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April 7, 2004
In This Update:
  • HIV Treatment
  • Quality of Life
  • Access to HIV Medications
  • HIV Prevention & Coinfection News
  • HIV/AIDS Policy in the U.S.
  • International News
  • Web Highlights

    Vaccines for HIV Treatment, Rather Than Prevention
    Picture this: Instead of popping handfuls of pills every day, people with HIV receive just one injection no more than once a week. Sound like fantasy? These so-called "therapeutic HIV vaccines" are a long way from becoming reality, but their development has already begun.

    Starting HAART: To Treat or Not to Treat?
    This handy chart summarizes current U.S. guidelines regarding when a person with HIV should start treatment. Although many situations still have no hard-and-fast rules, this page can provide a useful reference when debating treatment decisions with your doctor.

    Beef Up Your Treatment Background: 2003 HIV Treatment Highlights
    Understanding last year's most important new developments in HIV medicine will help you to grasp today's latest and greatest HIV research news. Be sure to read through Dr. David Wohl's compelling analysis of the top ten research reports of 2003 in this exclusive report from The Body.



    Diving Back Into the Dating Scene When You're HIV Positive
    "Dating for a 45-year-old gay man is tough enough but for a 45-year-old gay man living with AIDS it's downright complicated. That's why I've been avoiding it," says Tom Setto. But at a recent (and entertaining) dinner, four of his HIV-positive friends talked him through how to get back into the game.

    Nutrition and Diet: Underrated, But Extremely Important
    Good nutrition can go a long way toward alleviating, or entirely preventing, some of the health problems that HIV and HIV medications can cause. Case in point: Switching from cow's milk to another type of milk, such as soy, rice or almond nut, can help treat diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. For more useful advice, read this article from Positively Aware.

    Are Those Supplements You're Taking Safe?
    Could your herbal supplements be a risk to your health? Complementary therapies, like vitamins and dietary supplements, aren't regulated by the U.S. government the way that drugs are, so the onus is on you to make sure that what you're taking is safe and effective. This fact sheet contains ten important tips to remember when using herbal supplements, as well as a list of resources for learning more.

    Summer Camps for HIV-Affected Children
    Do you know a child who has HIV or whose life has been closely affected by the virus? There are a host of summer camps throughout the U.S. where they can go to meet other HIV-affected kids, find support and -- most importantly -- have a great time! Even better, most of these camps charge little to nothing for children to attend, and some even cover transportation costs.

    Talk About It (Whatever It May Be!) at The Body's Bulletin Boards
    The Body's Bulletin Boards are the place to go if you're looking to connect with other people affected by HIV! Here's a quick sample of what's currently being talked about in our "Living With HIV" board:

    "I've been given the choice to either quit or be fired, after too many months of not being able to work my scheduled number of hours. Could the Ryan White fund help me?" -- Anonymous (click here to join this conversation)

    "My positive husband is pushing me away. I don't know what to do anymore!" -- Tina (click here to join this conversation)



    Help Less Fortunate People With HIV: Donate Your Unused Meds!
    Changed your HIV medications recently? Got extra medications? There are many organizations that ship unused medications to the developing world where people wouldn't otherwise get HIV treatment. Refer to this listing to find out more.

    Coloradans Comprise One-Third of U.S. ADAP Waiting List
    Although there are HIV medicine-donation programs set up to help people outside of the U.S., nothing's being done to within the U.S. help those still waiting to be accepted into AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs). Colorado, for instance, which is home to only 1% of the United States' HIV-positive population, has 280 HIV-positive people on its ADAP waiting list -- about one-third of the total number of people on such waiting lists nationwide. All of those people currently have no access to HIV medications.

    Expansion of HIV Drug Discount Program Will Help 100+ Countries
    The William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation has announced an agreement that will expand from 16 to more than 100 the number of developing nations that will benefit from the foundation's negotiated price discounts for generic HIV medications. Although some details are yet to be worked out, the discounts are expected to reduce the cost of HIV treatment to about US$140 per person per year in the affected countries.



    HIV Steadily Spreads to Young, Black U.S. Women
    Black women in the U.S. are 23 times more likely to be HIV-positive than white women, according to government studies using data from 29 states. Some observers say that this increase stems from heterosexual sex with men on the "down low," an expression that describes black men who have sex with men but who never mention their male relationships to their female sex partners, friends and family members.

    Hepatitis C Extremely Common, Rarely Treated in HIV+ Homeless
    Approximately 74% of HIV-positive homeless or "marginally housed" people in San Francisco also have hepatitis C, yet researchers have found that only 4% of those people are receiving hepatitis C treatment. The situation is thought to be worse in other U.S. cities that do not have a public health system as robust as San Francisco's.



    U.S. Government to Severely Cut Number of Its Scientists at Major Conference
    U.S. HIV researchers are outraged by the government's decision to save money by allowing only 50 government scientists to attend the XV International AIDS Conference this summer in Bangkok, Thailand. The U.S. sent 236 government scientists in 2002 to the last International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

    Activist Accuses Politics of Overtaking Science
    Over the past four years, sound scientific policy at the U.S. National Institutes of Health has given way to a stagnant, politicized environment not seen since the days of the first President Bush, writes AIDS advocate Bob Huff. "Such inbred thinking and opaque decision-making is not what AIDS research needs right now," he says. "We need greater openness, input and transparency."



    Sex Workers Refuse to Participate in Tenofovir HIV Prevention Trial
    A group of Cambodian commercial sex workers has refused to participate in a clinical trial testing the ability of tenofovir (Viread) to prevent HIV infection -- unless the trial's sponsors agree to provide them with health insurance for 30 years to treat possible side effects caused by the drug.

    China to End Long-Standing Practice of Isolating People With HIV
    In an effort to reduce HIV stigma and discrimination in China, reports indicate that the national government plans to amend a 15-year-old contagious disease prevention law to abolish the forced isolation of HIV-positive people.



    Genocide Victims' AIDS Drug Call
    It's a grim, devastating after-effect of the Rwandan genocide: Thousands of women who were raped during the mass killings are now living -- and dying -- with HIV.
    Article from BBC News, April 6, 2004

    Under the Big Top: Michael Jackson Leads the Parade for a Cause
    Whether you love the guy or hate him, he certainly created yet another headline-grabbing moment. Michael Jackson was on Capitol Hill last week, meeting with congresspeople and African ambassadors in an effort to draw public attention to the AIDS epidemic eviscerating the African continent.
    Article from the Washington Post (free registration required), April 1, 2004

    Cheek to Chic: Lipoatrophy Treatments Compared
    Three facial wasting treatments -- New-Fill (called Sculptra in the U.S., and soon to be officially approved by the Food and Drug Administration), SilSkin and Bio-Alcamid -- are briefly summarized by POZ.
    Article from POZ Magazine, April 2004

    Antiretroviral Therapy: The Naive Patient
    This report recaps recent findings regarding antiretroviral use by HIV-positive people who have never before been on treatment.
    Article from The Hopkins HIV Report, March 2004

    Lipodystrophy & Metabolic Complications
    A summary of several research highlights on metabolic complications from February's 11th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.
    Article from The Hopkins HIV Report, March 2004


    “Memorial Chair (Club Chair),” 2000; Michael Ransom
    "Memorial Chair (Club Chair),"
    2000; Michael Ransom

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