General HIV/AIDS News: December 2006 Archives

Surgery a Bigger Risk for HIV-Infected Patients

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WEDNESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical patients with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are more likely to develop pneumonia after their operation and to die within one year compared to uninfected patients, U.S. researchers report.

The study also found that HIV patients with a preoperative viral load (number of copies of virus in the blood) greater than 30,000 per milliliter appeared to be most likely to suffer surgical complications.

In the study, a team from Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program-Northern California, in Oakland, analyzed surgical outcomes for 332 HIV patients who had a number of different kinds of operations (including heart, abdominal and orthopedic) between 1997 and 2002. They compared those outcomes to outcomes for 332 surgical patients without HIV.

More HIV patients developed pneumonia after surgery (2.4 percent vs. 0.3 percent), and more HIV patients died within 12 months after their surgery (3 percent vs. 0.6 percent).

Rifts Emerge on Push to End Written Consent for H.I.V. Tests

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hiv testA yearlong effort by New York City’s health commissioner to do away with a state requirement that patients give their written consent before being tested for H.I.V. has created a sharp rift among doctors and advocates for people with H.I.V. and AIDS.

More than 1,400 people in the city died from AIDS-related illnesses last year. Of the more than 100,000 New Yorkers who are infected with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, perhaps one-fifth do not know it, according to city estimates. About one-fourth of H.I.V. diagnoses are made when the patient already has AIDS, by which time the infection has gone undetected for a decade, on average.

Alarmed by those facts, the health commissioner, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, co-wrote an article in The New England Journal of Medicine a year ago calling for governments to be much more aggressive in monitoring and caring for people with H.I.V., and to treat the virus more like other infectious diseases.

trial in LibyaAs news spreads around the world about a Libyan court’s decision to re-impose the death sentences on five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor for supposedly deliberately infecting hundreds of children with HIV, world leaders are starting to express their disappointment, shock and horror.

George Bush communicated his “disappointment” to Georgi Parvanov, the Bulgarian President. Bush said he is fully behind Bulgaria’s attempts to strive for the release of the five nurses.

Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State said it is urgent that the medical workers are freed and allowed to go home as soon as possible. They have been in prison since 1999. Johannes Laitenberger, a spokesman for the European Union, said the EU will decide what steps to take against Libya after a legal appeal is launched and concluded.

Bush disappointed by Libyan death ruling

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George BushPresident Bush told Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov on Thursday that he was disappointed with a Libyan court decision to reimpose the death sentences on Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor accused of infecting Libyan children with HIV.

Bush spoke with Parvanov on the phone from the White House about the Libyan decision, expressing his strong support for Bulgaria's efforts to secure the release of the medics, said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

The president also congratulated Parvanov on Bulgaria's accession as a member of the European Union, which will formally take place on Jan. 1.

trial in LibyaBulgaria's president, the chairman of the National Assembly and the country's prime minister sent an open letter to the heads of state and parliamentary heads of all EU member states in connection with the Libya HIV trial.

The letter was also sent to NATO, UN, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.

The letter mentions Libyan court's negligence and its rejection to take into consideration the expertise and opinion of the world-acknowledged scientist in the area of HIV and AIDS.

President Georgi Parvanov expressed his gratitude to Bulgaria's partners and allies for their support of the just cause.
CARE actPresident George W. Bush signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Modernization Act of 2006 into law today, officially reauthorizing the Ryan White CARE Act until Sept 30, 2009. AIDS Action Council, a Washington non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of people living with HIV and AIDS and that helped to create and ensure passage of the original Ryan White CARE Act in 1990, expressed its thanks to the President and to Members of Congress who took action to pass the reauthorized CARE Act prior to the 109th Congress's final adjournment.

"We are pleased that the President and Congress engaged in a serious, bipartisan, bicameral effort. This bill will clearly serve many people living with HIV and AIDS in the United States," said Rebecca Haag, Executive Director, AIDS Action Council. "However, this bill alone is not sufficient to ensure that life saving drugs and medical treatment is available to all who are infected. Appropriations have fallen far short over the last several years while the epidemic is growing with 40,000 new infections every year. The reality is we need more funding. We urge the President to add additional funds to his budget request for next year and will work with the new Congress to make sure that additional resources are made available."

circumcisionThis fact sheet summarizes information in four areas of male circumcision:

  1. male circumcision and risk of HIV transmission;
  2. male circumcision and other health conditions;
  3. risks associated with male circumcision; and
  4. status of HIV infection and male circumcision in the United States.

What is Male Circumcision?

Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some or all of the foreskin (or prepuce) from the penis [2].

Data On HIV/Aids Queried

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kenya Recent data by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAids) on the decline of infections may have been inaccurate, a workshop was told.

It was noted that many Kenyans do not fight the scourge either due to religious reasons or cultural practices and beliefs.

The National Muslim Council of Women of Kenya (NMCWK) chairperson, Ms Nazlin Omar, said her organisation was training Muslim leaders on attitude change of the Muslim community.

Libya condemns nurses despite evidence

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Libya AIDS trial endsA court convicted five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor Tuesday of deliberately infecting 400 children with HIV and sentenced them to death, despite scientific evidence the youngsters had the virus before the medical workers came to Libya.

