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May 15, 2012
FDA Advisors Endorse Truvada to Prevent HIV Infection–But Big Questions Remain
May 17, 2012

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

From: “News at The Body” <update@news.thebody.com>
Date: 15 May 2012 17:08:06 -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

May 15, 2012 Visit the Forums “Hot Topics” Library Change/Update Subscription

Living With HIV  Should I Tell My Exercise Trainer I’m HIV Positive?
In addition to being HIV positive for the past 10 years, I also have seven heart stents and see my doctors regularly. I maintain as healthy a diet as possible and take all my medications. I turned 50 last year and decided to join a gym and get a trainer. I see the trainer two times a month and trust his knowledge. Knowing my HIV status might influence what kinds of exercises my trainer gives me to do, but I’m not sure I should disclose. How important is it for a trainer to know a client’s HIV-positive status? How much are trainers usually taught about HIV and body shape when they’re becoming certified?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

 How Can I Trust the Hospital That Broke My Confidentiality?
I stopped taking my HIV meds due to the fact that the staff at the hospital in my city where I go for care informed my employer that I was HIV positive, and I was fired. How can I trust any of the doctors or their recommendations when their hospital’s staff broke the law in this way?

Christa Douaihy, Esq., responds via the “Mental Health and HIV” forum
Mixed-Status Couples  How Can I Disclose to My Out-of-State Partner?
I’m a heterosexual HIV-positive woman. I met a guy while visiting out of my state. Since I’ve been back home he’s still been very engaged with me, and he wants a serious long-term relationship. I want to tell him I’m HIV positive before we get more involved, but find it difficult to tell him over the phone. Should I wait until we have a face-to-face meeting? What should I say? How can I start the conversation?

Shannon R. Southall responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum
Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns  What’s the Best U.S. State for HIV Coverage and Benefits?
I’m a 52-year-old bi man and I’ve been HIV positive for 33 years. I was an HIV nurse during and after the onset of the epidemic. I have 700 T cells and I’ve worked with great doctors in the past. I’ve also lived in several U.S. states and had wildly different experiences accessing care in each place. I currently live in Riverside County, Calif., which has become a nightmare as far as coverage for indigent clients. Should I go back to a state where I got great care years ago? Do you have a sense of what the best states are for HIV care access nowadays?

Jacques Chambers, C.L.U., responds in the “Workplace and Insurance Issues” forum
Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists
Image from the May 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
“In the Scheme of Things,” 1997
Jerry Hooten

Visit the May 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, "Jungle Pussy," is curated by Yeni Mao.

HIV/AIDS Treatment  How Do I Keep My Kidneys Healthy?
I’m a 40-year-old man and I was diagnosed HIV positive almost two years ago. I was on Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for 17 months and just switched to Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) about two months ago. My CD4 count is 440, my percentage is 20 and my viral load is undetectable. I’ve heard that Truvada can do irreversible damage to a person’s kidneys even if they stop taking that regimen. Is this true? How can I maintain my kidney health and reduce my risk of kidney damage on Truvada?

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

 When Is My HIV Med Regimen Likely to Fail?
I’m 59, HIV positive less than two years, my viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is now over 1,600. I read that 75 percent of people living with HIV and taking meds will eventually learn they have to switch to different meds; the virus evolves and outsmarts their regimen. Is this accurate? How would age factor into this? How much time might I have before Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) stop working for me?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Aging With HIV” forum

 How Should I Make the Switch From Sustiva to Reyataz?
I’ve been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) since I was diagnosed with HIV in 2009. My lab results are great — my viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is 720. However, I’m considering switching to Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) due to major depression from the Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) in Atripla. I’ve heard that Sustiva remains in the body for a while after we stop taking it. How exactly should I proceed with the switch?

Joseph P. McGowan, M.D., F.A.C.P., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum
Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS  What Could Be Causing My Swollen Lymph Nodes?
A few weeks ago, I noticed a large lump in my right armpit. The fact that it didn’t ache concerned me, as I’ve always heard those are the ones to keep an eye on for things like cancer. My doctor was concerned, but then the swelling went down. All I can feel now is a few pea-sized nodes where the lump was. I’ve been told normal nodes should be that size and that you should be able to feel them, but I don’t feel any in my other armpit. I’ve read lymphoma can start off this way, with lymph nodes slowly swelling, and then it spreads. I’ve been feeling bad lately with fatigue and dizziness. Should I be worried?

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

 Should I Find Out if There’s HIV in My Spinal Fluid?
I’m 45 years old and I’ve been HIV positive for 18 months. I currently take Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa) and Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and have been doing very well, with most lab results in healthy ranges. As I get older I’ll be keeping an eye out for potential health issues, and dementia is one I’m particularly concerned about. I understand that it’s especially important for older HIVers to be on meds that have proven to easily pass through to the brain and spinal fluids to prevent HIV replication in those areas. What does current research suggest? Should I get my doctor to test my spinal fluid for HIV? Are these tests painful?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum
Connect With Others To Start or Not to Start HIV Meds?
(A recent post from the "Treatment & Side Effects" board)

So I am newly diagnosed with HIV and am trying to deal with this the best that I can. I visited my ID doctor today and my CD4 count was 680 and my viral load is 5,160, so he suggested that I start a regimen, so that my CD4 count doesn’t lower and cause me any issues. I am in great shape, with no symptoms (ever) of HIV. I’m so confused; should I start meds now? How have others made this decision?

I was diagnosed a few months ago, but have no idea when I contracted the virus; however I know from whom. …. I’d also love to hear people’s stories of dealing with HIV, since I don’t know anyone with HIV personally except my ID doctor. — melisss19195

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Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs  Why Is My CD4 Count Staying so Low?
I’ve been taking HIV treatment since 2008. I always take my meds on time, I take care of myself and I’m planning to have a baby with my husband. I avoid stress, practice yoga, have limited my nights out, always get eight hours sleep, and eat healthily. All this being the case, why after five years is my CD4 count only 206? When I first got diagnosed my CD4 count was almost 70. Shouldn’t it have progressed more by now? What is going on?

Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C., responds in the “Understanding Your Labs” forum
HIV Transmission  What’s the Difference Between Occupational and Non-Occupational PEP?
What’s the difference between the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) meds a person is given when they have a potential exposure to HIV at work versus “at play”? Could non-occupational PEP (nPEP) be less effective? Why are two meds sometimes prescribed while other times three or even four different meds are suggested?

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

 Is a Gay Man With Crohn’s Disease at Greater Risk for HIV?
Does having Crohn’s disease make it easier for a person to acquire HIV through unprotected receptive anal sex? If so, how does that increased risk work?

Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C., responds in the “Understanding Your Labs” forum

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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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