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HIV/AIDS News Digest: May 12, 2011

May 12, 2011

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

Canada's Supreme Court to Hear Harm-Reduction Case (From Xtra!)

On May 12, the Canadian Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments for and against the continued operation of Insite, Vancouver's safe injection site, the only one in North America.

More than two dozen studies have shown that Insite's services have reduced overdose deaths, HIV and hepatitis rates and crime. Not to mention there has been a 30 percent increase in injection drug users entering detox programs. Yet, the federal government wants for the site to close down citing that it goes against its anti-drug policies.

On May 10, the current mayor of Vancouver and five former mayors wrote an open letter asking that Insite's doors stay open. They wrote:

Since opening in 2003, Insite has proven -- beyond a doubt -- its worth to our community. Scientific research confirms the facility reduces high-risk behaviors that lead to the transmission of deadly diseases such as HIV and AIDS. Insite has been shown to reduce public disorder, as well as increasing entry into addiction treatment and detox programs. Most recently, research released in The Lancet, the internationally respected medical journal, revealed that Insite has significantly reduced overdose deaths in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. ...

Insite and its staff of healthcare professionals provide essential, life-saving benefits to vulnerable Canadians. For many, access to Insite is literally a matter of life and death. The timely and professional response of Insite staff has ensured that there has never been an overdose death at the facility, and it has increased the number of people who seek treatment options to end their use of drugs. Insite is a valued part of the community that deserves to be allowed to continue its excellent work. will monitor this issue and post updates when available.


Musty Smell Forces Johnson & Johnson to Recall HIV/AIDS Drug (From Los Angeles Times)

Janssen, a drug company owned by Johnson & Johnson, has recalled four batches of its HIV/AIDS drug Prezista. In a press release, the company said that the recall is for the 400 mg and 600 mg doses of the drug that were sent to Britain, Ireland, Germany and Austria. Its 75 mg, 150 mg and 300 mg formulations were not affected.

It's believed that the source of the odor could be TBA, a chemical byproduct of the wood preservatives found in some warehouse supplies. Even in small amounts, people can taste or smell TBA. The good news is that the health risks are minimal -- only a few people have reported gastrointestinal symptoms. Janssen believes that those symptoms are small compared to the risk of not taking the medication. It advises that anyone currently on Prezista not stop taking the drug.

This isn't the first time that an odor has caused the company to recall a drug. Last month, Janssen received complaints about a foul smell with Topamax, its anti-seizure drug. Meanwhile, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, another Johnson & Johnson owned company, has had several recalls for Tylenol, Motrin and other drugs due to a bad smell.

Former Professional Wrestler in Ohio Arrested for Not Disclosing His HIV Status (From USA Today)

Another day, another criminalization case.

This week, a grand jury in Cincinnati, Ohio, indicted 29-year-old Andre Davis on eight felonious assault charges. The Cincinnati man and former professional wrestler was indicted last month on seven felonious assault counts accusing him of having sex with four women without telling them his HIV status. The eight new charges come from women who saw news reports of Davis' previous indictments, which were announced in early April.

It's being reported that what started out as one woman who came to the police and Davis being arrested, grew into a bigger case as more women came forward. It's not clear whether these women have tested positive for HIV.

Andre Davis found out he was HIV positive in 2009. Ohio law says people who know they are infected with HIV must disclose that to potential partners before engaging in sexual conduct.

Other HIV/AIDS Articles in the Media

Project Runway's Mondo Guerra Kicks Off NYC AIDS Walk This Weekend (From PR Newswire)

New Training Program Helps Mental Health Providers Enhance Care for Latinos and the LGBT Community in New Mexico (From Medical News Today)

Native-American Youth Film Festival Focuses on HIV/AIDS (From Twin Cities Daily Planet)

Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for and

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

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