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TREATMENT & SIDE EFFECTS
Marijuana Ban Illegal Where Medically Allowed, Court Says
The U.S. government's ban on marijuana doesn't extend to states
that have specifically permitted its use for medical reasons, provided
it's being used under a physician's advice, according to a ruling
of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Trials of T-1249 Halted
Swiss drug maker Roche and U.S. biotechnology company Trimeris
announced on Jan. 5 that they have halted clinical trials of their
experimental fusion inhibitor T-1249. The companies said that trials
of T-1249, which the FDA had agreed to "fast-track" after
later trials were completed, were stopped because of problems in
the drug's formulation.
Invirase Approved by FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the
use of saquinavir hard-gel capsules (Invirase) boosted with ritonavir
(Norvir), according to drug maker Roche. Roche found that 1,000
mg of Invirase used in combination with 100 mg of ritonavir boosted
the level of Invirase in a patient's bloodstream, compared with
using Invirase alone.
Responds to Furor Over Ritonavir Price Increase (PDF)
In response to widespread protests over its 500 percent price
increase of ritonavir (Norvir), a drug necessary to the success
of virtually all protease inhibitor combinations, Abbott Pharmaceuticals
has sent this letter to HIV physicians.
Seek Ways to Put HIV to Bed
A group of Belgian researchers is studying a novel family of
compounds called pyridine oxide derivatives, which they say might
have the ability to make HIV "fall asleep" inside the
a Clinical Trial: What You Need to Know
Whether you have run out of treatment options or are just beginning
treatment, there may be a clinical trial for you. How can you join?
Sarah Biel-Cunningham answers some of the most frequently asked
questions about clinical trials in an article from AIDS Survival
Once you've read about how to become part of a clinical trial, fill
out The Body's online clinical trial application to learn
more about upcoming trials you may be a good match for!
HEALTH & LIFE WITH HIV
Body's Women & HIV Forum Welcomes Its Newest Expert
The Body's Women and HIV "Ask the Experts" forum --
where HIV-positive women can turn for professional advice on anything
from women-specific health problems to having a baby when you're HIV
positive -- has added a new member to its family of experts! Dr. Sharon
Lee joins the forum from a deep background in the medical care of
HIV-positive women. Stop by the forum today and share what's on your
Is Not a Judgement From God
Too many of us believe that AIDS could be a punishment handed
down from God in judgement of our sins. In an article from PositiveWords,
Reverend Christine Y. Wiley explains why this is absolutely false.
Shyness Increase Your Viral Load?
Shy men who have sex with men (MSM) tend to have higher viral
loads and show a poorer response to HAART than other MSM, according
to a small U.S. study. The researchers found evidence that certain
brain activity found in introverts can have a large impact on their
immune response to HIV.
PREVENTION & INFECTION TRENDS
New York Women Newly Diagnosed With HIV
In what appears to be a slight gender-based shift in U.S. HIV
cases, a study released last week shows that women accounted for more
than a third of new HIV diagnoses in New York City in 2001.
Piercing Might Increase HIV Risk
Oral sex can indeed be a route of HIV transmission -- and penile peircings
may increase this risk, according to the results of detailed interviews
with 75 gay men with acute HIV infection.
and Water as an HIV Prevention Tool
Plain old soap and water can do all sorts of wonderful things,
but can it prevent HIV? Recent research suggests that it can, but
experts are quick to point out that it's no replacement for proven
safe-sex methods like condom use.
Grades for Minnesota's Abstinence-Only Program
An independent study commissioned
by the Minnesota Department of Health found that the state's
$5 million abstinence-only sex education program is not working. Of
the 413 junior high-school students surveyed at three schools with
the ENABL (Education Now And Babies Later) program, the rate of sexual
activity increased from 5.8 percent to 12.4 percent in 2001-2002.
POLICY & FUNDING
U.S. Insurance Coverage Could Save Lives
Expanding the health coverage of HIV-positive people on public
insurance in the U.S. could cut AIDS-related deaths by as much as
66 percent, according to a new study. The study also found that public
insurance is 20 percent less effective than private insurance in preventing
AIDS Group Reaches Out to Low-Income Families
Atlanta-based ANIZ, Inc., hopes to curb the rising tide of HIV
infections among African Americans in the Southern U.S. by reaching
out to those at risk -- and, just as importantly, by offering support
and assistance to low-income families with HIV, and children in particular.
OUTSIDE THE U.S.
HIV/AIDS Funding Isn't Nearly High Enough
The U.S. is the "largest single donor" of funds to combat
HIV/AIDS in developing countries, but the amount that the U.S. and
other countries together are spending to fight the disease "falls
far short of what is needed," according to a new report from
the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Therapy Associated With Better Sexual Satisfaction
In the wake of studies that have found a link between
sexual dysfunction and protease inhibitors, a new Italian study
has found that many people taking NNRTI-based regimens actually
report a small improvement in their sex lives.
Article from aidsmap.com, January 6, 2004
of AIDS Drug Soars Fivefold
More on the aftermath of Abbott Laboratories' decision
last month to quintuple the price of ritonavir (Norvir).
Article from The Seattle Times, January 5, 2004 (free registration
Partnership and Progression to AIDS or Death in HIV Infected Patients
Receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy: Swiss HIV Cohort
The presence of a stable partnership is associated
with a slower rate of disease progression in HIV-positive people
who receive HAART, but the reasons for this are unknown.
Abstract from British Medical Journal, January 3, 2004
Over Immigrant HIV Tests
British officials are considering a law that would
require all new immigrants to be tested for HIV, but some experts
warn that doing so could create more health problems than it solves.
Article from BBC News World Edition, January 2, 2004
Immunodeficiency Syndrome and the Risk of Stroke
A U.S. study finds that the likelihood of a stroke
is greatly increased among people with AIDS.
Abstract from Stroke, December 18, 2003
and Risk Factors for Infection With Herpes Simplex Virus Type-1
and -2 Among Lesbians
Almost 10 percent of lesbians are infected with herpes
simplex virus type-2 (HSV-2), and most have no idea they are infected,
U.S. researchers say. HSV-2, the virus most responsible for genital
herpes, can be transmitted through female-female sex.
Abstract from Sexually Transmitted Diseases, December 2003