Monthly Archives - November 2011

HIV Expert Offers Tips for Better Health

Nelson Vergel is the picture of health. Looking at him, you would never know that he’s been HIV positive for more than 25 years.  His chemical engineering degree and love of science led him to become a leading treatment advocate for people with HIV.
Vergel recently held a free seminar at the Pride Center at Equality Park where he discussed advances in HIV medications and treatments.
The first thing you notice about the Venezuela native is how buff he is.  Once he starts talking about living with HIV, you see that he’s on a mission to help people feel as good as he looks.  Vergel is hopeful about the treatment breakthroughs.
“I believe that some sort of combination approach will be used to cure us in 10-15 years.  We already have a case of one cured HIV patient (The Berlin patient).  But his cure was extreme and very risky.  So researchers are looking for ways to cure people in a simpler way,” he said.
Vergel is the author of Testosterone: A Man’s Guide and co-author of the book Built to Survive; the founder of the nonprofit organizations Body Positive Wellness Clinic and Program for Wellness Restoration; the Nutrition and Exercise forum expert at TheBody.com.  He is also an international speaker on HIV treatments and side effect management. Those seminars are frank and informative.
Testosterone: A Man’s Guide discusses the symptoms, proper diagnosis, and treatment options, along with practical “how-to” information created by an advocate and patient for 20 years regarding testosterone therapy. Besides researching data on different options, Vergel has tried most of the products discussed in the book and provides practical tips on each one.
1- Do not be shy about telling your doctor if you have symptoms of low testosterone: low sex drive, fatigue, lack of focus/motivation.  If you have those symptoms, ask your doctor to get your blood levels of total and free testosterone measured.
2- There are over 5 options to treat testosterone deficiency.  Educate yourself about them (pros and cons) since no single option is best. Talk to your doctor about each.
3- If you start testosterone replacement therapy, you need to remind your doctor to retest your testosterone after the first month to see if you need to readjust the dosage to attain healthy testosterone blood levels of 500-1000 nanograms per deciliter.
Speaking of doctors, Vergel says many HIV patients in South Florida have an advantage – in terms of their physicians.
“Progressive doctors, in my opinion, do not only treat the virus, but also educate themselves about side effect management and complementary therapies. Fort Lauderdale and Miami have several of those doctors. Several cities do not,” he says.
Many people don’t have regular access to doctors or credible medical information.  Vergel is here to help.  At www.the body.com, he answers questions along with other experts – making it the largest HIV information site. It has weekly newsletters by subscription. Vergel’s nonprofit site (Program for Wellness Restoration) iswww.powerusa.org.  His online discussion group can be found at http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/PozHealth/.
Denise Royal is an award-winning journalist. She’s a self-described “news junkie” she loves to write about current events and emerging trends. She’s also President of the multimedia content management firm Royal Treatment Media.

PoWeR asks for your support and end of year tax deductible donation

Program for Wellness Restoration (PoWeR,  http://powerusa.org/  ) is going through a tough financial time now that most industry educational grants have been eliminated.  We ask you to think about us when conmsidering organizations to make tax deductible donations before the end of the year.
In 2011, PoWeR has been able to accomplish the following with a very small budget :
– Provided 26 lectures on health to HIV positive people around the United States
– Published 78 blog articles  (http://survivinghiv.blogspot.com/ )
– Coordinated an upcoming expanded access program using two investigational drugs for people with HIV who have run out of treatment options. (http://bit.ly/tWkdk4  and http://bit.ly/s98yHL )
– Moderated http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/PozHealth/ , a 9 year old listeserve with close to 4000 members from all over the world
– Produced a video to raise awareness on the challenges surrounding finding a practical cure for HIV (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj-dFQ6Yi7k )
– Provided technical advise to 4 other non profits ( Red Hispana, The Houston Buyers Club, The Positive Project, and Live Consortium)
– Answer questions  weekly at thebody.com ( http://bit.ly/twag7J )
– Created a petition to improve Medicare coverage of facial wasting therapies (http://bit.ly/rR2G0N )
– Created a resource list : http://powerusa.org/resources.html
If you or someone you know has been helped by our work and want to see us continue it, please do not hesitate to make a contribution by using this link:http://powerusa.org/donate.html or by sending a check to:

Program for Wellness Restoration
P.O. Box 667223
Houston, TX  77266

Thank you in advance for ensuring that our mission continues in 2012.
In health,
Nelson Vergel
Founding Director

