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Issue No. 16 | April 10, 2009

News and Features

CDC Launches New Campaign to Refocus National Attention on HIV/AIDS

"'Act Against AIDS seeks to put the HIV crisis back on the national radar screen,' said Melody Barnes, Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.  'Our goal is to remind Americans that HIV/AIDS continues to pose a serious health threat in the United States and encourage them to get the facts they need to take action for themselves and their communities.'

"The campaign will feature public service announcements (PSAs) and online communications, as well as targeted messages and outreach to the populations most severely affected by HIV/AIDS, beginning with African-Americans, with subsequent phases focusing on Latinos and other communities disproportionately impacted."

FDA Approves Label Change for Kaletra

"FDA approved, on April 6, 2009, changes to the product label for Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) Tablets and Oral Solution, reflecting new WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS regarding QT/QTC interval and PR interval prolongation information.

"QT/QTC interval and PR interval prolongation refer to changes in electrical activity and rhythm of the heart.

"In addition to these label changes, a new Medication Guide is now available for Kaletra."

Spring 2009 Issue of Mental Health AIDS Released

Biopsychosocial therapy involves assessing an individual patient's biological, psychological, and social condition to help determine the best treatment. Mental Health AIDS is a quarterly biopsychosocial research update on HIV and mental health sponsored by the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This publication is provided free of charge through the SAMHSA Web site in both PDF and HTML formats.

The Spring 2009 issue features Part 1 of the "SAVA Latina: Addressing the Interplay of Substance Abuse, Violence, & AIDS Affecting Hispanic Women" Tool Box. Part 1 of this two-part series reviews the literature linking these interlocking threats to health and safety, including recent work delineating pathways that tie together violence and HIV risk.

More information is available:

Study: HIV Treatment Should Be Started Earlier

"An analysis of more than 45,000 people with HIV in Europe and North America found they were 28 percent more likely to develop full-blown AIDS or die if they deferred treatment until the point currently recommended in many countries.

"Current guidelines call for treatment only after the CD4 count falls below 350 cells per microlitre of blood.

"Jonathan Sterne from Britain's University of Bristol and colleagues found waiting until the CD4 had fallen to 251-350 was associated with a significantly worse outcome than starting therapy in the range 351-450.

"The team ... concluded that a count of 350 cells should be the minimum threshold for starting treatment."