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

From: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Date: 23 Oct 2012 17:43:17 -0400
To: <nelsonvergel@yahoo.com>
ReplyTo: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Subject: Hot Topics at TheBody.com’s “Ask the Experts” Forums

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October 23, 2012 Visit the Forums “Hot Topics” Library Change/Update Subscription



Living With HIV  If Fitness Expert Nelson Vergel’s Out of Options, Where’s the Hope for Me?
I’ve always been inspired by Nelson Vergel’s story of longtime HIV survival. However, today I watched a video on TheBody.com in which Nelson shared that he has to take 45 pills a day, his virus is highly drug resistant and he currently has no further treatment options should the need arise. How is this possible? If this is the case, is the hype about near-normal life spans and increased wellness for people living with HIV untrue?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

 What’s My Prognosis if I Have HIV-2?
I live in a country where I have full access to medical care and medications. I understand the optimism regarding HIV-1, but what if I have HIV-2, the less common form of the virus? Can I expect to live as long as someone with HIV-1, or should I accept the fact that there are fewer treatment options and I will eventually progress to AIDS?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum
Mixed-Status Couples  How Can I Get Over My Boyfriend’s Past Disclosure Challenges?
I’m HIV negative and falling in love with someone who’s HIV positive. I recently found out that my boyfriend has failed to disclose his HIV status to sexual partners in the past. In fact, he’s had unprotected sex with a friend several times and never disclosed his status. I confronted him and he said it was true but that he has deep regrets regarding his past. Since then I’ve found myself having thoughts of anger and disrespect toward him. On the other hand, I try to give him the benefit of the doubt because I do think he is an amazing, beautiful person. I don’t want this to affect our relationship. Do you have any advice to share?

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

 How Have I Stayed HIV Negative if My Wife Is Positive?
My wife is HIV positive and I’m HIV negative. We have sex on a daily basis, yet still I remain HIV negative. How is this possible?

Shannon R. Southall responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum
Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns  Will I Have to Pay Back Medicaid After I Die?
I was diagnosed with AIDS in April 2011 with a viral load of 1.5 million and a CD4 count of 8. My viral load is now undetectable and I’m doing very well on HIV meds. The doctors brought me back from death’s door, but I’m currently on disability and Medicaid. Recently I was told that all the money I received from Medicaid would have to be paid back to the state, and that they’ll go after my estate after my death (which won’t be anytime soon!). Is this true?

Jacques Chambers, C.L.U., responds in the “Workplace and Insurance Issues” forum

 Are People Living With HIV Eligible for Service Dogs?
I’m HIV positive and suffer from severe anxiety and secondary post-traumatic stress. My primary care provider and psychologist have been treating me for some time with medication and psychotherapy; they’re both HIV specialists. They both feel that I would benefit from the use of a service dog to assist me in taking my HIV and other medications every day, and to help increase my mobility by reducing my anxiety in public places. Does a person living with HIV qualify as disabled under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)? If so, would this make a person eligible to have a service dog?

Christa Douaihy, Esq., responds in the “Legal Issues and HIV” forum
Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
Image from the October 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“Stramonium,” 2005
Eric Rhein

Visit the October 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, "Notes on a Steady Decline," is curated by Steven Evans.


Body Shape Changes & HIV/AIDS  Will My HIV Med Switch Help With Fat Loss?
I’m switching from Trizivir (AZT/3TC/abacavir) to Complera (rilpivirine/tenofovir/FTC) because of lipodystrophy. Is there a chance that I will recover some of the fat I’ve lost once I’ve switched meds?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum
HIV/AIDS Treatment  Could My Recent Mood Changes Be Due to Longtime Atripla Use?
I was diagnosed with HIV eight years ago. I’ve been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) the entire time (even before the meds in it were available as a combination pill) and doing extremely well on the regimen — my viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count has never been below 800. However, in the past few months I’ve been having strange mental health symptoms. I’ve been increasingly pessimistic about most things, having self-esteem issues and anger control problems, and I sometimes feel as though I’m disconnected from reality. My partner of 13 years, friends and loved ones are starting to worry about me. Could these symptoms be a cumulative side effect of the years that I’ve been taking this regimen?