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

From: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Date: 15 Nov 2011 18:30:47 -0500
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

November 15, 2011 Visit the Forums “Hot Topics” Library Change/Update Subscription



LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS
 How Can We Support the Cure — and the Man Who Was Cured?
If I want to send money to the best activist group working on cure research advocacy, who should I send it to? Also, I’ve heard that “Berlin patient” Timothy Brown isn’t doing well financially. We shouldn’t allow our only living cured person to be neglected by our community. Where can we learn more about Timothy Brown, and lend him some support?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

 Doing Well on Meds: Do My Partner and I Still Need to Use Condoms?
My partner and I are on HIV meds (different regimens) and we both respond very well to them. Is there really a risk that one of us will acquire or develop a drug-resistant strain of the virus and pass it on to the other?

Richard Cordova responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum
BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS
 Can I Inject Egrifta Less Frequently Than Once a Day?
I’ve been taking Egrifta (tesamorelin) for a year to reduce belly fat. Now that it’s been a year, would it be all right to lower my dosage to less than every day? Doing so would save money as well as injection pain. Do you know what would happen if I only took it one to two times per week?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum
Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
Image from the November 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“Soap Suds,” 1980
Jimmy DeSana

Visit the November 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, entitled "i am anyone," is curated by Anthony Allen.

HIV/AIDS TREATMENT
 How Do My 2 Regimen Options Compare to One Another?
According to my doctor, I have two options regarding which HIV med regimen to take next: Combivir (AZT/3TC) and Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) or Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Which would you recommend, and why?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum

 Stopped Taking HIV Meds and Feeling Great: Why Should I Start Again?
I’ve been HIV positive for 15 years. Two years after being diagnosed I started taking Crixivan (indinavir). Since then I’ve tried Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC), then Lexiva (fosamprenavir, Telzir), Norvir (ritonavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). For years I dealt with belly fat accumulation and a number of other terrible side effects, in addition to being severely clinically depressed. Two years ago I made a decision to stop taking my meds. I feel so much better and more alive! What are the potential consequences of my decision? Do you have any other feedback?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

 Does My New Poo Schedule Mean My Meds Aren’t Being Absorbed?
I’ve been taking Norvir (ritonavir), Prezista (darunavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) for six months; it’s restored my CD4 count to a decent level, and my viral load is undetectable. In the past month I’ve noticed a change in my digestive transit. I used to have one bowel movement a day, in the morning (I take my pills with dinner, around 8 p.m.), but now I go about two hours after I take the pills. Is this enough time for the pills to digest? Will going to the bathroom so soon after taking them mean the level of medication in my body will be lower?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum
OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS
 What Do You Think of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
I’m a 47-year-old man, 14 years poz and going strong! However, I have slowly watched my testosterone level drop from the mid-normal range to its current low, out-of-normal range. I have an incredibly hard time getting an erection and even when I do and can ejaculate, it’s hardly stiff. At my age I’m not ready to give up on sex. I’m about to go see an endocrinologist about testosterone replacement therapy. What are your thoughts about it? What are the risks, and what results have you heard reported?

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

 Can HIV-Positive Couples Have HIV-Negative Babies?
We’re an HIV-positive couple and we’ve both been on HIV treatment for 10 years. Can we produce a child who’s HIV negative? What are some important things to remember should the female partner get pregnant?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum
Connect With Others Paying for HIV Meds: When Our Time Comes, What Are the Options?
(A recent post from the "Treatment & Side Effects" board)

We are a newly diagnosed couple waiting for all of our bloodwork to come back. We know I will likely have ADAP assistance in paying for meds, but my partner (a teacher whose insurance will not cover any HIV meds) will have no help. He makes “too much.”

What are the options — ALL OF THEM? Seriously. What do any of you have to share? Does anyone have suggestions or stories? Does he quit his job? Do we move? I know we may not even need to start meds just yet, but I need to know what help there is out there. If I know nothing my mind goes to a place where I’m scared we’re going to be homeless and have no meds. — HIVhilarity11

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UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS
 Viral Load Stays “a Little Bit Detectable”: Should I Get a Resistance Test?
My viral load has been about 100, and intermittently undetectable (but not consistently), since I started taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) more than two years ago. My last labs showed my viral load went up to 584, though I did have a cold at the time. My doctor seemed unconcerned and said we’d see what the next labs show in three months. Does the increased viral load indicate the beginning of treatment failure? What are your thoughts on all this?

Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C., responds in the “Understanding Your Labs” forum
HIV TRANSMISSION
 Does Having HPV Put Me at Greater Risk for HIV?
I had receptive oral sex 36 days ago. I have the human papillomavirus (HPV). Do the effects of HPV increase my chance of getting HIV from my recent oral encounter?

Richard Cordova responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” 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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 Nov. 16 Webinar: 2012 — Revolution or Ruin?

 Congress Must Protect Medicare, Medicaid, Ryan White and Critical Health Services

 POZ Life Weekend Seminar in Las Vegas

 2011 Virtual Conference: Accessing and Understanding HIV/AIDS Patient Assistance Programs

 Sign On: Treatment Prevents Transmission — Obama, Stand Up for Treatment Expansion Worldwide

 Action Alert: Tell Gov. Cuomo to Consider Transgender Medicaid Proposal

 Take Action! PWN Stands With Planned Parenthood

 Tell Your Representative to Join the Congressional AIDS Caucus

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

From: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Date: 08 Nov 2011 12:59:28 -0500
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

November 8, 2011 Visit the Forums “Hot Topics” Library Change/Update Subscription



LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS
 Why Do I Feel Sick After I Exercise?
My CD4 count is around 500 and my viral load is undetectable. I recently started working out, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. However, each time I work out I feel as though I have the flu the next day — the kind of full-body ache you feel when you have a temperature and are sick (though I don’t get a fever at these times). My doctor thinks I’m simply sore from the workout, but I know my body well enough to tell the difference between workout soreness and a feeling of illness. What do you think could be the problem?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum
MIXED-STATUS COUPLES
 No Transmission for a Decade: Why Should My Partner and I Use Condoms?
I’m HIV positive, and my wife and I have been having unprotected sex for just over 10 years now. At the time we started having sex, my viral load was very high. Since then we’ve had two HIV-negative children ages 9 and 5. All this time my wife has tested HIV negative. Why should we worry about protection, particularly since my viral load is undetectable and at some stage she was exposed to a very high viral load without becoming HIV positive? Should we take this as an indication that my wife is resistant to HIV?

Richard Cordova responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum
BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS
 Can a Buffalo Hump Cause Additional Health Problems?
My mother takes Epivir (lamivudine, 3TC) Viramune (nevirapine) and Zerit (stavudine, d4T). In the past two months she’s suddenly developed a swell on the back of her neck, and she’s had some pain in it. Doctors say she needs surgery to remove the hump. Are there any other options that don’t involve surgery? Could this hump cause further health complications?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum
Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
Image from the November 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“Red Lulu,” 2006
David Faulk

Visit the November 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, entitled "i am anyone," is curated by Anthony Allen.

HIV/AIDS TREATMENT
 How Does Isentress Compare to Sustiva in Sleep Effects?
I’ve been on Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) since February. My most recent CD4 count is 324 and my viral load is undetectable. However, the Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) in Atripla has given me insomnia and I’m considering a switch to Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Does this seem like a safe move? How does Isentress measure up to Sustiva in terms of sleep-related side effects?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum

 Why Does Hypersensitivity to an HIV Drug Matter if I’m Not on That Drug?
I’ve been HIV positive since 1999, and I learned early on through a clinical study that I have the HLA-B*5701 gene that indicates hypersensitivity to Ziagen (abacavir). I know that this gene has been associated with slower progression of HIV, but I haven’t found any treatment guidelines describing the benefits of having this gene. What, if any, are the benefits of having the HLA-B*5701 gene? Are there any other meds I need to avoid?

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

 Will the New Hepatitis C Meds Be Easier on a Coinfected Person’s Body?
Are the new hepatitis C drugs easier on the body — and the mind — than the usual medications, especially for an HIV-positive person? What side effects can a person on one of these meds expect?

Barbara McGovern, M.D., responds in the “Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection” forum
OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS
 What Can I Do About a Tired Brain?
I’m 49 years old and I’ve been HIV positive for 13 years. I exercise a few days a week and get plenty of rest at night. My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is 560. I take Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). In the past several years it’s been like my brain is tired. I can’t remember things, and it’s hard to concentrate and think. I began noticing this about seven years ago, but it only happened occasionally. Now it happens all the time, and it’s scaring me. I need my brain for a demanding job. Could HIV, or my meds, be affecting my brain? Do you have any suggestions for lessening these effects?

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

 What’s the Difference Between Serum and Free Testosterone?
What are the differences between different testosterone measures my doctor uses? How does testosterone move through the body anyway?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

More Questions About Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS:

Connect With Others Help Out a Fellow HIVer! Take a Survey as Part of a Project on HIV Disclosure
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

I know firsthand how difficult life is with HIV. I was diagnosed in 2004, on Valentine’s Day of all days, and I have since decided to focus my studies on how HIV is communicated to the individual and the public, and the effects of these communications. I’m currently working on my master’s thesis and humbly request 10 minutes of your time to fill out the survey that will be the basis of my thesis. — Dolbylife

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
 Why Is My Viral Load Higher Than the Person’s Who Infected Me?
I know who I got HIV from, but my viral load is much higher than that person’s. How is this possible?

Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C., responds in the “Understanding Your Labs” forum
HIV & HEPATITIS C TESTING
 Could Syphilis Antibodies Have Caused a False-Positive HIV Test?
A couple of months ago I went to an HIV testing site in my community and had an OraQuick test and a Western blot done. Both tests came back positive. Last week I had an appointment to have lab tests done and possibly start HIV meds if needed, and I found out I have syphilis! I also found out that my CD4 count was 441. Could syphilis have caused this drop in my CD4 count? Could syphilis antibodies have been misinterpreted as HIV antibodies?

Richard Cordova responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum

 What’s the Hepatitis C Testing “Window Period”?
I’ve read that people often test negative for hepatitis C (as well as HIV, for that matter) inside the window period, even if they’ve been infected, because their bodies have not yet developed sufficient antibodies against the virus. If a hepatitis C antibody test at six months past exposure comes back negative, is there a possibility that that person could still become hepatitis C positive later on?

Barbara McGovern, M.D., responds in the “Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection” 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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Activist Central
 POZ Life Weekend Seminar in Las Vegas, Nevada

 2011 Virtual Conference: Accessing and Understanding HIV/AIDS Patient Assistance Programs

 Sign On: Treatment Prevents Transmission — Obama, Stand Up for Treatment Expansion Worldwide

 Action Alert: Tell Gov. Cuomo to Consider Transgender Medicaid Proposal

 Take Action! PWN Stands With Planned Parenthood

 Tell Your Representative to Join the Congressional AIDS Caucus

 Community Input for 2012 International AIDS Conference

 You Are Invited! The Inaugural HIV Prevention Justice Leadership Assembly

 Call for Abstracts: 2012 National African-American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS and Other Health Disparities in New Orleans

 AIDS Healthcare Foundation Announces March on Washington

Interview with the Berlin Patient in Houston

Timothy Ray Brown, aka “The Berlin Patient,” is the first person to be declared cured of HIV. A Seattle native living in Berlin until his recent move to San Francisco, he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2006 while living with HIV. Timothy underwent an innovative treatment for his cancer that resulted in not only a remission of his leukemia, but also having HIV completely eliminated from his body.
We were happy to have Brown speak on September 22 in Houston at two HIV-cure advocacy lectures sponsored by LIVE Consortium for the LGBT community and doctors at Baylor School of Medicine. His speech moved many in the audience to tears as they heard about his struggle and triumph. At the end of the speech, he was made an honorary citizen of Houston by Mayor Annise Parker. Following is a short interview with Brown.

Read more here:

http://outsmartmagazine.com/2011/11/the-%E2%80%98berlin-patient%E2%80%99/

Sexual Dysfunction in HIV

Sexual disturbances develop in some patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy. To evaluate sexual dysfunction and the influence that different antiretrovirals could have on those parameters, a study was conducted a prospective study in patients with stable clinical condition attending an HIV outpatient clinic. A total of 351 evaluations were performed in 189 HIV-infected men, who were interviewed about symptoms of sexual dysfunction. Sex hormones as well as other clinical and laboratory parameters were also measured at the time of each evaluation. The mean CD4 count was 451 cells/L, and viral load was undetectable in two thirds of the determinations. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction was 19.5% overall, but it was influenced by treatment, particularly (although not exclusively) byprotease inhibitors (PIs) (27.1% vs. 3.8% for untreated patients). Sexual dysfunction was not related to testosterone blood levels. Although several parameters were associated with sexual dysfunction in the univariate analysis, only antiretroviral treatment was significantly predictive of this disorder in a logistic regression analysis. Sexual dysfunction is common in HIV-infected patients in stable clinical condition receiving HAART, and all antiretroviral drugs, particularly PIs, seem to be related to it.

