What am I going to do now, Nelson?
August 6, 2010
HIV, TB, Hep C, Immune therapies 2010 Pipeline Report
August 10, 2010

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

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August 10, 2010 Visit the Forums “Hot Topics” Library Change/Update Subscription


 Can You Help Me Ease My New Partner’s Mind?
I’m a 40-year-old woman and I contracted HIV from my husband 16 years ago. We divorced about two years ago and I’ve just met someone new. I told him I was HIV positive before we had sex to give him the choice of whether or not to be with me. He says he really likes me but has several fears and concerns, which we’ve discussed. Is there anything else I can tell him from a medical perspective that might ease his mind?

 How Can I Deal With Rejection?
I recently dated my first-ever HIV-negative partner. At the beginning, he said he was fine with my being HIV positive, but when we broke up he threw my HIV status back in my face. I don’t want to limit myself to just dating poz guys, but I don’t think I can keep submitting myself to rejection. I’ve started pulling back from any kind of romance or intimacy — I’m becoming a monk sexually and an icicle emotionally. How can I deal with rejection while continuing to date?


 Will Milk Thistle Interact With My HIV Meds?
I’m taking Combivir (AZT/3TC) and Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) right now. Is it safe to take milk thistle along with these HIV meds to prevent future liver problems? Are there any studies planned looking at this herbal supplement?

 Effective Supplement — or “Placebo Effect”?
How can people taking supplements tell the difference between real benefits and “the placebo effect”? How long does the placebo effect last?

Also Worth Noting: Visual AIDS

Image from the August 2010 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
“Debutantes” 1992; Frank Moore

Visit the August 2010 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, entitled “The Infidels’ Hallelujah,” is curated by Guy Bérubé and Francesco Corsaro.


 Missing Work Due to Side Effects: What Are My Options?
I take Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) and side effects have caused me to miss many days of work. I’ve used all my paid time off and extended sick leave. Should I give notice and just start collecting unemployment?


 I’m Even Resistant to Experimental Treatments: What Can I Do Now?
For about a year I participated in a clinical trial of ibalizumab (TNX-355), an entry inhibitor in development for HIVers with resistance to many meds. In the beginning my virus became undetectable, but then it developed resistance to the study drug. I’m now taking Aptivus (tipranavir), Norvir (ritonavir), Trizivir (AZT/3TC/abacavir) and Viread (tenofovir). Can you weigh in on the progress of current studies of meds for treatment-experienced HIVers?

 How Do I Figure Out What’s Causing My Chronic Fatigue?
I have been battling chronic fatigue since I was diagnosed with HIV 10 years ago. I’ve had a number of stressors in my life recently, and I’ve started taking vitamin B12. I’ve also been managing wheat, sugar and dairy allergies through diet modification. I should be feeling great but I’m not. What else can I do?

 Why Am I Gaining So Much Weight on My New HIV Med Regimen?
I started taking Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) a month ago. When I started taking this regimen I had a CD4 count of zero and my viral load was well over 300,000. Since starting this regimen I have gained about 23 pounds. Do you have any idea why this would happen, since I haven’t changed my eating or exercise habits?

More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment & Side Effects:


 Could Reinfection Have Caused My Boyfriend’s Lymphoma?
My boyfriend was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. He’s on HIV meds with an undetectable viral load, while my viral load is 70,000. We’ve been having unprotected sex for three months. Is it possible that I reinfected him with my detectable virus, and that that eventually caused his lymphoma?

 HIV Positive and Diabetic: How Can I Reduce My Need for Diabetic Treatment?
I’m HIV positive with a great CD4 count and an undetectable viral load, and I have type 2 diabetes. My blood sugar levels aren’t well controlled and my doctor wants me to start injections, but I want to stay with oral meds. I don’t exercise and weigh 280 pounds. What do you suggest I do?

Connect With Others
Can Anyone Recommend Books or Stories About Living With HIV?
(A recent post from the “I Just Tested Positive” board)

I’m a 25-year-old gay male newly diagnosed with HIV. Was wondering if anyone could recommend any books? I’m looking for inspiring stories, personal experiences, etc. Anybody know of anything good? — strong3

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 Should My PEP Regimen Be the Same as the Person’s to Whose Virus I Was Exposed?
If a condom breaks while I’m having sex with an HIV-positive guy who’s on HIV meds with an undetectable viral load, and I can find out what meds he’s taking, should my post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) regimen match the meds he takes?

 I Know Oral Sex Carries Low Risk for HIV — but What About Other STDs?
I’m a 50-year-old man who usually plays it safe, but I recently gave a stranger a blow job and didn’t use a condom. He had no visible sores and didn’t cum in my mouth. I understand my HIV risk from this encounter is very low, but if he had syphilis or another STD (sexually transmitted disease), would bumps or sores have to be present in order for me to become infected?


 Head-Over-Heels Infected?
I scratched myself on the leg with the heel of my own shoe, and the scratch is red and puffy. The day before, I remember stepping in disgusting gutter water and on dirty cement, and I even visited my uncle in the hospital. If there was HIV-infected blood on something I put my heel on, and then 20 hours later I scratched myself with that heel, is there any chance I could get HIV this way?

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Nelson Vergel
Nelson Vergel
Chemical engineer, 34+ year HIV and cancer survivor, health author and educator . Founder of DiscountedLabs.com , ExcelMale.com , and PowerUSA.org

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