence rate between masculine-looking and feminine-looking men.

Researchers also found that masculine partners dominate the sex act and make the decisions about condom use.

The findings offer new insight into how black MSM judge risk based on perceptions of masculinity and can help inform public health campaigns to reduce new HIV infections in this disproportionately affected group. The findings, the researchers say, can also guide safer-sex conversations between primary care physicians and patients.

Five Tony Nominations for the Broadway Revival of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart and 14 for The Book of Mormon (From AfterElton)

Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart has only been on Broadway for a few weeks, but that hasn't stopped the revival from receiving five Tony Award Nominations this afternoon. Kramer's semi-autobiographical, 1985 play about the rise of AIDS in mid-80s New York, garnered nominations for Best Revival of a Play, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Joe Mantello, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role for John Benjamin Hickey, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role for Ellen Barkin and Best Direction for Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe.

The Book of Mormon, the crass and somewhat offensive musical about Uganda's AIDS crisis, had the most nominations -- a record-tying 14 in total, including Best Musical, two nods for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and Best Direction in a Musical.

Watch Judith Light, another Tony nominee this year, discuss the importance of The Normal Heart.

Read the rest of the nominations here.

HIV Drug Could Lead to New Cervical Cancer Treatment (From

Researchers from the University of Manchester believe that the HIV protease inhibitor lopinavir (LPV, a component of Kaletra) could possibly be an effective cervical cancer treatment. The report states that lopinavir triggers cells infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) to produce an antiviral protein, inducing death of the cancerous cells.

"We have now found that lopinavir selectively kills HPV-infected, non-cancerous cells, while leaving healthy cells relatively unaffected," said Dr. Ian Hampson, from Manchester's School of Cancer and Enabling Sciences.

The finding could lead to a new form of treatment for cervical cancer, which is caused by certain high-risk types of HPV. Right now, the most popular treatments for early stage precancerous lesions is for the lesions to be frozen off, surgery and chemotherapy.

Co-author on the paper, Dr. Lynne Hampson, said: "These results are very exciting since they show that the drug not only preferentially kills HPV-infected non-cancerous cells by re-activating known antiviral defense systems, it is also much less toxic to normal non-HPV infected cells."

Other HIV/AIDS Articles in the Media

Santa Barbara Schools Fail Sex Ed Audit (From Santa Barbara Independent)

Abbott Cuts Cost of AIDS Drug for Government Programs (From Chicago Tribune)

Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for and

Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.

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