LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS
Can I Still Be Eligible for My Spouse’s Insurance Once We’re Divorced?
I’m HIV positive and my wife and I are going through a divorce. She works for a large pharmaceutical company and we’ve had great health insurance. Is there anything I can do once the divorce is final to continue with that coverage?
What Are the Different Kinds of Protein Shakes Available?
I’ve been working out for a year and want to start taking protein shakes. What are the different types I can choose from? Do you recommend any in particular?
How Does HIV-2 Differ From HIV-1?
If HIV-2 is detected early and a person has access to proper medication, is his or her lifespan different from that of someone infected with the more common HIV-1? Does HIV-2 respond to the meds currently on the market?
How Can I Help My Partner Cope With His HIV Diagnosis?
My partner just got diagnosed HIV positive. It hasn’t changed the way I feel about my partner; however, I feel he’s completely closing off from me. I try to reassure him with information but he’s finding that overwhelming. We’re both seeing a counselor, but separately — the counselor says my partner is the highest priority and any “couple stuff” has to wait, and my partner agrees. I’m there 100 percent for my partner but I’m feeling like there’s no one there to support or understand my needs. I also have to be tested again in a couple of weeks, and my partner refuses to accept that the result may be positive. Do you have any advice at all?
Last month, TheBody.com asked, “If you had the chance to create your own World AIDS Day HIV awareness public service announcement (PSA), what would you say? What message would you want to get across?” We sent out a call for video PSAs to answer those questions, and you responded!
We picked our favorite entries, and now it’s time for you to pick yours. You have until 11:59 p.m. tonight, Nov. 30, to watch the videos and rate each from 1 to 5. We’ll announce the videos with the highest overall scores on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.
BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS
Why Is Exercise Making Me Gain Fat?
Since I started exercising I’ve noticed an increase in fat in my stomach and chest area. I am a 5-foot-6-inch-tall man, so this weight gain is very comfortable. I take Isentress (raltegravir), Videx (didanosine, ddI) and Viread (tenofovir). I’ve also tried testosterone therapy without any positive results. What can I do?
What Are Some Options for Treating Belly Fat Gain?
Is there anything that can be taken for belly fat gain, besides HGH (human growth hormone), which is not affordable or even recommended for this condition? I’ve tried everything — including a tummy tuck, which failed. Serostim (somatropin) clinical trials made the belly fat go away, but then the trials ended and it came back. What else can I do?
HIV/AIDS TREATMENT & SIDE EFFECTS
What Can I Do About Sexual-Performance Issues?
I started taking Epivir (lamivudine, 3TC), Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Zerit (stavudine, d4T) in 2004. Since then my sexual performance has deteriorated. Could this be a result of the meds? How can I counter this problem?
Are My Meds Causing Hair Loss?
Since my diagnosis a year ago I’ve been taking Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC), and for the past two months I’ve experienced an alarming amount of hair loss. I am female, not on any hormone therapy, my menstrual cycles are normal and I follow the recommended nutrition and vitamin program for HIV. I’ve been informed that hair loss is a side effect of the combination of these drugs. Is this true?
More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment & Side Effects:
OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS
What Can I Do About Night Sweats?
Are there any meds recommended for treating frequent night sweats in HIVers?
Tasting and Smelling Sweetness Everywhere: What Could Be Wrong?
I’ve been extremely tired lately (I can sleep all day and night), and when I wake up in the morning my night sweat smells sickeningly sweet. When I urinate it smells like someone poured syrup directly into it. During the day my breath smells like I’ve been stuffed full of fruit. I’m constantly thirsty and drink more than six liters of water a day, yet I have dry mouth all the time. I bought some dipsticks which showed I have 100 mg/dl of glucose in my urine. Should I be alarmed?
More Questions About Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS:
Will HIV Specialists Always Take This Much of My Blood?
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)
Today I went for my first round of lab work before my first appointment with the specialist. The blood work was a horrible experience. Seven vials of blood! I got sick, sweaty, almost passed out.
Does this ever get better? Is the blood work that extensive throughout the entire treatment of HIV? How have others dealt with this? — RL9141
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UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS
Why Is My CD4 Count Dropping?
Two months ago I was given an AIDS diagnosis. My viral load was 964,000 and my CD4 count was six. Two weeks later my viral load was 50,000 and my CD4 count was 66. Today my viral load is 21,000 and my CD4 count is five. I’m on Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC), along with Bactrim (co-trimoxazole) for PCP (pneumocystis pneumonia) prevention. Should I be concerned? Is this to be expected when first starting treatment?
HIV & HEPATITIS C TRANSMISSION
Where Are the Studies of Transmission Risk for Oral Sex Under Different Conditions?
Have any studies shed light on the degree to which the HIV transmission risk of unprotected oral sex increases under certain circumstances? For instance, in a scenario in which an HIV-negative person performs oral sex on an HIV-positive person and has some form of throat or mouth infection present, and takes ejaculate into the mouth, would this increase the risk from 1 in 10,000 to, say, 1 in 5,000? Is it possible to tell?
Can Hepatitis C Be Transmitted Through Saliva?
For years it’s been said that hepatitis C (HCV) is not a sexually transmitted disease and that it can’t be transmitted any way other than blood, but my years of experience tell a different story. What do you know about HCV transmission through saliva?
STRANGE BUT TRUE
Making My Own Latte With Extra Foam
During a recent trip to a country with high HIV rates, I had some funny-tasting coffee. I spat most of it out, but I started thinking that there might have been semen in the coffee. So I experimented by putting some of my own semen into a cup of water and drinking it. The taste and texture were very similar to the coffee I had abroad, so I concluded that it WAS someone’s semen in the coffee. Is there any risk of HIV transmission this way?
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