June 1, 2011
Here is a quick look at a few HIV/AIDS stories recently reported in the media:
Study Suggests That Positive Baby Boomers Should Start Treatment Earlier (From aidsmap.com)
Researchers from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) suggest that people living with HIV who are 50 and over should start treatment earlier because they are more likely to have a weaker immune system after starting treatment.
After monitoring the CD4 counts and viral load of 614 HIV-positive gay men who had been taking antiretroviral therapy for between five and twelve years, they found that the age of when someone started HIV therapy could mean better long-term outcomes. The mean CD4 cell count after five years of therapy was significantly lower for men who started treatment when they were aged 50 or over, compared to people who started treatment when they were under the age of 40.
Younger men who started therapy when their CD4 cell count was in the region of 201 to 350 cells/mm3 had a mean CD4 cell count of 670 cells/mm3 after ten or more years of treatment. Men who started treatment after the age of 50 who started therapy with a similar count had a mean of 578 cells/mm3.
In their study, the time HIV therapy was started, 47 percent of the men were under the age of 40 and 12 percent were over the age of 50.
In a perfect world, discussing your fears about juggling your disease with other health issues would be relatively easy. But researchers from the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia found that not to be case for many women living with HIV.
Researchers found that more than half of positive women (55 percent) have never discussed gender-related health issues such as HIV management prior to or during pregnancy with their docs. Also, women with male health care providers were less likely than women with female health care providers to have discussed this topic (41 percent versus 51 percent, respectively).
"Clinicians caring for HIV-infected women need to incorporate regular discussions about the reproductive plans of their patients. These plans change over time and clinicians need to modify their recommendations and treatment strategies accordingly," said Dr. Kathleen Squires, the lead author of the study.
The researchers didn't pinpoint exactly why they believe this disconnect exists. They speculated that the clinicians' lack of experience, comfort, or knowledge of these issues played a role. They also believed that docs might have expected that patients' concerns would be addressed by other physicians.
Do you speak to your doctor about gender-related health issues?
When Brisbane, Australia's "Rip or Roll," safer sex campaign ads for MSM, got yanked from bus stops because of a mere 30 complaints, the HIV/AIDS and LGBT community, not just in Australia, but around the world lashed out.
More than 66,000 people joined a "Rip and Roll" Facebook support group and then it was announced that the ads were going back up.
The Herald Sun reported:
The Queensland Association for Healthy Communities started the group after Adshel -- the company that provides advertising for Brisbane's bus shelters -- buckled to pressure from the Christian lobby and removed the ad featuring an image of a gay couple embracing, holding an unopened red condom packet.
Announcing their back flip this afternoon, the company said it had changed its mind because it did not realize it had been subjected to a campaign from the Australian Christian Lobby to remove the posters.
The Queensland Association for Healthy Communities told the press that in 2010 they saw a higher number of people diagnosed with HIV than at any time since testing began in the mid-1980s.
Member of Act Up-Paris Dresses in Drag and Protests the G8 Meeting (From France 24)
The City of Syracuse Paints Itself Red for HIV/AIDS Awareness (From 9WSYR.com, Syracuse ABC affiliate)
Kellee Terrell is the former news editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.
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