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

 How Do These 2 Regimens Compare to One Another?
I was diagnosed with HIV on June 9 of this year. My viral load is only 8,088 and my CD4 count is 637 but I’m already talking with my doctor about treatment options. We’d agreed on Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa) and Isentress (raltegravir). Today he mentioned another option: Complera (rilpivirine/tenofovir/FTC). What are the pros and cons of these two regimens?

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

 Can I Crush Up Complera in Applesauce?
I’m about to start taking Complera (rilpivirine/tenofovir/FTC), but I have a hard time swallowing pills, even small ones. Is it safe to crush Complera and mix it with applesauce? Will it still have the same effect if I do this? Also, if I get heartburn, is it safe to take Tums with Complera?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the “Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment” forum
Connect With Others To My New Online HIV Family: Thanks for Being There
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

I found out I was HIV positive just six months ago and since then a lot has changed in my life — bad things; things that can shred your heart. I have been on a downward spiral since that time with bad news showing up like the daily paper. I would however like to say to you, each and every one of you (MY NEW FAMILY) … You’re not just my strength but my inspiration to fight on, and every day you’re still here for me. … Though I have not met all of you on here or had the chance to talk, I love you all so very much. — familyfirst

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Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS  Can Shingles Recur in People Living With HIV?
I know that once a person gets chickenpox that it’s unlikely for them to get it again, and that shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. Once an HIV-positive guy has had shingles, can he get them again? Is there anything that can be done about this?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Aging With HIV” forum

 Can You Explain the Basics of Hepatitis B?
What kinds of tests and treatments are available for hepatitis B? What should I be aware of as I consider treatment?

Lynn E. Taylor, M.D., F.A.C.P., responds in the “Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection” forum
Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs  What’s Going on With My White Blood Cell Counts?
I’ve been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for three years. My viral load was 6,700 when I started treatment, and it’s now undetectable; my CD4 count went from 260 to 550. However, this whole time my lab results have shown my neutrophil and lymphocyte levels to both be on the wrong sides of normal. Should I be worried?

Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C., responds in the “Understanding Your Labs” forum
HIV Transmission  What About PrEP for Women Who Want to Get Pregnant?
I’m an aspiring mom planning to conceive a baby with a gay HIV-positive friend as a sperm donor. Considering what I’ve been reading about PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), I asked my primary care provider (who’s also an HIV specialist, though I’m HIV negative) if he’d consider prescribing it to me off label so we can do a home “turkey baster” insemination. He prescribed Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) once a day from day 7 of my cycle, through insemination and out to about three days after each insemination. That amounts to about 12 days to two weeks of Truvada per month until I’m pregnant. What do you think of this approach?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., 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.

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SIGN PETITION: Gilead Sciences: Please collaborate with Bristol Myers for the Cure for Hepatitis C NOW!

Gilead Sciences: Please collaborate with Bristol Myers for the Cure for Hepatitis C NOW!

The most effective new therapy ever discovered for the treatment of hepatitis C will never see the light of day unless we are able to convince big pharma giant Gilead Sciences to move forward at once with this development. This treatment combines Bristol-Myers Squibb drug daclatasvir and Gilead’s GS-7977 (now named sofosbuvir). Together these two drugs cured 100% of the most prevalent type of hepatitis C (genotype 1) 

Fw: HIV Weekly, 17 October 2012

From: hivweekly@nam.org.uk
Date: 17 Oct 2012 14:28:05 +0100
To: <nelsonvergel@yahoo.com>
ReplyTo: info@nam.org.uk
Subject: HIV Weekly, 17 October 2012
Having problems reading this email? View it in your browser >>

HIV weekly

HIV weekly

 
 
17 October 2012
   
 

