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Issue No. 19 | May 14, 2010

News and Features

Join AIDSinfo in Observing Two HIV Awareness Days

May 18 marks the 13th annual observance of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, a day that recognizes the volunteers, health professionals, and scientists who are working together to find an HIV vaccine. This day also provides an opportunity to educate communities across the country about the importance of HIV vaccine research.

May 19 marks the sixth annual observance of National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day that serves to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. The 2007 surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the estimated number of newly diagnosed AIDS cases is increasing among Asians and Pacific Islanders, making this an important health issue in these communities.

AIDSinfo has developed specialty pages for these awareness days. Each page provides information and resources specific to these observances.

More information is available:

Study Suggests Decision to Initiate Pediatric HIV Treatment Should Emphasize CD4 Count More Than CD4 Percentage

"Antiretroviral therapy (ART) guidelines for HIV-1-infected children specify both absolute CD4 cell count and CD4 percentage thresholds at which consideration should be given to initiating ART. This leads to clinical dilemma when one marker is below the threshold, whereas the other is above. … Data were obtained on a large group of children followed longitudinally in trials and cohort studies in Europe and the USA. Follow-up was censored 6 months after the start of any antiretroviral drug other than zidovudine monotherapy. ... Discordance between CD4 cell count and percentage was defined in relation to ART initiation thresholds in World Health Organization (WHO) and European paediatric treatment guidelines. … Among 3345 children, with a total of 21,815 pairs of CD4 measurements analysed, 980 developed AIDS and/or died after a median follow-up of 1.7 years. Over one-half of children had discordant values of CD4 cell markers at the first visit when one or both treatment thresholds were crossed and approximately one-third had the same pattern of discordance at a subsequent measurement. Models suggested that CD4 percentage had little or no prognostic value over and above that contained in CD4 cell count, irrespective of age. … More emphasis should be placed on CD4 cell count than on CD4 percentage in deciding when to start ART in HIV-1-infected children."

More information is available: