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    Message 1 of 139 , Mar 3 4:18 PM
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      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
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      March 3, 2008
      In This Hot Topics: Pos-Pos Relationships Living With HIV HIV Treatment Health Problems in HIVers Hepatitis & HIV Understanding Your Labs HIV Transmission Strange but True
       POS-POS RELATIONSHIPS

      Could I Have Gotten My Partner's HIV Strain?
      Both my partner and I are HIV positive, but I'm the only one on meds. He hasn't really wanted to have sex since we were diagnosed. However, this weekend we both felt frisky, had oral sex and started to have protected sex. I noticed blood, though, and we stopped. Could one of us have gotten infected with the other person's HIV strain? Could my partner become resistant to the HIV meds I'm taking?
      BACK TO TOP
       LIVING WITH HIV

      I Was Fired on the Grounds That "AIDS Can Be Fatal"
      Two years after I was diagnosed with advanced HIV disease, I'm now fit and healthy, and my viral load has been undetectable for more than a year. However, my employer of nine years has fired me, citing my ill health and the fact (according to somebody in human resources) that "AIDS can be fatal." Was I fired unfairly?


      Changing Time Zones With HIV Meds
      I take HIV meds twice a day. I'm about to go on a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is three hours ahead of where I live. What is the best way for me to adjust my HIV treatment schedule and stay adherent while I am away?


      Vaccines, Travel and HIV
      I was recently infected with HIV, and I need several vaccinations for an upcoming trip abroad. Which types of vaccinations are safe for me, and which ones should I avoid?


      My New Health Insurance Has Made My HIV Meds Too Expensive
      I've been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for three and a half years. However, I recently had to switch health insurance companies. With my new insurance plan, I'm not sure I can afford treatment anymore. Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my meds?
      BACK TO TOP
       HIV TREATMENT

      Two Decades Hovering Around 350; Can I Keep Putting Off Meds?
      I've been living with HIV for 20 years or so, and over the past decade my CD4 count has fluctuated between 250 and 500. It's currently just below 350. Do I need to start meds? I'm wondering if, since my CD4 count has always been pretty respectable, I might be more healthy than someone whose CD4 count dropped to 350 much more quickly.


      Can Intelence Replace Sustiva?
      I've been taking Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) for the past four years, even though I have resistance to it, because there weren't any other options for me. Now there's a new drug, Intelence (etravirine, TMC125), which has been approved for people with resistance to Sustiva and other NNRTIs. Could I replace the Sustiva in my regimen with Intelence?


      Can a Blood Transfusion Help Treat My HIV?
      If I get a large blood transfusion, could it increase my CD4 count by making HIV work harder to fight the HIV-negative blood I'm receiving?
      BACK TO TOP
       HEALTH PROBLEMS IN HIVERS

      Will I Develop Body Fat Changes When I Start HIV Meds?
      I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the potential side effects of HIV meds, particularly lipodystrophy, before I start my first regimen. What percentage of people beginning HIV therapy experience significant fat loss or fat gain these days?


      Are My Meds Worsening My Neuropathy?

      I have gradually worsening peripheral neuropathy and wonder if any of the meds I'm taking are to blame. My meds include Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) and Viracept (nelfinavir), as well as a handful of other medications to manage other health conditions. If none of those drugs are to blame, is there anything else I can do to find relief? I've tried some neuropathy treatments, but amitriptyline did not help and Neurontin (gapabentin) made me suicidal.


      Why Did My Vision Become Strange After I Took Cialis?
      I'm an HIV-positive man on HIV treatment. I recently tried three different erectile dysfunction drugs: Cialis, Levitra and Viagra. After taking Cialis, I suddenly became extremely sensitive to light and lost my ability to see long distances. This didn't happen when I tried Viagra or Levitra. Could an interaction with my HIV meds have caused the side effect I got while on Cialis?
      BACK TO TOP
       HEPATITIS AND HIV

      How Long Does It Take to "Clear" Hepatitis C Naturally?
      I've recently been diagnosed with acute hepatitis C. I'm also HIV positive, with a CD4 count of 900 and an undetectable viral load. How long will I have to wait to know whether my body will clear the virus on its own, without the help of medications?


      Choosing Your HIV Meds When You're HIV/Hepatitis C Coinfected
      Is Norvir (ritonavir) + Reyataz (atazanavir) + Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) a good HIV treatment regimen for someone who has HIV and hepatitis C, and whose liver health is getting worse?
      BACK TO TOP
       UNDERSTANDING YOUR LABS

      Is It OK if My Viral Load "Blips"?
      My CD4 count has stayed close to 600 over the past six months, but my viral load was 151 last October before dropping down to undetectable in February. I've read that maintaining an undetectable viral load is essential in order to avoid developing drug resistance, but my doctor says that small, temporary increases in viral load aren't important as long as my viral load stays below 500. Is that true?
      BACK TO TOP
       HIV TRANSMISSION

      My Husband Just Tested Positive; How Are the Kids and I Negative?
      I've been married to my husband for nine years, and we've had five children together. He started getting sick in July, and was diagnosed with HIV in December. I've tested negative, as have all of our kids, but I'm still worried about getting HIV. How is it possible that after all this time, none of us have HIV? What can we do to keep ourselves safe?


      Is Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Worth Taking?
      I had receptive anal sex a couple of days ago, and I think I might have put myself at risk for HIV (the condom may have broken). Is it worth it to take post-exposure prophylaxis meds? I've heard the meds can cause a lot of side effects, and I don't want to cause any permanent damage, especially since I don't even know how well they'll work.
      BACK TO TOP
       STRANGE BUT TRUE

      Oh, You Want the HIV? That's in Aisle Four
      I used a shopping cart during a recent trip to the grocery store, and also borrowed a pen while I was in the checkout line. Then, when I was on my way out, I bit my lip so hard it started bleeding, and I touched the open wound. If the shopping cart or the pen had HIV on it, could I have become infected when I touched my bleeding lip?
      BACK TO TOP

      Visual AIDS
      Art From HIV-Positive Artists

      Stop in and browse the full collection!
      "Sunset," 1999; Donna Haggerty
      Visit the March 2008 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "The Sublime Order," is curated by Letha Wilson.

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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
        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.



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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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