Every week we have a “newsletter” which gets emailed to CARES staff and board members. Its purpose is to highlight recent HIV-related news from the United States as well as other countries. A short informational teaser lets everyone know what each news item is about and a link is included at the end for those who have an interest in reading the story in its entirety. We pull information from various news, government and health-related websites, as well as personal blogs. From time to time we include links to webinars that might be useful in the work that we do.
Here is this week’s update:
HIV and Menopause
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers conducted a study which indicated that women with HIV have more severe hot flashes than women without HIV.
Questionnaires were administered to women ages 45-48 who were living with HIV and as well as women who were not infected with the virus. Researchers then compared responses from both groups.
Women with HIV experienced moderate hot flashes, more sleep disturbances, episodes of depression, irritability, and anxiety. The hot flashes were severe enough to cause problems with overall quality of life, compared to women without HIV.
FDA Still Bans Gay Men From Donating Blood
“For decades the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has had a strict policy against retrieving blood from gay men. This fear is mostly based on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) seeping into the blood supply. This dates all the way back to 1983, two years after HIV and AIDS were first clinically documented. Despite medical advancements that allow more accurate screening of all individuals wishing to donate blood, the stigma for gay men persists to this day.
“The FDA implies that gay men are risky, so much so that they are lumped together with populations that may carry mad-cow disease and those who employ syringes to get high. Somehow being a gay man means you are too “dirty” to donate your blood to save lives, even when the national blood supplies are low.”
Read the Huffington Post blog by Anai Rhoads: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anai-rhoads/gay-men-donating-blood_b_3598533.html
Life Expectancy Jumps 15 Years For Some Living With HIV
According to analysis by the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design (NA-ACCORD), life expectancy among HIV-positive people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the United States and Canada rose substantially during the 2000s, approaching life expectancy estimates for persons living without HIV. However, certain groups living with HIV, including nonwhites and people who start ART with a CD4 count below 350, still lag significantly behind the general population in life expectancy.