Obesity and health

Obesity is associated with the clustering of serious health problems in people with HIV, new US research shows. A previous study conducted in the US found that obesity is common in people living with HIV there. In the general population, being seriously overweight is a recognised risk factor for health problems such as cardiovascular (heart) disease, diabetes and some cancers. The same conditions are an increasingly important cause of ill health in people with HIV. Therefore doctors at an HIV clinic in Alabama wanted to see if obesity was associated with the presence of multiple health problems among the people in their care. Their study involved 1844 people who were taking HIV treatment. Just over a third of the study participants were overweight and 29% were obese. The classification is based on a widely used measure called body mass index (BMI). Having a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. Approximately two-thirds of the group had two or more serious conditions other than HIV. The prevalence of multiple health problems ranged from 56% in people of normal weight to 69% in people classified as obese. Increasing age was also a risk factor for having multiple health problems. “The impact of ageing, obesity and increasing prevalence of multimorbidity in the HIV-infected population will have far reaching implications,” conclude the researchers. You can calculate your own BMI using this tool on the NHS website. For more information on reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, you may find our Nutrition booklet helpful.

Raltegravir side-effects

Central nervous system (CNS) side-effects are common in people treated with the anti-HIV drug raltegravir (Isentress), Italian researchers have reported. Their study involved 453 people taking an HIV treatment combination based on raltegravir. They were monitored every six months and each time they were asked if they had experienced side-effects such as headache, dizziness, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances. These side-effects were reported by 10% of the group and 1% stopped taking their treatment because of these side-effects. The researchers found that people who were taking the anti-HIV drug tenofovir (Viread, which is also used in the combination pills Truvada, Atripla and Eviplera) alongside raltegravir were almost twice as likely to report CNS side-effects compared to people taking raltegravir in combination with other anti-HIV drugs. Treatment with a class of indigestion remedy called proton pump inhibitors at the same time as raltegravir tripled the risk of CNS side-effects. The researchers think that these drugs were increasing blood levels of raltegravir, leading to the development of these side-effects. The researchers recommend that people taking raltegravir should be regularly monitored for CNS side-effects. They also suggest that people who experience such side-effects should have a blood test to monitor levels of raltegravir. For more information on HIV treatment side-effects, you may find our Side-effects booklet helpful.

Hepatitis C treatment

New research shows that vitamin D deficiency is associated with poorer hepatitis C treatment outcomes in people who have HIV and hepatitis C. Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with HIV and in people with hepatitis C. It is known that levels of the vitamin are associated with hepatitis C treatment outcomes in people who only have hepatitis C. Researchers therefore wanted to see if vitamin D levels were associated with response to therapy for hepatitis C in people with both HIV and hepatitis C (often referred to as ‘co-infection’). Their study involved 65 people who were taking hepatitis C treatment for the first time. Levels of vitamin D were categorised as ‘normal’ (above 30ng/ml), ‘insufficient’ (between 10 and 30ng/ml) or ‘deficient’ (below 10ng/ml). Only 20% of the study participants had normal levels of vitamin D. Levels of the vitamin were insufficient in 57% of participants and deficient in 23%. People with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have advanced liver fibrosis than those with normal levels of the vitamin (53 vs 13%). Vitamin D levels were also associated with treatment outcomes. Only 40% of people with vitamin D deficiency had a successful response and were cured of hepatitis C. This compared to 85% of people with normal vitamin D levels. The researchers think their findings have implications for the care of people with co-infection who are taking hepatitis C treatment. They are calling for further research to be undertaken to see if vitamin D supplements can improve treatment response rates.

Hepatitis C and mental health

European researchers have issued a consensus statement to guide the management of mental health in people with hepatitis C. Current hepatitis C therapy is based on pegylated interferon. This drug is associated with side-effects including depression, sleep disturbances, fatigue, irritability, cognitive disturbances and thoughts of suicide. The guidelines recommend that people should have a psychological assessment before starting hepatitis C therapy and should be provided with information about the possible neurological and psychological side-effects of their treatment. People with hepatitis C should have their mental and psychological wellbeing monitored throughout the course of hepatitis C therapy. Especially intensive monitoring is recommended for those with pre-existing mental health or addiction problems. The guidelines note that treatment with antidepressants can achieve good results. The authors suggest that people with pre-existing depression should be given antidepressant treatment as soon as they start their hepatitis treatment. Escitalopram is recommended as the first-line antidepressant because of the low risk of interactions. The authors note that there are potential interactions between the new hepatitis C protease inhibitors and some sleeping tablets, antidepressants, antipsychotics, methadone and antiepileptics. However, more information is needed on these interactions. Visit our hepatitis C treatment topics page, for more information, news and features.
   
