HIV Infection: December 2006 Archives

Hormonal contraception doesn't raise HIV risk

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contraceptiveUsing hormonal contraception does not appear to increase women's overall risk of contracting the AIDS virus, according to a U.S. National Institutes of Health study published on Thursday.

The study, published on the Web site of the journal "AIDS," followed thousands of women in Africa and Asia and compared their patterns of contraceptive use to their risk of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

"Understanding whether hormonal contraceptive use alters the risk of HIV acquisition among women is a critical public health issue," the study authors wrote.

Some 6,000 women, in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Thailand enrolled in the study were offered a choice of the most commonly prescribed forms of hormonal contraception, birth control pills or DMPA (depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate) injections, as well as condoms.

Study says malaria helps spread HIV

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malariaMalaria is fueling the spread of AIDS in Africa by boosting the HIV in people's bodies for weeks at a time, says a study that pins down the deadly interplay between the dual scourges.

It's a vicious cycle as people weakened by HIV are, in turn, more vulnerable to malaria.

University of Washington researchers who estimated the impact of the overlapping infections concluded that the interaction could be blamed for thousands of HIV infections and almost a million bouts of malaria over two decades in just one part of Kenya.

The research, published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, highlights the need for a joint attack on both epidemics.

A Molecular Condom Against AIDS

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researchUniversity of Utah scientists designed a "molecular condom" women could use daily to prevent AIDS by vaginally inserting a liquid that would turn into a gel-like coating and then, when exposed to semen, return to liquid form and release an antiviral drug.

"We have developed a new vaginal gel that we call a molecular condom because it is composed of molecules that are liquid at room temperature and, when applied in the vagina, will spread and turn into a gel and effectively coat the tissue," says Patrick Kiser, an assistant professor of bioengineering. "It's a smart molecular condom because we designed this gel to release anti-HIV drugs when the gel comes into contact with semen during intercourse."

"The ultimate hope for this technology is to protect women and their unborn or nursing children from the AIDS virus," but the molecular condom is five years away from tests in humans and roughly 10 years until it might be in widespread use, Kiser says.

China to prosecute deliberate AIDS infections

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china BEIJING (Reuters) - China will prosecute people who deliberately infect others with HIV, state media said on Wednesday.

"Those who know they are infected with AIDS or are sick with AIDS and deliberately infect others will be severely punished according to the law," the Beijing News said, citing an unnamed police officer as telling an AIDS prevention workshop.

It provided no details on what kind of sentences would be meted out, nor how police would prove the virus had knowingly been passed on by someone.

Police would also deal just as severely with criminal suspects who have AIDS as those who do not, the report said.

CDCIn September 2006, CDC published revised recommendations for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing in health-care settings to 1) increase early detection of HIV infection by expanding HIV screening of patients and 2) improve access to HIV care and prevention services (e.g., by conducting screening in locations such as emergency departments and urgent-care facilities, where persons who do not otherwise access HIV testing seek health-care services) (1).

HIV screening is now recommended for patients aged 13--64 years in all health-care settings after patients are notified that testing will be performed unless they decline (opt-out screening). This represents a substantial change from earlier recommendations to 1) offer HIV testing routinely to all patients only in health-care settings with high HIV prevalence and 2) conduct targeted screening on the basis of risk behaviors for patients in low-prevalence settings (2). This report examines HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) case reporting in South Carolina before the 2006 recommendations were published.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the HIV Infection category from December 2006.

HIV Infection: November 2006 is the previous archive.

HIV Infection: January 2007 is the next archive.

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