Monthly Archives - August 2011

Taking care of ourselves on the road to the cure

Thursday, August 25
7:00pm-9:00pm
What is the latest info on healthy aging with HIV? On treatments to improve the quality of my life? Will I see the cure in my lifetime? Join Positive Force and three great speakers for answers to these questions – and more!

Speakers:
Nelson Vergel, HIV wellness advocate, expert, and author
Dr. James Romano, with a presentation on “Surgical Correction of HIV-related Features”
Special Guest Speaker: Timothy Ray Brown, the “Berlin Patient,” his story and inspiration on our road to the cure

Topics:
– Strengthening your bones
– Protecting your cells against toxicity
– Preventing anal cancer
–  Facial fillers
– Treat visceral fat
– Hormonal concerns
– Cognitive concerns

Food and beverages will be served, so please RSVP. For more info or to RSVP: contact Justin.
Location: Rainbow Room, LGBT Center, 1800 Market Street (map)
Positive Force is a program by and for HIV positive gay, bi and transgender men. We build community for the thousands of men in SF living with HIV. HIV has many faces. Guys come to us from diverse backgrounds, looking for accurate information and to join in on fun events. Our programs offer the chance to mix it up with other poz guys and our allies too. To learn more about all we do, visit Positive Force’s home page.

Fw: Hot Topics at The Body’s “Ask the Experts” Forums

From: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Date: 23 Aug 2011 14:04:25 -0400
To: <nelsonvergel@yahoo.com>
ReplyTo: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Subject: Hot Topics at The Body’s “Ask the Experts” Forums

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

August 23, 2011 Visit the Forums “Hot Topics” Library Change/Update Subscription



LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS
 Doing Well on Meds, But Do I Need to Worry About “Collateral Damage Over Time”?
I’ve only missed one dose in the past two years. My CD4 count went from 8 to 420 and my viral load dropped from 1.5 million to undetectable. Is this kind of rebound common? Also, I see frequent reference to “collateral damage over time.” What is it and should I be concerned?

Joseph P. McGowan, M.D., F.A.C.P., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum

 What Can I Do to Treat My Osteoporosis?
I have been HIV positive since 1985. I take protease inhibitors and have advanced osteoporosis. My doctor gave me testosterone and there is a little improvement. I have kidney problems so I can’t take calcium supplements. He told me about Fosamax (alendronate sodium). Do you think that it would help me? What else can I do?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

More Questions About Living With HIV/AIDS:

MIXED-STATUS COUPLES
 When Sperm Washing Fails, What Else Can We Try?
I’m HIV positive and my wife is negative. I’m on meds and my viral load has been consistently less than 53. I always wear a condom during sex, but now we want to have a baby. We have tried sperm washing and intrauterine insemination three times, but it did not work. Is there a way we can have sex without a condom on a specific day and conceive while protecting her and the baby?

David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., responds in the “Mental Health and HIV” forum

 Still Haven’t Told My Fiancee I’m HIV Positive. What Should I Do?
I have been HIV positive since 2008, and currently have a high CD4 count with an undetectable viral load. I have fallen in love with a girl. We haven’t had any unprotected sex, but we’re getting married. I intend not to tell her about my status because I am afraid she will be shocked and stay away from me. Also, since I have an undetectable viral load, the chances of transmitting HIV are low. We really love each other. What do you advise?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum
Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
Image from the August 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“Ahmed (From The Series Workers),” 2001
Richard Renaldi

Visit the August 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, entitled "Ciao," is curated by Jake Yuzna.

HIV/AIDS TREATMENT
 Can You Advise Between Starting on Atripla and Complera?
I have not started HIV medications yet but my CD4 count is 300 and my viral load is at 75,000 and rising. I worry about Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) because my friends tell me it causes nightmares and depression. Should I ask my doctor for Complera (rilpivirine/tenofovir/FTC) instead?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

 Can’t Remember if I Took My Dose of Atripla Today: What Should I Do?
It’s been five hours since I was supposed to have taken it. Should I skip the dose altogether or take it now? Is it safe to possibly double dose?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum

 Are Loose Stools and Yellow Semen Side Effects of my Medications?
For the past two months, I’ve been taking Reyataz (atazanavir), Norvir (ritonavir), Epivir (lamivudine, 3TC) and Retrovir (zidovudine, AZT). My CD4 count has been slowly improving. However, for the past three months now, I’ve frequently been having loose stools and have noticed that my semen is yellowish. Is this normal?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum

More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment:

HIV/AIDS, HEPATITIS & OTHER HEALTH ISSUES
 What Can I Do to Battle Depression?
I am an 18-year-old high school student. I have had suicidal thoughts in the past, but I feel like these HIV medications make it worse. My emotions change, I have some crazy dreams and so on. It sucks. Does it get better?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

 Coinfected With Hepatitis B and HIV: Am I at Risk for Liver Cancer?
I have been on hepatitis B and HIV treatment for five years now. Both viruses are under detection levels. But I’m worried because I heard that hepatitis B progresses 15 times faster than HIV, despite undetectable viral loads. Am I at risk for developing liver cancer?