 
   
     

Fw: Obesity Linked to Chronic Health Problems in People with HIV

From: AIDSmeds <update@aidsmeds.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2012 09:17:50 -0400
To: <nelsonvergel@yahoo.com>
Subject: Obesity Linked to Chronic Health Problems in People with HIV

Fw: News & Views: How We Get to an HIV Vaccine; Facing the Big D; Sustiva and Memory Loss; and More

From: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Date: 11 Oct 2012 13:48:25 -0400
To: <nelsonvergel@yahoo.com>
ReplyTo: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Subject: News & Views: How We Get to an HIV Vaccine; Facing the Big D; Sustiva and Memory Loss; and More

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

October 11, 2012 Top Stories at TheBody.com News & Views Library Change/Update Subscription


BLOG CENTRAL Shana Cozad Shana Cozad: The Sight of Death

“Somewhere in the getting better and getting busy with life, I had gotten married, had two more kids and made a career out of HIV prevention education. Yet somehow I was not listening to my own story of survival. I had lost myself somewhere along the way.”

Dave R. Dave R.: Troubles Ahead for Truvada as Prevention?
“This story about Truvada being used as a prevention tool just gives me the chills. It’s as if they just haven’t taken into account the foibles of human nature when it comes to doing what you’re supposed to do.”

Ria Denise Ria Denise: What? Adherence? What About It?
“I typically tend to go from well to having no energy throughout the day constantly. After a while, it becomes tiring trying to keep up with everything. So I have contemplated stopping medications due to just an abundance of stress.”

Aaron Laxton Aaron Laxton: Facing the Past of Addiction (Video)
“In this video I talk about a moment in which I am reminded of the person that I was when I relapsed on crystal. I have been clean for 265 days and with each day it gets easier. Being in recovery means taking one day at a time.”
spotlight series: pregnancy & hiv
Navigating the joys and challenges of having babies while living with HIV can be daunting. But many families have done it before, as have many health providers. Check out TheBody.com’s Spotlight Series on Pregnancy & HIV for information, stories and advice that we hope will help you on your journey.

pregnancy & HIV/AIDSLet’s Talk About Having Babies — Before and After HIV/AIDS
What’s it like being pregnant and living with HIV? Four HIV-positive moms from different parts of the United States chat about their experiences.

Caring for HIV-Negative Kids (and Yourself) in an “HIV Family”
What happens after your baby is born? Our four HIV-positive moms discuss this vital issue.

Word on the Street: What Did You Expect While You Were Expecting?
Eight birth mamas share lessons learned from their HIV-positive pregnancies.


HIV TREATMENT & HEALTH ISSUES cognitive impairment Sustiva (Efavirenz) May Cause Memory Declines, Study Suggests

A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University indicates that the way the body metabolizes the HIV medication Sustiva (efavirenz) may cause cognitive impairment by damaging nerve cells.

HIV news New York City Health Department Recommends Vaccination for HIV-Positive Men at High Risk of Meningitis
Due to a spike in meningitis cases among New York City men who have sex with men, the city’s health department is advising vaccinations for any HIV-positive man who has had intimate contact with a man he met at a bar/party or through a website/mobile app within the past month.

winding road Aging With HIV: A New Journey
Today, living out a full, long life with HIV is not only common; it’s expected, provided you’re able to access modern HIV treatment and quality health care. And yet, over the past few years, we have only begun to truly grasp exactly what it means to be getting older while living with HIV.

Naina Khanna Securing Care for Women Living With HIV
Five years ago, women surpassed men as the majority of people in the world living with HIV. As women with HIV navigate difficult issues including health care, pregnancy, sexuality and employment, Naina Khanna explains in this Positively Aware article how to secure justice for HIV-positive women.

