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January 28, 2004
In This Update:
  • From the Editor
  • HIV Treatment
  • Life With HIV
  • HIV Policy & Funding (U.S.)
  • HIV Risk, Prevention & Outreach
  • HIV-Related Coinfections
  • Web Highlights

    We're just two weeks away from the U.S.'s most significant AIDS medical conference of the year, the 11th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection (CROI 2004). As it has every year, CROI 2004 promises to present some of the most cutting-edge research in HIV, and The Body has 13 HIV specialists who will be there to cover it!

    Visit our conference home page at any time to learn more about CROI 2004 and the talented HIV doctors who will provide our comprehensive coverage.

    Have any questions about our conference coverage, or just want to say hello? Send us an e-mail and let us know what's on your mind!

    - Bonnie Goldman, Editorial Director, The Body


    HIV Treatment in 2003: One Wild Ride

    2003 was one heck of an exciting year for HIV treatment: four new meds were approved (including the first fusion inhibitor, a whole new family of drugs) and researchers made great strides in determining which regimens work best and worst for people taking meds for the first time. Dr. Stephen L. Becker has more on the highs and lows of HIV treatment in 2003.

    Why Did T-1249 Get a Red Light?
    Many people were disappointed by the suspension of production for the fusion inhibitor T-1249. Bob Huff takes a look at some of the reasons behind the decision.

    Interested in Joining a First-Line Treatment Study?
    Never been on HIV treatment? A trial in the New York City area is now recruiting patients who have not yet taken antiretrovirals and have a viral load of 2,000 or higher. The trial will compare three first-line regimens. Each participant will know what combination they will be taking.

    U.S. Updates HIV Treatment Guidelines for Children (PDF)
    The newly revised "Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Infection," which was released on Jan. 20, includes new information regarding the use of the newly approved protease inhibitors 908 (fosamprenavir, Lexiva) and atazanavir (Reyataz). The guidelines are also available in HTML format.

    Critics Question FDA About Drug-Approval Process
    How does the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve new HIV meds and how do they make sure those meds are truly safe? A group of AIDS activists recently met with FDA officials to talk about exactly that.


    Support Is Key to Drug Abuse Recovery
    Joining a support group has been an important reason that Arams, an HIV-positive recovering crystal meth user, has stayed clean. "The biggest thing this group has done for me is to give me a place to go," he says, "a place to share my experiences and struggles with others who are just like me."

    Overcoming Insomnia: Chase Your Demons Away
    Having trouble getting to sleep at nightand not because of medication side effects? Get relief from an expert: psychologist Dr. J. Buzz von Ornsteiner serves up advice on how to handle the stress that keeps you awake past your bedtime.

    Guide to Nutrition and Exercise for People With HIV
    An updated and expanded edition of Built to Survive!, a resource book for HIV-positive men and women on nutrition, exercise and the use of steroids, has hit the bookshelves. The book, reviewed here by AIDS Survival Project, is authored by Nelson Vergel, who answers questions on nutrition and exercise at The Body's "Ask the Experts" forums.


    A New Year Brings a Fresh Look at Activism's Priorities
    What are some of the new issues driving AIDS activism today? ADAP cuts and drug price hikes are just two important topics on the 2004 agenda. GMHC's Bob Huff reviews the top stories.

    Think AIDS Funding in the U.S. Is in Good Shape? Think Again.
    Colorado AIDS treatment educator Shelley Cohen McKittrick has a thing or two to say about the AIDS funding situation in the U.S.: "Anyone who thinks things are going to improve in this political climate is living in a Disney movie. As long as people who care more about corporate bottom lines are in control of our government, human beings will suffer."

    Presidential Candidates Put Their HIV/AIDS Priorities in Writing
    Six of the candidates for U.S. President have responded to an in-depth survey on HIV/AIDS issues from Interested in knowing how they answered and who didn't bother to respond? This article provides a summary.



    AIDS Central in New York City
    What is it that makes Harlem one of the New York City neighborhoods hit hardest by AIDS? Body Positive takes a closer look at the factors that can harm the mental and physical health of communities like Harlem, and in doing so make them more prone to the spread of HIV.

    HIV/AIDS Services for Harlem Residents
    Just because Harlem is considered an "underserved" community when it comes to HIV and AIDS, that doesn't mean the community is "unserved." There are a lot of agencies, old and new, large and small, in and around Harlem providing prevention, treatment and support services vital to the community, as this resource guide from Body Positive proves.



    Comparing Nasty Viruses: HIV and Hepatitis
    They are three viruses with similar names HIV, HBV (hepatitis B) and HCV (hepatitis C) but very different personalities. Read this side-by-side comparison of these dangerous little bugs.

    Tuberculosis Is Treatable Provided People Take All Their Meds
    Although there are several medications that can successfully treat tuberculosis (TB), the sheer existence of such medications isn't enough to stop the disease: patients and doctors must also make sure that every dose of those medications is taken, and is taken on time. Bob Huff examines recent studies on the dilemma of TB treatment adherence.

    U.S. Releases Updated Guidelines on Group of Tuberculosis Drugs (PDF)
    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released updated guidelines for the use of rifamycins, a family of drugs used to treat tuberculosis, in people with HIV who are taking protease inhibitors or NRTIs.
    The online version is also available at the CDC's Web site.



    Comparative Efficacy of Topical Therapy With a Slow-Release Mucoadhesive Buccal Tablet Containing Miconazole Nitrate Versus Systemic Therapy With Ketoconazole in HIV-Positive Patients With Oropharyngeal Candidiasis
    A once-daily topical treatment for oral thrush has been found just as effective as traditional therapy, which often involves using prescription lozenges or mouthwashes as many as five times a day.
    From JAIDS, February 1, 2004

    Saunas and Drugs Linked With Rectal Gonorrhea in Gay Men in San Francisco Study
    HIV-positive gay men are twice as likely to have rectal gonorrhea as HIV-negative gay men, this study found. Infection was even more likely if the men had recently had unprotected receptive anal sex, met an anonymous partner at a sauna or used recreational drugs, particularly amphetamines.
    From, January 28, 2004

    "Now I Will Live Longer"
    Last week, Xolile Maliti became the first person to receive free HIV meds through South Africa's new treatment program. But is the program's rollout taking too long?
    From the Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg), January 23, 2004

    Scientist Admits Error in Study on HIV Survival
    Prominent AIDS researcher Dr. David Ho has backtracked on a major finding he and his colleagues announced last year. Ho mistakenly thought he had discovered the cause of the so-called "CD8 antiviral factor," which scientists believe may be what keeps long-term HIV nonprogressors from developing AIDS.
    From the San Francisco Chronicle, January 23, 2004

    Mental Health AIDS Newsletter, Winter 2004 (PDF)
    Included in this quarterly update on mental health and AIDS is a summary of clinical recommendations and published research regarding the psychological factors that influence sexual risk behavior between men.
    From the AETC National Resource Center, Winter 2004

    Image from the December/January Visual AIDS Web Gallery

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