Gilead Prices Its New STRIBILD Once a Day HIV Regimen Higher Than Complera and Atripla

Gilead has priced its STRIBILD at  $28,500 / year.  The other two single tablet HIV regimens, Complera and Atripla cost $26, 350 /year and $24,971.64/year, respectively.

A regimen of twice a day raltegravir  (Isentress) plus once a day Truvada costs   $30,753 /year. Boosted Reyataz  plus Truvada  costs $34,390/year and boosted Prezista plus Truvada is $35,148/year.



Currently, Atripla, boosted Reyataz plus Truvada, boosted Prezista plus Truvada, and Isentress plus Truvada are the preferred first line regimens by the US DHHS adult guidelines panel. Complera is an alternative regimen not yet considered “preferred” .  The fate of Stribild as a preferred or alternative regimen has not been determined by the guidelines panel yet.


Cost is not a factor in considering a regimen preferred or alternative. Only drug efficacy, side effects and   quality of the data are considered.  But some countries in Europe are already taking cost into consideration in recommending first line regimens. Will that be a consideration in the United States? As HIV first line therapy options increase and US health care costs are curtailed , the European trend may spread to the United States. We will have to wait to see what happens.

Read what activists are doing: http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/hiv_stribild_cost_1667_22878.shtml

Appendix C, Table 1. Monthly Average Wholesale Pricea  of Antiretroviral Drugs
 (Last updated March

27, 2012; last reviewed March
 27,
2012)  (page 1 of 2)
Antiretroviral Drug
Generic (Brand) Name
Strength
Dosing
Tabs/Capsules/
mLs per Month
AWPa
(Monthly)
Nucleoside Reverse
Transcriptase Inhibitors
(NRTIs)
abacavir (Ziagen)
300-mg tab
20-mg/mL soln
2 tabs daily
30 mLs daily
60 tabs
900 mL
$641.50
$674.60
didanosine DR (generic product) (Videx EC)
400-mg cap
400-mg cap
1 cap daily
1 cap daily
30 caps (≥ 60 kg)
30 caps (≥ 60 kg)
$368.72
$460.14
emtricitabine (Emtriva)
200-mg cap
1 cap daily
30 tabs
$504.37
lamivudine (generic) (Epivir)
(Epivir)
300-mg tab
300-mg tab
10-mg/mL soln
1 tab daily
1 tab daily
30 mL daily
30 tabs
30 tabs
900 mL
$429.66
$477.41
$509.28
stavudine (generic) (Zerit)
40-mg cap
40-mg cap
1 cap twice daily
1 cap twice daily
60 caps
60 caps
$411.16
$493.38
tenofovir (Viread)
300-mg tab
1 tab daily
30 tabs
$873.28
zidovudine (generic) (Retrovir)
300-mg tab
300-mg tab
1 tab twice daily
1 tab twice daily
60 tabs
60 tabs
$360.97
$557.83
Non-nucleoside Reverse
Transcriptase Inhibitors
(NNRTIs)
delavirdine (Rescriptor)
200-mg tab
2 tabs three times daily
180 tabs
$365.45
efavirenz (Sustiva)
200-mg cap
600-mg tab
3 caps daily
1 tab daily
90 caps
30 tabs
$689.52
$689.52
etravirine (Intelence)
100-mg tab
200-mg tab
2 tabs twice daily
1 tab twice daily
120 tabs
60 tabs
$978.64
$978.64
nevirapine (Viramune)
nevirapine XR (Viramune XR)
200-mg tab
400-mg tab
1 tab twice
daily
1 tab daily
60 tabs
30 tabs
$723.08
$632.68
rilpivirine (Edurant)
25-mg tab
1 tab daily
30 tabs
$804.38
Protease Inhibitors (PIs)
atazanavir (Reyataz)
150-mg capb
200-mg cap
300-mg capb
2 caps daily
2 caps daily
1 cap daily
60 caps
60 caps
30 caps
$1,176.23
$1,176.23
$1,165.12
darunavir (Prezista)
400-mg tabb
600-mg tabb
2 tabs daily
1 tab twice
daily
60 tabs
60 tabs
$1,230.20
$1,230.20
fosamprenavir (Lexiva)
700-mg tab
2 tabs twice daily
1 tab twice dailyb
2 tabs once dailyb
120 tabs
60 tabs
60 tabs
$1,812.68
$906.34
$906.34
indinavir (Crixivan)
400-mg cap
2 caps three
times daily
2 caps twice
dailyb
180 caps
120 caps
$548.12
$365.41
nelfinavir (Viracept)
625-mg tab
2 tabs twice daily
120 tabs
$879.84
ritonavir (Norvir)
100-mg tab
1 tab once daily
1 tab twice daily
2 tabs twice daily
30 tabs
60 tabs
120 tabs
$308.60
$617.20
$1,234.40


