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Being Alive
Milestones For HIV+ Women In 1992
Nancy MacNeil
January 5, 1993
Being Alive 1993 Jan 5: 27

- The Centers for Disease Control expanded the AIDS surveillance definition, adding invasive cervical cancer, the first women's specific manifestation of HIV, to the official list of opportunistic infections.

- The Public Health Services in Culver City announced that recurrent, hard to treat vaginal yeast infections are the most frequent initial signs of HIV infection in women.

- The National Commission on AIDS subsequently issued an official warning that frequent or persistent vaginal candidiasis is a likely indication of HIV disease.

- Concurrently the FDA asked the makers of Monistat-7, Gynelotrimin, Myscelex-7 and all other over-the-counter anti-fungal medications to include a warning label which will state: "In women with frequent recurrent vaginal yeast infections, especially infections that don't clear up easily with proper treatment, the vaginal yeast infection may also be the result of serious medical conditions, including infection with HIV that can change the body's normal defenses against infections." - At the fifteenth AIDS Clinical Trials Group meeting, researchers publicly stated that women must be included on all levels of AIDS drug testing, including Phase I trials.

- ACTG 200, a randomized trial of topical vaginal 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) maintenance therapy vs no further therapy after standard treatment for high grade cervical dysplasia in HIV infected women, will begin enrollment soon. This is the first AIDS drug trial designed exclusively for women.

- The first significant natural history study on women and AIDS will begin in Los Angeles. The WIHS study is comparable to the long-term study on gay men called the MAC study. This study will involve hundreds of women with HIV/AIDS and will allow scientists to explore previously unstudied areas of the effects of HIV on women.

- An international group of women with HIV/AIDS was formed as a result of the VIII International Conference held in Amsterdam last year.

- The Women's Caucus of the AIDS Regional Board was instrumental in getting a Los Angeles HIV clinic for women. T.H.E. Clinic is located at 3860 West Martin Luther King Boulevard. The clinic offers extensive diagnostic treatment including colposcopy exams. Colposcopy is a method that is more effective than a pap smear at detecting pre-cancerous irregularities.

- Santa Barbara County Health officials developed a new women's program that includes screening, typing and treatment for HPV along with regular GYN exams. Santa Barbara has also linked with two private gynecologists who have committed to treating HIV infected women and who will accept Medi-Cal payments.