More Headlines on HIV Treatment & Health Issues:

Connect With Others One Week Post-Diagnosis: How Do I Stay Sane?
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

“It’s almost been a week since I was told I was HIV poz. Things have got a little bit better as it finally starts to sink in. … I’ve only been talking to one guy now that has been helping me through this ’cause he has went through it as well. I’m comfortable with him. It’s impossible to get an appointment with an ID doc that’s not two months away, so my stress level has increased, and my family and I have started calling out-of-state docs. Maybe I’m going a little overboard, but I feel like I need to be seen now. … I hate the fact that I feel so alone, I’ll never love or be loved again, and that nobody wants me. Pretty sure I’m going insane with guilt.”

 — bgmedic

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HIV NEWS & POLICY banging gavel Canadian Supreme Court Outlines When It’s Legal for HIVers Not to Disclose Before Sex

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled last week that HIV-positive people with a low viral load who use condoms during sex do not have a duty to disclose their status to sexual partners. Reaction among activists is deeply mixed.

broken piggy bank Taiwan Health Agency Warns of Growing Cost of HIV Therapy
Taiwanese health officials warn that the cost of free HIV treatment is putting pressure on the nation’s health budget. One official noted that the increase in spending on HIV has limited the funding available for other programs, such as tuberculosis treatment and flu vaccines.

More News & Policy:

Join the Conversation Sergio (From Brazil) on “‘Premature Aging’ and HIV: Dispelling Myths and Calculating Risk

“I am a 48-year-old male who is positive now for 21 years. I am on meds for 11 years. I started meds when my CD4 count was 44. I work out very hard, practice judo and boxing. I am in many senses stronger and healthier than when I was negative. … I love my job, I am married with a 6-year-old daughter, and, in spite of being positive and on meds, I plan to live at least until 80 years old. So, I think that all these studies about aging in positive people are just guidelines, not a plain truth for all positively charged people on earth.”

Read the rest of this comment and join the discussion on this article!

OPINIONS & PERSPECTIVES Rae Lewis-Thornton A Diva Talks About the Cost of Living With HIV (Video)

Like many long-term HIV survivors, Rae Lewis-Thornton didn’t think she would live very long after she was diagnosed with HIV 25 years ago, so she didn’t save money. Now, paying for the meds that keep her alive is a constant worry.

weather vane When Disclosure Is Dangerous: Remembering Cicely Bolden
The murder of an HIV-positive woman after disclosing her status to her boyfriend has spurred a huge debate. But Erin Seatter of Positive Women’s Network BC wonders: In the wake of Cicely Bolden’s death, are we asking ourselves the wrong questions?

Phill Wilson Ending AIDS in Black America, Step Five: Retooling AIDS Organizations
“With biomedical tools rapidly becoming critical to our AIDS response and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) poised to dramatically alter the terrain for health and social services, many AIDS organizations risk becoming wholly irrelevant,” writes Phill Wilson, head of the Black AIDS Institute. “Fortunately, some visionary organizations have already begun to retool.”

More Opinions & Perspectives:

Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
Image from the October 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“Felix,” 1996
Hunter Reynolds

Visit the October 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, "Notes on a Steady Decline," is curated by Steven Evans.


HIV/STD TRANSMISSION & EDUCATION vaccines What Will It Take to Make the Perfect HIV Vaccine?

In just the past few years, the quest for an HIV vaccine has been reinvigorated. But it’s still a slow, challenging process. We asked some of the leading experts in the field what some of the biggest obstacles are to developing a successful HIV vaccine.

Adaora A. Adimora, M.D., M.P.H. Black Women, Society and HIV Risk
HIV physician and researcher Adaora A. Adimora, M.D., M.P.H., understands the importance of personal responsibility and risk reduction in fighting HIV. However, she also believes that “there’s going to need to be more attention paid to some of the social factors that drive people’s behavior and also set them up to acquire infection.”