Appendix C, Table 1. Monthly Average Wholesale Pricea  of Antiretroviral Drugs
 (Last updated March
27, 2012; last reviewed
March  27, 2012)  (page 2
of 2)
Antiretroviral Drug
Generic (Brand) Name
Strength
Dosing
Tabs/Capsules/
mLs per Month
AWPa
(Monthly)
saquinavir (Invirase)
500-mg tabb
2 tabs twice daily
120 tabs
$1,088.84
tipranavir (Aptivus)
250-mg capb
2 caps twice daily
120 caps
$1,335.14
Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitor (INSTI)
raltegravir (Isentress)
400-mg tab
1 tab twice daily
60 tabs
$1,171.30
Fusion Inhibitor
enfuviritide (Fuzeon)
90-mg inj kit
1 inj twice daily
60 doses
(1 kit)
$3,248.72
CCR5 Antagonist
maraviroc (Selzentry)
150-mg tab
300-mg tab
1 tab twice daily
1 tab twice daily
60 tabs
60 tabs
$1,148.16
$1,148.16
Coformulated Combination Antiretroviral Drugs
abacavir/lamivudine (Epzicom)
600/300-mg tab
1 tab daily
30 tabs
$1,118.90
tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada)
300/150-mg tab
1 tab daily
30 tabs
$1,391.45
zidovudine/lamivudine (generic) (Combivir)
300/150-mg tab
300/150-mg tab
1 tab twice daily
1 tab twice daily
60 tabs
60 tabs
$931.61
$1,035.12
abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine
(Trizivir)
600/150/300-mg
tab
1 tab twice daily
60 tabs
$1,676.62
lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra)
200 mg/50-mg tab
400 mg/100 mg per
5-mL soln
2 tabs twice
daily or
4 tabs once
daily
5 mL twice daily
120 tabs
300 mL
$871.36
$871.34
rilpivirine/tenofovir/emtricitabine
(Complera)
200/25/300 mg
1 tab daily
30 tabs
$2,195.83
efavirenz/tenofovir/emtricitabine
(Atripla)
300/200/600 mg
1 tab daily
30 tabs
$2,080.97
a AWP = Average
Wholesale Price in 2012 (source: First DataBank
Blue Book AWP, accessed January 2012) Note that this price may not represent the pharmacy acquisition price or the price paid by consumers.
b Should
be used in combination  with ritonavir.
 Please refer to Appendix B, Table 3 for ritonavir doses.
Key to Abbreviations: AWP = average wholesale
 price; cap = capsule,
DR = delayed release, EC = enteric
coated, inj = injection, soln = solution, tab = tablet, XR = extended release

Could Smart Drugs Help People With Cognitive Loss?


By Lily McCann

Smart drugs, also known as neuro enhancers, memory enhancers, intelligence enhancers, cognitive enhancers and nootropics, are drugs and supplements that improve functions of the brain, including attention, memory, concentration and intelligence. These mental function enhancers are believed to work by improving the brain’s oxygen supply, stimulating the growth of nerves in the brain and increasing the brain’s supply of enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters.
Increasingly people are turning to smart drugs as a means of overcoming mental fatigue. Even people with ‘healthy brains’ are relying on smart drugs to improve mental performance. For example, in schools across India children are regularly taking little yellow and green pills as an attempt to do better in exams and get better grades at school. Whilst executives throughout the U.S are insisting their hair is becoming thicker and healthier as a result of their improved memory.
These so-called smart drugs include a plethora of over-the-counter herbal formulas as well as man-made prescription mixtures. For example, there are now many herbal smart drugs available over-the-counter which comprise in some cases of compounds derived from the brahmi plant found in rural India.
Despite the current trend for healthy individuals to pop smart drugs in order to become more mentally alert and subsequently perform better at school, university or work, do smart drugs however really help people with cognitive loss?
Smart drugs and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are neurogenerative disorders whereby the functions of the brain rapidly decline. With Alzheimer’s patients the neuron-toxic beta amyloid protein replaces amyloid precursor protein and in doing so effectively destroys neurons with the result being severe and often irreversible memory loss.
Aricept

Aricept is a smart drug that is currently licensed in Britain to treat Alzheimer’s patients suffering with cognitive loss. In blocking the action of a body chemical in the brain, Aricept works by breaking down a neurotransmitter that, according to the BBC, helps ‘pass messages between brain cells in the parts of the brain key to memory and conscious thought’.
Although Aricept is believed to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s, there are concerns about the side effects of this smart drug. As Dr Richard Harvey, from the Alzheimer’s Society told the BBC:
“In the short term, it causes diarrhoea and vomiting, so it might not be ideal.”
Tacrine

