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  • News at The Body
    If you have trouble reading this e-mail, you can see the online version at: www.thebody.com/topics.html September 2, 2008 Visit the Forums Hot Topics Library
    Message 1 of 139 , Sep 2, 2008
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      If you have trouble reading this e-mail, you can see the online version at: www.thebody.com/topics.html

      September 2, 2008
      Visit the Forums
      "Hot Topics" Library
      Change/Update Subscription

      HIV TREATMENT

       If I Run Out of HIV Meds, Do I Need to Worry About Resistance?
      I recently found out that I have to pay the full cost of my lab work from now on. I missed my last doctor's appointment because I can't afford to get labs done every three months, and now I can't get a refill of my HIV meds. I'm worried about developing drug resistance, and I don't know what to do. Do you have any advice?


       How Often Should I Visit My HIV Doctor?
      When I was diagnosed in April of this year, my doctor did a round of lab tests, decided I didn't need HIV meds (CD4 count 580, viral load 6,000) and told me to come back in three months. In July, my lab results were even better, and he said I didn't have to come back for another six months. Six months? Isn't that too long for a recently diagnosed person to wait between doctor's visits?


       Monthly HIV Meds?
      Is there any hope that we will one day have an HIV medication that can be taken just once a month rather than once or twice a day?


       Do HIV Meds Affect CD4 Count as Well as Viral Load?
      Ten years after my diagnosis, I'm just now starting HIV meds. My viral load is 23,000, which is not all that high, but my CD4 count is only 23. I know the meds will probably make my viral load undetectable, but will they do anything to my CD4 count?



      Also Worth Noting: Video Central

      Puppet Show performers

      What's it like to experience the world's largest HIV conference? TheBody.com broke out its video cameras to bring you the sights and sounds of the XVII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2008). Check out our AIDS 2008 Video Central page for a range of fascinating events and viewpoints, including a demo of a graphic puppet show (photo above) that Mexican HIV prevention workers use to teach teens about safer sex.
      HEALTH ISSUES FOR PEOPLE WITH HIV

       Winning the War on Body Fat Changes
      Do you think we can ever completely eliminate body fat problems, such as lipoatrophy, in HIV-positive people? Can working out or taking supplements truly undo fat or muscle loss, or will those conditions just keep coming back?


       Tiny Facial Bumps After Sculptra Treatment?
      A couple of years ago, I had three series of Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid, New-Fill) injections. Six months afterwards, my face filled out as promised. Unfortunately, the effect only lasted for three weeks, and then it vanished -- leaving behind more than a hundred small bumps on my face. None of the steps that the maker of Sculptra recommended to fix these bumps has worked. Do you have any suggestions?


       Alternative Treatments for Nausea, Diarrhea and Weight Loss
      I'm 22 years old and taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). I'm doing all right: My CD4 count is up to 379 and my viral load is undetectable. However, lately I've been having diarrhea and feeling very nauseous. I've also begun to lose weight, even though I eat regularly and otherwise feel fine. Is there anything I can do to treat this without having to talk to my doctor?


       HIV Meds and Diarrhea
      Are there any HIV medications that are less likely to cause diarrhea than others?



      THE POLITICS OF HIV CARE

       Should My HIV Doctor Be Forcing People to Pay Cash for Better Treatment?
      I recently found out that my HIV doctor is now offering "better treatment" -- longer visits, priority for referrals, more options for appointments -- when people pay by cash instead of through their health insurance. Is this ethical, or even legal? I don't have the funds to pay cash for my health care; paying for the meds is hard enough. There also aren't that many choices for HIV specialists in my area. Is this what the medical profession is coming to: You have to have cash to stay alive?

      [Editor's note: After Dr. Bob Frascino posted his response to this question, the person who originally asked the question submitted a follow-up. You can read it, along with Dr. Bob's second response, by clicking here.]



      Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
      My Dad Has HIV. Can Things Ever Be Normal Again?
      (A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

      It's been a year since my dad was diagnosed with HIV. ... I've tried to act like everything was normal, but it keeps coming up. My older brother and him keep getting into fights because [my brother] doesn't want anything to do with [my dad, and won't] let him see his granddaughter. My mom decided to stay with him after he told her -- he had been having affairs for years. I feel like I can't be a normal teenager. ... My dad's trying to act like everything's normal, but I feel torn between him, mom, my brother, life and myself. ... I'm just tired. Please give me any advice.

      -- second

      Click here to join this discussion thread, or to start your own!

      MIXED-STATUS RELATIONSHIPS

       Married -- and Newly Diagnosed!
      I've been married for almost three years. I went to the doctor recently to be treated for vaginal discharge; my doc did some tests, and I have HIV as well as another sexually transmitted disease! I tested negative for HIV before I got married. Does this mean my husband has cheated on me, or is there some other explanation?