More Headlines on HIV/STD Transmission & Education:


Worried Your Spam Filter Might Trash Our Mailings? TheBody.com’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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 Movie Event: Celebrate Our History and Build Our Movement

 Call for Abstracts for the 2013 National Af-Am MSM Leadership Conference in L.A.

 Tell Your Representative to Support Cure for AIDS Act!

 Train and Triumph With Team to End AIDS!

 Under Attack: Your Health Care Rights

Of the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, only 25 percent are virally suppressed.

 Of the 1.1 million Americans living with HIV, only 25 percent are virally suppressed.


This is worrisome data that reflects how the world’s biggest super power still has problems getting HIV infected people treated even with access to more than 24 HIV medications and federally funded programs


http://www.thebody.com/content/69009/hiv-in-the-united-states-the-stages-of-care.html?ic=700100

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

From: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Date: 02 Oct 2012 18:43:29 -0400
To: <nelsonvergel@yahoo.com>
ReplyTo: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Subject: Hot Topics at TheBody.com’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

October 2, 2012 Visit the Forums “Hot Topics” Library Change/Update Subscription



Living With HIV  Does Being HIV Positive Decrease My Levels of Testosterone?
Why do HIV-positive men experience testosterone deficiency more than HIV-negative men? What can I do to treat it?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

 How Can a Long-Term Survivor Find More Motivation to Keep Going?
I have been HIV positive for 18 years. I feel like my entire identity has been taken away by HIV. I am a physician myself, but therapy and meds don’t seem to help. I spend most days in bed and have become 50 pounds overweight. I see little reason to go out and feel like I’m poison. I know there are lots of solutions to try, but nothing has worked for me so far. What can I do?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Aging With HIV” forum
Mixed-Status Couples  What Are Some Safer Sex Activities for Mixed-Status Couples?
I am HIV negative, but my partner was recently diagnosed with HIV. We have been together for a couple of months, and have only done mutual masturbation, kissing (not deep), nipple licking and oral sex. The last time we had sex was five days ago, so I’m waiting until after the three-month window period to get tested. However, could I be infected? Which sexual activities reduce the risk of transmission?

Shannon R. Southall responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum
Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns  Do I Have to Tell My Life Insurance Company I’m HIV Positive?
My current job provides free group life insurance, which is a basic plan that covers accidents in the workplace. I purchased an additional policy to increase the death benefit, but the life insurance company does not know I’m HIV positive. Am I legally required to tell them my status?

Jacques Chambers, C.L.U., responds in the “Workplace and Insurance Issues” forum


 Help! My New Co-Worker Keeps Asking if Other Employees Are Gay!
My new co-worker constantly asks me if other fellow co-workers are gay. I’m not gay myself, but this makes me very uncomfortable, especially because I have a feeling she discriminates against gays. I haven’t brought this up with my supervisor yet, but should I?

Jacques Chambers, C.L.U., responds in the “Workplace and Insurance Issues” forum
spotlight series: pregnancy & hiv
Lynn E. Taylor, M.D., F.A.C.P.

We’re happy to announce that Lynn E. Taylor, M.D., F.A.C.P., is now on hand to answer your questions in the Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection forum! Dr. Taylor brings her expertise as an HIV specialist, researcher and lecturer, particularly when it involves HIV and coinfections with hepatitis C and hepatitis B.

Learn more about Dr. Taylor, and ask her a question in the Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection forum!

HIV/AIDS Treatment  Can I Take My Partner’s Meds While I Wait For My Prescription Refill?
I was diagnosed in 2006 and have been on meds ever since. I currently take Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa). However, my prescription runs out in a few days and it’ll take about two weeks before I receive more from ADAP. My partner takes Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). Would it be wise to take his Atripla until my meds get here?

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

 What Is Peripheral Neuropathy and Are My Meds Causing It?
Sometimes my right ankle falls asleep and gets very weak because of pain and electric-like jolts. I have fallen a couple of times because of this. I recently had a nerve conductivity test which was positive for neuropathy. What is neuropathy and what are its causes? Is it because of the Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) I’m taking, or HIV itself?