Tacrine is another smart drug that has been associated with treating Alzheimer’s patients suffering from cognitive loss. By blocking an enzyme involved in the breakdown of acetylcholine, Tacrine artificially enhances the number of failing neurotransmitters in the brain and temporarily assuages memory loss in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
HIV and memory loss

Many HIV patients report cognitive problems such as memory loss, which are often resonant of the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Although whilst the majority of Alzheimer’s sufferers are elderly people in their 70s, 80s and 90s, people living with HIV who are suffering from cognitive loss are often as young as 40 and 50. The similarities between the neurological decline of HIV patients and people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease have been confirmed by a key commonality of an abnormal distribution in the brain of the amyloid beta protein. Whilst the cognitive problems related to Alzheimer’s are often rapid, severe and aggressive, the cognitive problems related to people with HIV are typically much milder. These minor cognitive motor disorders (MCMD) usually consist of the inability to think clearly, perform hand-eye coordinated movements and not remembering things as well as they once did. The more serious HIV-associated dementia (HAD) is much less common, particularly since effective HIV drugs became available.
Smart drugs and HIV

In order to improve the cognitive functions of the brain, namely memory, many HIV sufferers are turning to smart drugs. In 2002 a smart drug called Memantine was licensed in the UK, a cognitive enhancer that was used to improve the cognitive loss in patients suffering with some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s disease, HIV/AIDS related dementia and alcohol-related dementias. As will all cognitive enhancers or smart drugs, Memantine could not cure these diseases but were believed to have improved the symptoms of the diseases.
My Journey With AIDS

Kenn Chaplin was diagnosed with HIV in 1989. We would like to congratulate Kenn on his brave battle and winning against a range of AIDS-related illnesses, including bipolar II. You can read Kenn Chaplin’s remarkable and inspirational journey that gives hope and solace to others in Kenn’s situation at http://www.kwikmed.org/16-star-rated-aids-information-sites-blogs/. Kenn’s personal site includes a glossary of HIV/AIDS and information about this inspiring individual and his inspirational battle with HIV.


Is the best HIV drug bad for muscle? Isentress increases CPK

CPK is creatine phosphokinase, an enzyme found mainly in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle. It is tested by taking a blood sample.

High CPK can indicate muscle destruction, heart attacks, central nervous sysmtem issues, and others. Long term exposure of high CPK can load up your kidneys, and may cause muscle loss and weakness.

A CPK blood test is usually not included in the usual lab work unless you ask for it. Sometimes we have no symptoms when CPK is high, but most of the time we have body aches and soreness. CPK can increase with exercise, but if you exercise frequently and you have baseline CPK info, you can tell what may be drug induced after you start a certain medication.

To make sure your high CPK is not induced by heavy exercise, do not exercise for 5 days and have another test done after that.

Some medications can also increase CPK. Among them are amphotericin B, ampicillin, some anesthetics, blood thinners, aspirin, clofibrate, dexamethasone, furosemide, alcohol, and cocaine. HIV medications like Isentressand Selzentry have also been reported to increase CPK in some patients.

Low thyroid function can also be a cause of high CPK, so get it checked.

There is no treatment. If CPK gets really high, doctors try to switch you to another medication, but it is very difficult for some patients to switch since they have no other options.

Some doctors prescribe corticoid steroids to reduce whatever the inflammation may be, but this is not a cure. Corticoid steroids can lower bone density, cause water retention and fat gain, and have been linked with joint bone dealth (necrosis), so they are not a good option to stay on for the long term.

If you are taking statins with or without fibrates, high CPK may indicate muscle related problems that these drugs can cause in some people. Statins (with or without fibrates) can cause rhabdomyolysis which can cause dustruction of muscle tissue in few patients and increase CPK. Some patients have anecdotally reported improvements of this problem by taking Coenzyme Q-10 (statins lower it) and a good antioxidant formula.

In the old days of heavy AZT use, we used to experience muscle myopathy and high CPKs that were sometimes successfully treated with L-Carnitine. I have not seen any data on the use of this supplement for high CPK induced by newer HIV drugs. I use it but my CPK is still higher than normal (If I do not exercise for 2 weeks, my lowest CPK is 400)
In my opinion, high CPK is an under diagnosed issue in aging HIV patients and one that needs to be researched. I am tired of companies denying that their drugs do not cause it. Hopefully, a researcher will read this post and think about innovative ways to manage this side effect.

The HIV-1 integrase inhibitor raltegravir is associated with rare cases of rhabdomyolysis, and pooled safety data from Phase II and III clinical trials show a higher rate of grade 3-4 creatine kinase (CK) elevation in patients receiving raltegravir versus controls (4.2% versus 2.5%). We compared the frequency of skeletal muscle toxicity in HIV-infected adults receiving raltegravir compared to a control group not receiving raltegravir, analysed for associated factors and also assessed for evidence of myocardial toxicity.

