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AIDS News Archives 1997

As of end February 1998, Japan's HIV infections stood at 5,705.

(The following news updates are from the CDC Daily summary http://aidsinfobbs.org (Copyright 1998, Information Inc., Bethesda, MD.) unless otherwise noted.)

- Record number of HIV in Japan (Kyodo) 11/25/97

- AZT Not Needed in AIDS Cocktails (UPI) 09/29/97

- Pill Could be Risk Factor in HIV Spread (Reuters) 09/26/97

- Female AIDS Cases Are Rising Swiftly (Washington Post) 09/17/97

- Women Are Left Out of Hunt for AIDS Drugs (NY Times) 09/11/97

- HIV-Positive Women More Vulnerable to Vaginal Yeast Colonization (Reuters) 08/01/97

- Disclosure of Condom Breakage to Sexual Partners (AMA Journal) 07/23/97

- Kenya's AIDS Policy 'Is Gender Insensitive' (Africa News Service) 08/04/97

- When Older Women Get H.I.V. (NY Times)07/31/97

- AIDS, HIV Cases Reach 5,000 in Japan (Xinhua)07/29/97

- Japanese Official Fired for AIDS Remark (UPI)07/17/97

- Inclusion of Women in Clinical Trials of Antiretroviral Agents for HIV/AIDS During Pregnancy (Lancet)07/12/97

- Case Of HIV Transmission Via Oral Mucosa Reported (Reuters)07/11/97

- If the Condom Breaks (Time)06/23/97

*Record AIDS, HIV Cases Reported Over Two Months [in Japan]

Kyodo News Service (11/25/97) - Japan's Health and Welfare Ministry said Tuesday that a total of 136 new cases of HIV or AIDS were reported in September and October. The new data brings the total number of HIV/AIDS cases to 5,248 by the end of October, the ministry said. Of the newly reported cases, 106 were Japanese nationals, with 48 persons infected through heterosexual contact, according to the ministry's AIDS Surveillance Committee. (to top of page)

AZT Not Needed in AIDS Cocktails

United Press International (09/29/97); Susman, Ed - Research presented at the American Society for Microbiology's infectious disease conference in Toronto suggests that AZT may no longer be necessary in multi-drug cocktails used to fight HIV. Researchers compared three triple-therapy regimens and found all treatments equally effective in reducing virus in the blood by more than 95 percent. Patients treated without AZT, however, experienced fewer side effects. The combinations tested comprised AZT, 3TC and indinavir; d4t, 3TC, and indinavir; and d4T, ddI, and indinavir. (to top of page)

Pill Could be Risk Factor in HIV Spread

Reuters (09/26/97) - The spread of HIV may be encouraged by use of contraceptive pills and vitamin deficiencies, according to new research published Friday in the Lancet. Sara Mosted, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues studied 318 HIV-positive women in a Kenya clinic and found that hormonal contraceptives and vitamin A deficiencies affected the shedding of HIV cells into body secretions. "Our study documents several novel correlates of HIV-1 shedding in cervical and vaginal secretions, most notably hormonal contraceptive use and vitamin A defiance," Mosted noted. "These factors may be important determinants of sexual and vertical transmission of HIV-1 and are of public health importance because they are easily modified by simple interventions." (to top of page)

Female AIDS Cases Are Rising Swiftly

Washington Post (09/17/97) P. A2 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of women diagnosed with AIDS in the United States increased 63 percent between 1991 and 1995. A total of 67,400 women had been diagnosed with AIDS by year-end 1995, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the total number of AIDS cases nationwide. The study, published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, noted that the greatest increase was among women who contracted HIV through heterosexual contact. "Young women are at risk for HIV infection at an earlier age than young heterosexual men. ...Adolescent women are becoming infected by older sexual or needle-sharing partners," the report said. (to top of page)

Women Are Left Out of Hunt for AIDS Drugs

New York Times (09/11/97) P. A34; Wolfe, Maxine - In a letter to the editor of the New York Times, City University of New York professor Maxine Wolfe contends that the effect of AIDS drugs on women has been researched inadequately. Women make up 26 percent of AIDS patients in the United States, Wolfe notes, yet research into the disease has been done primarily on white men. The author points out that hormonal differences cause women to absorb drugs into their bodies at different rates than men. In order to benefit from the new drug combinations, women need more information about dosing and toxicity based on research conducted with women, Wolfe concludes. (to top of page)

