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Symptoms, illnesses and opportunistic infections

With better HIV treatments, most people living with HIV these days experience fewer serious illnesses and opportunistic infections than they might have some years ago, but opportunistic conditions still occur in people with impaired immune systems, and side effects and long-term toxicities have emerged as a major concern. This section of the website has information on these topics.

HIV Seroconversion Study 2007 - 9

Scott Lockhart • 19 October 2009

The Seroconversion Study collects both quantitative and qualitative data from mainly homosexual men who have recently been diagnosed with HIV. Men are referred to the online questionaire through clinics and HIV organisations providing services to men who are newly diagnosed. Men completing the online questionaire volunteer for the more extended depth interview. read more »

NSW Health campaign targets sexually transmissible infections

Story • Graham Stocks • 3 September 2009
symptoms, illnesses and opportunistic infections

Monday 31 August 2009 NSW Health launched a new advertising campaign aimed at lowering the rates of Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs[Sexually Transmissible (or Transmitted) Infection] Infections spread by the transfer of organisms from person to person during sexual contact. Also called venereal disease (VD) (an older public health term) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). ), in particular Chlamydia, among young people aged under 25 years. read more »

New treatment for HIV-associated facial wasting

Media release • 1 September 2009

Today’s PBS[Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme[Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme] The federal government program which subsidises medication costs in Australia. Anti-HIV drugs are part of a special part of the PBS called Section 100 (S100) which is used for expensive, highly specialised drugs.] The federal government program which subsidises medication costs in Australia. Anti-HIV drugs are part of a special part of the PBS called Section 100 (S100) which is used for expensive, highly specialised drugs. listing of a treatment for HIV-associated facial wasting will provide substantial improvements in quality of life for people living with HIV, the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (NAPWHA) has said. read more »

What's your problem?

Positive Living article • Dr Louise Owen • 20 August 2009

Doctor Louise Owen answers readers questions. This month: the doctor -patient relationship, and what STI is that? read more »

Hepatitis B doesn’t affect response to HIV treatment

Positive Living article • 20 August 2009
symptoms, illnesses and opportunistic infections

Co-infection with hepatitis B seems not to affect your response to HIV treatment. Nor does it influence your CD4 cell count after you start, American investigators report. read more »

Stepped dosing lessens efavirenz side-effects

Positive Living article • 20 August 2009
symptoms, illnesses and opportunistic infections

Efavirenz is currently one of the preferred options for people starting treatment. Used in combination with other antiretroviralsA medication or other substance which is active against retroviruses such as HIV., it is a highly efficient therapy, however, it is also common for people to experience ‘trippy’ side effects on the drug, particularly within the first few weeks. read more »

Fosamprenavir linked to cardio risk

Positive Living article • 20 August 2009
symptoms, illnesses and opportunistic infections

A French case-control study has reported an association between exposure to fosamprenavir and an increased risk of heart attackA life-threatening emergency in which the blood supply to the heart is suddenly cut off, causing the heart muscle (myocardium) to die from lack of oxygen.. This may be related to the propensity for this drug classA group of anti-HIV drugs with the same target of action. Anti-HIV drug classesA group of anti-HIV drugs with the same target of action. Anti-HIV drug classes include nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors, as well as several others. Combining drugs from three or more classes is the basis of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). include nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors and non-nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors, as well as several others. Combining drugs from three or more classes is the basis of Highly Active AntiretroviralA medication or other substance which is active against retroviruses such as HIV. Therapy (HAARTHighly Active AntiRetroviral Therapy ??? aggressive treatment of HIV infection using several different drugs together.). to raise blood lipids. read more »

Time for national syphilis action

Positive Living article • 20 August 2009
symptoms, illnesses and opportunistic infections

Since 2002, infectious syphilis has re-emerged among populations of gay and other homosexually active men in Australian capital cities, in particular among those who participate in highly sexually active subcultures.

A significant proportion of these syphilis infections are among HIV positive gay men. read more »

Side effects

From Antiviral treatments • 7 August 2009

Any drug can cause side effects, or unwanted effects. These can be divided into different types: allergic reactions and short-term side effects; ongoing side effects; and long-term toxicities or effects which can develop over a number of years. Not everyone gets side effects from their drugs and not everyone experiences the same side effects, many are quite rare. read more »

Other common tests

From Viral Load • 7 August 2009

Viral loadA measurement of the quantity of HIV RNA in the blood. Viral load blood test results are expressed as the number of copies (of HIV) per milliliter of blood plasma. and CD4 cell count results are two of the main tests used to inform treatment decisions about starting or changing treatments. Usually every time you have regular blood tests a whole range of other tests are done. Some of these are useful in monitoring for possible drug side effects and potential organ damage. read more »

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