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Issue No. 11 | March 16, 2012

News and Features

Guidelines Panels Honor Legacy of Dr. Ed Handelsman

Members of the guidelines panels are saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of Dr. Ed Handelsman. 

Dr. Handelsman was a devoted pediatrician who for 14 years specialized in providing clinical care to HIV-infected children and adolescents at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center and Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn. He joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 2006, where he was Chief of the International Maternal, Adolescent, and Pediatric Branch, Division of AIDS. At NIAID, he was a leader in and advocate of pediatric and perinatal HIV research and a valued partner with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Dr. Handelsman’s work has made the world a better place and has changed and improved the lives of thousands of mothers, infants, children, and adolescents. Panel members will miss him and hope to honor Dr. Handelsman’s legacy by continuing his work to save the lives of women and children worldwide.

CDC Releases 2010 HIV Surveillance Report

On March 14, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the HIV Surveillance Report, 2010 Vol. 22. The annual report summarizes information about diagnosed HIV infection and AIDS in the United States and dependent areas. CDC’s public health partners in other federal agencies, health departments, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and the general public use the HIV surveillance data in the report to help focus prevention efforts, plan services, allocate resources, develop policy, and monitor trends in HIV infection.

Join AIDSinfo in Observing National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 20, 2012, marks the sixth annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day that serves to increase awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS among the American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.

According to the HIV Surveillance Report, 2010 Vol. 22 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the 46 states with confidential name-based HIV reporting, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders had the third highest rate of new HIV diagnoses among racial and ethnic groups in 2010, and American Indians and Alaska Natives had the fourth highest rate. Moreover, American Indians and Alaska Natives who are diagnosed with AIDS die sooner after their diagnosis than members of any other ethnic or racial group, suggesting that they may be diagnosed later in the course of infection and have more limited access to health care services.

For information and resources about HIV/AIDS and American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, visit the AIDSinfo webpage highlighting National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day [en español].

Recent News About NIH-Sponsored Studies

The NIH recently announced news about the following two NIH-sponsored research studies: 

  • March 7, 2012: NIH-Funded Study Defines Treatment Window for HIV-Positive Children Infected at Birth

    “HIV-positive children older than 1 year who were treated after showing moderate HIV-related symptoms did not experience greater cognitive or behavior problems compared to peers treated when signs of their infection were still mild, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. But both groups of HIV-positive children lagged behind HIV-negative children in these areas, suggesting that the first year of life may present a critical treatment window for minimizing impairments in brain development due to HIV.”

    For more information, read the NIH press release.
  • March 6, 2012: NIH-Funded Studies Show Benefits of Immediate Antiretroviral Treatment for HIV-Infected Infants

    “Results from two studies presented today at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle demonstrate the importance of identifying and treating HIV-infected infants within the first year of life both to prevent harm to the immune system and to enable normal neurological development.”

    For more information, read the NIAID press release.