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January 21, 2004
In This Update:
  • From the Editor
  • HIV Treatment & Side Effects
  • Life With HIV
  • HIV Prevention & Infection Trends
  • HIV Policy & Funding
  • Web Highlights
  •   FROM THE EDITOR
    I'd like to remind those of you looking for HIV support and services that we provide two excellent ways in which to do it
    :

    Use our search engine (U.S. only). The Body's "ASO Finder" is a handy search engine with details on many U.S. service organizations. Search for organizations by name or by ZIP code.

    Browse our comprehensive directory (U.S. and international). The Body's thorough listing of AIDS hotlines and organizations is divided internationally by region and within the U.S. by state.

    Both of these tools have been designed to make your search for HIV-related services as stress-free as possible. If you have any feedback regarding them or if you are a member of an AIDS organization and would like to be added to our lists please feel free to write and let me know!

    - Bonnie Goldman, Editorial Director, The Body


      HIV TREATMENT & SIDE EFFECTS

    When Starting HAART, Know What You're Getting Into

    The best way to start HIV treatment is with a clear set of goals in mind and a solid understanding of any obstacles you may face. Read HIV educator Frank Pizzoli's review of six key factors to keep in mind as you consider starting treatment, and then browse through The Body's easy-to-read guide to HIV medications for additional useful information on when to start and what to take.


    For a Short Time, HAART Can Make Some Feel Sicker
    Ironically, people who start HIV treatment sometimes seem to grow sicker for a brief period of time. This isn't caused by medication side effects, but rather by a short-term illness that doctors call "immune restoration syndrome."


    Is Atazanavir All Its Cracked Up to Be?
    The new protease inhibitor atazanavir (Reyataz) is billed as one of the most patient-friendly protease inhibitors around: two pills taken once a day, with no ill effects on cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Does it live up to the hype? PWA Coalition Colorado investigates.



    Treatment Forum Reviews the Basics on T-20

    Why is T-20 (enfuvirtide, Fuzeon) so expensive? Can it be taken by itself, or does it always have to be part of a combination? What about side effects? Read this helpful report from George Burgess about the ins and outs of T-20.

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      LIFE WITH HIV

    Job Training Can Provide HIVers With Valuable Skills, Support
    Unemployed and HIV positive? Job training programs specifically for HIV-positive people with few skills can help provide the skills and support necessary to gain steady employment. Read the story of one woman who found self-confidence and a sense of achievement through enrolling in Multi-Tasking Systems, a New York job training and placement program for HIV-positive people.


    Do Trans People Create Their Own Barriers to Health?
    Fear of stigma and self-hatred can add to health risks for transsexuals and their partners. Healthcare providers often don't think to ask if you have a penis or a vagina, or if you are injecting hormones. They also may not know to inform you about how to protect your sensitive pre-op or post-op genitalia from the health risks of sex.
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      HIV PREVENTION & INFECTION TRENDS

    Condom Producer Stops Using Nonoxynol-9
    Durex has stopped producing condoms containing the spermicide nonoxynol-9, which in recent studies has shown that it may increase the risk of HIV transmission.

    To learn more about the studies that have shown how nonoxynol-9 increases a person's HIV risk, visit The Body's library of articles.


    Mother-Child HIV Transmission Rare in U.S., but Not Gone
    A new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report has found that, although mother-to-child transmission of HIV has grown rare in the U.S., it still happens especially when HIV-positive mothers don't receive the medical care they need, or haven't even been tested for HIV in the first place.


    Teens Less Likely to Have Risky Sex if Family Is Close-Knit
    Teenagers who felt more connected with their families were significantly less likely to report having sex, having had sex without a condom or having been involved in a pregnancy than their peers who felt less connected with their families. The study was conducted with students at inner-city alternative high schools in Houston, Texas.


    Condom Availability in Schools Reduces Unsafe Sex
    It turns out that condom availability in schools increases condom use without increasing the number of kids who are having sex, this study of Massachusetts public high schools says. In schools where condoms were distributed, 76 percent of sexually active students used them when they last had sex; in schools that didn't distribute condoms, however, only 56 percent used protection when they last had sex.

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      HIV POLICY & FUNDING

    Bush's Abstinence-Only Stance Earns Reprove From Healthcare Group
    In his State of the Union address, U.S. President George W. Bush reiterated his commitment to double federal funding for abstinence programs in order to fight the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest nongovernmental provider of healthcare services for Americans with HIV, noted in response: "There is simply no scientific basis for abstinence-only programs as a substitute for quality sex education in preventing HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases."


    Cable Positive Issues Call for Grant Applications
    Cable Positive, the cable and telecommunications industry's national non-profit AIDS action organization, is now taking applications for grants for AIDS organizations and local cable systems to work together in joint community outreach efforts, or to produce and distribute new, locally focused HIV/AIDS-related programs and public service announcements.


    How You Can Help Further the Cause for More ADAP Funding
    Wondering what you can do to help save ADAP? Consider joining the Save ADAP Committee, part of the AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC), a national group of AIDS treatment and policy advocates. Even if you don't want to join the committee, you can visit ATAC's Web site to learn what steps you can take to ensure people in the U.S. no longer die while their names sit on HIV treatment waiting lists.

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      WEB HIGHLIGHTS

    Gay Men Still Rely on Disclosure to Avoid HIV
    According to a fascinating 2002 survey of 16,871 gay men living in the United Kingdom, the second most-common strategy used by HIV-negative gay men to avoid HIV infection (condom use is #1) is simply having faith that their HIV-positive partners will invariably disclose their status before sex. Many other findings from this survey will shock and dismay you.
    Article from aidsmap.com, January 20, 2004


    Anal Cancer Bad News for HIV-Positive Gay Men Even in HAART Era, but Incidence Is Rare
    Although anal cancer doesn’t respond to HAART, is difficult to treat and occurs more frequently in gay men than others, it is thankfully rare, according to a large new study. In related news, the study found that screening for anal cancer appears to be of no value.
    Article from aidsmap.com, January 19, 2004


    Critics Decry Escalating HIV/AIDS Drug Prices
    Drug companies assure critics that high prices are necessary to offset research and development costs, but with more U.S. patients finding their treatment options restricted by ADAP cuts, the critics counter that drug manufacturers are putting their profit margins above patients' health.
    Article from The Washington Blade, January 16, 2004


    Emerging New Strategies for the Management of Treatment-Experienced and Salvage Therapy Patients
    A detailed review of recent research on treatment strategies for people who have failed multiple HAART regimens.
    Article from HIVandHepatitis.com, January 12, 2004


    2004: What’s In, What’s Out?
    POZ magazine looks back over the changes in HIV treatment that the last year has brought, and at what new changes 2004 may bring.
    Article from POZ, January 2004


    New Guidelines for Management of Dyslipidemia From IDSA and the ACTG
    A summary of the updated guidelines, including recommendations for the screening and treatment of high lipid levels in people with HIV, which can lead to cardiovascular problems.
    Article from The Hopkins HIV Report, January 2004


    Provision of Antiretroviral Therapy in Resource-Limited Settings
    The World Health Organization and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development have released this paper, which provides healthcare professionals in developing nations with guidance on how best to treat their HIV-positive patients.
    Report from the World Health Organization, November 2003

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    Image from the December/January Visual AIDS Web Gallery

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