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TREATMENT & SIDE EFFECTS
Communication Is Key to Effective Treatment
Why is it so important for people with HIV to communicate with
their doctors -- and to make sure their doctors communicate with
them? Because the more a person understands about her treatment
situation, the more likely she is to stay healthy. Check out the
article above for more on why a good provider-patient relationship
is pivotal, or read
through our library of materials on choosing the perfect physician
Do You Make Sense of Your Blood Tests?
The results of your latest blood test are back, and you're staring
at a piece of paper filled with confusing numbers: cholesterol levels,
DHEA, glucose, hematocrit, the list goes on and on. How can you
tell if your lab values are within the normal range? This detailed
chart from New Mexico AIDS Infonet has the answers.
Less Successful in Crystal Meth Abusers -- Unless They Quit
HIV-positive people on HAART who abuse crystal meth have higher
viral loads than people who don't currently use the drug, this study
finds. Since HAART can be just as successful in former meth users
as in people with no history of drug abuse, healthcare providers
need to redouble their efforts to get meth abusers into substance
abuse treatment programs, the researchers conclude.
HEALTH & LIFE WITH HIV
Snails Help Ease Your Pain?
Ziconotide, a synthetic form of sea snail venom, can ease pain
in patients with AIDS or cancer for whom other painkillers, such as
morphine, have not been beneficial, according to a study recently
published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
PREVENTION & INFECTION TRENDS
Sex Down, Contraceptive Use Up Since 1990s
Although parents are arguably more concerned than ever about the
sex lives of their teenage children, teens are actually having less
sex and using condoms more often now than at any other point in the
past decade. Read this article for a rundown of the latest statistics
regarding teens and sex.
Seminary to Require HIV Tests for Prospective Priests
The Grand Seminaire de Montreal, a Catholic seminary, will begin this
fall to require an HIV test for all men who apply to study to become
priests, the Montreal Gazette reports. A positive HIV test, they say,
will "sound an alarm bell" that an applicant could be a
man who has sex with men.
Grows on Deportation Policy for HIV-Positive Foreigners
The U.S. should reverse its policy of deporting HIV-positive
immigrants and should allow HIV-positive individuals to visit the
country, columnist Jonathan Rauch writes in his National Journal
column. According to Rauch, the international committee of the Presidential
Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS favors lifting the ban and will seek
full council approval for opposing the policy in March.
POLICY & FUNDING
in Joining the Push for ADAP Funding?
The AIDS Treatment Activist Coalition is planning for HIV-positive
people and AIDS organization staffers to converge on Washington, D.C.
late next month. They intend to pressure Congress for emergency funding
of the U.S.'s troubled AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). This
article has all the details, including information on how you can
receive funding to cover your travel costs.
OUTSIDE THE U.S.
Continent Swiftly Nears an HIV Crisis
Asia stands on a precipice as its window for averting an HIV catastrophe
rapidly closes. This excerpted report from UNAIDS details the brewing
HIV/AIDS crisis in China, India and other countries throughout the
region, where more than two million young people are already living
with the virus, and nearly half a million people are estimated to
have died from AIDS in 2001.
Cure Myth May Spur Child Rapes in Africa
Between January and June 2003, more than 400 cases of child rape
were recorded in Zambia, up from 238 cases during the same period
last year. Some AIDS advocates say that the surge of such rapes in
this and other parts of Africa is caused by the tragically mistaken
belief that a person can cure AIDS by having sex with a minor or with
their own child.
Mothers Advised to Wean Abruptly After Six Months
If African women practice "exclusive breastfeeding and abrupt
weaning," they can reduce their babies' risk of contracting HIV
or other diseases, African researchers suggest. The method involves
giving an infant nothing but breastmilk for the first six months followed by abrupt weaning.
in Lipoatrophy Associated With Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy
in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Patients Switched From
Stavudine to Abacavir or Zidovudine: The Results of the TARHEEL
When people who had developed lipoatrophy while taking
d4T (stavudine, Zerit) switched to abacavir (Ziagen) or AZT (zidovudine,
Retrovir), their condition improved.
Abstract from Clinical Infectious Diseases, January 15, 2004
Brave New World
When he walked into the classroom to teach his new
"Plagues and Politics" college course, Michael Bronski
was shocked to find that as far as his students knew, the 20 years
of devastation wrought by AIDS on the gay community in the U.S.
Article from The Boston Phoenix, January 9, 2004
Drug Users More Likely to Progress to AIDS Even if Taking HAART
HIV-positive injecting drug users are 45 percent
more likely to develop an AIDS-defining illness and are less likely
to have or maintain a viral load below 400 than HIV-positive people
who don't inject drugs, even if they're taking HAART, U.S. researchers
Article from aidsmap.com, January 8, 2004
All Back to Front
This columnist asks: Why is all the talk about microbicides
restricted to their use for women? What about gay men?
Article from Positive Nation, December 2003/January 2004
Thwart AIDS Education
In most of the world, people consider gender to be
an either/or option; either you're male or you're female. In Native
American and other indigenous societies, however, the issue is not
Article from The Arizona Republic, December 29, 2003
A comprehensive look at HIV prevention and the risks
of various sexual activities.
Chapter from HIV InSite Knowledge Base, December 2003