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

From: “News at The Body” <>
Date: 17 Jul 2012 18:51:45 -0400
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ReplyTo: “News at The Body” <>
Subject: Hot Topics at’s “Ask the Experts” Forums

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July 17, 2012 Visit the Forums “Hot Topics” Library Change/Update Subscription

Living With HIV  To Drink or Not to Drink Grapefruit Juice: What’s the Final Verdict?
It seems for years I have heard that grapefruit juice is to be avoided if one has HIV and is taking meds. The forum is filled with listings concerning this question. Most answers deal with specific medications, but I’m confused as to which ones. I take Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) along with many other meds and supplements. I bought and enjoyed a bottle of grapefruit tangerine juice. Will it do me harm?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum
Mixed-Status Couples  What Can My Baby-Making Partner Do to Increase His Sperm Count?
I’m trying to have a baby with a partner who’s HIV positive. We’re doing sperm washing and cervical cup insemination to conceive, but it’s not cheap so I want to maximize our one or two tries by enhancing his sperm quality. Do you know of any supplements or techniques that have been shown to increase sperm count and motility?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum
Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns  Can I Keep My Social Security Benefits While in Graduate School?
I’ve just been accepted to a graduate school program, and they offered me a $10,000 teaching assistantship. I have been on social security disability insurance (SSDI) and supplemental security income (SSI) for over 15 years and don’t want to get the school’s insurance. Is it possible for me to stay on SSDI and SSI while in school?

Christa Douaihy, Esq., responds in the “Legal Issues and HIV” forum

 Should I Continue Pursuing a Career in Nursing?
I’m HIV positive and a nursing student. Do you think my HIV status will stand in the way of my being hired as a nurse after graduating and obtaining my license? Should I choose another career path, or will nursing be as safe as any other career?

Jacques Chambers, C.L.U., responds in the “Workplace and Insurance Issues” forum
Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
Image from the July 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“Wave, 0-9 (Detail #3),” 1996
Robert Blanchon

Visit the July 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, "Overnight Wave (For Arthur)," is curated by Rick Herron.

HIV/AIDS Treatment  What Is an Appropriate Level of HIV Care?
I tested positive for HIV two years ago. I take Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) and have an undetectable viral load, a CD4 count of about 500 and a CD4 percentage of 35. When I see my HIV specialist, what kind of exam should be done? How often should I go? I currently go every six months and my appointments only last 15 minutes. Usually we go over my lab results, my doctor says “You’re doing great!” and that about covers it. He hasn’t done a complete physical exam since I was diagnosed. Does this sound appropriate, considering my condition?

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

 Do My Depression Meds Interact With My HIV Meds?
I currently take Intelence (etravirine), Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Can I take trazodone for depression along with this regimen?

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

 Why Am I Having Trouble Walking and Speaking Clearly?
I was diagnosed with HIV in January 2010. My CD4 count was 339 in February of this year and I started taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). Lately I’ve noticed my speech is slurred and I stagger a lot when walking. I can’t jump or run, either. Could these effects be related to my HIV meds?

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

More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment:

Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS  Does Being a Bottom Put Me at Risk for Peritonitis?
I have HIV and my new partner does as well. I am also on peritoneal dialysis, and about six weeks into our relationship I came down with peritonitis. Just days after completing a 21-day antibiotic regimen, I ended up in the hospital with another bout of peritonitis. One of my doctors suggested abstaining from sexual relations for about a month to allow my body to recover. Do you think that being the receptive partner in anal sex puts me at a high risk of developing recurrent peritonitis?

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

 How Can I Treat a Serious Infection if I Have Drug Allergies?
I was injected with Bio-Alcamid (poly-Alkyl-Imide) in 2007 to treat facial wasting. Over the past four years the implant has dropped, and several days ago the spot above the implant was tender and soon became red and swollen. I would like to have the infection treated with antibiotics without affecting the implant, but my doctor doesn’t seem to know what to do. I’m also allergic to penicillin and sulfa-based drugs. How should I manage this infection?

Gerald Pierone, M.D., responds in the “Facial Wasting” forum
Connect With Others My Man Is Back After Rejecting Me: Why Do I Keep Pushing Him Away?
(A recent post from the "Relationships and Dating" board)

I started seeing this real nice guy a month or so before I tested positive, and informed him the same day of my test results. I thought or hoped that he would be more supportive when I told him, but he wasn’t. Said that he never wanted to talk to me again and not to contact him again, which I didn’t.

I was hoping that if I gave him some time that he would come back around, which he did … He’s also tested negative, but here’s the problem. He’s willing to accept me the way I am, and wants me to be a part of his life again. I feel the same way, and know I’m very fortunate that he still loves me the way I am, but it’s like subconsciously I keep trying to push him away and it wasn’t like that before I tested positive. …

Does anybody have any idea why I’d do this? Do you think I just need to give it time? I know that I don’t want to lose him again! — thebird1959

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Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs  Why Isn’t My Viral Load Higher in Acute Infection?
I was recently diagnosed HIV positive after being notified anonymously that I’d come in contact with the virus in the last two months. I’d had zero symptoms, with the exception of slightly swollen lymph nodes under my neck around the time of infection. I’m confused with my lab results: a CD4 count of 389 with a CD4 percentage of 38 and a viral load of 14,000. I’m told people in the acute stage of HIV infection develop a similar low CD4 count then rebound, but their viral load is usually much higher than mine. What’s the explanation for this?

Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C., responds in the “Understanding Your Labs” forum
HIV/STD Testing & Transmission  Does Syphilis Increase My Chance of Transmitting HIV?
I am an HIV-positive bottom with an undetectable viral load. I recently discovered that I have syphilis from a partner I had about a year before my current boyfriend. I had no symptoms and no idea I had it. Does my having syphilis increase the probability of passing HIV to my current boyfriend, who is HIV negative and a total top, when we have unprotected anal sex? If there are no sores, can syphilis still be transmitted? If so, how?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Aging With HIV” forum
Strange but True  Could My Childhood Big Fish Story End With HIV?
When I was about 4 or 5 years old, I was at a fishing expo with my family. There was a fish-gutting ceremony going on at one point. I wandered off and hid underneath a man’s cutting board just as he was chopping the head off a fish. I looked up just in time to be covered with a cascade of fish blood, some of which made its way into my right eye. I now suffer from a lazy right eye. Could this have something to do with HIV coming into my body when fish blood made contact with my cornea?

Lisa B. Hightow-Weidman, M.D., M.P.H., responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum

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Nelson Vergel
Nelson Vergel
Chemical engineer, 34+ year HIV and cancer survivor, health author and educator . Founder of , , and

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