More here: http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Nutrition/Q217890.html

Cognitive Therapy Gives Boost to 50-Year-Olds With Long-Term HIV

Small sample but very hopeful

Subject: NATAP/Aging Wk: Cognitive therapy in Aging Patients >50

Cognitive Therapy Gives Boost to 50-Year-Olds With Long-Term HIV 

2nd International Workshop on HIV and Aging, October 27-28, 2011, Baltimore, Maryland

Mark Mascolini

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy proved popular and effective in improving quality of life in a randomized trial involving 40 men and women around 50 years old in Barcelona [1]. Whether positive effects of this intensive therapeutic course last more than a few months in people with HIV remains to be seen.

Anxiety and depression rates are high among people with HIV and may increase as HIV-positive people age. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy–designed for people with depression–combines cognitive therapy with meditation and other practices aimed at cultivating mindfulness. Psychologists variously define mindfulness as focusing complete attention on the present moment or staying aware of thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the present moment–instead of mulling past or future concerns [2].

Carmina Fumaz and colleagues at Badalona’s Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital planned this randomized trial of 20 men and 20 women with HIV infection for at least 15 years and with quality-of-life deficits marked by scores at or above 65 on the Nottingham Health Profile. The researchers excluded people with bipolar disorder, a documented psychotic episode or epileptic episode, or ongoing psychotherapy. They randomized 10 men and 10 women to a control arm involving only assessment and 10 men and 10 women to mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Fumaz and colleagues evaluated study participants 3 and 6 months after the intervention.

Cognitive therapy involved eight 3-hour weekly classes, a day-long retreat, and an hour or more of “homework” 6 days a week. The goal of these exercises was to encourage people “to appreciate the present moment instead of focusing on worries about [the] future or past.”

Everyone invited to participate agreed to join the study. Median age stood at 50 years (interquartile range [IQR] 46 to 52), median HIV duration at 20 years (IQR 16 to 24), and median time on antiretroviral therapy at 16 years (IQR 12 to 18). Median current CD4 count was 527 (IQR 364 to 633), 39 people (98%) had a viral load below 25 copies, and 17 (43%) had a stable partner. These numbers did not differ significantly between the intervention group and the control group. Nor did measures of energy, pain, emotional reactions, sleep, social isolation, and physical mobility on the Nottingham Health Profile. Only 1 person (in the cognitive therapy group) dropped out.

At post-treatment evaluations, all of the just-noted psychosocial variables improved significantly in the intervention group compared with the control group. All 20 people in the cognitive therapy group had a poor energy score before treatment and none did afterwards. Among seven aspects of daily living, four improved significantly in the intervention group compared with the control group: work, relationships at home, interests and hobbies, and ability to take holidays. The positive impact of cognitive therapy did not differ by gender. 

Fumaz and colleagues concluded that mindfulness therapy may be a useful strategy in aging people with HIV infection.

At the Aging Workshop, David Clifford (Washington University, St. Louis) noted that this intervention requires a big time commitment and wondered whether recruitment favored selection of people attuned to this type of therapy. Notably, half of the study participants were retired.

Fumaz agreed that this strategy takes time (she did not discuss cost) but said their center now has a waiting list of people who want to try it. Health workers in the hospital are also eager to sign up for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Fumaz noted that 200 hospitals in the United States have mindfulness-based cognitive therapy programs. 

The researchers plan to monitor study participants to see if the reported benefits persist longer than 1 year. Three-year follow-up of 18 of 22 US patients in a trial of mindfulness-based meditation for anxiety disorders found sustained good responses on Hamilton and Beck Anxiety and Depression scores, the Hamilton pain score, the Mobility Index-Accompanied test, and the Fear Survey [3].

References
1. Fumaz CR, Gonzalez-Garcia M, Munoz-Moreno JA, et al. Improvement of quality of life after the application of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in subjects aging with HIV infection. 2nd International Workshop on HIV and Aging. October 27-28, 2011. Baltimore, Maryland. Abstract: O_09.
2. Baer RA. Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: a conceptual and empirical review. Clin Psychol Sci Prac. 2003;10:125-143. http://www.wisebrain.org/papers/MindfulnessPsyTx.pdf.
3. Miller JJ, Fletcher K, Kabat-Zinn J. Three-year follow-up and clinical implications of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1995;17:192-200. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7649463.