Fwd: Hot Topics: Our Inner Demons; How Bad Is Smoking?; Once-Monthly Treatment?; and More

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July 9, 2014 Visit the Forums Read Past Email Newsletters Change/Update Subscription

Living With HIV/AIDS  Living With Our Doubts, and Our Inner Demons
To the person who wrote last week about trying to commit suicide: I think that you are right that we are suffering a sort of post-traumatic stress disorder, both from the past and from the present we live. This is not a question, just insight on how some of us are not doing well out here and not knowing how to do a thing about it.

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Aging With HIV” forum

 Is Smoking While HIV Positive Really So Bad?
I just tested positive for HIV, and I smoke one or two cigarettes a day, as well as some weed and the occasional electric cigar. How much will continuing like this worsen my situation or hurt my CD4 count?

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

 Day One With HIV: Coping With an HIV Diagnosis While in College
thumbnail image for blurb“Needless to say, my life is a mess and the future that was once so clear seems so blurred and uncertain,” Jason Q writes. “I am simply looking to my graduation day, and trying to overcome the depression I have been fighting since my day one.

HIV/AIDS Treatment  How Soon Will We Have Once-a-Month HIV Meds?
Do you have any good guess as to when those injectable once-per-month medications I’ve read about will be available to treat HIV?

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

 Is It Wise to “Undo” a Regimen Switch?
I was on Atripla for four years — viral load undetectable, no drug resistance, CD4 count of 600 — but switched to Stribild last week upon my doctor’s suggestion. I am having very hard time adjusting to it. Are my symptoms normal — and even if they are, would it be OK to switch back to Atripla so quickly?

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

 Can One Missed Dose Spell Resistance?
I’ve been on Stribild for over four months and haven’t missed a dose, but I’m scared that I’m going to miss one at some point. If I do, will it make me resistant?

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

 A Guide to Talking to Your Health Care Provider About HIV Treatment Issues
thumbnail image for blurbWe realize that, if you’re doing things that hurt your ability to adhere to your HIV treatment, your HCP won’t always feel like the easiest person to confide in. But if you want your treatment to work, you and your health care team have to work as partners. You don’t have to do this alone.

Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS  How Do I Manage Heart Health When Statins Aren’t an Option?
I have been HIV positive for 30 years, and have had great results with my meds. But my total cholesterol is over 225 (LDL 150) and my triglycerides are close to 300. I have horrible side effects when using statins. At what point should I consider switching HIV meds to lower cholesterol?

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

 Can I Do Anything About Itchy Skin Bumps?
When I started to take my antiretrovirals seven months ago, I developed very itchy pimple-like bumps on my scalp, face, neck, and all the way down to my legs. I always wear long sleeves or a jacket because I’m too shy too show off my arms. My doctor says it will go away, but I need help managing this now!

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

 Can Antibiotics Be Dangerous for People With HIV?
I’ve been on HIV treatment for two years, and have also been prescribed antibiotics throughout that time. My CD4 count is 230 and climbing slowly. However, I have heard many times that antibiotics should not be “overused” — does that go for us HIV-positive people as well?

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

 Spotlight Series on Hepatitis C
thumbnail image for blurbWe’re in the midst of a dramatic evolution in hepatitis C management. TheBodyPRO.com‘s exclusive spotlight series on HCV captures the latest developments with a range of overviews, research updates, expert interviews, educational materials and new information.

how do you #LiveBold?
thumbnail image for blurbEach of us knows all too well how deeply stigma can affect the lives of people with HIV. We also know how much HIV-positive people do, day in and day out, to push back against that stigma.

TheBody.com‘s sister site, HealthCentral, is honoring that fight against stigma with a photo contest that gives you a chance to make a statement — and potentially win some cash in the process.

The “Live Bold, Live Now” Photo Contest invites people who are living with a significant health issue to share their story by July 11; public voting will determine the winners of a $500 first prize, $250 second prize and $100 third prize.

Several HIV-positive people have already submitted their stories. Visit the photo contest entry post on HealthCentral’s Facebook page to see them, and to submit your own story!

News & Opinion  How Can I Support My Newly Diagnosed Friend?
Not even 24 hours ago I found out a very dear friend of mine is HIV positive. Is there anything I should know? Other than shock I don’t see him any differently, but I just want to be educated in any way possible to be there for him.

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

 Is HIV Treatment Truly a “Functional Cure”?
I disagree with the theory that people living with HIV are already “functionally cured” if they are on antiretroviral therapy. If that’s true, then why must we disclose our status even if we are undetectable and practically unable to transmit the virus?

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

 HIV Management in Depth: Exploring Key Issues in HIV Care
thumbnail image for blurbOur flagship interview series on TheBodyPRO.com features important discussions with some of the brightest minds and most active figures in HIV treatment, research, prevention and activism. Browse our latest additions!

Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs  19 vs. 56: Is There a Difference Between Extremely Low Viral Loads?
While I was volunteering for a study, I would consistently get viral load results back that were “less than 20.” Most recently, though, my viral load was 56. My doctor doesn’t seem concerned, but does suddenly becoming “detectable” mean I’m becoming resistant to my meds?

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

 Can I Ever Fully Recover From a Super-Low CD4 Count?
I was diagnosed in June 2011 with CD4 count of 43. Since starting treatment, my CD4 slowly climbed to around 260, where it has hovered. Why won’t it keep climbing?

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

HIV Transmission  What’s the “Real” Risk of Heterosexual Transmission?
I’m HIV positive, but since I started meds I’ve always had an undetectable viral load. I’m also circumcised and have no other STDs. I’m wondering: What is the real percentage chance of transmitting HIV to my female partner if we don’t use condoms?

Shannon R. Southall responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum

 PEP Regimens: Do the Specific Drugs Matter?
I was abroad on vacation when my condom broke during sex with a stranger. Doctors prescribed me post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) consisting of Truvada and Kaletra, but due to drug access problems with the Truvada, they said it’d be fine to just take the Kaletra alone if I need to. Are they right?

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

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