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Worried About Lipoatrophy (Fat Loss)? Join a Live Chat at The Body on Tuesday, Nov. 1!
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October 26, 2005

In This Update:
  • HIV Treatment
  • Live Chat on Lipoatrophy, Nov. 1
  • Health Concerns for HIVers
  • Living With HIV
  • Crystal Meth & HIV
  • HIV/STD Prevention & Transmission
  • HIV/AIDS Policy & Activism
  • HIV Outside the U.S.

    All Clinical Trials of Entry Inhibitor Aplaviroc Are Stopped
    Following a new report of liver problems in one of its study participants, GlaxoSmithKline announced in this release that it has stopped all clinical trials for its entry inhibitor aplaviroc. The drug had been in the final stage of studies before potentially receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. Several trials of aplaviroc were suspended in September due to the discovery of potentially severe liver problems in some people. This new announcement effectively halts the drug's development.

    HIV and Pregnancy: Following One Woman's Medical Case
    Want to get a taste for how HIV doctors make the decisions they do about treatment? This article by Dr. Laura E. Riley and Dr. Sigal Yawetz, known as a "case report," follows the story of a 34-year-old U.S. woman with HIV who has decided she'd like to have a baby. What facts about her health should the doctors take into account? What steps should they take to ensure a safe delivery? This case report has the answers, if you can follow all the medical mumbo jumbo. (Web highlight from the New England Journal of Medicine)



    The Date: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2005

    The Time: 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time/6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

    The Chat: Losing fat in certain parts of your body, a condition known as lipoatrophy, may be one of the most difficult issues for people with HIV. Though many questions about lipoatrophy have yet to be answered, our knowledge about it is growing, as is our understanding of how it can be managed. Join The Body for a live chat on lipoatrophy with one of the most knowledgeable HIV specialists in the United States! Dr. Joel Gallant will answer questions from HIV-positive people who are dealing with, or worried about, this potentially disfiguring health problem. Hell talk about ways to avoid or alleviate symptoms, and will discuss the latest research.

    To sign up for an e-mail reminder about this chat, or to presubmit a question youd like Dr. Gallant to answer, click here!

    This live chat is sponsored by Gilead Sciences.



    A Quick, Easy Way to Avoid Germs
    Flu season is fast approaching, and although the flu vaccine is recommended for all HIVers, one of the cheapest, and simplest, ways to stay healthy is in your hands -- literally. Frequent, thorough hand-washing, especially before preparing meals or eating, is one of the best methods you can use to keep germs from entering your body. Dietician Ellen Steinberg explains.

    For more on the flu and flu vaccination, browse our collection of articles. Also be sure to visit our section on food safety for HIVers!

    HIV May Be Associated With Early Onset of Menopause
    The onset of menopause may occur earlier in HIV-positive women than HIV-negative women, according to a study by researchers at the Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. The diverse study of 571 women found that HIV infection, drug use and physical activity all appeared more common among women who experienced menopause early. The findings do not show a definitive relationship between early menopause and HIV, nor should they be taken to imply that some of the health problems known to impact women after menopause -- like bone problems -- become more likely as well. (Web highlight from Clinical Infectious Diseases)



    Pride and Spirit: One-on-One With an African-American HIVer
    The poet, rapper, author and HIV educator Tim'm West is proud to be a black, gay man living with HIV. "If I shrink [from] others, like I have something to be shameful about, then they might treat me as my body language and spirit [expect]," he explains in this interview with Keith Green of Test Positive Aware Network. "If I take the Rosa Parks seat as if it's mine to have, then they'll have to respond accordingly, even if that means a battle. We too often do not take ownership of things that are due us as black gay men or people living with AIDS."

    Evolving With the Times: Miracle House Transforms as the Epidemic Changes
    The U.S. AIDS epidemic has gone through dramatic changes in the past 15 years. And as it has changed, so have the organizations that were founded to help people with HIV and their loved ones. One such organization is Miracle House, which was founded in New York in the early 1990s to provide friends and relatives of HIVers with a place to stay while they cared for sick or dying loved ones. Although they still provide such services today, the organization has adapted to the success of modern HIV treatment by expanding the types of assistance it provides. Earlier this year, AIDS advocate Jeff Palmer -- who had come to New York from Wyoming for cancer treatment, and spent many weeks living in a Miracle House apartment -- interviewed Miracle House's director of client services about her organization and how it has evolved along with the HIV epidemic.



    A Step-by-Step Guide to Crystal Meth Recovery
    Are you a crystal methamphetamine user who's decided to kick the habit? Recovering from meth addiction isn't easy, but it can be done -- and these tips from Test Positive Aware Network may be able to help you do it.

    Speed Nation: Crystal Meth, HIV and Hepatitis
    In August, nearly 1,000 people gathered for the first-ever major U.S. conference to deal specifically with the link between crystal methamphetamine and HIV/hepatitis. Bob Huff, who was in Salt Lake City, Utah, for this historic conference, learned a tremendous amount about the history and production of meth in the United States, and about the dangerous combination of meth and unsafe sex. In this summary, Huff recaps some of the most interesting info presented at the conference.

    Although the U.S. meth conference was controversial in some people's eyes -- one Republican congressman went so far as to publicly condemn it -- it appears to have largely been a success, as two of the conference organizers, Allan Clear and Luciano Colonna, write in this op-ed piece. One of the most important results of the conference, they say, is that it brought together a huge range of experts throughout the country to discuss the causes of, and possible solutions for, the growing epidemic of meth use in the United States.