This published report shows that raltegravir (Isentress) can increase CPK in some patients:

Is Raltegravir Bad for Muscle?
Investigators from Australia followed up on reports of CK elevation from clinical trials of raltegravir by conducting a prospective study assessing CK elevations, myalgias, and myopathy in HIV-infected persons receiving (n=159) or non receiving (n=159) raltegravir (CW O016).  Skeletal muscle toxicity was defined as either: (1) isolated CK elevation; (2) myalgia without motor weakness; (3) proximal myopathy on physical examination; or (4) rhabdomyolysis. 

Free Book from PoWeR: Built to Survive

With over 330 scientific references, this book provides a comprehensive guide to the medical use of anabolic steroids, growth hormone, supplementation, optimal nutrition, and exercise to prevent and treat the loss of lean body mass and body alterations experienced by people with HIV.

Keep in mind this book was written 12 years ago, although I have updated a lot of the information this year.  There is also info on facial and buttock wasting.

There is a lot of information here also useful for people not living with HIV.

For reviews from readers, please visit:Amazon.com book page 

Click Here for Free Book


For a print paperback copy : Amazon paperback print version

Fw: News & Views: Present and Future of HIV Treatment; Cost of Drugs; Simply “Being”; and More

From: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Date: 09 Aug 2012 13:43:57 -0400
To: <nelsonvergel@yahoo.com>
ReplyTo: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Subject: News & Views: Present and Future of HIV Treatment; Cost of Drugs; Simply “Being”; and More

If you have trouble reading this e-mail, you can see the online version at: www.thebody.com/updates.html

August 9, 2012 Top Stories at TheBody.com News & Views Library Change/Update Subscription


BLOG CENTRAL River Huston River Huston: Being

“In the race to get things done before HIV did me in, I wrote books, painted paintings and performed all over the world. … My life had become so hectic and busy I just did not always have the ability to stop it. In December of 2010, I got off the merry-go-round and moved to an island.”

"Let's Stop HIV Together" Poster Mark S. King: Bridging the HIV Viral Divide With Friendship
“The message is clear: We all share a responsibility for curbing HIV infections and supporting each other, positive and negative. And I knew right away who my ‘negative’ would be.”

Carol Hyman Carol Hyman: It IS About the Bike
“Being on the bike has changed my life. I’m healthier, more energetic and am part of a supportive, loving community. … Here I am, a straight, negative, married woman, who spends just about every weekend with a couple dozen mostly gay, mostly HIV-positive men.”

B. Osten B. Osten: Body Image and the Physical Side Effects of Being HIV Positive
“While dancing with my partner at this year’s West Hollywood Gay Pride, someone behind us, speaking in a loud enough voice for us to hear, commented on our (slight, but evident) buffalo humps. … Knowing that they themselves were probably HIV positive from the telltale signs of lipodystrophy, we stood our ground.”
Join the Conversation Paul (From Long Island, N.Y.) on “Is the ‘Berlin Patient’ No Longer Alone? Stem Cell Transplant Appears to Clear HIV in Two Men on Treatment

“I had recently seen a television interview with one of the doctors who had attended this recent AIDS conference. While he said that the research is promising, he alluded to some risks with the stem cell therapy. … He also mentioned very high costs associated with the procedure and the difficulty of making it available on a large scale, especially in rural or less-populated areas. Yes. It sounds hopeful. But I will feel more assured when my ID doctor recommends it for me.”

Read the rest of this comment and join the discussion on this article!

HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES Myron Cohen, M.D. Myron Cohen: Present and Future Look of HIV Treatment (Video)

Myron Cohen, M.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, talks about the benefits of early HIV treatment and treatment as prevention; the potential future of HIV care; and drugs that are easier to take and taken less frequently, which could pave the way for a “virtual cure.”

Heidi Nass New Research Explores Wisdom of HPV Vaccination for HIV-Infected Women
Despite the greater risks that human papillomavirus (HPV) poses for women with HIV, we’re only just beginning to get a sense of how safe and effective HPV vaccination is for these women. But recent research offers encouraging data.

infecting cells Cancer Drug Flushes Out Lurking AIDS Virus: Study
In a small pilot study, U.S. researchers have used the cancer drug vorinostat to revive and unmask latent HIV in volunteers’ immune cells. The ability of HIV to lay dormant and “hidden” has posed a major obstacle to a cure; this approach aims to expose the virus in those hiding places.

Obamacare button Why U.S. Health Care Law Is a Victory for Women With HIV
On Aug. 1, a provision of the Affordable Care Act kicked in that provides 47 million U.S. women with free access to eight new prevention-related benefits. HIV advocate Candace Y.A. Montague explains what makes these new benefits so special.

More Headlines on HIV Treatment & Health Issues:

Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
Image from the August 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“Band-AIDS Series,” 1999
Albert J. Winn

Visit the August 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, "Bloodbrothers," is curated by David Serotte.