HIV-Positive Women More Vulnerable to Vaginal Yeast Colonization

Reuters (08/01/97) - In the August issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a study conducted by Dr. Ann Duerr of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and colleagues found that HIV-infected women are more vulnerable to Candida vulvovaginitis than HIV-negative women. Upon observing 223 HIV-positive women without AIDS and 289 HIV-negative women, the researchers found that positive yeast cultures were present in 36 percent of the HIV-positive women versus 25 percent of the HIV-negative women. The study also showed that HIV-positive women with CD4 cell counts below 200 per microliter had three times the susceptibility to yeast colonization and four times the risk of symptomatic vulvovaginitis compared with other women in the study. The researchers said that further study was needed to determine whether progressive immune compromise has an effect on yeast culture conditions and whether treatment response varies between HIV-positive and -negative subjects. (to top of page)

Disclosure of Condom Breakage to Sexual Partners

Journal of the American Medical Association (07/23/97-07/30/97) Vol. 278, No. 4, P. 292; Warner, Lee D.; Boles, Jaqueline; Hatcher, Robert A. - In a letter to the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Emory University's D. Lee Warner and colleagues discuss the public health implications of men who do not inform their female partners about condom breakage. The researchers note that of the 49 men who reported ever experiencing condom breakage, nearly 31 percent failed to reveal that to a female sex partner. Some 23 percent of the 26 men who experienced breakage within the last year admitted not telling their partner at least once. A total of 13.2 percent of condom breakage episodes, or 48 of 363 breaks, were never revealed to partners. Compared to the men who always disclosed breakage, the men who failed to report a broken condom had more lifetime sex partners, were less likely to use condoms consistently in the previous month, and were less likely to use a contraceptive at last intercourse. The findings raise concerns about men's acceptance of responsibility for preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease transmission, and indicate that many women may not seek emergency contraception or STD testing because they believe they have been protected. The researchers advise that both partners should check for condom rupture after intercourse, and that men and women should also been educated about proper condom use, risk of STDs, and the availability of emergency contraception. (to top of page)

Kenya's AIDS Policy 'Is Gender Insensitive'

Africa News Service (08/04/97) A report published by Kenya's Ministry of Health last June has come under fire from the Kenya Women's Political Caucus for being non-specific on the gender aspect of the AIDS epidemic in its policy objectives. The report, known as Sessional Paper No. 4, is considered significant because there has been no comprehensive AIDS policy in the country since the first reported case 13 years ago. The paper notes that efforts will be made to help women realize their risks of becoming HIV-infected, and it says that one focus will be to increase girls' self-esteem. But, according to Caucus member Akinyi Nzioki, "What the paper omits to say is how this empowerment process will be achieved." In Kenya, where AIDS is a severe health problem, women are at a greater risk for HIV infection because of their lower economic and social status, which affects their ability to control their sex lives and safeguard themselves. In her critique of the Session Paper, Nzioki recommends that before an AIDS policy is adopted, a gender-friendly analysis should be made, including developing strategies to end social subordination of women and educating men on their responsibilities to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. (to top of page)

"When Older Women Get H.I.V."

New York Times (07/31/97) P. C1; Stock, Robert W. - Older women are contracting HIV more frequently than ever before, due in part to the fact that their immune system has slowed down with age and that they often do not see themselves as at risk. In 1986, 102 cases of HIV infection in women over 60 were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; by 1996, the number had nearly tripled to 305 cases. The majority of the infections a decade ago were the result of tainted blood transfusions, while 69 percent can now be attributed to heterosexual contact. However, the statistics fail to reflect the true volume of infected elderly persons. Marcia G. Ory of the National Institute on Aging notes: "Doctors don't expect to see the disease in this group, so they often don't. The women seldom think of having a test for HIV. So many of them are not diagnosed or misdiagnosed and are never properly treated." According to Dr. Marcia Epstein, an infectious disease specialist at North Shore Community Hospital, doctors are now beginning to test women in their 60s for HIV, particularly those who report fever or chronic fatigue. (to top of page)

