THIS WEEK: CROI 2005 AT THE BODY
As we noted in our e-mail announcement yesterday,
the year's most important AIDS medical conference is now underway
in Boston. About 4,000 top HIV researchers have gathered for the
Annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI
2005). And The Body is there to cover it! From initial to rescue
treatment, from side effects to drug resistance, from simpler HAART
regimens to new antiretrovirals, The
Body's CROI 2005 area is the place to go for the latest breaking
HIV research. Fifteen world-class HIV physicians will provide exclusive
recaps throughout the conference, as well as comprehensive overviews
on important areas of research shortly after the conference ends
on Feb. 25!
In the meantime, check out the action for yourself: Webcasts of
all major presentations and speeches are being posted at the CROI
2005 official Web site. Last night's opening keynote speech
featured the head of the World Health Organization, who remained
optimistic about the group's goal to treat three million people
with HIV by the end of this year, but admitted that it would be
extremely difficult to achieve. (Read more on that story in our
"HIV/AIDS Outside the United States"
Vaccines: Still on the Horizon
How close are we to developing a new type of vaccine that can strengthen
an HIVer's natural immune response to the virus? John Hawes brings
us in for a closer look at these so-called "therapeutic vaccines."
Researchers hope that, in time, these vaccines will become a less-toxic
complement to HIV meds, and provide new options for people with
the Entry Inhibitors
Although it's been nearly two years since the U.S. approval
of T-20 (enfuvirtide, Fuzeon), it's still the only fusion inhibitor
available, and there's nothing new coming out on the short-term
horizon. But the fusion inhibitor is just one type of drug that's
part of a larger class known as "entry inhibitors," and
there's been plenty of movement on that front. Dr. Daniel S. Berger
and Failures of Treatment Interruption Strategies
What are some of the reasons that HIVers decide to take a break
from their meds? From relieving medication side effects to simply
taking a much-needed break, the reasons are obvious to most anyone
who's had to take HIV meds every day for years on end. Project Inform
examines what current studies show about how successful each treatment
interruption strategy is.
TRANSMISSION & NOTIFICATION
Continues Over Importance of Multi-Drug Resistant HIV Strain
It's been nearly two weeks since news first broke about a rapidly
progressing, multi-drug resistant strain of HIV -- and we're still
not sure how significant the discovery is. The strain appears somewhat
similar to one found in two HIVers in Canada several years ago,
when warnings of an imminent superbug were also triggered but then
fizzled out. Meanwhile, reports that an HIV strain had been found
in San Diego that was similar to the New York City strain also appear
to have been overblown.
Beach Official E-mails Confidential List of HIVers to 800 Colleagues
A health department statistician in Palm Beach County, Fla.,
accidentally e-mailed a confidential list of the names of 6,500
HIV-positive county residents to 800 of his colleagues, immediately
triggering a frantic scramble to ensure that the list wouldn't become
public. The health department said it was "99% sure" that
the list didn't make it outside the health department; 10 people
had opened the e-mail before it was purged from the department's
system, but none of them had saved, printed, forwarded or stored
to Know Your New HIV Health Worker: Give It Time
Just starting with a new HIV doc? Give it time, Dr. L. Jeannine
Bookhardt-Murray says -- you won't necessarily know right away if
he or she is a good fit. "It may take four or five visits with
a new provider in order to find out if it will work. Personalities
sometimes need time to adjust to one another in order for the relationship
to take shape."
Be Passive About Your Health Care, HIVer Warns
"Blah blah, blah blah blah, blah," was more or less
what Patricia Storey used to hear whenever her doctors spoke. She
never listened, never learned, never really cared about her healthcare
-- until she was diagnosed with HIV. "I no longer take on the
role of a spectator when it comes to my healthcare," she admits.
Women With Low Weight Have Greater Risk of Nevirapine Liver Problems
Underweight HIV-positive women -- those with a body mass index
below 18.5 -- are at a greater risk than other HIV-positive women
of developing severe liver problems from using nevirapine (Viramune),
according to South African researchers. Their study was conducted
among South Africans with HIV who had never been on treatment before.
