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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 June 1, 2009 Visit the Forums Hot Topics Library
    Message 1 of 139 , Jun 1, 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


      June 1, 2009
      Visit the Forums
      "Hot Topics" Library
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      HIV TREATMENT

       What Can Be Done for "Forgotten Patients" With Multidrug Resistance?
      I am one of those "forgotten patients" whose HIV is resistant to many meds -- even Isentress (raltegravir). My virus is also dual/mixed, which means I have no options besides TaiMed's ibalizumab (TNX-355, a fusion inhibitor in phase II trials), but they rejected me for their study because I don't have other drugs to combine it with. What am I going to do? I feel like the few of us left with multidrug-resistant HIV are going to be forgotten and die without help. Any compassionate programs out there? What are the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and AIDS researchers doing for us, the forgotten few?


       Is Zocor Safe for HIV-Positive People?
      Is the cholesterol-lowering drug Zocor (simvastatin) safe to take with the HIV medication Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir)? One doctor said yes, but another doctor said to stop the Zocor at once because an interaction between the two meds could cause a heart attack!


      Also Worth Noting: HIV Retreats: A Little-Known Way to Meet Other HIVers
      Are you looking to connect with other HIV-positive people in a supportive environment? One option is to go on an HIV retreat. Retreats range from carefree holidays to educational weekends. There are retreats beachside, in the mountains and in the middle of the biggest U.S. cities. They're geared for the newly positive as well as longtime HIVers just looking for a chance to unwind. Many retreats are free, low-cost or provide discounts to people in need.
      LIVING WITH HIV

       A Progress Report on Entry Into the U.S. for People With HIV
      Is it easier for HIV-positive people to enter the U.S. under President Obama? I need to transit Hawaii for only two days each way while traveling from Australia to Canada. I will be carrying HIV meds in my carry-on and am worried about being stopped at customs as I will be traveling with friends who are unaware of my situation.


       Should I Disclose to My Optician Before Sharing Contact Lenses?
      I need contact lenses and may be using trial lenses that are shared with other people. Should I tell my optician I'm HIV positive? Is there any transmission risk from sharing lenses?


       How Long Can I Expect to Live With HIV?
      I am 58 years old. My viral load has been undetectable for 10 years, my T-cell (CD4) count is 728 and I've had no opportunistic infections. I have seen several posts recently referring to a European study that revealed life expectancy at late 50s to 60s in positive patients that have been on HIV meds for extended periods of time. Should I expect this to be my prognosis, and look forward to just a few more years of gradually deteriorating health?


      OTHER HEALTH ISSUES

       Anal Cancer Testing for HPV-Infected HIVers?
      I've been following the news of Farrah Fawcett's anal cancer struggle. I heard one doctor on CNN say that people with HIV and HPV (human papillomavirus) are at higher risk for anal cancer. I am a 35-year-old HIV-positive gay male. I experienced a minor battle with anal warts at one time. My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is in the 575 to 675 range. I've been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for three years now. When should I insist on anal cancer and colon cancer testing due to my increased risk factor?


      Also Worth Noting: Visual AIDS

      Image from the June 2009 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
      "Untitled (Innocence) (II)," 2001; Hamlet Manzuetta

      Visit the June 2009 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Living Better," is curated by Craig Willse.
      HIV IN THE WORKPLACE

       Going Back on Private Insurance: Still Confused About the "Pre-Existing Condition" Clause
      Since being diagnosed in 2004, I have been fortunate to get my HIV meds through a state HIV medication program while being employed part-time. I am extremely eager to return to my profession and previous income. I may have a full-time job opportunity in another location that will allow me to enroll with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Two questions: 1) Can I be denied coverage; and 2) How do I manage the pre-existing condition clause when I apply?


      HIV & FACIAL/BODY FAT

       Discrimination Because of Facial Lipoatrophy
      I have lipoatrophy in my face. I recently got a job in which I have to schedule appointments with a city agency for inspections. However, when I tried to schedule an appointment, I was told by the person at the city agency that he did not want to see my face more than once a week. I was so upset! Do you have any recommendations for low-cost facial fillers?


       How Permanent Is Bio-Alcamid as a Facial Filler?
      I've heard that Bio-Alcamid (poly-alkyl-imide) is a permanent facial filler, but that due to facial tissue movement it may not be 100 percent permanent. I've heard that it may last for eight months; others have said it could last for three to five years. What do you think?