AIDS, HIV Cases Reach 5,000 in Japan

Xinhua News Agency (07/29/97) - Japan reported 40 new cases of AIDS and 57 new HIV infections during the months of May and June, bringing the total number of HIV and AIDS cases diagnosed in the country to 5,001. Japanese nationals accounted for 65 of the total new cases. The disease claimed 17 lives in the two-month period, bringing the total number of HIV-related deaths in Japan to 950. (From sea-aids News 40.txt) (to top of page)

Japanese Official Fired for AIDS Remark

United Press International (07/17/97) - The head of an advisory committee to Japan's Health and Welfare Ministry was fired Thursday for saying that it was a waste of government money to offer free medical care to AIDS patients. The dismissal came one day after a meeting of a government panel dealing with AIDS, at which Dr. Akira Nakajima, chair of the meeting, made the comment. (to top of page)

Inclusion of Women in Clinical Trials of Antiretroviral Agents for HIV/AIDS During Pregnancy

Lancet (07/12/97) Vol. 350, No. 9071, P. 150; Mangino, Julie E.; Fass, Robert J. - Past clinical trials for new drugs in the treatment of AIDS excluded women of child-bearing age because of potential danger to the unborn child if they became pregnant, note Julie E. Mangino and Robert J. Fass in the Lancet. However, that attitude has changed in the growing focus on women's health. Today women of all ages are able to participate, although researchers instantly discontinue women from trials if they become pregnant. One study, ACTG 076, sponsored by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases between 1990 and 1994, specifically targeted antiretroviral naive HIV-infected pregnant women. The participants were observed after being given either zidovudine or a placebo during the later trimesters. In addition, the infants were treated with the drug after they were born. The transferal risk rate following the zidovudine therapy decreased 67.5 percent, which this year spurred an NIH panel to recommend the use of zidovudine in the treatment of HIV-infected pregnant women. In 1989, the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry was initiated to provide signs of early teratogenicity associated with prenatal use of antiretroviral drugs. The registry has since been expanded to include zalcitabine, didanosine, stavudine, lamivudine, saquinavir, and indinavir. To date, use of zidovudine during the first trimester led to a 3.8 percent risk of birth defects; although the other drugs have not been tested as thoroughly, information acquired so far indicates no birth defects. (to top of page)

Case Of HIV Transmission Via Oral Mucosa Reported

WESTPORT, Jul 11 (Reuters) - A report in today's CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that HIV transmission from blood-contaminated saliva through oral mucous membranes can occur.

CDC researchers, led by Dr. N. Padian of UCSF, investigated a case of HIV transmission from an HIV-infected man to his female partner, who reported using condoms consistently and correctly during the probable period of viral transmission. After eliminating other possible risk factors, the investigators concluded that the woman most likely became infected through mucous membrane exposure to her partner's saliva that was contaminated by blood from bleeding gums.

An Editorial Note accompanying the report emphasizes that there have been no cases of HIV transmission through exposure to saliva only, but points out that there have been "extremely rare instances" of HIV transmission through human bites, in which the HIV infected person's saliva was contaminated with blood. The case reported today underscores the need for sero discordant couples to use condoms and to avoid "...any other exposure to...blood, semen, or any other body fluid visibly contaminated with blood." MMWR 1997;46:620-623. (to top of page)

If the Condom Breaks

Time (06/23/97) Vol. 149, No. 25, P. 48; Gorman, Christine - Among the topics to be discussed at next month's special meeting of AIDS experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the so-called morning-after treatment for exposure to HIV and the effects it could have on combating AIDS. The therapy involves the use of potent anti-HIV drugs, including protease inhibitors, in an attempt to fight possible infection immediately after exposure. Physicians who have used the treatment for hospital workers who were accidentally pricked with HIV-contaminated needles reportedly have been able to cut the risk of infection due to needlesticks from up to one in 200 to one in 1,000. However, critics say that many individuals may not be able to handle the grueling six-week regimen of up to 20 pills per day. "You don't want to give the virus a chance to mutate," notes Brown University's Dr. Kenneth Mayer. "That's a potential nightmare." Another complaint is that morning-after therapy could eventually be considered an alternative to safer sex. Dr. Stephen Boswell of Boston's Fenway Community Health Center, where patients undergo counseling in addition to the treatment, notes that he makes it clear that he will not prescribe combination therapy repeatedly. (to top of page)

This page found at: http://www.japanetwork.org/aidsnews/news97.html

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