      Also Worth Noting: Visual AIDS

      Image from the September 2008 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
      "The Pool" 1975; Jack Brusca

      Visit the September 2008 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Sex, Drugs and Religion," is curated by Frank Spinelli, M.D.
      LIVING WITH HIV

       Helping a Friend Who's Having Trouble Coping With HIV
      I have a friend who has had HIV for four years now. He’s extremely anxious and reluctant even to step outside his home. Is this normal? I live far away from him, but I want to help.


       Contact Sports When You're Living With HIV
      I was on a major health kick before I was diagnosed with HIV more than a year ago, and I loved it: I was having fun, meeting new people and had even joined a contact sport. But then I started to get sick; it turned out I had HIV, late-stage pneumocystis pneumonia and a CD4 count in the single digits! I've since started HIV treatment and am now feeling great. I'd love to get back into contact sports this fall, but I'm concerned it may not be the healthiest choice for me. What do you think?


       Life Insurance for the HIV Positive
      Are there any companies issuing life insurance for people with HIV?



      STRANGE BUT TRUE

       Did HIV Meds Make My Shrinky Dink Shrink?
      Since I started taking HIV medications 10 months ago, my sex drive has all but vanished -- and I'm positive that I'm not as ... large ... as I used to be. My testosterone levels are fine, so what's going on? Can I undo whatever damage has been done?


       Not the Kind of Guy You Want to Do Your Laundry With
      I found a used pair of panties at the laundromat. They were unwashed, and there was a spot of dried vaginal secretion on them. Can I get any sexually transmitted diseases from licking the spot or putting my penis on the dried secretions?



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    • News at The Body
      If you have trouble reading this e-mail, you can see the online version at: www.thebody.com/topics.html November 16, 2009 Visit the Forums Hot Topics Library
      Message 139 of 139 , Nov 16, 2009
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        If you have trouble reading this e-mail, you can see the online version at: www.thebody.com/topics.html


        November 16, 2009
        Visit the Forums
        "Hot Topics" Library
        Change/Update Subscription


        COINFECTIONS & COMPLICATIONS OF HIV/HIV MEDICATIONS


         Recently Diagnosed With Osteopenia: When Should I Start Bone Meds?
        I have been on Reyataz (atazanavir), Norvir (ritonavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) for a little more than two years. I had a DEXA scan and my doctor said I have osteopenia and I should probably start Fosamax (alendronate) or Boniva (ibandronate) in about two years. I have a family history of osteoporosis. I've also had some fractures and dislocations over the years that have been causing some pain in the last few months. When I look at my DEXA scan report, what levels and terms should I look out for that would indicate a need to start Boniva or Fosamax sooner than two years from now?


        Also Worth Noting: New Blog: Back From the Brink of Death

        Thomas DeLorenzo

        People still die from AIDS-related causes in the U.S. -- and some of them die without even knowing they're HIV positive. This almost happened to TheBody.com's blogger Thomas DeLorenzo. When he found out he had HIV in 2001, he also discovered that he had two opportunistic infections. His doctor told him he missed dying by just a few days. In his latest blog entry, Thomas recounts why he buried his head in the sand.
         HIV Meds Have Made My Belly Big and My Cheeks Sunken!
        I used to have a somewhat good body and now my cheeks are sunken in and my belly is fat and hard. I look like I'm six months pregnant. My breasts are big and my legs are thin, and I'm embarrassed to go places because of the way I look. I'd been taking HIV meds for two years before these effects began. What can I do about them? My viral load is undetectable, my CD4 count is more than 1,000 and I am taking Intelence (etravirine) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC).


         Where Can We Find an Expert in MS and HIV?
        My partner is 42 years old and has been HIV positive for 14 years. He's very healthy -- his CD4 count is nearly 1,000. His viral load has been undetectable for years. He's recently been diagnosed with relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). I'm a physician myself, and I'm looking for someone with experience in HIV as well as treatment of MS. Can you recommend some options? None of his current docs know of anyone who has done work in this area.


         How Can I Be Cured of HCV, but Not HIV?
        Are HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) so dissimilar that I can be cured of one and not the other? I had HCV, went through interferon (Alferon N, Roferon-A or Intron A) treatment and also started HIV treatment with Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). I followed all the rules and never missed a single dose of any medication. The doctor says the HIV is "hiding" somewhere in my tissues (Brain? Spleen? Gallbladder? Thymus? Where is it "hiding"?). Yet, the liver doctor says I'm "cured" of HCV. Can you explain?


