Dec. 2005 Briefing - HIV & AIDS

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in HIV & AIDS for December 2005. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Drug-Resistant HIV Causes Bigger CD4 Drop in First Year

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who are infected with a drug-resistant HIV strain have a more rapid decline in CD4 cell count, although the greatest decline is seen in the first year, according to a study in the Jan. 2 issue of AIDS. There is no evidence of impact on the natural history of HIV-1 infection over the longer term, the authors say.

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HAART Use Prior to Pregnancy Associated with Pre-Eclampsia

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Women infected with HIV who receive highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) before becoming pregnant have a higher risk of pre-eclampsia and fetal death than other women, Spanish researchers report in the January issue of AIDS.

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Hospital 'Handoffs' Common Source of Medical Errors

TUESDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Poor communication during hospital "handoffs," when patient care transitions from one physician or team of physicians to the next, may be responsible for many of the estimated 44,000 to 98,000 deaths that occur each year in U.S. hospitals due to medical errors, according to a study published in the December issue of Academic Medicine.

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CDC Finds Impaired Fecundity Increased in U.S. Women

MONDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing numbers of U.S. women are having difficulty getting pregnant, according to a 244-page report released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report also finds that women's reproductive experiences, marital status and history of sexually transmitted infections vary significantly by socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race and age at first intercourse.

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More Hospitals Offer Palliative Care Programs

FRIDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Palliative care programs are a rapidly growing trend in U.S. hospitals, and widely regarded as an improvement in the care of advanced, chronic illness, according to a study published Dec. 12 in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

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U.S. Hospitals Lag in Adopting Safety Recommendations

TUESDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Despite some improvements in hospital patient safety systems, many hospitals have made slow progress in adopting 1998 recommendations from the Institute of Medicine National Roundtable on Health Care Quality or from subsequent reports, according to a study published in the Dec. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Warns Eyedrops Contaminated with Bacteria

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers this week not to use Miracle II Neutralizer and Miracle II Neutralizer Gel products because they are bacterially contaminated and could cause severe infections.

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Genital Herpes Linked to Perinatal HIV Transmission

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women infected with HIV may be more likely to vertically transmit the virus if they also have genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, according to a study in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Zinc Supplements Can Curb Morbidity in Children with HIV

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- South African children infected with HIV can benefit from zinc supplementation, not because it reduces viral load but because it can reduce morbidity, particularly the incidence of watery diarrhea. The study findings are published in the Nov. 26 issue of The Lancet.

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Percentage Increase in U.K. Men Who Say They Pay for Sex

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of British men who say they've paid women for sex doubled between 1990 and 2000, according to a study published in the December issue of Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Breakdown in Placental Barrier Boosts Infant HIV Risk

THURSDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A breakdown in the placental barrier, or microtransfusions, appear to increase the risk of vertical transmission during vaginal deliveries, according to a study published in the January 2006 open-access medical journal PLoS Medicine.

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Total Lymphocytes Predict HIV Progression in Children

THURSDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Total lymphocyte count is only slightly less powerful than CD4 cell count as a predictor of disease progression in HIV-infected children, and could be an easier way to gauge the need for antiretroviral therapy in resource-poor nations, researchers reported in the Nov. 26 issue of The Lancet.

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