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Issue No. 13 | March 20, 2009

News and Features

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is March 20, 2009

"HIV/AIDS has left no segment of American society untouched. On the third annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we highlight the impact of this scourge on American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, and we intensify our commitment to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in these multifaceted communities.

"Lack of access to basic health care services, stigma associated with homosexuality and HIV/AIDS, barriers to effective mental health care, and high rates of substance abuse, sexually transmitted infections and poverty all increase the risk of HIV/AIDS in native communities and create obstacles to HIV prevention and treatment."

World Tuberculosis Day is March 24th, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, marks World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, a  to recognize the progress made, and challenges remaining, in the fight against TB.

"The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that TB is the cause of death for 13% of persons with AIDS...

"Overall case rates of TB in the United States are declining...The percentage of TB cases with known HIV infection also decreased from 15.0% in 2003 to 12.4% in 2006, although the percentage of TB cases with unknown HIV status increased from 28.7% in 2005 to 31.7% in 2006, which might reflect either a lack of HIV testing or incomplete reporting of HIV test results."


New NIAID Project to Study HIV-Specific Neutralizing Antibodies

"Many scientists believe a vaccine that prevents HIV infection will need to stimulate the body to make neutralizing antibodies, infection-fighting proteins that prevent HIV from entering immune cells.

"A new research endeavor has assembled a group of state-of-the-art techniques for the first time to study the phenomenon of natural antibody-mediated HIV neutralization. The project demonstrates how this system can isolate dozens of HIV-specific antibodies from a single HIV-infected individual, something never accomplished before."