June 7, 2011
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 How Can I Keep My CD4 Count From Falling?
My CD4 count is 690. I'm not taking HIV meds yet but I do doctor visits every three months to monitor my HIV health. Is there anything else I can do to help hold onto my CD4 cells?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Newly Diagnosed: What Are My Open-Enrollment Insurance Options at Work?
I tested HIV positive six months ago. I've been working for the same company for five years. I'm currently covered under my company's group health and life insurance policy. I have a small $25,000 insurance policy. I also set up a $600 flexible spending account that has really helped with my doctor visit co-pays. Our open enrollment period will begin within the next few weeks. Will I be able to increase my life insurance? Would I qualify for short- or long-term disability coverage? Could my new HIV status jeopardize my flexible spending account?

Lynn Franzoi responds in the "Workplace and Insurance Issues" forum


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 How Do I Tell My Partner I'm HIV Positive?
We're a gay couple. We've been intimate, and I see our relationship really going somewhere. I just don't know how to tell him I'm HIV positive, and in what atmosphere. Should I sit him down and come out and say it? Should I take him out for a nice dinner, then tell him after he's finished his steak?

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


BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS


 Fat Loss Around the Eyes: How Do You Treat It?
I'm 25 years old and I've been taking HIV meds for two years. I've read some past responses of yours from 2008 noting your preference for Radiesse (calcium hydroxylapatite, Radiance) in correcting deep under-eye lipoatrophy. Three years later, Juvaderm and Restylane are popular for use in this area, with less "lumpy-bumpiness" reported than with Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid, New-Fill) or Radiesse. Has your practice shifted to using either of these? What are your current recommendations?

Gerald Pierone, M.D., responds in the "Facial Wasting" forum


where were you when aids began?

Word on the StreetThis past Sunday, June 5, marks the 30th anniversary of the first-ever report on the illness that would come to be known as AIDS. To commemorate the day, we asked community members of all ages what they were up to 30 years ago -- and at what point they first became conscious of HIV/AIDS. Read others' responses, and feel free to add your own in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

You can view more articles, reflections, events and blog entries about the anniversary on TheBody.com's 30 years of AIDS index page.



HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 What Do You Know About Edurant, the Latest HIV Med?
How does the HIV med Edurant (rilpivirine, TMC278), recently approved in the U.S., compare to other options for first-line HIV treatment? What do we know so far about the advantages and drawbacks to taking this drug?

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


 Are Stomach Burning and Bloating Side Effects of Isentress?
I was on Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for four years and had problems sleeping because of the Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) component of it. My doctor and I had a long conversation and I switched to Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). I started the new treatment last week and am sleeping much better, but have a burning sensation in my stomach and feel a little bloated. Is this a temporary side effect or do you think it'll last?

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


 Could Meth Use Have Done Long-Term Damage?
About seven years ago I engaged in intravenous meth use. This went on for about a year and a half. During that time I became HIV positive. I haven't used since then and am well off the drugs. My CD4 count was 150 at its lowest, which was right before I went on HIV meds. I've never been able to get higher than about 425 though I've remained adherent to my meds and my viral load has stayed undetectable. Could my meth use have had lasting repercussions?

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


 How Often Should HIVers Have Their Bone Density Checked?
I'm 45 years old and I've been HIV positive for 20 years. Considering that bone loss is connected to longtime HIV infection, how often should DEXA (bone density) scans be performed on people living with HIV? I had one a year ago; is it too soon for another?

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


Connect With Others

My Partner and I Tested Positive Together, But He's Doing Better Than I Am!
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

It has been really hard the past week trying to get my mind around the fact that we have HIV. Luckily my partner's numbers are good; mine are not good at all, though I am told once I get on meds they will get much better. Scared and feel like an emotional wreck. My partner is taking this much better than I. He is just moving through the process and it does not seem to be fazing him. Might be that he has other problems that he has to deal with daily and has since he was 5, so he accepts his body needs help to go on, while I am used to being well and just charging on. Can anyone else relate? -- DAH13

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UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 What's the Difference Between Creatine and Creatinine?
My creatinine level is a little high. Before I was diagnosed with HIV I used to take a creatine supplement on a regular basis. Could that be the reason for my elevated levels of creatinine? What's the connection between the two?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


HIV TRANSMISSION


 If I'm HIV Positive and I Get Someone Pregnant, Is She Definitely Infected?
If an HIV-positive man has unprotected sex with an HIV-negative woman and impregnates her, does that automatically mean she's become HIV positive? Is there any chance of her staying HIV negative after such an encounter?

Robert J. Frascino, M.D., responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum



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Activist Central

 Action Alert: Urge Secretary Clinton to Address Housing in Next Week's Speech to the UN


 Call to Action: Sign a Petition to Support Youth Participation in Global HIV/AIDS Decision-Making


 Action Alert: Condemn NY Post for Revealing Strauss-Kahn Victim Lives in AIDS Housing


 Join June 8 NYC Rally at Critical UN Meeting on HIV/AIDS


 Tell Washington, D.C. to Fully Fund ADAP and Other HIV/AIDS Programs to Prevent Needless Deaths


 NMAC's ADAP Action Campaign: Get Free Flip Video Camera to Collect Stories