• IN MEMORIAM: BOB FRASCINO, M.D.|
Robert Frascino, M.D., one of the HIV/AIDS community's most tireless educators and advocates, passed away on Sept. 17 at the age of 59. An immunologist who was working in HIV well before an occupational exposure resulted in his own seroconversion in 1991, Frascino -- known to many simply as "Dr. Bob" -- has been a fixture in TheBody.com's "Ask the Experts" forums for more than a decade. A charity foundation formed by Frascino and his husband, Steven Natterstad, M.D., has raised more than $1.5 million for various HIV/AIDS causes.
The outpouring of emotion on our remembrance page at TheBody.com, as well as the many additional messages we have received, are a testament to the extraordinary impact Frascino had, and continues to have, on countless lives across the world. If you or your practice was touched by his life or work, we encourage you to pay your respects or consider donating to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation.
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• HIV CARE TODAY
Where Are the DHHS HIV Treatment Guidelines for Clients Over 50 Years Old?
"We have heard a lot of buzz terms, such as immunosenescence, persistent high levels of inflammation and chronic T-lymphocyte activation. We know that with all of this drama and older age there is an increased risk of AIDS-related and non-AIDS-related death," writes Bethsheba Johnson, G.N.P.-B.C, in our HIV Care Today blog. "So why is it that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has not specifically addressed or recommended treatment for those older adults at any CD4 count?"
On TheBodyPRO.com: ICAAC Poster Roundup #2
We round out our sweep through ICAAC's poster sessions with these brief summaries of noteworthy HIV-related studies. Topics covered include the importance of a patient's CD4:CD8 ratio, a comparison of two facial fillers (one FDA-approved, the other not); and new findings regarding coinfections such as syphilis and tuberculosis in people with HIV.
Warning: Viral Replication Is Hazardous to Your Health
"A collaborative group of researchers report the effect of something they call 'viremia copy-years,' a marker of cumulative exposure to viral replication," Paul Sax, M.D., writes in our HIV Care Today blog. "The results are striking: Viremia copy-years strongly predicted all-cause mortality -- and did so more powerfully than either cross-sectional viral load measurements or CD4+ cell count."
Study Finds Increased Rate of Kidney Damage in People Living With Both HIV and Diabetes
According to a recent study published in PLoS One, albuminuria is much more likely to occur in HIV-infected people who have diabetes than in people with HIV or diabetes alone. The findings raise concerns about the increased potential for kidney damage in this patient population.
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• HIV NEWS & VIEWS
Gamers Solve Old HIV Problem With New Video Game Approach
It took just three weeks for online gamers to solve a problem that had been puzzling HIV researchers for more than a decade: how to determine the structure of a protein belonging to the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus, a close relative of HIV that causes AIDS in monkeys.
HIV-Positive Man Sues Atlanta Police Department for Employment Discrimination
Was an Atlanta man denied a job as a police officer because he was unqualified for the position or because he is HIV positive? Lambda Legal thinks his status was the determining factor; it recently briefed an appeals court in hopes judges will overturn a 2006 ruling that sided with the city.
Q&A With C. Virginia Fields, AIDS Movement Leader and Power Broker
C. Virginia Fields, CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA), stands at the helm as her organization makes waves in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Here, the former Manhattan borough president talks with the Black AIDS Institute about NBLCA's ongoing efforts.
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• HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & TESTING
PrEP Study in Women Ditches Tenofovir-Only Approach
A major HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) study in women will be altered due to findings that one of the PrEP strategies being tested was ineffective. The U.S.-led VOICE study will continue to explore whether a vaginal gel or oral tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) can help protect women from HIV. But an arm of the study that involved taking oral tenofovir (Viread) alone will be stopped because it appeared to offer no protection.
HIV Among Transgender People
The transgender community in the U.S. is among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection. Unfortunately, because of lack of data, it's unknown just how many transgender Americans are actually HIV positive. In this article, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discuss the small amount of existing data, as well as HIV prevention and treatment challenges that transgender Americans face.
An In-Depth Look at Modern-Day HIV Testing
In a blog entry he finished before his passing on Sept. 17, Bob Frascino, M.D., completed a two-part series aimed at educating the general population on the complexities of today's HIV testing technology and testing guidelines. In his final article, Frascino explained how our ever-increasing knowledge about recent HIV infection may lead to changes in HIV testing guidelines in the future.
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• THE PATIENT PERSPECTIVE: FEATURED ON THEBODY.COM
This Positive Life: James Nicacio
When James Nicacio was diagnosed with HIV in 2001, he was deep into his addiction to crystal meth. "At that time, I just decided that if I have HIV and I'm going to die, I might as well just keep partying," he remembers. In this interview, part of our new HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Latinos, James recounts his journey from drug abuse and denial to full acceptance of his HIV status -- and full support from his loved ones.
This interview is also available in Spanish.
Sarah Sacco: Balancing Meds With Motherhood's Demands
As a new mom, Sarah Sacco knows firsthand just how difficult it can be to stick to an HIV treatment regimen while trying to care for a baby. "Whether it was the constant wakefulness of early infancy, cutting teeth, or more recently potty training and being sick, as a mom, I often find myself struggling to face mornings! I find that I am most likely to forget my meds when I am running late and particularly if I don't sit down to eat."
Word on the Street: Latinos' Experiences With Disclosure
It's been said that the intense focus on privacy in many Latino communities creates a "veil of secrecy" around HIV, making it profoundly difficult for many individuals to be open about their status. Here, Latinos living with HIV/AIDS -- from all walks of life -- share their experiences telling others they're HIV positive, sometimes with unexpected results.
This article is also available in Spanish.
Mark S. King: Finding Support in an "e-Patient" World
At a special conference last week in Philadelphia, our blogger Mark S. King met up with many other people who blog elsewhere on the Web about their own health conditions. "As much as I view HIV/AIDS as 'terminally unique,' there's something comforting about how much in common I had with the other bloggers," he writes. He recaps the experience in this blog entry and accompanying video.
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