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    Message 1 of 139 , Oct 3, 2005
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      The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
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      October 3, 2005
      In This Hot Topics: Mixed-Status Relationships Living With HIV Financial Issues for HIVers Understanding Your Labs HIV Treatment HIV-Related Health Issues HIV Transmission Strange but True
       MIXED-STATUS RELATIONSHIPS

      From a Chat Room to a New Apartment -- and an Unexpected Diagnosis
      I've been in a whirlwind romance with a guy I met in an online chat room. We chatted for hours in the two days after we met online, and when I met him in person on the third day, it was like a dream come true -- he was everything a gay man could ask for! Within a week, we felt we'd known each other for years. He decided to move to my city, and by week three, we had found an apartment and moved in together. Everything was going perfectly -- until we both decided to get tested for HIV. My test came out negative. His was positive. Now I'm confused and scared; I love him so much, but I worry about my safety. What do I do?
      BACK TO TOP
       LIVING WITH HIV

      Is Long-Distance Mountain Biking Safe for HIVers?
      I am passionate about mountain biking and have done several long-distance stage races (100-140 km each day for up to eight straight days). I'm also HIV positive and on treatment. Is there anything I need to be wary about when taking my body to these extremes? Mountain biking and off-road racing is what motivates me, but friends say it could be too stressful and dangerous.


      HIV and Death in the United States
      I have been HIV positive for six years now, and I still worry about dying all the time -- how I will die, when I will die. What are the main causes of death for HIVers in the United States? Do any U.S. states or territories have particularly high death rates? I graduated from college this year and plan on starting meds in the next six months, but I'm afraid to make major life decisions. How much longer am I likely to live?


      Becoming a Doctor When You're HIV Positive
      Can I become a doctor if I have HIV? Could I even become an HIV specialist?
      BACK TO TOP
       FINANCIAL ISSUES FOR HIVERS

      Getting Meds When You Don't Qualify for Help
      My wife and I are both HIV positive, and have three children -- the newest was born healthy and HIV-free just last week. That's the good news; the bad news is that, as the sole provider, I have to take care of the entire family, and we're running out of money. The stress and responsibility of keeping my children and wife healthy is hurting my own health, and I can no longer afford to pay for my own HIV meds. We're a low-income family, but apparently not low enough to get help from local clinics. Oddly, agencies near my home (in Austin, Texas) have taken excellent care of my wife, but nobody seems to care about me at all. What can I do to keep myself alive and providing for my family?


      New Insurance Company Is Cutting Off T-20 Access
      My new insurance company refuses to cover my T-20 (enfuvirtide, Fuzeon) unless a doctor administers each of my twice-daily injections, which isn't a realistic demand. My efforts to get T-20 through a patient assistance program have failed. I've been taking T-20 for two years, and it's kept me healthy. What can I do to keep receiving it?
      BACK TO TOP
       UNDERSTANDING YOUR LABS

      CD4 Count Decline in a Newly Diagnosed Smoker
      I recently tested HIV positive, and am not yet on treatment. My first blood tests showed a CD4 count of 375 and a viral load of 57,000; four weeks later, my next tests showed a CD4 count of 345 and a viral load of 10,000. Why would my viral load and CD4 count both drop? Could my smoking cigarettes have anything to do with it?


      What Could Cause a Sudden Jump in CD4 Count and Viral Load?
      My partner's viral load became immediately undetectable on his first HIV treatment regimen, efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin) + Trizivir (AZT/3TC/abacavir). However, he has had to switch the efavirenz to nevirapine (Viramune) because of side effects. His latest blood tests show that his CD4 count has risen by 165 in just three months -- but that his viral load went from undetectable to 34,000! How is this possible? He's been 100% adherent. Could this be a lab error?
      BACK TO TOP

        HIV TREATMENT

      A Complicated Treatment Tale From a Medication Veteran
      Since my AIDS diagnosis in 1996, I've taken most of the available HIV medications and developed a long history of health complications. My latest blood tests showed that my CD4 count has begun to sink and my viral load to rise, raising the question: What can I try next? My doctor, as well as another doc we asked for a second opinion, are recommending tipranavir (Aptivus) plus T-20 (enfuvirtide, Fuzeon) with some other meds, but I'd like your take on my situation. What options are there for someone with my complex treatment history?

      BACK TO TOP

        HIV-RELATED HEALTH ISSUES

      Mood Swings and Testosterone Replacement Dosing
      I'm experiencing wild mood swings; could it be because of my testosterone replacement therapy? I initially took AndroGel, but it stopped working after a while, so my doctor switched me to injections of Depo-Testosterone (a 1 mL vial once a week). Every fifth day after an injection, I get on a mood roller coaster to manic depression city. Then I inject on the seventh day and spend the next two days just leveling out. Essentially, I only have about three days a week where people can stand me. What should I do?


      Inconsistent Hepatitis B Test Results
      I've been tested for hepatitis B multiple times over the past four years, and keep getting different results! What's going on?


      Liver-Friendly Sleep Medications
      I'm mostly healthy, but I have problems with insomnia. As an inactive carrier of hepatitis B, are there any sleep medications I can take that won't hurt my liver?

      BACK TO TOP

        HIV TRANSMISSION

      Can a Partial Circumcision Still Protect Against HIV?
      I have some loose skin on the underside of my penis, behind the head. When my penis is erect, the head is completely visible, but when I'm flaccid, the head vanishes completely into the skin. I've heard that uncircumcised men are more susceptible to HIV than circumcised men; how does this risk apply in my case?


      If We Have the Same HIV Strain, Is Unprotected Sex OK?
      My HIV-positive boyfriend and I always practiced safe sex, but I was recently diagnosed with HIV anyway. Does this mean we have the same strain of the virus -- and that we can stop using condoms?


      Twins Born With Different HIV Status?
      If an HIV-positive mother gives birth to twins, can one be born HIV positive while the other is HIV negative?

      BACK TO TOP
        STRANGE BUT TRUE

      Masturbation Reinfection
      I'm HIV positive. A nurse told me that if I masturbate, I can infect myself with another strain of HIV. Is this true?
      BACK TO TOP
      U.S. Hurricanes: HIV/AIDS Info
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      Visual AIDS
      Art From HIV-Positive Artists

      Image from the October 2005 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
      "Lucio on Tony's Bed";
      George Towne
      Visit the October 2005 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view this month's collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery is entitled "Manner of Solitude."

      Art Benefit in N.Y.
      Postcards From the Edge:
      Oct. 17-18, 2005

      Postcards From the Edge
      Every fall in New York City, Visual AIDS holds its hugely popular "Postcards From the Edge" benefit, and this year's event is fast approaching! On Oct. 17 and 18, people who come to the Robert Miller Gallery in Manhattan can view, and purchase, any of more than 1,200 original, postcard-sized works donated by many talented artists -- some of whom are widely renowned! Each postcard costs $50; all benefits go to Visual AIDS.

      To learn more about the 2005 "Postcards From the Edge" benefit, including info on how you can get a sneak preview of this year's postcards, click here!
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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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        November 16, 2009
        Visit the Forums
        "Hot Topics" Library
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        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.



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