The United States and Europe reacted with outrage to the verdict, which prolongs a case that has hurt Libya's ties to the West. The six co-defendants already have served seven years in jail.

Earlier this month, an analysis of HIV and hepatitis virus samples taken from some of the children concluded the viral strains were circulating at the hospital where they were treated well before the nurses and doctor arrived in March 1998, according to research published by the journal Nature.

There is widespread anger in Libya over the HIV infections, and the sentence brought cheers. The Libyan press has long depicted the medical workers as guilty.

Libya court to deliver nurses' HIV case verdict

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trial in LibyaFive Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor could face the firing squad if a Libyan court convicts them on Tuesday on charges of deliberately infecting hundreds of Libyan children with HIV.

Concluding a retrial regarded by the outside world as a test of justice in Libya, the court will make a decision that, either way, is likely to have repercussions on the north Africa's gradual rapprochement with the West.

The six are accused of intentionally infecting 426 Libyan children with HIV at a hospital in Benghazi in the late 1990s. The prosecution has demanded the death penalty.

AIDS impacts workplace, affects economy

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AIDSHIV/AIDS is costing more than 1 million jobs annually worldwide, with most of those losses in sub-Saharan African, according to a report from the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Containing updated estimates of HIV’s impact on the world of work, the labor force and the working-age population in 60 countries, the report ILO released Nov. 30 also looked at such issues as the effect of AIDS on employment growth.

Among its findings:

circumcisionCampaigners mixed joy with prudence after new trials, described as a watershed in the quarter-century-long tragedy of AIDS, showed circumcision nearly halves a man's risk of catching HIV.

They hailed it as a golden opportunity Thursday for braking a pandemic that has claimed 25 million lives, left another 40 million infected with HIV and for which there is no cure, only a costly, lifelong dependence on drugs.

Until now, the only prevention strategies have depended on condoms and sexual abstinence, both of which are of only limited effect.

But the campaigners also cautioned that circumcision -- while low-cost, one-off and effective -- was no silver bullet.

HIV/Aids slashes average life expectancy to 51 years

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HIV and AIDS in S AfricaJOHANNESBURG - South Africa, which has the world's second heaviest caseload of HIV/Aids, has seen average life expectancy fall by 13 years since 1990 to 51, a new study shows.

A survey by the Medical Research Council and Actuarial Society of South Africa revealed that life expectancy this year was "estimated to be 49 years for males and 53 years for females" or an average of 51.

"By 2005, the HIV/Aids pandemic had already taken about 13 years off life expectancy," the report stated.

Researcher Debbie Bradshaw said life expectancy in South Africa in 1990 was 64 years, but had dropped to 51.

HIV-Infected Intestinal Immune Cells Never Rebound

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AIDS researchHealthDay News -- Within a few weeks of being infected by HIV, most of a person's memory T-cells vanish and are not likely to return even after years of antiretroviral treatment, a new study finds.

Previous research has shown that HIV infection depletes memory T-cells -- which are mostly found in the intestinal tract -- within days. In contrast, T-cells circulating in the blood typically decline over several years, according to background information in the article.

It's known that T-cells in the blood can return to normal levels when HIV patients take antiviral drugs. But it wasn't clear whether intestinal memory T -cell levels returned to normal.

In this study, researchers at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York City and elsewhere performed intestinal biopsies on HIV patients who had started treatment shortly after they were infected.

IsraelGAZA CITY, 6 December (IRIN) - The manner in which 14-year-old Mahmoud (not his real name) caught the HIV/AIDS virus was unusual - but the subsequent reaction of Palestinian society was all too predictable.

"I got it from a blood transfusion when I was 12. Now, no one talks me. My friends all left me when they knew that I'm AIDS patient. I feel I'm alone in this world. They are afraid to get infected from me, as I was infected, but it is not my fault that I have AIDS now," said the youngster from the West Bank.

"I'll never finish college. I'll never have a family like the others. I will never have babies. I also believe that it will not be long before I leave this world," he added.

Afghan drugs a worry as Pakistanis confront AIDS

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afghan opium ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Afghanistan's booming opium trade is a huge concern for Pakistan as it confronts the spread of HIV/AIDS, especially among intravenous drug users, Pakistan's minister of health said on Wednesday.

Pakistan recorded its first case of HIV infection in 1987 and the number of confirmed cases is now 3,556 -- of whom more than 300 have developed AIDS -- but experts say the true figure could be many times higher.

Health Minister Mohammad Naseer Khan said Pakistan was a low-prevalence but high-risk country when it came to AIDS.

The government was committed to the fight against the disease but efforts had to be intensified to tackle Afghanistan's booming output of opium -- the raw material for heroin, he said.

Soy industry involved in protein, AIDS research

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soy proteinThe US soy industry is supporting a new research project in South Africa to fill a gap in the data as to how soy protein supplementation could help people living with HIV and AIDS.

A balanced diet containing appropriate protein and other nutrients can help reduce the risk of poor outcomes and progression of disease. Since soy is a source of antioxidants and high quality protein, supplementation could prove a useful tool in helping ward off immune deficits, the researchers believe, and in turn help prevent opportunistic and other infections in people with HIV and AIDS.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the General HIV/AIDS News category from December 2006.

General HIV/AIDS News: November 2006 is the previous archive.

General HIV/AIDS News: January 2007 is the next archive.

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