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May 29, 2009
Is Marijuana as Effective as OTC and Prescription Drugs?
People who use marijuana to treat symptoms of anxiety, fatigue and neuropathy say it is as effective as over-the-counter (OTC) remedies or prescription drugs recommended by their health care providers, according to a survey-based study published in the May 2009 issue of Clinical Nursing Research.
May 28, 2009
Viral Load Tied to Kidney Function
As viral load increases so does the risk of kidney problems, according to a study published in the June 1 issue of AIDS and reported by aidsmap. Fortunately, with decreases in viral load and increases in CD4 cells resulting from antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, kidney function is likely to improve.  
May 27, 2009
New California Budget Slashes $55.5 Million From AIDS Funds
On May 26, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released his plan to cut $5.5 billion through June 2010 from the state budget to help close its budget gap, which currently stands at $24.3 billion, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The budget includes cuts to California’s AIDS drug assistance program (ADAP) and other programs overseen by the state Office of AIDS.
Kaletra Maintenance Monotherapy Holds Up Over 96 Weeks
People who switched to Kaletra (lopinavir plus ritonavir) monotherapy after six months of combination antiretroviral (ARV) therapy were as likely as people who stayed on a three-drug regimen to have treatment success, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
May 26, 2009
Combivir Linked to Lipoatrophy in Small European Study
Combivir is a likely contributor to limb fat loss and possibly abdominal fat gain in people living with HIV, according to a European study published May 21 in the online scientific journal PLoS One.
May 22, 2009
Gingko May Lower Efavirenz Blood Levels
Combining the herbal therapy gingko biloba with efavirenz (found in Sustiva and Atripla) could result in efavirenz treatment failure, according to a single case report published in the June 1 issue of AIDS and reported by aidsmap.
May 21, 2009
Frequent False-Positive Drug Tests With Efavirenz Users
Ninety-eight percent of people with HIV on a regimen containing efavirenz (found in Sustiva and Atripla) tested false positive for benzodiazepines—prescription sedatives—on a widely used drug test, according to study results published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases. These data suggest that clinicians and others who order routine testing for illicit drug use need to use extra caution when interpreting the results involving people using efavirenz.
May 20, 2009
Is HIV Itself a Risk Factor for Heart Disease?
Even HIV-positive patients with undetectable viral loads and not on antiretroviral (ARV) therapy have thicker carotid arteries than HIV-negative patients, according to a study published in the June 1 issue of AIDS. While these data confirm that people living with HIV may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) as they age, the findings also raise important questions about the underlying cause of the increased CVD risk among HIV-positive people. 
May 19, 2009
HIV Associated With Marked Declines in Lung Function
Middle-aged people living with HIV experience declines in pulmonary function comparable to those typically seen in elderly HIV-negative individuals with a long history of smoking, according to a new study reported Sunday, May 17, at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) in San Diego.
Study Authors Say Treat HIV and OIs at Same Time
Beginning HIV treatment right away in people who are diagnosed with HIV only after coming down with an opportunistic infection (OI)—rather than waiting until the OI treatment takes effect—may reduce early disease progression or deaths without increasing treatment complications, according to a study published in the online journal PLoS One and reported by ScienceDaily.
May 15, 2009
Interleukin-21 Tied to Control of Chronic Infections Like HIV
An immune signaling protein called interleukin-21 (IL-21) plays a critical role in the long-term control of chronic viral infections such as HIV disease, according to a study published online in Science and reported by ScienceDaily.
May 14, 2009
Study: HIV Not Becoming More Virulent
HIV is not becoming more virulent over time, according to a French study published online May 6 in AIDS and reported by aidsmap. These results contrast with those of a U.S. study first reported at a conference in October 2008 and published earlier this month in The Journal of Infectious Diseases
May 13, 2009
Gardasil Blocks About Half of Cervical Lesions
The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil reduced the number of abnormal cervical Pap test results by 17 to 45 percent, depending on the abnormality, according to a study presented at the International Papillomavirus Conference in Malmö, Sweden. The vaccine also reduced the need for invasive diagnostic and treatment produces in women ages 16 to 26 compared with those who received a placebo. 
May 12, 2009
HPV Vaccine Is Active in MSM
The vaccine Gardasil provides at least short-term protection in men who have sex with men (MSM) against human papillomavirus (HPV) strains known to cause cancer, according to a study presented at the International Papillomavirus Conference in Malmö, Sweden.
May 11, 2009
Journalist Files Libel Suit Against HIV Treatment Advocate
Journalist Celia Farber has filed a 21-page libel suit against Richard Jefferys of the HIV/AIDS research- and policy-focused Treatment Action Group, accusing him of orchestrating a smear campaign against her, the New York Post reports. 
May 08, 2009
Telaprevir Increases Hep C Treatment Response
Adding the experimental hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor telaprevir to standard HCV therapy both increased the response rate and shortened the duration of treatment in HIV-negative patients infected with HCV genotype 1, according to a study published April 30 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
May 07, 2009
Hep C and Heavy Drinking Tied to Bone Fractures
Neither CD4 count and viral load, nor type of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment was associated with a higher risk for having a severe bone fracture in people living with HIV, but being coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and drinking five or more drinks per day were, according to a French study published in the May 15 issue of AIDS and reported by aidsmap.
May 06, 2009
Obama to Broaden, Expand PEPFAR to $51 Billion Over Six Years
President Barack Obama wants to expand former President George W. Bush’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); on Tuesday, he asked Congress to spend $51 billion over the next six years to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria overseas while allocating an additional $12 billion toward other global health concerns, The New York Times reports.
May 05, 2009
Lower-Dose ARVs to Be Tested in New Gates-Funded Program
Can using lower doses of certain antiretrovirals deliver a high degree of effectiveness while reducing the risk of side effects and the cost associated with HIV treatment? A series of studies, funded with a $12.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is determined to find out.
May 04, 2009
HPV Greatly Increases HIV Infection in MSM
Men who have sex with men (MSM) and who are also infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV) have a much higher risk of becoming infected with HIV than men who do not have HPV infection, according to a study published online April 22 in AIDS and reported by Medical News Today. If an HPV vaccine currently being studied in MSM protects against HPV infection, however, it might help prevent transmission of HIV as well.
May 01, 2009
Turning On Old Genes to Prevent HIV
Researchers may be better poised to develop a cream or gel that might help prevent transmission of HIV, thanks to the results of a study published April 28 in PloS Biology. The cream would work by reawakening an inactive virus-fighting human gene.
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