Are you on treatment but concerned that your HIV is becoming resistant
to your meds, or that your viral load is sneaking above 50? Our
newest expert, Dr. Renslow Sherer of the University of Chicago Hospitals,
is now available to answer your questions about resistance to HIV
medications and the battle to get your viral load below detectable
levels. Take advantage of this amazing resource and ask
your question at our "Ask the Experts" forum on Drug
Resistance & Staying Undetectable!
Be sure, too, to browse through The Body's upcoming coverage of
Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection (CROI
2004), the largest U.S. AIDS conference of the year. Beginning Tuesday,
our staff of 13 HIV physicians will provide next-day coverage throughout
the week, and our next e-mail update will include important conference
highlights in addition to our standard fare.
As always, we welcome your feedback! Please send
us an e-mail if you have any questions or concerns.
Goldman, Editorial Director, The Body
TREATMENT & RESEARCH
Clarifications on Liver Dangers of Nevirapine (PDF)
Side effects of any drug can vary from individual to individual
and from one gender to another. In a recent letter to healthcare
providers, nevirapine (Viramune) producer Boehringer Ingelheim notes
that the risk of severe liver damage is much higher for women, including
pregnant women already receiving treatment for their HIV infection,
whose CD4 counts are over 250. As with all medication-related issues,
be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about any concerns
you may have about using nevirapine.
Treatment May Help Body Fight HIV on Its Own
Imagine if your body could be its very own T-20 factory. Scientists
are making progress on a gene that, once injected into people with
HIV, could program uninfected blood cells to manufacture a protective
weapon with the same HIV fusion-blocking properties as T-20 (enfuvirtide,
Fuzeon), allowing cells to fight off the virus without daily drug
Still Open for Clinical Trial on Starting Therapy
If you're HIV positive but have never been on treatment before
and are interested in becoming part of a clincal trial, you can
now enroll at The Body for the opportunity to participate in important
HIV treatment research. Interested? Click on the link above for
more information. (If you already enrolled last week, you don't
need to do so again.)
Slides: Too Slick for Prime Time?
PowerPoint slides are an integral part of conferences like next
week's CROI 2004: Researchers use them to present information as
simply and quickly as possible. But is there a risk in trying to
make complicated study results look more cut-and-dry than they often
a Piece of the HIV Puzzle: How HIV Attaches to Cells
Wondering how HIV actually attaches itself to your T cells in
order to infect them? This overview from Project Inform will fill
you in: It explains the role of "co-receptors," or proteins
found on T cells that HIV uses to gain access to your immune system.
Your Support Group Isn't Right for You
Feeling uncomfortable with your HIV support group? Not all support
groups are a perfect fit; the question is, what should you do about
it? Read this Body Positive article for professional advice
from New York psychologist Dr. J. Buzz von Ornsteiner.
Can Be an Unexpected Side Effect of Your Meds
It may sound manageable when your doctor warns you that depression
may be a side effect of your treatment, but often depression is more
difficult to endure then most people expect. Here are some tips from
Positive Words for dealing with the depression that sometimes
accompanies taking hepatitis C drug interferon. These tips are also
handy for anyone dealing with depression.
Browse through The
Body's collection of materials on depression for additional advice.
HIV POLICY & DRUG PRICING
Requests Government Intervention in Ritonavir Price Increase
The nonprofit company Essential Innovations, Inc., has filed
a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission alleging that
Abbott Laboratories intentionally raised the cost of ritonavir (Norvir)
last month in an effort to increase the market share of its combination
drug Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), the price of which has not changed.
Essential Innovations also asked the government to grant a license
for the production of a generic version of ritonavir in the U.S.
of People With HIV on ADAP Waiting Lists Rises to 791
As of January, 15 U.S. states now have waiting lists or other
access restrictions on their AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs),
leaving a total of 791 HIV-positive people unable to enroll in the
programs nationwide, according to the National Alliance of State
and Territorial AIDS Directors.
RISK, PREVENTION & OUTREACH
HIV Study Finds HAART Rare, Substance Abuse Common
In many inner city areas, the HIV prevention and treatment situation
is as bad as you can imagine. In a large study, researchers evaluated
the hospitalization of 1,562 HIV-infected patients at a Chicago
hospital servicing low-income and uninsured inner-city residents.
The authors found that, between 1999 and 2002, the overwhelming
majority of the patients studied were active substance abusers and
were not taking HAART, despite having low CD4 cell counts. They
also found that women in particular were less likely to receive
HIV Infections Among Asian-American Immigrants
New York City has a large number of immigrant communities, many
of which are at risk for HIV. In the Asian immigrant community,
experts believe that much of that risk can be attributed to stigma
-- and with the HIV epidemic threatening to explode in Asia, researchers
are exploring new ways to keep the same thing from happening among
Asian immigrants in America.
OUTSIDE THE U.S.
Doesn't Protect Against HIV"
British actress Emma Thompson, UNAIDS Executive Director Peter
Piot and former Irish President Mary Robinson have launched the
Global Coalition on Women and AIDS to raise awareness and increase
HIV/AIDS education among women in developing countries.
These two press releases -- one
on the launch of the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, the
other providing an overview of the epidemic among women throughout
the world -- were issued by UNAIDS this week in conjunction with
this new initiative.
and HIV: Deadly Partners
Drug resistance is one of the most frustrating obstacles to
treating disease, especially in the developing world, where growing
resistance to malaria treatment threatens to make an already dire
HIV epidemic even worse. A recent study in Malawi found that malaria
is the most common secondary infection among people with HIV.
TO OUR SPONSOR
|An unrestricted educational
grant from GlaxoSmithKline, producer of the online HIV resource
has helped make this week's e-mail update possible.