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Statement Regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight

Science Update

National Institute of Mental Health

Statement Regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight

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NIH Directors Discuss Sequestration and Research on C-SPAN

Science Update

NIMH Director Tom Insel on C-SPAN

Despite facing lean financial times, NIH continues to generate the most bang for the buck regarding research. Tomorrow on C-SPAN Washington Journal, NIH Directors Drs. Collins, Insel, Fauci, Varmus, and Green will field questions from the public pertaining to sequestration and research as well as other topics.

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NIH-funded Study Finds Community-based Efforts Increase HIV Testing, Prompt Behavior Change

Press Release

HIV/AIDS ribbon

An international study supported by NIMH reported today that community efforts, in comparison to standard clinical testing and counseling, yielded greater testing and lower HIV incidence in high-risk individuals.

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NIH-funded Study Defines Treatment Window for HIV-positive Children Infected at Birth

Press Release

mother holds baby boy

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.

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HIV Variants in Spinal Fluid May Hold Clues in Development of HIV-related Dementia

Science Update

illustration of brain and spinal cord

NIMH-funded researchers found two variants of HIV in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of infected study participants that were genetically distinct from the viral variants found in the participants’ blood. The study, published October 6, 2011, in the journal PLoS Pathogens, suggests these CSF variants may help to inform research on the development and treatment of cognitive problems related to HIV infection.

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HIV-Infected Astrocytes Disrupt Blood-Brain Barrier, Contribute to Cognitive Impairment

Science Update

Microscope photo of astrocytes, a type of support cell in the brain.

Astrocytes, a type of support cell in the brain, that are infected with HIV show abnormal connections and functioning that disrupt the blood-brain barrier, according to an NIMH-funded study.

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Focusing on School Attendance Reduces HIV Risk Among Orphaned Teens

Science Update

male teens studying

A comprehensive school support program effectively reduced risk factors associated with infection with HIV among teens who had lost one or both parents, according to early results from a pilot study funded by NIMH. The paper was published online ahead of print on February 17, 2011, in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Children Carry Emotional Burden of AIDS Epidemic in China

Science Update

Researcher interviewing with teen study participant

Having a parent with HIV/AIDS or losing one or both parents to the illness leads to poorer mental health among children in China, according to a recent study funded in part by NIMH. Published in the November–December 2009 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, the study also emphasizes the need to develop culturally and developmentally appropriate measures and interventions for diverse populations.

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Bundling HIV Prevention with Prenatal Care Reduces Risky Sex Behaviors Among At-risk Mothers

Science Update

Pregnant woman sitting on grass

An HIV-prevention program targeted at women receiving prenatal care may effectively reduce risks for HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned future pregnancies, according to NIMH-funded researchers. Bundling such interventions into existing health care models, like prenatal care, also may be more accessible to those who may not have the time, interest, or resources to attend a stand-alone HIV prevention program. Changing the way prenatal care is provided also may create sustainable advantages in reproductive health for all at-risk women. The study was published in the November 2009 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Teaching Teens About Abstinence May Delay Sexual Activity, Reduce Risk Behaviors

Science Update

teens talking next to school bus

Teens who received a behavioral intervention centered on abstinence were more likely to delay first sexual contact than teens who received a control intervention focusing on general health promotion, according to an NIMH-funded study. Though differing from federally funded abstinence-only programs, the researchers describe how an abstinence-based intervention may help delay sexual activity among adolescents in the February 2010 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

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One Subtype of HIV Increases Risk of HIV-associated Dementia

Science Update

HIV infected T cells - thumbnail

In a study of HIV-related cognitive impairment in Uganda, people with HIV subtype D were more likely than those with the other subtypes to have HIV-associated dementia (HAD), according to NIMH-funded researchers. This study, published in the September 1, 2009, issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, is the first to show that HIV subtype may affect a person’s risk for developing HAD.

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Focusing Efforts on Early-Stage HIV Interventions May Help Prevent Spread of Disease

Science Update

Two men talking at a table

Screening and early intervention with people in the earliest stages of HIV infection may reduce the spread of the disease, according to NIMH-funded researchers. A series of five papers from a small, multisite study were published online ahead of print in June 2009 in the journal AIDS and Behavior.

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Web-based Programs Encourage Safer Sex Behaviors among Men at Risk for HIV/AIDS

Science Update

Computer

A single-session, online, multimedia intervention effectively reduced risky sexual behaviors among young men who have sex with men, a group at high risk for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Such low-cost programs may help reverse the steady rise in HIV diagnoses among this population.