HIV NEWS & POLICY Milton Hershey School sign Milton Hershey School Reverses Decision to Deny Admission to HIV-Positive Student

The president of the Milton Hershey School, a private grade school in Pennsylvania, has apologized to a student who last year was denied admission because he has HIV. The school announced it would now welcome the student’s attendance beginning this fall.

dollar bill ADAP Waiting Lists Drop Sharply: 1,223 People in 6 States as of Aug. 2
A new influx of emergency AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) funding has gotten us as close as we’ve been in a long time to eliminating ADAP waiting lists entirely, but we’re not quite there yet, according to the latest weekly update.

David Munar David Munar: The Affordable Care Act and Improving HIV Services (Video)
David Munar, president and CEO of AIDS Foundation of Chicago, talks about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how it affects the U.S. HIV community, including what needs to be done on the local level. He also talks about HIV in Illinois and the multiple strategies being employed to keep new infections down.

Donna Christensen Donna Christensen: HIV Issues in the U.S. Virgin Islands (Video)
Congresswoman Donna Christensen of the U.S. Virgin Islands talks about the ongoing legislative struggles involving health care for women, as well as HIV treatment and prevention issues in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

More HIV News & Policy Headlines:

Connect With Others Negative Male Dating Positive Guy; Nervous About Anal Sex
(A recent post from the "Gay Men With HIV" board)

“For the past couple of months I have been dating this guy who is HIV positive. He is undetectable and has been able to stay that way for a while. He has been on medication for years. He is an amazing guy. He is sweet, funny, down to earth, intelligent, independent, and just really good to me. … For a while now he’s been talking about us taking things to the next level and having anal sex. I have no problem taking things to the next level because I do love him, but I am a little scared in having anal sex with him. I am worried about things like the condom ripping, breaking, or tearing and we not notice or something.

“I am not a very sexual person. I don’t have to have anal sex to be in a relationship with someone. He feels differently. He feels that he can’t be in a relationship with someone without having anal sex because I’m just giving him part of me and not all of me. … I have never been in this situation and I don’t know what to do. I don’t have anyone to turn to personally for advice.”

 — mhd8912

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

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OPINIONS & PERSPECTIVES protest Holding Lives Hostage: The Cost of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Sponsorship

“One of the great moral issues of our day is that people are suffering or dying because they can’t afford medicines that are produced for pennies,” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said at the International AIDS Conference last month. “To me, this is the equivalent of seeing a child drowning in a pool and refusing to save that life.”

Sarah and Sophia Denison-Johnston with Rebecca Denison, circa 1990s A Twin Legacy of Hope
Sarah and Sophia Denison-Johnston are the twin daughters of Rebecca Denison, who founded WORLD, the groundbreaking HIV support organization for women. At a recent anniversary bash for WORLD, they were overwhelmed: “Women came up to us crying, telling us we were their hope in life, we were their inspiration to continue living.”

Ms. Michelle A Moment With Ms. Michelle the Quilter at AIDS 2012
“When I found out that only a half a mile out of 54 to 55 miles of the [AIDS Memorial Quilt] are for African Americans, we thought it was ridiculous,” says Quilt volunteer “Ms. Michelle” in an interview with Candace Y.A. Montague. “I had a cousin that died at the beginning of the epidemic. … He went into the hospital under an assumed name. He didn’t want anyone to know he was dying from this.”

David Munar In Search of the AIDS Boson
“Scientists hope the Higgs Boson will help explain the essential characteristics of all matter and energy in the universe,” writes David Munar for AIDS Foundation of Chicago. “AIDS researchers and activists from around the world are on the hunt for their own Higgs Boson. … How and why does the HIV/AIDS epidemic expand?”

More Opinions & Perspectives:

video blogs from aids 2012
Sleep? Who needs sleep? Mark S. King video blogged every day of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012). Check out these reports from his unique, moving, often hilarious perspective.

July 27 video thumbnailJuly 27: AIDS 2012 Farewell — The Voices of the World
As “summer camp for global AIDS advocates” draws to a close, Mark pays tribute to the people who are on the frontlines of the epidemic, and who are the very essence of AIDS 2012.


July 26 video thumbnailJuly 26: The Global Village
As the conference hits its stride, Mark critiques fashion with designer Jack Mackenroth, starts a YouTube rivalry with singer Jamar Rogers and has an interesting experience in the D.C. subway.


July 25 video thumbnailJuly 25: The March on Washington
It’s difficult sometimes, writing about an event that so easily lends itself to images and sound. Such is the case with the AIDS 2012 March on Washington, the subject of this day’s episode.


That’s not all, folks; click here to watch more of Mark’s videos from AIDS 2012.

HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION medical puzzle The Sobering Truth of HIV Among Men Who Sleep With Men

The idea of “turning the tide” against the AIDS epidemic will prove to be no more than a slogan if more is not done to address the growing number of gay and bisexual men infected with HIV worldwide, experts said last month at the International AIDS Conference.

 New HIV Test Helps Researchers Pinpoint Recent Infections
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a new HIV test, called the Limiting Antigen Avidity Enzyme Immunoassay, that can reportedly tell whether a person contracted the virus within the last 141 days.

 HIV Diagnosis Rate Falling Among Hispanics Living in U.S. and Puerto Rico
Among Hispanics living in 40 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, the HIV diagnosis rate fell among both men and women between 2006 and 2009, according to results of a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More HIV/STD Transmission & Education Headlines:


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Fw: TheBodyPRO.com’s Biweekly HIV/AIDS Newsletter for Frontline Care Providers

From: “The Body PRO” <news@thebodypro.com>
Date: 08 Aug 2012 17:46:50 -0400
To: <nelsonvergel@yahoo.com>
ReplyTo: “The Body PRO” <news@thebodypro.com>
Subject: TheBodyPRO.com’s Biweekly HIV/AIDS Newsletter for Frontline Care Providers

If you have trouble reading this e-mail, you can read the online version at: www.thebodypro.com/newsletter.html
 
Welcome to The Body PRO Newsletter, a bi-weekly review of the latest breaking news and research in HIV medicine, aimed specifically at informing health care professionals.
August 8, 2012
In This Newsletter:
•  HIV CARE TODAY
Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., and Paul Sax, M.D.When to Start Antiretroviral Therapy: A Closer Look
Seemingly simple questions about HIV — such as “When do I initiate antiretroviral therapy in my patient?” — often defy simple answers. In this new exclusive interview, we discuss this fundamental HIV treatment question with Joel Gallant, M.D., M.P.H., and Paul Sax, M.D.

AIDS 2012Is the “Berlin Patient” No Longer Alone? Stem Cell Transplant Appears to Clear HIV in Two Men on Treatment
Two HIV-infected men are showing no traces of HIV in their blood after receiving stem cell transplants roughly similar to the one “Berlin Patient” Timothy Brown received. However, key differences in procedure exist, and both patients had yet to discontinue antiretroviral therapy.

Ben Young, M.D.60-Second HIV Treatment Research Review From AIDS 2012: New Strategies, New Drugs
Ben Young, M.D., takes us on a whirlwind tour through the most noteworthy antiretroviral studies presented last week at the International AIDS Conference, from intriguing drugs in development to new data on approved medications.

womenHIV Viral Load Suppression Less Likely Among Women Than Men; Menopause May Impact CD4 Response
AIDS 2012 treated us to a rarity in HIV research presentations: Multiple antiretroviral therapy studies in which women, not men, were the focus. Unfortunately, they may have left us with even more questions about gender-specific responses to HIV treatment.

More Headlines on HIV Care and Antiretroviral Therapy:


  Back to Top

•  HIV NEWS & VIEWS
HIV NewsU.S. Health Dept. Announces $80 Million in Emergency Funds to Eliminate ADAP Waiting Lists, Expand Domestic HIV Care
U.S. health secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new influx of funding for HIV care access inside the U.S. — including $69 million in ADAP funds that the health department expects will eliminate all current waiting lists.

Elizabeth LombinoWhatever Happened to Actually Talking About Sex, Drugs and HIV?
“Safer sex is not as trendy as it once was,” HIV/AIDS advocate Elizabeth Lombino writes. “Abstinence-only education has been revived. To talk about sex in any public forum is taboo again. The word ‘condom’ is now categorized under dirty words. When did this happen?”

We Can End AIDS protestThousands Take to Streets in D.C. for “We Can End AIDS” Mobilization
About 8,000 HIV activists and supporters around the world marched through the streets of Washington, D.C., in the We Can End AIDS mobilization, the largest HIV/AIDS protest on U.S. soil in many years.

Laura Bush“Vagina Pride”: Laura Bush Keynotes AIDS 2012 Session on Female Leadership
“When former First Lady Laura Bush entered the International AIDS Conference’s largest session room … at a special session titled ‘Leadership in the AIDS Response for Women,’ I felt conflicting emotions for this woman,” admits Housing Works’ Lucile Scott. However, Bush’s speech won Scott’s admiration.

More News & Views Headlines:


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•  HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION
Antu DeyAntu Dey: Best of Times for HIV Vaccine Research (Video)
Antu Dey of Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics in Cambridge, Mass., talks about the current state of HIV vaccine development. He compares the safety and efficacy of vaccine research in animal and human trials, and discusses the need for vaccine researchers to collaborate.