         Having HIV and the Flu: What Are the Risks?
        What are the risks and complications for someone with HIV if they get the seasonal flu or H1N1 flu?


        HIV TREATMENT


         What Should I Choose for My First HIV Regimen?
        I saw my physician assistant and was informed that my CD4 count was 288 and my viral load was 104 million or thereabouts. Both of us decided that it would be wise for me to start treatment immediately. I brought up the idea of being on the combination Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) and Isentress (raltegravir), while he thought I should be on Truvada and Viramune (nevirapine), the most effective combo. What do you think?


        Also Worth Noting: U.S. HIV/AIDS Plan: Online Testimony Deadline Extended!
        The White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP)'s series of HIV/AIDS community discussions is sweeping the U.S. The deadline for submitting online testimony has been extended to Monday, Nov. 23, at 6 p.m. Eastern Time! There have also been some changes to the list of upcoming meetings -- please take a look, and follow the directions to prepare for the meeting of your choice. The next discussions will take place in Jackson, Miss., on Nov. 16 (that's tonight!), and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Nov. 20.
        LIVING WITH HIV


         Could I Be a Long-Term Nonprogressor?
        If I contracted HIV about six years ago and have not had an AIDS-related sickness, could I be a "long-term nonprogressor" -- someone whose body controls HIV without the benefit of HIV meds?


        HIV MEDICATIONS & RECREATIONAL DRUG INTERACTIONS


         Marijuana and Antiretroviral Medications
        Does marijuana interact with HIV medications?


         What's the Effect of Taking Ecstasy With HIV Meds?
        What happens if you take Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and Combivir (AZT/3TC), and three hours later you pop an ecstasy pill?


        HIV TESTING & TRANSMISSION


         Is It Better to Get Tested for HIV or to Not Know My HIV Status?
        I am afraid of being HIV positive. I am 26 years old and was in a relationship for two years in which we left condoms out of the equation (I was the "top," or insertive partner). I haven't had an HIV test for three years. Should I start using condoms now and not bother getting tested since I'm terrified of testing positive?


         Positive, Undetectable "Bottom" in a Magnetic Couple: Is My Partner at Lower Risk?
        I'm a 54-year-old gay man from Vermont and I've been HIV positive for 22 years. My viral load finally dropped to undetectable in the past year. I also have a new man in my life for the first time in a while. He's HIV negative and after some negotiation, we decided to forego condoms (he's the "top," or insertive partner). Does the fact that I am undetectable and extremely careful mean that I'm not putting him at risk? Having him become infected would be too much to bear.


        Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
        How Do You Overcome Rejection?
        (A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

        This might sound lame because I am a mature woman and not a teenager, so please don't judge. I have been positive for 10 years and trying my best to live like a normal human being. So I decided to start Internet dating on the positive dating sites. I communicated with several guys and decided to go out on a date with this one guy that I liked. The date went really well and we talked for hours and at the end he promised to call the next day. One week later, nothing. I tried calling him on the third day and left a message, but no reply came. I am not going to try him again because I have some self-respect, but the rejection is stressing me out. What I can't understand is how people can be so cruel. To make matters worse, I really, really liked him and wanted to be friends even if the dating didn't work. My question is: How do I get him out of my mind and move on? I have a life and I am a busy person so I am not sitting at home sulking, but this experience is really hard. -- AsiaHope

        Click here to join this discussion thread, or to start your own!


        To do this, you'll need to register with TheBody.com's bulletin boards if you're a new user. Registration is quick and anonymous -- click here to get started!

        STRANGE BUT TRUE


         Could My New Sex Toy Have HIV on It?
        I just received a new sex toy in the mail and I used it immediately without washing it. Now I'm freaking out. What if someone used the new toy before and returned it? I'm still a virgin and I'm so scared. Should I get tested for HIV?


         A Stranger Used My Bathroom: What if He Contaminated It With AIDS?
        I let a man who was hooking up my cable use my restroom. After he was done, I heard him saying that he might have AIDS. So when he left, I cleaned my bathroom thoroughly. I have been so worried ever since. Could he have contaminated something in my bathroom? I have three kids and I'm very concerned. I've been having headaches, back pain, nausea and fatigue.



        Worried Your Spam Filter Might Trash Our Mailings?

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        About This E-mail

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        Activist Central

         Participate in the White House's HIV/AIDS Community Discussions on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy


         Alert: Don't Let Dems Wimp Out on Opposing Abstinence-Only Funding


         U.S. Territories Separate and Unequal in Healthcare Reform; How You Can Help


         Can't Make It to a White House HIV/AIDS Community Discussion? Provide Your Testimony Online for the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy!


         Urge President Obama to Lift the Ban on Federal Funding for Syringe Exchange Programs


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