Barbara McGovern, M.D., responds in the “Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection” forum

More Questions About HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis & Other Health Issues:

Connect With Others Tell Me Your Thoughts on God and HIV
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

Before my diagnosis, I was a very spiritual person. Not religious, but spiritual. I found out my status on June 21st which apparently is St. Lazarus’s feast day, who is often petitioned for the poor and sick (especially those with HIV/AIDS). And before finding out my own status, I had been praying to this saint for an HIV cure. I don’t know if that’s supposed to mean anything or if I’m just grasping at straws. Maybe I’m trying too hard to look for signs of God, when it could be just a coincidence. Anyway, I’ve learned that most HIVers are atheists. I was wondering if anyone here had some kind of religious or spiritual beliefs that were affected by HIV. — PageofCups

Click here to join this discussion, 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 (all you need is an e-mail address) — click here to get started!

UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS
 Are Slight Trending Increases in My Viral Load Early Signs of Resistance?
I am 57 years old and have been positive since 1990. My viral load has been virtually undetectable for almost five years. But since last May, my viral load has trended up from undetectable to 51, to 56 and now 65. I know these are very small increases, but could this mean I’m developing resistance to my current regimen?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum

More Questions About Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs:

HIV TRANSMISSION & TESTING
 How Long After Exposure Does It Commonly Take to Test Positive?
Is it possible to seroconvert exactly one month after infection? I’ve commonly heard that once the virus enters the body it can take up to six months to detect.

Robert J. Frascino, M.D., responds in the “Fatigue and Anemia” forum

 Lube and Ecstasy: How Do They Impact Having HIV?
My partner and I are both positive and we have been having unprotected sex. This may sound stupid, but does lube protect against reinfection? Also, we stay healthy by eating right, exercising and sleeping regularly, but occasionally we take ecstasy. Will it affect our lab numbers or interact with our HIV meds?

David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., responds in the “Mental Health and HIV” forum

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.

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Activist Central
 AIDS Healthcare Foundation Announces March on Washington

 HIV+ Gay and Bi Men! Sign-On Letter Supporting an Informed Debate About PrEP Based on Facts, Not Misinformation

 NYC and Housing Works Launch re-fashioNYC

Fw: Hot Topics at The Body’s “Ask the Experts” Forums

From: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Date: 02 Aug 2011 17:55:01 -0400
To: <nelsonvergel@yahoo.com>
ReplyTo: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Subject: Hot Topics at The Body’s “Ask the Experts” Forums

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

August 2, 2011 Visit the Forums “Hot Topics” Library Change/Update Subscription



LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS
 Would Adding Human Growth Hormone to My Regimen Help Fight Fatigue?
I’m a 46-year-old man with an undetectable viral load and a CD4 count of about 500. I take Isentress (raltegravir) two times a day along with Norvir (ritonavir) and Reyataz (atazanavir) once a night. I have at times felt run down and tired. Would there be any benefit to my overall health in taking human growth hormone (HGH)? Would it help with my fatigue?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

 How Much of Each Kind of Alcoholic Beverage Constitutes “One Drink”?
When doctors say things like “one alcoholic drink per day has no effect on the immune system,” I think some people don’t realize what that means from one type of drink to another. Could you clarify what amount of wine, hard liquor or beer “one drink” would be?

David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., responds in the “Substance Use and HIV” forum
MIXED-STATUS COUPLES
 Didn’t Know My New Partner’s HIV Status Until I Found His Meds: What Now?
I’ve been dating a coworker for several months. Since I already knew him, we started a sexual relationship relatively quickly. We’ve had protected vaginal sex, and given each other unprotected oral sex. I have genital herpes and was outbreak free during these times. Today, while cleaning my car, I found two pills under my passenger seat. One pill had the numbers “227” on it. I Googled it and found out it’s an HIV medication. He’s the only person who’s been in my car besides my kids. What if he’s HIV positive? Should I confront him or just stop speaking to him?

