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June 2, 2004
In This Update:
  • From the Editor
  • HIV Treatment
  • HIV/HAART-Related Health Problems
  • HIV & Pregnancy
  • HIV Testing
  • HIV & Financial Assistance
  • U.S. HIV/AIDS Policy & Activism
  • HIV/AIDS Outside the U.S.
  • Web Highlights
  •   FROM THE EDITOR: THE BODY'S HIV LEADERSHIP AWARDS

    They're the unsung heroes in the battle against HIV -- and it's time to give them the credit they deserve. We are now accepting your nominations for The Body's HIV Leadership Awards, which will be given to inspiring HIV-positive people, doctors, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, case managers, social workers and others who work tirelessly to fight HIV and improve the lives of HIV-positive people in the United States.

    Use our online nomination forms now to call attention to someone in the HIV community who you believe has made a difference! Please feel free to nominate as many different people as you like; the forms will be available on The Body throughout the summer.

    - Bonnie Goldman, Editorial Director, The Body

      HIV TREATMENT

    Do Your Homework Before Accepting HIV Research Findings
    It's not enough to just accept HIV research at face value. To really take charge of your health, it's important to know who did the research, why they did it and what other AIDS experts have to say about it before deciding whether it's really relevant to your life, explains AIDS advocate Heidi Nass.


    Key Steps Toward Ensuring You Take All Your Meds
    Need help making sure you take all your HIV meds on time? There are several steps you can take -- both before and after you start treatment -- to create an adherence plan that works for you.

    Want more tips? Check out The Body's large collection of materials on adherence!

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      HIV/HAART-RELATED HEALTH PROBLEMS

    Sexual Dysfunction in HIV-Positive Men
    Researchers have found signs that unusually high estrogen levels -- possibly caused by HAART -- may be at least partly to blame for sexual dysfunction in some HIV-positive men.


    Vaccinations for HIVers
    Vaccinations may not be fun, but for many people with HIV they're an important part of staying healthy and avoiding potentially dangerous illnesses like the flu, pneumonia and hepatitis. This chart provides a quick rundown of the different types of vaccinations that are recommended for HIV-positive people, as well as those that should be avoided.


    Checklist for Discussing Vaccinations With Your Doc
    Need a little help talking to your doctor about vaccinations? This checklist can help you get your thoughts in order before your next doctor's visit.

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      HIV & PREGNANCY

    Low Risk, High Reward for Pregnancy in HIV-Positive Women
    Are you HIV positive and pregnant or considering having a baby? Not to worry: The odds are very good that you'll have a healthy, happy, HIV-negative baby. Read through this fact sheet for an overview of HIV and pregnancy, and be sure to talk through your options with your doctor.

    In addition to this article, The Body is also home to a wide range of overviews, guidelines, news articles and research information on HIV and pregnancy. Browse through our online archive to learn much more!

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      HIV TESTING

    Q+A on Rapid HIV Testing
    Want to learn more about OraQuick, the rapid HIV test that is becoming increasingly available at doctor's offices and clinics throughout the U.S.? Look no further than this fact sheet from the U.S. government, which answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the 20-minute test.

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      HIV & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

    Social Security Basics for People With HIV
    HIV positive and trying to navigate Social Security disability benefits? Make sure you've got the basics down first with this overview from the U.S. Social Security Administration.

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      U.S. HIV/AIDS POLICY & ACTIVISM

    "Prevention for Positives" Campaign Forces Some AIDS Groups to Scramble for Funds
    As a result of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new "prevention for positives" campaign, which shifts HIV prevention efforts from high-risk groups to people who already have HIV, several California organizations that were receiving federal HIV prevention grants have been left off this year's list of grant recipients. Among them is the Stop AIDS Project, a San Francisco group that came under considerable fire from conservative lawmakers last year for its frank discussions of gay sexuality.


    California Moves to OK Purchase of Canadian Drugs for Medi-Cal, ADAP
    The California Senate has approved a bill that would allow the state's Department of Health Services to reimburse pharmacies for prescription drugs they purchase from Canada for AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) or Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The bill must still be considered by the state assembly and the governor before becoming law.


    Remembering Loved Ones Lost to AIDS
    Their names are not well known: Chuck Foster, Al Kaps, Jeff Boyd. But they are just a few of the many men and women whose lives have been lost to AIDS who will be commemorated later this month in the Atlanta Pride Festival. Do you have loved ones you'd like to see remembered? Send a photo of them to the festival; it will be displayed at a candlelight vigil on June 25.


    Tools of the Trade: Spreading the Word About Activist Events
    How can you possibly hope to spread the word about an important AIDS-related event when the public is already deluged with too much news and information? High-profile activist John James reveals some of the tricks of the trade he uses to help get the word out.

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      HIV/AIDS OUTSIDE THE U.S.

    AIDS Deaths Rise but New Cases Drop in Brazil
    HIV data for 2002, released by Brazil's health ministry, reveal a steady reduction in HIV incidence, although the number of AIDS deaths increased slightly compared to the prior year. Remote regions and vulnerable populations, however, are still experiencing a rise in HIV and AIDS incidence. Brazil has become a model in the developing world for its HIV treatment program, which provides free antiretrovirals to all HIV-infected patients who need them.

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      WEB HIGHLIGHTS

    Many Gay Men With HIV "Unaware"
    As many as a third of gay men with HIV in the United Kingdom have no idea they are infected, recent research suggests.
    Article from BBC News, June 1, 2004


    The New H.I.V. Test Offers Quicker Results, but the Same Agony
    David Tuller, an HIV-negative gay man living in San Francisco, writes about his latest trip to the local health clinic -- his first since rapid testing became available.
    Op-ed article from The New York Times, June 1, 2004 (free registration required)


    This Nasty Game Is Scored in Lives
    Laurie Garrett opines on how the religious right in the United States has conspired to cut federal funding to the 2004 International AIDS Conference.
    Op-ed article from the Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2004 (free registration required)


    Inquiry Into HIV Court Blunder
    A series of mistakes resulted in a court witness learning he was HIV positive while being questioned in a packed British courtroom.
    Article from BBC News, May 25, 2004


    Nelfinavir Available in 625 mg Formulation
    Although approved in the United States a year ago, the new, higher dose of nelfinavir (Viracept) has finally been made available. This means that nelfinavir can now be taken only twice a day instead of five times a day.
    Article from HIV InSite, May 25, 2004


    How AIDS Gave Gays Marriage
    In the 1980s, many people assumed that the U.S. AIDS crisis would push gay men even further out of mainstream society. As Weekly Standard editor Christopher Caldwell explains, they couldn't have been more wrong.
    Article from the Financial Times, May 21, 2004


    Update on the Treatment of Acute and Early HIV Infection
    There are still more questions than answers when it comes to the treatment of recently infected HIV-positive people. In this summary, two prominent researchers review what the latest research has to say.
    Article from The PRN Notebook, May 2004 (free registration required)

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    ART FROM HIV-POSITIVE ARTISTS
    Image from the June 2004 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
    Untitled, 1998; JD Talasek
    Visit the June 2004 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view this month's new collection of art by HIV-positive artists. And be sure to join Visual AIDS for a wild day of haircuts, massages, makeovers and merry-making at this year's A Big Hairy Deal fundraising party!