AIDS And Women

What About Newer AIDS Treatments?

Medical researchers are working to develop new drugs to keep HIV replication in check, as well as medications and methods to treat or prevent opportunistic infections and other HIV-related conditions.

For example, research under way includes studies of treatments for:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. A precancerous condition associated with HPV, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), is more common and more severe in HIV-infected women. One study sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) is assessing drugs to determine if they can prevent recurrences of precancerous tissues in the cervix or stop precancerous cells from progressing to cervical cancer
  • Idiopathic genital ulcers. Although these ulcers are sometimes confused with those caused by herpes simplex virus, the cause of idiopathic genital ulcers is unknown. Idiopathic genital ulcers are a unique manifestation of HIV and have no proven treatment. Researchers are evaluating the effect of the drug thalidomide (proven effective in treating mouth ulcers in patients with HIV) on idiopathic genital ulcers in HIV-infected women.

About Clinical Trials

Some people with HIV and AIDS choose to participate in clinical trials of new medications. Clinical trials are research studies that help doctors find better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat illnesses.

Clinical trials are conducted in humans only after they are tested in laboratories and in animal studies. They are designed to develop better treatments for people while giving current patients a chance to benefit from new treatments that may be more effective.

  • For information about studies of new HIV therapies, call the AIDS Clinical Trials Information Service at 1-800-TRIALS-A (1-800-243-7012 for TDD/deaf access).
  • For federally approved treatment guidelines on HIV/AIDS, call the HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service at 1-800-HIV-0440 (1-800-243-7012 for TDD/deaf access).

What is the Long-Term Outlook for Women With AIDS?

Early diagnosis and treatment with drugs that suppress the activity of HIV and prevent or treat opportunistic illnesses can help women who are HIV-positive live longer and healthier lives.

Women living with HIV or AIDS also benefit from a supportive community that includes healthcare workers, friends, and family. A loving environment can encourage a woman living with HIV to maintain a positive approach toward her treatment and live a full, productive life.


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