Robert J. Frascino, M.D., responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum
Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
image from the August 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“Untitled [John S. and Jonathan],” 1985
Mark Morrisroe

Visit the August 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, entitled "Ciao," is curated by Jake Yuzna.

HIV/AIDS TREATMENT & DRUG INTERACTIONS
 What Can My Partner Do About Sleep Troubles and Weight Gain From Atripla?
My partner has been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for one year. As of our last doctor’s visit his viral load and CD4 count were responding well to treatment, but he has trouble sleeping at night and has gained weight for no apparent reason. Could these be side effects of Atripla? What can he do about them?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum

 New Drug for Hepatitis C: Which HIV Meds Can Go With It?
Can a person be on HIV meds and still receive the new treatment for hepatitis C (ribavirin and peginterferon — the longtime standard of care — plus one of the newly approved protease inhibitors) without discontinuing HIV meds? Do we know yet which HIV meds are safe to take with the new hep C drug Incivek (telaprevir)? Which HIV meds should be avoided when taking this treatment?

Barbara McGovern, M.D., responds in the “Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection” forum

More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment & Drug Interactions:

OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS
 My HIV-Positive Husband Was Exposed to Chicken Pox: What’s Next?
My husband has an AIDS diagnosis. He takes Norvir (ritonavir), Prezista (darunavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) and has been for five months. His CD4 count is 316 and his viral load is 90. He’s never had or been vaccinated for chicken pox before. Our daughter and son recently developed chicken pox and are both still contagious, and today my husband was exposed to it. If he does develop chicken pox, what should we do? Are there any measures he can take after exposure to possibly stop him from getting sick?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum

 Schizophrenia, Sexually Compulsive Behavior and HIV: Are They Related?
A doctor told me I had paranoid schizophrenia in 1994. Two years later I stopped my meds, bounced around at different jobs and became addicted to porn and sex. Then in 2002 I found out I was HIV positive. The next two doctors said I had schizoaffective disorder, followed by another doctor who said I had paranoid schizophrenia again. Is sexually compulsive behavior linked to schizoaffective disorder or to schizophrenia (and what’s the difference between the two)? Did my mental illness lead to my becoming HIV positive?

David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., responds in the “Mental Health and HIV” forum
Connect With Others Last Week I Tested Positive: I Don’t Want to Die, but How Can I Live?
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

I’m 27 years old. Last Monday, July 25, my doc gave me the bad news. I’d tested HIV positive. …

I couldn’t stop crying; I still can’t stop. … I only told my boyfriend of 1 year and 6 months, because I was afraid he might come to the same fate. He is very supportive, but for how long? …

I don’t know what to do. I’m so scared; I can’t tell anyone because they will look down on me. … I’m not sure if I can survive this; just talking about it gives me a knot in my throat.

Please, I’m begging anyone to write to me. I’m feeling all alone, angry and disappointed in myself. No matter what road I take, I end up at the same destination: misery. Can anyone else relate? — MsCharlie1

Click here to join this discussion, 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 (all you need is an e-mail address) — click here to get started!

UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS
 What Are the Different Kinds of T Cells?
How many types of T cells are there in our bodies, and what do they do? How are they different from one another? Does HIV only attack certain types of T cells?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum
HIV TRANSMISSION & TESTING
 Can I Get a Tattoo While Taking a Course of PEP?
I have six days left of a 28-day round of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Will being tattooed while taking Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) be a problem? Should I worry that the drugs are affecting my immune system in such a way that a tattoo would create a portal for infections I would not normally need to worry about?

Robert J. Frascino, M.D., responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum

 Are There Dietary or Medication Restrictions Before HIV Testing?
Is there anything a person shouldn’t eat before HIV antibody testing? Are there medications that shouldn’t be taken? Are there any other special preparations a person should know about in advance of the test, or can a person just walk in anytime they want and get an HIV test?

Joseph P. McGowan, M.D., F.A.C.P., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum

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@news.thebody.com 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 nelsonvergel@yahoo.com.

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

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Activist Central
 AIDS Healthcare Foundation Announces March on Washington

 Women’s HIV & AIDS Advocacy and Leadership Summit Application Deadline Extended

 HIV+ Gay and Bi Men! Sign-On Letter Supporting an Informed Debate About PrEP Based on Facts, Not Misinformation

 NYC and Housing Works Launch re-fashioNYC

 Tell Washington, D.C. to Fully Fund ADAP and Other HIV/AIDS Programs to Prevent Needless Deaths

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