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  What Caused Me to Start Committing Crimes?
I was diagnosed with HIV in 1990 and AIDS in 1997. I recovered but things got really bad again last year. I’ve been a law-abiding citizen for most of my life, but now I’m facing prison time for numerous burglaries I committed over the past year. I don’t know why I did it. I’ve always worked for everything I’ve owned until now. Please help me understand what’s gone wrong with my mind.

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

 Does HIV Cause Cardiovascular Inflammation?
I read that HIV can cause cardiovascular inflammation, but I’m not sure if this is caused by the virus or the medications. Does a low viral load decrease inflammation? I am concerned because I’ve been positive since 1988 and am not on any medications. My CD4 count stays around 650 and my viral load fluxuates between 3000 and 6000.

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Aging With HIV” forum
Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
Image from the October 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“Disneyland, California, 1979. Photograph by TSENG KWONG CHI, from the Expeditionary Self-Portrait Series 1979-1989.”

Visit the October 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, "Notes on a Steady Decline," is curated by Steven Evans.


Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs  Started Meds With a Low CD4 Count: Will I Ever Get to 500?
I started Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) with a CD4 count of 15. I’m not sure how long I was infected before starting treatment. After six months on Atripla, my viral load is undetectable, but my CD4 count is still around 155. Should I be worried? Will I ever be able to get my CD4 count up around 500?

Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C., responds in the “Understanding Your Labs” forum
News & Opinion  Where Are We With HIV Cure Research?
How long do we have to wait before we see an HIV cure? How far along are we and where can I learn more?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

 Recent Meningitis Outbreak Among HIV-Positive Men in New York City
On Sept. 27, the New York City Dept of Health reported that they were investigating “a cluster of invasive meningococcal disease, commonly known as meningitis, among gay men and men who have sex with men.” The four most recent cases were among men living with HIV, but the report does not mention any specifics about their health or current meds. It mentions that people living with HIV are more at risk than the general population for contracting meningitis. What precautions do we need to take?

Joseph P. McGowan, M.D., F.A.C.P., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum
HIV Transmission  Can HIV Be Transmitted Through Rubbing My Eyes?
I work in a healthcare setting where recently an HIV-positive patient fell onto the floor and several of us had to pick him back up and change his dressing. I wasn’t wearing gloves and I held him by the shoulders. He was very sweaty, but there was no visible blood. Moments later, a co-worker came to help and I put on some latex gloves. After we were finished, I removed my gloves and rubbed my eyes. Is this a risk for HIV?

David Wohl, M.D., responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum

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EXERCISE FOR HIV + PERSONS

EXERCISES FOR HIV +VE PERSONS
Oct 2, 2012

Hi . My name is John. I tested HIV+ abt 5 yrs ago. My CD4 is still over 500, so am only on septrin . I see my doctor every 3 months. I go to the gym @ least 3 times a week but do road work (jogging) every weekend for abt 10KM. Gym work comprise of 15-30 min cardio, then assorted weights .. total 1 hr. I fell am in good health tho sometimes some cough wud come and go with no med.
Question: Is there any recommended training for HIV+? Is there some training that is detrimental to health? I realise my kidney not soo good, does training contribute i any way to kidney deterioration? Note: I eat healthy and take lots of water (more than 8 glasses a day)but kidney been deteriorating and am working.

Response from Mr. Vergel

I would read this article and watch a video I recently made to answer questions like yours:

Exercise and HIV

Nelson’s exercise tips

Let me know if there is any information that these two resources do not cover, please.

Nelson

Novel Cell and Gene Therapies for HIV

Although the development of cell-based and gene transfer therapies has been slow, progress in a number of areas is evident. Advances in the fields of gene-targeting strategies, T-cell-based approaches, and HSCs have been encouraging, and a series of ongoing and planned trials to establish proof of concept for strategies that could lead to successful cell and gene therapies for HIV are under way. The eventual goal of these studies is to eliminate latent viral reservoirs and the need for lifelong antiretroviral therapy.

http://perspectivesinmedicine.org/content/2/10/a007179.full