• HEALTH COMPLICATIONS FOR HIV-POSITIVE PEOPLE
of Meth Use, HIV Infection May Cause More Brain Damage Than Either
Methamphetamine use and HIV infection might significantly alter
the size of a person's brain structure, leading to problems with
cognitive functions -- for instance, problems learning or processing
information, according to a small study by University of California-San
Diego researchers. The study also found that meth use by
people with HIV might cause a greater level of cognitive impairment
than each condition may cause on its own.
To learn much more about the effects of meth use on HIV disease,
read through this
summary of a recent discussion by University of California-San
Diego researcher Scott Letendre. In addition to a review of recent
research findings, Dr. Letendre talks about how methamphetamine
is made, how it works, and what HIV specialists can do to help people
on meth to overcome their addiction and lessen the cognitive problems
it can cause. (Web highlight from PRN Notebook, free registration required)
Lipodystrophy From Many Different Directions
HIV treatment may have turned James Laub's HIV into a chronic disease,
rather than a life-threatening one, but treatment came with a price:
lipodystrophy. From his chin down to his legs, James' HIV meds changed
his physical appearance and impacted his mental health as well.
It's taken a lot of work on his part, and a willingness to try many
different solutions, but James is finally back on the upswing. "Sometimes
the most unlikely sources in life can become our allies," he
says. "Between my acupuncturist, my doctor, the dermatologist,
and the plastic surgeon, everything and everyone came together for
a wonderful outcome."
the Way Back From a Self-Destructive Life
What do you do if you are a 37-year-old woman with HIV, hepatitis
C and depression who has a history of drug use -- and who sells
her body for sex in order to pay the rent? This anonymous woman
desperately wants to change her life for the better, but doesn't
know how to do so. "Where do I start when I feel inside that
I don't belong?" she asks. Psychiatrist J. Buzz von Ornsteiner
on HIV-Related Neurological Problems
With the new generation of HIV treatment extending people's lives
and greatly reducing the risk of many opportunistic infections,
some believe that the neurological problems long associated with
HIV, like neuropathy and dementia, now occur only rarely. However,
in this interesting review of the neurological manifestations of
HIV, Justin McArthur, from the Johns Hopkins University School of
Medicine, debunks many such ideas. In a recent talk hosted by the
Physicians' Research Network, McArthur noted that neuropathy, for
instance, can have many different causes and symptoms, and the prevalence
of HIV dementia has actually increased since the advent of HAART.
(Web highlight from PRN Notebook, free registration required)
Foods and Bad Foods for People With Hepatitis
If you're living with HIV and hepatitis, keeping a healthy lifestyle
is even more important than usual. Although there are medications
that some people can take to treat hepatitis, there are also plenty
of important nutritional steps you can take to keep your liver (and
the rest of your body) in good shape. Licensed naturopath JoAnn
Yanez lists many of these helpful tips in this article from Body
U.S. States Have ADAP Waiting Lists; Special Funding Initiative
Due to Expire
Sixteen U.S. state AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) either
have implemented waiting lists or are considering other cost-containment
measures, according to the latest ADAP Watch released by the National
Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors. As of July 18,
1,922 HIV-positive people were on ADAP waiting lists in 9 states,
according to the report. Of those people, 1,487 are currently covered
under the special funding initiative announced by President Bush
last year -- an initiative that is scheduled to expire in September
Treatment and Side Effects: A Survey of HIV-Positive New Yorkers
What are the most common reasons people skip a dose of their HIV
meds? How do people cope with side effects, and how often do they
seek out help from their doctors? Researcher Dr. Bruce D. Rapkin
sought to answer all of these questions (and more) by conducting
a survey of a racially mixed, mostly poor group of 381 New Yorkers
with HIV. His findings revealed a few surprises; read this article
for a summary of the results.
Might Help Eliminate Dormant HIV-Infected Cells, Study Says
When taken along with regular HIV treatment, a substance called
valproic acid -- which is used to treat such conditions as bipolar
disorder and epilepsy -- may help reduce the number of "latent"
HIV-infected cells in a person's body, according to a tiny, preliminary
study by U.S. researchers. "This finding, though not definitive,
suggests that new approaches will allow the cure of HIV in the future,"
said David Margolis, one of the study researchers. Current HIV treatment
can prevent active HIV from reproducing, but can't touch dormant
HIV that may be hiding out in reservoirs throughout the body.
Unable to Prove Bioequivalency for Fixed-Dose Pill of Efavirenz/FTC/Tenofovir
Gilead, in partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb, is hard at work
trying to develop the first single-pill, once-a-day HIV treatment
regimen in the United States -- but so far, it hasn't had much success.
In its second attempt to create a once-daily, fixed-dose combination
pill consisting of three drugs -- efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin),
FTC (emtricitabine, Emtriva) and tenofovir (Viread) -- Gilead found
that the combo pill didn't work the same way as the three drugs
taken separately. This "bioequivalency" must be proven
before a fixed-dose combination pill can receive U.S. approval.