    The Truth About Trojan: New Condom Ad Fails the HIV Community, AIDS Advocate Says
    After years of being unofficially banned from primetime U.S. television, the condom maker Trojan finally busted onto the scene this summer. Trojan promised its new ad campaign would include a "poignant," "sobering" message about HIV. In reality? "Rather than offer Americans a fresh concept and some positive, truthful information," David Salyer fumes, "they chose a trite, loathsome and fear-based approach that further stigmatizes a vulnerable population." In this column, he explains why Trojan should be ashamed for producing such a poor, inaccurate TV ad for mainstream consumption.

    Detectable Hepatitis C Levels Found in Semen of Some Coinfected Men
    Can hepatitis C be transmitted sexually? Although it's unlikely, a new French study explains why it's possible. The study found that men who are coinfected with HIV and hep C are more likely than men with hep C alone to have a low, but detectable, hep C virus level within their semen. Why this occurs is still somewhat of a mystery, considering the researchers found no sign that hep C can actually replicate within a man's genital tract. Although very preliminary, the findings nonetheless provide some theoretical backing for the idea that hep C can be passed on through sex -- particularly during anal sex, which tends to be riskier than vaginal sex. (Web highlight from



    The HIV Caravan Blog: Campaign to End AIDS Sends HIVers on the Road
    In our Sept. 28 newsletter, we introduced you to the Campaign to End AIDS, a nationwide effort to push politicians to spend more attention -- and money -- on the fight against HIV at home and abroad. This month, the campaign bids bon voyage to 10 caravans of HIVers and supporters, each of which is leaving a different U.S. city and heading for a major rally in Washington, D.C., which will start on Nov. 5. Along the way, the caravans will stop in various cities throughout the country, holding events and encouraging others to join them for the ride. The campaign has launched this blog where people participating in the caravans have begun posting their thoughts and experiences. (Web highlight from the Campaign to End AIDS)

    Interested in joining a caravan, or in saying hello when one passes through your town? Visit this page to learn more about caravan stops near you.

    Finally, click here for information on the campaign's culminating event in Washington, D.C.: 4 Days of Action, which will take place from Nov. 5 through Nov. 8. The event will feature rallies, prayer services, advocacy training and meetings with legislators.



    UN Launches Global Campaign to Improve HIV Prevention, Treatment for Children
    In the developed world, children are rarely born with HIV, and modern HIV care can help their parents stay healthy indefinitely. In most of Africa, it's a dramatically different story: According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), every minute one child dies from AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa while another one becomes HIV positive. In addition, UNICEF warns that if more is not done to help the fight against HIV, there may be 18 million AIDS orphans living in sub-Saharan Africa by 2010. In an effort to stem this growing tragedy, the United Nations (UN) has announced the launch of a new worldwide campaign to improve HIV prevention and treatment for the world's children. (Web highlight from BBC News)

    Adherence in the Developing World: It's Not Just About the Meds
    Studies have all but disproven the widely held myth that people in developing countries are less able to take their meds on time than people in wealthier countries like the United States. In reality, research shows that in many developing countries, adherence is actually higher than it is in the United States. The factors that impact an HIV-positive person's ability to take all of his or her meds are complex, writes Dr. Arachu Castro, a Harvard University professor and the director of the Institute for Health and Social Justice at Partners In Health in Boston, Mass. In this analysis, Dr. Castro discusses the roles that biology, society and poverty play in determining people's ability to adhere to their HIV meds. (Web highlight from the open-access journal PLoS Medicine)

    Chinese Government Agrees That 10 Million Chinese May Have HIV by 2010
    Conceding to years of alarm from international organizations, China's government has echoed UNAIDS' prediction that the country could be home to 10 million HIV-positive people by 2010 unless swift and effective action is taken. The country's best-case scenario? According to one prominent government AIDS expert, with the right action and sufficient funds, the number of HIV-positive people "could be kept under" 1.5 million.

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    Visual AIDS
    Art From HIV-Positive Artists

    Image from the October 2005 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
    "Jocko Paul," 1999; Eduardo Mirales
    Visit the October 2005 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view this month's collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery is entitled "Manner of Solitude."

    Visual AIDS
    t The Body's Bulletin Boards

    "Now a Magnetic Couple"
    (A recent post from the
    "I Just Tested Positive" board)

    "I just became positive -- not just tested, but actually got infected in May and seroconverted in June. I have not been intimate with my partner because of high viral load, and [because] I feel like 'I got caught.' Any way to work this out? My partner wants to have sex; I just can't handle it right now."
    -- lal37

    Click here to join this discussion thread, or to start your own!

    Should I Disclose My Friend's HIV Status?
    (A recent post from the
    "My Loved One Has HIV" board)

    "I am ... a good friend to two guys who are HIV positive and extremely secretive about their status. One friend just had a heart attack. His partner ... has been visiting him in the hospital and I suspect that they are not telling the doctors their status. ... The secrecy is making me very upset, as a public health issue and because I think my friend's family should know. ... Any advice from those who have experienced this?"
    -- worriednyc

    Click here to join this discussion thread, or to start your own!

    Ryan White CARE Act
    The Reauthorization Fight
    Has Only Begun

    The Ryan White CARE Act is one of the most important laws in the United States for uninsured people living with HIV. This fall, for the first time in five years, the Ryan White CARE Act is up for reauthorization -- meaning the entire law is being revisited, which could result in major changes in the way the act works and funding is doled out.

    What are some of the biggest issues facing this year's reauthorization, and how might they impact you? Visit The Body's main page on the Ryan White CARE Act reauthorization for background, news, policy statements and more!

    Want to take action now? Click here to send a letter to your U.S. senators and representatives urging them to increase funding for the Ryan White CARE Act.