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    Message 1 of 139 , Apr 2 4:40 PM

      If you have trouble reading this e-mail, you can see the online version at: www.thebody.com/updates/
       

      The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource

      Now at The Body: African-American HIV/AIDS Resource Center

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      April 2, 2007
      In This Hot Topics: Living With HIV HIV Treatment Complementary Therapy Complications of HIV & HIV Meds HIV/STD Transmission Strange but True

       LIVING WITH HIV

      My Husband Just Tested Positive
      My husband and I are both 24 years old; we got married three months ago. He just tested positive for HIV and I tested negative. I'm sad and scared to death. We had unprotected sex several times before the test. Can I trust my test results? Can I still kiss him? How can we still have sex together? We have always dreamed of having a family -- can we still have children?


      Have I Been Discriminated Against?
      Until I tested positive for HIV, I was undergoing laser hair removal. A form I filled out before my next visit included an "HIV positive" box, so I checked it. When they read the form, the
      staff refused to treat me. The reason they gave was that I had a "compromised immune system." Is there any reason why an HIV-positive person should not get laser hair removal? If I've been discriminated against, what should I do?

      BACK TO TOP
       HIV TREATMENT

      Does My Declining CD4 Count Mean I'm Becoming Resistant to My Meds?
      When I started HIV meds a little less than two years ago, my CD4 count was 2. Seventeen months later, it had climbed to 460. I'm now at 23 months, and it has dropped for the first time since starting treatment -- down to 360. My viral load is still undetectable, but I'm worried that the CD4 decrease could mean that I'm becoming resistant to my meds. Should I be concerned?


      Can I Take Nexium While on HIV Meds?
      Is it safe to use Nexium (for heartburn and acid reflux) while I'm taking an HIV treatment regimen of Emtriva (emtricitabine, FTC) + Norvir (ritonavir) + Reyataz (atazanavir) + Videx (didanosine, ddI)?


      Taking HIV Meds Temporarily During Acute Infection
      I have just been diagnosed with acute HIV, meaning I was recently infected. My CD4 count is 648 and my viral load is 55,000. My doctor wants me to start Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) immediately in the hope of raising my CD4 count as high as possible, after which we'd discontinue the meds. I was always under the impression that once you start meds you can't stop. What do you think of my doctor's plan?


      Is It Time for Me to Start Meds?
      For years after I was diagnosed with HIV in October 1999, my CD4 count had been between 400 and 600, and my viral load had been under 500. Lately, however, my CD4 count has been averaging 380, and my viral load is slowly climbing (it's around 16,000 now). Do you think these changes mean that I should start HIV meds?
      BACK TO TOP
       COMPLEMENTARY THERAPY

      K-PAX: CD4 Booster or Overpriced Vitamin?
      I'm looking for some scientific research about the multivitamin sold as K-PAX. Is it true that it can increase CD4 count by 25 percent, as the vitamin's makers claim? I have been experiencing more energy since I began taking it, but who knows if it is actually boosting my immune system? K-PAX is incredibly expensive, compared to other vitamins that are available, so I want to make sure that this isn't a scam.


      Can I Boost My Immune System With an Herbal Treatment?
      I've had HIV for four years and have never been on treatment; my viral load was low and my CD4 count was always above 600. In the past six months, however, my viral load rose sharply and my CD4 count fell below 500. Since it was still too early to start treatment, my doctor suggested I take a pill that contains beta-sitosterol, a plant derivative touted as an immune booster. However, I've been taking the pills for two months, and my latest viral load reading was nearly one million -- although my CD4 count is up slightly. Should I stick with the pills?


      If Your HIV Meds Aren't Working, Why Shouldn't You Try a Coconut?
      Dear Dr. Bob: You recently poked fun at a guy who was potentially exposed to HIV and then drank a large amount of coconut milk because he read on the Internet that HIV was sensitive to coconut milk or coconut oil. However, researchers are actively looking into the benefits of coconut oil, and certainly some alternative therapies might help people. If an HIVer hasn't had success with traditional therapies, why shouldn't they try drinking coconut milk?
      BACK TO TOP
       COMPLICATIONS OF HIV & HIV MEDS

      I've Lost My Mojo!
      I am a 29-year-old, African-American man, and I've been living with HIV for over two years. I love my regimen of Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) + Truvada (tenofovir/FTC), but I've noticed lately that my sex drive isn't what it used to be. Can you suggest anything to help? Could vitamins do the trick?


      What Should I Do About Elevated Liver Function Tests?
      I've had to switch HIV treatment regimens twice because of elevated liver function tests. Is this problem normal in people on HIV meds, and is switching regimens the best way to deal with it?


      Are All of My Problems Related to Being a Long-Term Survivor?
      I was diagnosed with HIV in 1989, and in 1996 was told I had progressed to AIDS. Still, I've been on treatment, and I remained relatively healthy until about two years ago, when everything started to fall apart: fatigue, depression, Fanconi syndrome (a kidney disorder), neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, major balance problems and so on. None of my problems are officially associated with AIDS, but could they be caused by long-term effects of HIV and HIV meds, and doctors don't know about them because there's so little research about us long-term survivors?


      Could HIV Meds Alleviate My Fatigue?
      Since I was diagnosed with HIV in 1999, my CD4 count has been around 400 and my viral load has been around 17,000. I'm not taking HIV meds. Over the past few years, I've become very fatigued and lethargic. It's getting to the point where I can't enjoy life properly or even get a job. Could starting HIV meds alleviate these problems? If I do start meds and they can't help me, could I safely stop taking them with no adverse effects to my health?
      BACK TO TOP
       HIV/STD TRANSMISSION

      Can Genetic Factors Protect People From HIV?
      I've heard that some people have a genetic mutation that provides them some protection from HIV. Are scientists studying these people to figure out why their immune systems are able to fend off HIV so well?


      Melting Condoms?
      Last week I was in China for a business trip. Alongside the traditional latex condoms available at my hotel there was a condom which, I was told, dissolves within one or two minutes, but still offers protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Could that be true?
      BACK TO TOP

       STRANGE BUT TRUE

      Can You Get HIV From a Menstruating HIV-Negative Woman?
      Can I get HIV by having unprotected sex with a woman during her menstrual cycle, even if she is HIV negative?

      BACK TO TOP

      Visual AIDS
      Art From HIV-Positive Artists

      Image from the March 2007 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
      Untitled Drag Performance, 1990-1991; Hunter Reynolds
      Visit the newly launched April 2007 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery is entitled "Camp Tales: The Art of Arnold Fern and Marc Lida"; it's curated by Jonathan Weinberg, Ph.D., a painter, author and art historian.
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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

        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
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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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