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Issue No. 5 | February 2, 2007

News and Features

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2007

February 7, 2007, marks the seventh annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). NBHAAD is a day dedicated to increasing awareness of HIV/AIDS in the African-American community. The goals of NBHAAD are to educate African Americans about HIV/AIDS and how it is transmitted, to encourage them to get tested, to motivate HIV-infected African Americans to seek proper treatment, and to inspire people to get involved in their community. 

AIDSinfo is pleased to participate in the commemoration of this important day. Check out the new AIDSinfo National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Web page, which includes helpful links to sites providing information on health disparities, ongoing HIV/AIDS research, and HIV/AIDS statistics--all specific to the African-American population.

AIDSinfo encourages you to participate in NBHAAD by sharing this information with others.

"What Do I Need to Know About Immunizations?" Fact Sheet Now Available on AIDSinfo

Due to their immunocompromised status, it is recommended that HIV- infected individuals receive certain immunizations to prevent infections and diseases that occur more commonly in people with weakened immune systems. To help explain the complicated topic of immunizations, AIDSinfo has developed a brand new fact sheet, "What Do I Need to Know About Immunizations?" This fact sheet answers questions such as:


         Why do I need immunizations?
         Are there any side effects from immunizations?
         Are there any immunizations I should not have?


Also available from AIDSinfo is the Recommended Immunizations for HIV Positive Adults fact sheet, now updated to reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, by Vaccine and Age Group, United States, October 2006--September 2007.

New Study Underscores Importance of Carefully Considered Treatment Regimens for HIV-Infected Pregnant Women Postpartum

Single-dose nevirapine is commonly given to HIV-infected pregnant women when more sophisticated treatment regimens are not available to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus. However, the development of nevirapine-resistant HIV, in both these women and their babies, has led to concerns that future treatment regimens that include nevirapine will be ineffective for these patients.


A recently published article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported on a substudy of the Mashi study in Botswana in which 218 participants from the parent study were enrolled to determine the effectiveness of nevirapine-based anti-retroviral treatment (ART) in women who required postpartum HIV treatment. In the parent study, 112 of these women had been randomly assigned to receive single-dose nevirapine at the start of labor and the other 106 had been randomly assigned to receive placebo. Sixty of the 218 women in the substudy initiated nevirapine-based ART within 6 months postpartum. Of the women in this group who received nevirapine at the start of labor, 41.7% experienced virologic failure, whereas none of the women who received placebo at the start of labor experienced virologic failure. Of the remaining 158 women who required ART after 6 months postpartum, similar effectiveness of nevirapine-based ART was observed in women who had received either nevirapine or placebo at the start of labor.


The researchers concluded that nevirapine-based ART is an option for HIV-infected women who receive single-dose nevirapine at the start of labor and require treatment 6 months or more postpartum. Conversely, women who receive single-dose nevirapine at the start of labor and require ART less than 6 months postpartum should receive ART that does not include nevirapine to avoid virologic failure caused by nevirapine-resistant HIV.


Dr. Duane Alexander, M.D., director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which helped fund the study, said in an NIH press release, "The findings also underscore the importance of immediately beginning a multi-drug treatment regimen for pregnant women who require treatment for their own health, but which does not contain nevirapine."