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April 14, 2004
In This Update:
  • HIV Treatment
  • Quality of Life
  • U.S. AIDS Activism & Drug Access
  • HIV-Related Illnesses & Coinfections
  • HIV Prevention
  • International News
  • Web Highlights

    For Those on HAART, Making Sure Third Time's a Charm
    How many options does an HIV-positive person now have if his or her first couple of HAART regimens stop working? Plenty, explains Project Inform in this review of "third-line" or "rescue" therapies.

    The Life Story of the Humble Protease Inhibitor
    Protease inhibitors revolutionized HIV treatment in 1996, and have saved thousands upon thousands of lives since their introduction. But what's been done since then to make them even better? Dr. Benjamin Young takes an up-close look.

    To Ensure Adherence, Support Is Key
    Adherence is all about support, many HIV experts say. The more emotional help and encouragement a person with HIV receives, the more likely he or she will be to take all of their meds on time. These and other findings were recently presented at an international conference on HAART adherence. Read this article for the highlights.



    Not Your Everyday Transsexual
    In this fascinating article, Matt Kailey describes the homophobia -- and "transphobia" -- he faced in his transition from heterosexual woman to "gay" man.



    ADAP Waiting List Tops 1,200 Nationwide
    There are now 1,263 people on waiting lists for U.S. AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), according to the latest "ADAP Watch" report. That's a huge jump from January, when 791 people were officially waiting for access to free HIV medications provided by their state ADAPs. The report says that 13 states -- more than a quarter of the country -- currently have ADAP waiting lists or access restrictions.

    New York Times Highlights Roiling Debate Over Ritonavir Price Hike
    The battle over the 400% price increase of ritonavir (Norvir) has "quite suddenly become a touchstone in [the] swirling debates" over whether the U.S. should allow imports of cheaper drugs, The New York Times reports. At government hearings being held on April 14 in Bethesda, Md., federal officials, AIDS organizations and consumer advocates plan to make the ritonavir price hike a centerpiece of their arguments that either drug importation must be legalized or some drug patent protections eased in the U.S.

    Atlanta Parade Will Remember Those Lost to AIDS
    This summer, Atlanta AIDS activists will hold a parade to commemorate those whose lives have been claimed by AIDS, and to call for people to make their voices heard by voting in the upcoming presidential election. Interested in being a part of the parade or having your loved one remembered? Read on for more information.

    Medical Community Called on to Join Fight for U.S. AIDS Funding
    With U.S. HIV drug costs skyrocketing and HIV treatment funding stagnating at levels far below what's needed, it's "incredibly important" that the medical community get involved in the fight for more federal funds, declares José Zuniga, President of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care.



    Causes and Treatments for Lipodystrophy and Other Metabolic Problems
    In this exclusive from The Body, Dr. Pablo Tebas reviews Retrovirus conference research on lipodystrophy, facial wasting and related disorders, including what causes them, how they might be avoided and what treatments are being developed to help alleviate their symptoms. Healthcare professionals: You can earn free CME/CE credit by reading this article at The Body Pro, The Body's sister site for healthcare workers!

    New Research on Cardiovascular Complications of HIV/HAART
    Just how much more likely are people with HIV to develop hypertension and other heart problems? How much of a role in cardvioscular complications does HAART play, as opposed to HIV itself? In an exclusive report from The Body, Dr. Corklin Steinhart reviews data presented at the February Retrovirus conference. Healthcare professionals: You can earn free CME/CE credit by reading this article at The Body Pro, The Body's sister site for healthcare workers!

    What Are Opportunistic Infections All About?
    What are "opportunistic infections" (OIs), and how can HIV-positive people with low CD4 counts prevent them from developing? This guide to OIs from Project Inform will walk you through the basics.

    Scientists Discover New Thrush Killer
    Biologists at the University at Buffalo have developed a peptide that may be a promising new treatment for oral candidiasis (thrush), a fungal condition that can affect people with HIV, particularly those with lower CD4 counts.

    New Developments in Hepatitis C Treatment
    Hepatitis C treatment researchers have gotten a little closer to answering the question, "What's the best way to treat hepatitis C infection in people who also have HIV?" But as this research recap shows, we're still waiting for a definitive answer.



    Amid Furor Over Abstinence and Condoms, Faithfulness Gets Short Shrift
    There would be no global AIDS epidemic if both men and women minimized their number of sexual partners, a group of AIDS experts writes in the British Medical Journal. So-called "partner reduction" -- which includes promoting monogamy -- is "the neglected middle child of the ABC approach," the experts say, referring to the HIV prevention strategy that promotes the message "abstain, be faithful, use condoms."



    Listen in on Conversation With Top International HIV Physician
    Read this transcript or turn up your speakers and listen in as Joep Lange, President of the International AIDS Society, talks about generic drug access, vaccines and other new ideas for curbing the inexorable spread of HIV through the developing world. Lange was interviewed recently by the U.S. AIDS organization Positives for Positives and the International Foundation for Alternative Research in AIDS.

    When Governments Fail on AIDS, Citizens Must Take Up Fight, UN Official Says
    During the Retrovirus conference this February, Stephen Lewis, the United Nations Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa, begged his listeners to do more than wait for unresponsive governments to take action against the worsening global AIDS epidemic. "If morality is found lacking in the actions of government," he declared, "let it be found in the advocacy of its citizens."

    South African Company Gets OK for Generic Efavirenz
    The pharmaceutical company Merck has announced that it will issue a nonexclusive license to a South African drug manufacturer to allow it to make and sell a generic version of the antiretroviral drug efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin).

    China, at Last, Shows Signs of Growing Tougher on HIV
    Are the Chinese finally taking HIV seriously? Many plans are in the works to stem the epidemic there, and Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi recently called for a nationwide effort to fight the spread of HIV in the country, adding that officials found trying to cover up the epidemic would be "severely punished."



    Man Gets 25 Years in HIV Case
    Saying the crime was "akin to attempted murder," an Iowa judge has sentenced Adam Musser to the maximum penalty of 25 years in prison for not telling his sexual partner he had HIV.
    Article from the Iowa City Press-Citizen, April 10, 2004

    Bush, AIDS, Big Pharma
    "More than fourteen months and 3 million AIDS deaths later, the Administration's 'war on AIDS' has been characterized by unilateralism, disregard for international consensus and corporate cronyism," The Nation writes.
    Editorial from The Nation, April 8, 2004

    Can Atazanavir Reverse Body Fat Changes?
    Anecdotal evidence recently reported in the journal AIDS suggests that atazanavir (Reyataz) may actually treat lipodystrophy in some HIV-positive people who had previously taken a protease inhibitor.
    Article from, April 8, 2004

    HIV-Positive Women Have More Post-Birth Complications, Even if They Have a Vaginal Delivery
    An HIV-positive woman giving birth is at a greater risk than an HIV-negative woman for developing minor post-delivery complications, regardless of whether the delivery is vaginal or by caesarean, this rather sizeable European study finds.
    Article from, April 8, 2004

    Mechanisms of HIV Drug Resistance: A Primer
    A detailed explanation of how HIV develops resistance to different antiretrovirals.
    Report from The PRN Notebook, March 2004

    Protease Inhibitor Therapy: Boosted and Double-Boosted Options to the Fore
    This thorough summary analyzes key clinical studies on "boosting" -- the use of low-dose ritonavir (Norvir) to make other protease inhibitors more effective.
    Report from The PRN Notebook, March 2004


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    "Positive Today," 2002;
    Thom Markee

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