       Belly Bulge With Isentress or Truvada?
      I recently switched from Trizivir (AZT/3TC/abacavir) to Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) due to elevated triglycerides. I believe I am experiencing a pretty rapid increase in intra-abdominal fat. I can feel lots of pressure below my ribs and have even had some shortness of breath when exercising due to this pressure. Yikes! Wouldn't it be better to go back to Trizivir? How can this be healthier?


      NEWS & VIEWS

       Sounding Off on Criminalization of HIV
      I was reading the article about the Iowa man sentenced to 25 years because he didn't disclose his status. [Click here to read TheBody.com's article on the case.] If we continue to criminalize HIV, nobody will be willing to get tested for HIV and the consequences could be devastating. Why is it that people end up in jail for not disclosing that they have HIV, but that's not the case for similar dangerous viruses like hepatitis or HPV (human papillomavirus), which can cause cancer?


      Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
      A Little Nervous
      (A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

      Newly diagnosed. My numbers have been great from blood work. My viral load has been below 14,000 each time and my CD4 was around 650 the first time, and 764 most recently. These are good numbers, but I'm a bit torn over when to start medication. My initial instinct was to wait as long as I could. My doc says numbers are good, have a nice summer, we'll test again in September and see where you are at.

      I'm just unsure now, and a little nervous that not getting on medications will result in more damage to my immune system. Anyone have any thoughts or experience that might be helpful for me?

      -- tommyga

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

      HIV TRANSMISSION

       Chances of Superinfection in a Monogamous, HIV-Positive Heterosexual Couple?
      Is superinfection possible between a monogamous HIV-positive man and woman? My wife started HIV treatment three years ago when her CD4 count dropped to 13. My viral load is 722 and my wife's viral load is 520. We had unprotected sex on several occasions during the time she was on meds and I was not. After I started taking HIV meds, we again had unprotected sex in an attempt to have a baby. If we stay faithful to each other, what are the chances that we could get sick due to superinfection?


       Is It Sufficient to Take Truvada After a Possible Exposure to HIV?
      I think I recently had an exposure to HIV, though the status of the person who may have exposed me was unknown. I presented at the hospital 12 hours after exposure and was given Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) as the sole medication to prevent HIV. Do you think it's enough to just take one medication or should I be insisting on a prescription for another medication?


      STRANGE BUT TRUE

       How Is Magic Johnson "Cured"?
      I just don't understand how Magic Johnson is cured of HIV which kills millions of people globally. How did he get the cure, but so many others are left in the dark? If it's a money issue, shouldn't they just put a price on the cure and sell it publicly?


       Can My Own Mr. Happy Give Me STDs?
      Can I get any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) from sucking on my own penis?



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      Activist Central

       Tell CVS: Don't Restrict Access to Condoms!


       Endorse the International Declaration on Poverty, Homelessness and HIV/AIDS


       Speak Out Against the Syringe Funding Ban!


       Write a Letter to President Obama to Support the Action Plan for Rapid Scale-Up of Routine, Voluntary Testing


       Give Our Youth the Facts! Tell your senator to co-sponsor the REAL Act.


       ART Initiation at <350 -- Call on WHO and UNAIDS to Save Lives!


       Volunteer at a Camp for HIV-Affected Kids


       Congratulate Obama ... And remind him of his commitment to a National AIDS Strategy!


    • 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?

        The Body's e-mail updates are especially prone to being caught up in spam filters, since our newsletters tend to refer frequently to sex, drugs, the human anatomy and so forth.

        To make sure you never miss one of our mailings because anti-spam software labeled it as junk mail, add update@... to your address book, talk to the person who manages your e-mail security or check your anti-spam program's instructions for more information.

        About This E-mail

        This e-mail update has been sent to hivtesting@yahoogroups.com.

        Want to change your subscription? Click here or send us a message at updates@....

        Missed an update? Our archive of past updates will keep you in the loop.

        Have any other questions or comments, and don't want to send an e-mail? Feel free to snail-mail us at:

        The Body's E-Mail Updates
        The HealthCentral Network, Inc.
        250 West 57th Street
        New York, NY 10107





        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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