African-American teenagersHigh-Risk Sexual Activity Among Black U.S. Teens Drops Dramatically Since 1991
“Despite the sobering reality that blacks currently experience the highest rate of new HIV infections among any racial group in the U.S., the … findings are a heartening sign that, among black high school students at least, efforts at promoting safer sex have borne fruit,” reports Imani Evans for Black AIDS Institute.

Global Forum on MSM & HIVResearch on MSM and Transgender People You Didn’t See at AIDS 2012
The Global Forum on MSM & HIV announced the launch of a new publication featuring more than 100 abstracts on transgender people and men who have sex with men that were rejected from last month’s International AIDS Conference.

Lisa Fitzpatrick, M.D., M.P.H.Lisa Fitzpatrick: Routine Testing for HIV Needed (Video)
Lisa Fitzpatrick, M.D., M.P.H., the medical director of infectious diseases at a Washington, D.C., area medical center, is not at all pleased with the way our country tests people for HIV or links HIV-positive people to the care they need.

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•  THE PATIENT PERSPECTIVE: FEATURED ON THEBODY.COM
Nelson VergelNelson Vergel: Starting Your Journey With HIV (Video)
“As a 27-year HIV survivor and research advocate, it amazes me how many people make uninformed choices due to lack of direction and support. That is why I decided to sit down to attempt to describe the most important things that every newly diagnosed person should know.”

Cedric SturdevantThis Positive Life: Fighting the Big Disease With a Little Name (Video)
Cedric Sturdevant, a 46-year-old gay man from Jackson, Miss., was diagnosed in 2005 along with his partner at the time. After a scary hospital stay during which he disclosed to his family, Cedric knew he wanted to get better and become a voice for those living with HIV.

Twitter logoAIDS 2012 Twitter Buzz: Winding Down and Looking Forward
Twitter rolled on even as the International AIDS Conference wound down. In the last in an ongoing series of Twitter recaps featured throughout AIDS 2012, we highlight 140-character discussions of HIV prevention and criminalization, as well as the future of the conference — and the future of HIV.

microscope illustrationNew Fact Sheet: Can HIV Infection Be Cured?
As major new developments in HIV/AIDS research bring the word “cure” closer to our patients’ lips, the need to provide unvarnished, straightforward information increases. AIDS InfoNet briefly sums up everything we know to date with this new, patient-friendly fact sheet.

Also available in Spanish.

Khafre AbifKhafre Abif: “Call My Name” — African Americans and the AIDS Memorial Quilt
“Right now there are not enough [AIDS Memorial Quilt panels] made by and for the African-American community to meet the demand for the request for their display. … Without your stories, the Quilt cannot do its job of opening hearts and minds and saving lives.”
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Fw: Hot Topics at TheBody.com’s “Ask the Experts” Forums

From: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Date: 07 Aug 2012 16:54:53 -0400
To: <nelsonvergel@yahoo.com>
ReplyTo: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Subject: Hot Topics at TheBody.com’s “Ask the Experts” Forums

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August 7, 2012 Visit the Forums “Hot Topics” Library Change/Update Subscription



Living With HIV  Where Are the Social Groups That Don’t Involve Substances?
I belong to a support group for HIV-positive men, and most of them are abusing drugs and/or alcohol. Some are using daily. There are no social functions in my city for people living with HIV that don’t include these mind-altering substances. I was diagnosed with HIV 26 years ago; I’ve used drugs and alcohol over the years but every time I did, my numbers got bad. What can I do about the lack of resources for those of us living with HIV who want to hang out together while still taking care of our bodies?

David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., responds in the “Substance Use and HIV” forum
Nutrition, Exercise & HIV/AIDS  How Can I Reduce My Large Belly?
I take Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). My CD4 count is 545 and my viral load is undetectable. Recently I’ve been troubled by the expansion of my belly, and even my breast area and shoulders to an extent. What could be causing this, and what can I do about it? Can testosterone levels play a role or does it all have to do with diet and exercise, or lack thereof?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum
Mixed-Status Couples  How Could My Partner Become HIV Positive if We Were Monogamous?
My partner just got diagnosed with HIV. Back in November 2011 we both got tested before we decided to stop using protection, and both our tests came back negative. All this time I assumed our relationship was monogamous, but I’m not so sure now. I’ve tested HIV negative again following his diagnosis, which is a relief, but I’m also pretty confused. How reliable are the tests we’ve taken? Is it possible that his first test was a false negative?

David Wohl, M.D., responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum
Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns  Will We Be Insurable Under the New Health Care Law?
Do we know yet whether the new health care law will keep insurance companies from denying an HIV-positive person insurance coverage? If I understand it correctly, denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing health issues will be against the law. If they can’t deny you coverage, will they just make our premiums sky-high? Also, does Medicare cover HIV drugs?

