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.

February 25, 2010

In This Newsletter:


Gerald Pierone, Jr., M.D.The Once and Future King: What Will Replace Atripla?
"Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) is the acknowledged king in the realm of first-line antiretroviral therapy," writes Gerald Pierone Jr., M.D. "Not so fast: The king still breathes. But his time is growing short." So which antiretrovirals are the possible contenders for the first-line treatment throne? Dr. Pierone gives us a rundown based on the latest available research.

CROI 2010The Latest Developments in HIV Research: TheBodyPRO.com Covers CROI 2010
We're still adding to our wide-ranging coverage of CROI 2010, one of the most important HIV/AIDS research meetings of the year. Visit our CROI 2010 home page for a healthy dose of study summaries; insightful analysis and commentary; podcasts and transcripts of key discussions with study presenters; and a wide selection of news from the conference. Stay tuned next week for in-depth reviews of CROI 2010 highlights featuring some of the U.S.'s top HIV clinicians!

More Antiretroviral Therapy Headlines:

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Julie Womack, Ph.D.HIV Independently Increases Risk of Fragility Fractures, Study of U.S. Male Veterans Finds
Although "fragility fracture remains a relatively uncommon event" among HIV-infected patients, "HIV is a modest independent risk factor for fragility fractures," says Julie Womack, Ph.D. In a study she presented at CROI 2010, Womack and her colleagues found a 38% increased risk for fragility fractures among HIV-infected male veterans after adjusting for other risk factors.

H1N1Whatever Happened to H1N1 and HIV?
The H1N1 pandemic that swept the world in 2009 caused plenty of panic and media hype. But given the small amount of available data on H1N1 at the time, HIV care providers were left with more questions than answers, including whether H1N1 acquisition risk was higher (and H1N1 infection more severe) in HIV-infected people and whether the H1N1 vaccine would be as effective in HIV-infected patients as in HIV-uninfected patients. A series of posters presented at CROI 2010 answers some of those questions.

Warning Issued About Possible Link Between Saqunavir and Prolonged QT/PR Intervals
Saquinavir (Invirase) may cause a potentially serious disruption in electrical activity in the heart, according to a notice issued this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The problem appears to be due to an interaction between saquinavir and ritonavir (Norvir), which is typically prescribed alongside saquinavir as a booster. The FDA warning advises health care professionals to avoid using the two drugs together in patients already taking medications known to cause QT interval prolongation.

More Headlines on Complications and Coinfections:

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Debbie Hagins, M.D.HIV Frontlines: Fighting for Low-Income HIVers in the U.S. South
Debbie Hagins, M.D., is a very busy woman: Her HIV/AIDS clinic serves nearly 1,000 people in Georgia. But that doesn't stop her from giving her cell phone number to her patients, and even going to their houses to make sure they adhere to their antieretroviral therapy. Because many of her patients are struggling financially, this kind of dedication can make a huge difference.

fogcityjohnFogcityjohn Explores the "End of Sex" (Hint: "End" Has Two Meanings)
"When sex is good, it is a joyous and exuberant riot of the senses," writes TheBody.com blogger fogcityjohn. For a number of reasons, which he shares in the latest installment of his blog, fogcityjohn's sex life has cooled considerably since his HIV diagnosis. "It's not just the physical pleasure that I miss," he notes; "it's the deeper function of sex ... our basic human need for connection."

Thomas DeLorenzoThomas DeLorenzo Applies to Law School: Breaking the "Red Ribbon Ceiling"
Fifteen years ago this month, Thomas DeLorenzo lost his partner, David, to AIDS-related complications. "David told me ... I had to go on and do big things," Thomas writes. Now, at the age of 47, he's a long-term HIV survivor applying to law school. In a series of blog entries on TheBody.com, he walks us through his application process, including how he dealt with the dicey question of when, and how, to bring up his HIV status.

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Also Worth Noting

Help HIV-Infected People in Haiti: Donate Your Time or Unused Medications

Save Lives in Haiti

The New York-based HIV service organization Housing Works has put out an urgent call for health care professionals willing to volunteer some of their time to help staff HIV/AIDS clinics in Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit the country in Jaunary. In addition, AID FOR AIDS International is accepting donations of unexpired HIV-related medications from health care professionals and patients.

HIV Management Today

In HIV Management Today, a new, informative online series from TheBodyPRO.com, we consult with some of the top clinical minds in HIV on some of the most important issues in HIV/AIDS clinical management.

Read or listen to the first two installments of this excellent new resource!

•  New Paradigms of First-Line HIV Therapy: Determining When (and With What) to Start, featuring Eric Daar, M.D., and Trevor Hawkins, M.D.

•  Clinical Management of the HIV-Infected Women, featuring Kimberly Smith, M.D., M.P.H., and Valerie Stone, M.D., M.P.H.