In most cases, there were warning signs that suggested a nevirapine-related
side effect was taking place, usually the development of rash, nausea
or fever during the first 12 weeks of nevirapine use. (Web highlight
Review of HIV and HAART Health Problems in Women
HIV doesn't always treat men and women the same way. The virus,
and the meds used to fight it, can impact women in different ways
-- women tend to get more lipodystrophy around their midsections
than men do, for instance, and HIV-positive women experience headache
and fatigue more frequently than HIV-positive men. In this review,
Patrice K. Nicholas points out some of the HIV- and HAART-related
health problems that tend to affect women.
a Stronger Immune System Sometimes Make You Sick?
If you start HIV treatment when your CD4 count is low, there's
a chance you might experience something called "immune reconstitution
inflammatory syndrome" (IRIS), which happens, ironically, when
your immune system begins to grow stronger. If you had some kind
of coinfection or underlying illness, your HIV may have weakened
your immune system too much to fight that infection off. But as
your immune system strengthens, it launches an attack against that
infection, triggering IRIS. Nicholas Cheonis of the San Francisco
AIDS Foundation has more.
and HIV: Causes and Solutions
Got a headache? Everybody gets them (especially in this political
climate), but in people with HIV, the causes may be slightly different.
In this overview, Dr. Gregory Pauxtis discusses a few of the potential
triggers for headaches in HIV-positive people, and reviews some
of the medications that doctors sometimes recommend to prevent or
POLICY & ACTIVISM
Half-Baked Abstinence Idea Pops Out of the Oven, Activist Says
Did you know the United States has its own abstinence czar? He goes
by the rather un-abstinence-sounding name Wade Horn, and he was
recently appointed by -- who else? -- George W. Bush to head a new
federal program to promote abstinence. "This tired, recycled
and very retro Nancy Reagan approach is doomed, and so is Wade Horn,"
writes outspoken AIDS activist David Salyer. He explains why Horn's
appointment is only the latest of many attempts by conservatives
to put a fresh coat of paint on something that's never really worked.
OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES
"3 by 5 Initiative" Can Still Be Achieved, Director Insists
Meeting the World Health Organization (WHO)'s 3 by 5 Initiative
target to treat three million people with antiretrovirals by the
end of the year will be "extremely difficult," WHO's HIV/AIDS
Program Director Jim Yong Kim said on Feb. 22 at the 12th Conference
on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston. The organization
said that 700,000 people in developing countries were on treatment
at the end of 2004. Although some countries -- including Botswana
and Uganda -- have either met their treatment targets or expect
to meet them soon, Kim said that India, Nigeria and South Africa
most urgently needed to ramp up their efforts.
of HIV in U.S. Babies May Mean the World's Children Will Suffer,
N.Y. Times Says
Could the fact that mother-to-child HIV transmission has been "nearly
wiped out" in the United States and Western Europe be "bad
news for the rest of the world"? A New York Times editorial
states that, "with few children with AIDS in rich nations,
[drug] companies will have little incentive to improve on current
pediatric AIDS products, and governments will continue to make sick
children an afterthought."
Connect With Others at
The Body's Bulletin Boards
"Taking charge of your life"
I have been trying to coax myself into starting meds. I
am not in the danger zone quite, yet my t-cells flux between
300-400 and for the most part of feel fine. I have had symptoms
in the past such as shingles ... I am optimistic and never
complain about my disease, I just go with it, but I am scared
of the meds. I read posts from people I guess hoping for
some inspiration which I do get sometimes, but other times
I hear the meds are worse than the disease. I want to fight
but not for nothing. Not for a few years of horrible side
effects that won't let me leave the house. ... All this
has me frozen in my tracks. How did you guys overcome these
fears and move on."
here to join this discussion thread, or to start your own!
From HIV-Positive Artists
Waverly Lane," 1992;
|Are You a Visual Artist
Living With HIV/AIDS?
Join Visual AIDS' Archive Project! The project supports artists living with HIV while preserving a visual record of the work that member artists produce.
The Archive Project is a slide resource containing the works of visual artists with HIV. It welcomes submissions from artists living with HIV and the estates of those who have died from AIDS.
Interested in joining the Archive Project? Click here to learn more.