TRIALS: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that a federal drug law blocks medical pot use. The ruling doesn't necessarily affect state initiatives that provide exceptions for HIVers to grow their own pot, but buyers clubs will face new hurdles. Two states -- Nevada and Maine -- are considering going into the distribution business to cut out the feds altogether.

The lawsuit against South Africa -- brought by 39 drug companies that make, or own rights to, anti-HIV meds -- was dropped in April, following a series of deals to slash prices and protect patents were brokered with developing countries.

FUNDING: Tanqueray, the AIDS Ride USA's biggest sponsor since 1994, announced that it would drop support -- except a $200,000 grant in each city -- after this year's tour. The gin company said it was making a shift in overall brand-marketing strategy.

WORLD BEAT: African heads of state who met in April pledged to spend at least 15% of their annual budget on health care and create a yearly $10 billion fund -- a "war chest," UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called it -- to fight AIDS. President Bush pledged to put $200 million in the pot, which many advocates decried as far too little. In a speech at the African summit, President Clinton said, "We have the money, all right, the question is, do we have the will?"