Not a Direct Factor in HIV Treatment Success for Women
Does HIV treatment work better among women of different races? A
large study, recently published in a medical journal, tried to answer
that question. The results? Regardless of a woman's race, HIV treatment
appeared to work equally well. However, the researchers did note
that African-American women stopped taking HIV medications more
often than other women, and that they struggled more with depression
-- the two factors that were the strongest predictors of "unfavorable"
treatment outcomes. (Web highlight from the Journal of AIDS)
Health International Will Seek Support From Gates Foundation for
Tenofovir Trials to Prevent HIV
Family Health International (FHI) will ask the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation for funds to begin HIV prevention trials using
tenofovir (Viread) in Malawi or South Africa. The foundation last
year awarded a $6.5 million grant to FHI to conduct trials of tenofovir
in several African and Asian countries, but a range of concerns
and protests have halted or slowed many of the studies.
Angeles Board Approves Funding for Needle-Exchange Programs
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to allocate
$500,000 for five needle-exchange programs to help slow the spread
of HIV, hepatitis and other bloodborne diseases among injection
drug users. The approval will make the service available in local
communities outside the city of Los Angeles for the first time.
U.S. Congressman Protests Conference on Crystal Meth and HIV
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is hosting a conference
on the link between crystal meth and HIV -- and at least one politician
is awfully pissed about it. Republican congressman Mark Souder of
Indiana is the one who's incensed; he's protesting government sponsorship
of the conference because it promotes "harm reduction,"
which involves strategies like needle exchange and methadone therapy
to help prevent drug users from contracting bloodborne diseases.
The Bush administration and many Republicans oppose harm reduction
because they say it essentially condones illegal drug use.
Group That Provides HIV Prevention Services to Commercial Sex Workers
Abroad Sues USAID Over Loss of Grant
Many AIDS advocates are opposed to U.S. policy on safe sex and risk
reduction, but Washington, D.C.-based DKT International, a nonprofit
organization that provides HIV prevention services to commercial
sex workers worldwide, has become the first to actually sue the
government in hopes of getting that policy reversed. DKT 's lawsuit
has been filed against USAID; it argues that newly adopted U.S.
policy, which requires AIDS organizations seeking federal funds
for work overseas to pledge their opposition to commercial sex work,
violates DKT's First Amendment right to free speech.
OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES
May Be Home to 243,000 More HIVers by 2009
A new report warns that the HIV epidemic may be on the verge of
an explosion in the Caribbean, where more than 2% of the population
is already living with the virus. In just four years, the report
says, there may be 672,000 people living with HIV in the Caribbean
-- an increase of 243,000 -- and that 334,000 more people will have
developed AIDS and be in need of HIV treatment. (Web highlight
from the Barbados Advocate)
Growing More Common Among HIVers in London
The number of HIV-positive people with syphilis is on the rise in
London, according to a new study. The increase was discovered by
researchers at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, who began providing
routine syphilis screening to outpatients who visit the hospital's
HIV unit. The researchers recommended that other HIV units in the
United Kingdom adopt the same screening strategy, in hopes of controlling
the country's rising syphilis epidemic.
|Meet the Winners of TheBody.com's 2005 HIV Leadership Awards!
| A medical doctor
turned full-time prevention educator, Fritz
Lolagne of Orlando, Fla., takes pride in being able to directly
take part in the fight for people to maintain healthy lives. Born
and raised in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, Fritz is now deeply involved
in HIV prevention education not only within Florida's Haitian community,
but among a diverse range of other communities in the area as well.
is one of 10 outstanding HIV prevention educators who have won a
2005 HIV Leadership Award from TheBody.com. To meet all 73 winners
of TheBody.com's 2005 HIV Leadership Awards, click
Connect With Others at
The Body's Bulletin Boards
This Be Lipodystrophy?"
(A recent post from the
"Living With HIV" board)
I was diagnosed with HIV I was real sick and had already
lost lots of weight. Now I've been on meds since December
2005. I notice the weight [is only] coming [back] to my
butt. My arms and legs are very thin ... my face seems
thinner. Could lipodystrophy come that soon, or is this
just how you put weight back on [when you have] AIDS?"
here to join this discussion thread, or to start your
(A recent post from the
"Gay Men With HIV" board)
is actually about ... my partner who is HIV positive,
as I am. He is fortunate in that after testing poz four
years ago, he is still not on meds. His last labs showed
a CD4 count over 400, viral load at 30,000. ... The problem
I am looking for some help with is that he is tired all
the time. He works three to four 12-hour shifts a week.
... When he is off, all he wants to do is lay around and
sleep. He says he has no energy and, even worse, no sex
drive. Our doctor says this is normal, but I don't think
so. It is very frustrating. Can anyone relate? Can anyone
offer me some advice?"
here to join this discussion thread, or to start your
Visual AIDS Needs You!
|Visual AIDS is
now accepting submissions for its eighth annual Postcards
From the Edge benefit -- a two-day charity event in New York
City in which people can purchase postcard-size artworks! Painting,
drawing, photography, printmaking and mixed media are welcomed;
proceeds go to Visual AIDS.
For more information on how to be a part of this incredible event,