Jacques Chambers, C.L.U., responds in the “Workplace and Insurance Issues” forum

 What Can I Do if the Hospital Ignores My Advanced Directive?
My CD4 count is now too low to measure. A little while ago I was extremely ill with PCP (pneumocystis pneumonia). While I was unable to communicate, the decision was made to treat my PCP, which goes against my legal advanced directive. What can I do to get this matter resolved?

Christa Douaihy, Esq., responds in the “Legal Issues and HIV” forum
Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
Image from the August 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“Listening to Each Other,” 2006
Albert J. Winn (with Richard Sawdon Smith)

Visit the August 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, "Bloodbrothers," is curated by David Serotte.


HIV/AIDS Treatment  What’s a Modern HIV Med Regimen Without Truvada?
What might a Truvada (tenofovir/FTC)-sparing HIV med regimen look like? What are some viable alternatives to this popular combination pill? What kinds of side effects would I need to look out for with these other meds?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum


 What if I Can’t Swallow Big Pills?
If a person is unable to swallow whole pills, can HIV meds be crushed and taken as powders? Do any HIV meds come in forms other than pills? Do you know of any tricks for increasing comfort with swallowing large tablets?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Aging With HIV” forum


 Did My Switch to a Different Form of Viramune Cause Side Effects?
I’ve been taking Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa) and Viramune (nevirapine) for years with no major side effects. A few months ago I switched to Viramune XR, the extended-release pill that can be taken just once per day instead of twice. Around the same time, I started experiencing cold symptoms and severe lack of energy, no matter how much sleep I get. I’ve taken two rounds of antibiotics but I keep getting sick. My viral load is still undetectable and my T cells are going up (above 500). Could the switch to the XR pill be behind these symptoms?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum
Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS  Can You Help Me Understand This Bone Density Study?
I’m a 25-year-old man; I’ve been HIV positive for around three years, on HIV meds for almost two of those. I’ve been reading a summary of a study of bone density in young men living with HIV, and I’m wondering: Am I still at risk for bone loss if I take supplements, eat well, exercise, and have normal calcium and vitamin D levels? Were there any lifestyle factors that came into play with this study population?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum

 What More Can I Do to Treat My Hepatitis C?
I’m coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C (hep C), and my liver is at the level of cirrhosis. I have hep C genotype 4, which is uncommon in the West. I only just started treatment; my doctors say my platelets are dangerously low and they may have to stop. They say they have no more treatments to offer me, and it sounds as if they’re preparing me for death. However, I feel OK. Aren’t there any other options available to me?

Barbara McGovern, M.D., responds in the “Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection” forum

More Questions About Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS:

Connect With Others Stigma at Work: How Can People Be So Cruel? What Should I Do?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

I was diagnosed 7 years ago. When I returned to work after 6 weeks, I was very very thin, and rumors swirled around work about why I was out for so long. … I quickly gained weight and life resumed to normal — no more rumors, no more speculation — until now …

I work with two of the most hateful women to ever walk the planet Earth. They’re gossipy, rude and just mean. One of them took it upon herself to start the HIV gossip up again, but this time adding that she doesn’t feel sorry for me and that I deserved HIV. WTF?! … She told a multitude of people and it got back to me. … I was so mortified … I was angry … I was hurt … I went to my manager in tears …

It has taken me years of self doubt, of being scared and fighting with my own inner demons … I’ve finally come to peace with my status, I’ve finally accepted it and I’m in a good place … only to have someone knock me down …

What do you think I should do next? Do I let it go? Or do I take a stand and fight, and say it’s not OK to say things like that, to gossip and be hateful? — hellfire

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Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs  Is My Viral Load Telling Me It’s Time to Take Meds?
I tested HIV positive less than a month ago. My CD4 count is 564 and my viral load is 14,228. Is that considered a high viral load? Is there anything I can do to bring my viral load down, since my CD4 count seems to be fine?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum
HIV Transmission  Could I Have Come in Contact With HIV at the Dentist?
I read something in a magazine about a case of HIV transmission at a dental care facility. I once went to a dentist for a tooth extraction, and I bled a lot. Do you think I’m at risk for HIV based on that encounter at the dentist?

Erik Glenn, M.A., responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum

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VIDEO: What to Do if You are Told You Are HIV+ ?

Finding out that one is HIV positive is an overwhelming and scary experience. Unless you know empowered HIV-positive people who can help you navigate the next steps to gain control of HIV, searching for information on the Internet and at support groups can be a daunting experience. And most HIV primary care clinics are so burdened that they have limited time to educate someone about how to stay healthy with HIV.
As funding for treatment education has been cut by pharmaceutical companies and the federal grant process, it is imperative that educated long-term survivors serve as mentors to people who are just starting their journey as HIV positive.
As a 27-year HIV survivor and research advocate, it amazes me how many people make uninformed choices due to lack of direction and support. That is why I decided to sit down to attempt to describe the most important things that every newly diagnosed person should know.

For more info click here