Depression has long been recognized not only as a condition that increases risk for acquiring the HIV virus but also as a factor that dramatically impacts the quality of life of and health outcomes for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Researchers have fair agreement on the high occurrence of depression in HIV-positive patients (as high as 40%), but the long-term impact of co-occurring depression and HIV has received little attention. A new study examines the association between increased chronicity of depression in people living with HIV and health outcome indicators, such as HIV appointment attendance, treatment failure, and mortality. The findings reveal both the significant impact of depression and the need for more comprehensive assessment and treatment of depression among people with HIV at various stages in the care continuum.
It has long been thought that the heightened risk of diabetes among people living with HIV was mostly due to early-generation antiretroviral drugs that raised glucose levels. But a longitudinal Australian study published in the Feb. 20, 2018, issue of AIDS found that, even in the modern treatment era, HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) developed diabetes at an extremely high rate.
Although great strides have been made at combating human immunodeficiency virus, leading to better quality of life and a longer life expectancy for those living with the virus, significant problems remain.
Recently the Massachusetts Department of Public Health sent out this concerning notice:
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has noted an increase in newly diagnosed and acute HIV infections among persons who inject drugs (PWID). To date in calendar year 2017 (through November 21), there have been 64 HIV infections reported among individuals who inject drugs in Massachusetts ... Over the past 5-10 years, newly diagnosed HIV infection in PWID amounted to 32-62 cases annually, representing a stable proportion of 4-8% of all reported HIV infections. Investigation of cases is ongoing.
Most HIV-positive people in France under treatment take a daily dose of antiviral drugs for life. However, a major trial is currently underway that may confirm that patients could omit several days of treatment a week without risk to their health.
In case you missed it, Betty Price, a Georgia state representative, said the following last week:
There's considerable controversy in an area of HIV medicine that one would think should be all but solved by now.
Here's a most entertaining email about a tricky case (some details changed for the usual reasons), with my annotations in brackets:
I never expected to have AIDS, let alone to survive. I got sober in my 20s and could count my sexual partners on one hand. When diagnosed in 1988, at age 34, I had been out as a gay man less than a decade, was years into my first significant relationship and was quickly progressing in my career. Out of the blue, that first opportunistic infection began an endless series of precarious conditions that, almost overnight, wrenched my life into a non-stop struggle for survival. After countless hospitalizations, coming close to death with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and losing more friends than I could count, a dark sense of hopelessness and inevitable doom settled in that was validated by everything around me. I spent my 30s and 40s preparing to die, having little energy to feel loss, sadness and anger.
Last week, the International AIDS Society meeting returned to Paris for the first time since 2003.
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