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Brief, Clinic-Based, Peer-led Intervention Helps Reduce Subsequent STDs in African American Men

Science Update

two young men sitting on bleachers talking

A brief, one-time intervention delivered by a trained peer health advisor was an effective and low-cost method for reducing new infections among young, heterosexual, African American men diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), according to an NIMH-funded study. Such programs may help reduce STD-related health disparities, which currently affect a disproportionate number of African American men in the United States. The study was published in the April 2009 supplemental issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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HIV Prevention Program Gets a Boost From NIMH Recovery Act Funds

Press Release

Developing interventions to reduce the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among heterosexual men, couples and ethnically diverse populations continues to be complex and challenging. To help address this issue, NIMH awarded a two-year grant to David Pérez-Jiménez, Ph.D., at the University of Puerto Rico, to support the adaptation and assessment of an HIV and other sexually transmitted infection intervention designed for young, heterosexual Latino couples. This grant will use funds allocated to NIMH through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to promote economic recovery and spur advances in science and health.

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Child Abuse Survivors Have Higher Risk for STDs in Adulthood Than Non-abused Adults

Science Update

A history of child abuse or neglect can increase the risk for STDs in adulthood, according to a study partly funded by NIMH. The researchers reported their findings in the April 2009 supplemental issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Youths Exposed to HIV Before Birth Have Higher Chance of Developing Psychiatric Disorders

Science Update

Youths who were exposed to HIV before birth, especially those who were born HIV positive, have a high chance of developing psychiatric disorders, according to an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print February 27, 2009, in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

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Possible HIV Prevention Therapy Shows Promise, But At a Significant Cost

Science Update

A therapy that shows promise in preventing HIV infection could significantly reduce the risk of HIV infection among high-risk groups, but the cost may be substantial unless drug costs can be reduced, according to a study published online ahead of print February 4, 2009, in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Intervention Helps Reduce Risky Sexual Behavior Among Homeless HIV-positive Adults

Science Update

An NIMH-funded program already shown to reduce risky sexual and substance abuse behavior among HIV-infected adults also appears to be effective in improving the lives of HIV-infected homeless or near-homeless adults, according to a new report.

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Viral Genetic Underpinnings of HIV-associated Dementia Explored

Science Update

A new study identifies differences between genetic variants of HIV that are associated with HIV-associated dementia (HAD).

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HIV-associated Neurological Disease Prevalent in Asia-Pacific Region

Science Update

A new study finds a significant rate of HIV-related neurological disease among HIV-positive populations living in the Asian-Pacific region.

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Couples-based Intervention May Limit HIV Transmission in African Countries

Science Update

A shift to a couples-based intervention for married and cohabiting couples in urban Zambia and Rwanda could prevent up to 60 percent of new HIV infections that would otherwise occur, according to an NIMH-funded study published June 27, 2008, in The Lancet.

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HIV-positive Survivors of Sexual Abuse Who Receive Coping Intervention Less Likely to Engage in Unprotected Sex

Science Update

HIV-positive people who have experienced childhood sexual abuse are less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior if they receive a group intervention designed to help them cope with their traumatic history, according to an NIMH-funded study published April 1, 2008, in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

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Family-Centered Intervention Effectively Reduces Risky Behavior Among Hispanic Youth

Science Update

Science Update December 20, 2007 Family-centered Intervention Effectively Reduces Risky Behavior Among Hispanic Youth A family-centered program that improves parent-child dynamics and family functioning is more effective at discouraging Hispanic youth from engaging in risky behavior than programs that target specific behaviors, according to a study published in the December 2007 issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

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Researchers Suggest Updating Criteria for HIV-associated Neurocognitive Disorders

Science Update

After 10 years since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the criteria for classifying HIV-related neurocognitive disorders may need to be revised and updated, according to a working group designated by NIMH and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study the issue. The study was published October 30, 2007, in the journal Neurology.

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HIV Treatment May Help Reduce Severity of Mental Impairment in Children with HIV Infection

Science Update

During the first few years of life, children born with HIV infection are most susceptible to central nervous system (CNS) disease, and can develop impaired cognitive, language, motor and behavioral functioning. However, NIH-funded researchers have found that among children with HIV infection, treatment with a protease inhibitor (PI)- based highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) helped protect against cognitive and motor difficulties compared to a control group of age-matched children who were born to HIV-infected mothers but who did not contract the virus themselves (e.g., HIV-exposed).

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Broad HIV Screening Valuable Even in Communities with Low Infection Rates

Science Update

An HIV/AIDS screening program may be cost-effective even in communities where the infection rate and the prevalence of the disease are very low and among populations at low risk for HIV infection, according to an NIMH-funded study published December 5, 2006, in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Gene Therapy May One Day Prevent AIDS–Related Brain–Cell Death

Science Update

Scientists have shown that gene therapy has potential for treating brain pathology triggered by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.

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