October 4, 2011
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 What Could Be Causing My Low Sex Drive?
I'm 60 years old and I've been HIV positive for 10 years. My CD4 count is in the 200s and my viral load is undetectable. My partner of 13 years and I have always been extremely sexual, in addition to our great relationship, but lately my libido has been close to zero. Even self-stimulation isn't successful. Is it because of my low testosterone levels? What are some other causes, and what can I do about them?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Young, Depressed and Newly Diagnosed: How Can I Cope?
I'm 17 years old, and in June I was diagnosed with HIV. I live with my father (my mother passed away in 2008) and he doesn't quite understand what I'm going through. When I try to tell him something about how I'm feeling or about HIV, he gets really angry and yells. I've been really stressed out because of that reason and others, including school and getting ready for college. Is there any way to deal with stress and depression without taking antidepressants?

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


BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS


 What Can Be Done About Facial Nodules Caused by Sculptra?
I had Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid, New-Fill) injections four years ago, and some nodules formed. After a few years they went down. Now that I've had intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy done on my face, the nodules have returned. Are there treatments available for minimizing or removing these nodules?

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


 Is Egrifta Worth a Shot a Day?
I've had increased belly fat for over a year and a half. I've read about the new drug Egrifta (tesamorelin) for visceral fat reduction in HIVers. Is it worth injecting myself with it every day? What are the odds that it will actually work?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the October 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"HIV/AIDS Obituary Chair," 1994
Kurt Reynolds

Visit the October 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Stereopsis," is curated by Andrew Blackley.

HIV/AIDS & HEPATITIS C TREATMENT


 Should I Switch to the New One-a-Day Pill Complera?
I've been taking Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) since I was diagnosed two years ago. My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is in the 600 range. I've had bad gut side effects with this combination, as well as lipodystrophy and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. I know my HIV meds have been working for me, but I'd love to only take one pill per day. Might I have the same benefits with fewer side effects if I switched to Complera (rilpivirine/tenofovir/FTC)?

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


 What's the Latest on a Functional Cure for HIV?
I've been seeing a lot of news articles recently about Sangamo BioSciences' study into a possible functional cure for HIV. What exactly are they looking at?

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


 Newly Diagnosed With Hepatitis C: When Should I Start Treatment?
I've been HIV positive for 15 years and I take Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC); my CD4 count is 500. I was exposed to hepatitis C (HCV) around mid-July. I went to my doctor for tests in August. I didn't have HCV antibodies but my doctor found that I did indeed have the virus in my blood. My doctor suggested I start HCV treatment, but I want to hold off for as long as possible as I have a high-pressure job that involves lots of travel. How long can I wait before starting treatment?

Barbara McGovern, M.D., responds in the "Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection" forum


More Questions About HIV/AIDS & Hepatitis C Treatment:


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 Androgel and Arimidex: Will This Unusual Protocol Work Against Hypogonadism?
I have secondary hypogonadism (low testosterone), and my endocrinologist put me on Arimidex (anastrozole) and Androgel. What do you think of this combination? Will it affect my ability to have children someday?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Should I Find an HIV-Positive Mental Health Provider?
Do you think it's important that a mental health provider be HIV positive in order to understand his or her HIV-positive clients? Is there any way to find counselors in the HIV community that are open about their HIV-positive status?

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


Connect With Others

My Boyfriend's Visiting and My Viral Load's High: How Can We Be Sexual and Keep Safe?
(A recent post from the "Gay Men" board)

This is my first post on these bulletin boards. I was recently infected which means that my viral load is astronomically high. In between being infected and being diagnosed I fell for an HIV-negative guy and he is coming to town this weekend.

I am not feeling very sexual at all but are there safer ways that I can still show him that I am still tremendously sexually attracted to him? My fear is that I will get too into my thoughts and not be as adventurous as I know that we both enjoy. Does anyone have any advice or tips? -- Steelers07

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UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 Will My CD4 Count Ever Reach 500?
Ever since I was diagnosed with HIV in 1995 my CD4 count has hovered around the 200 mark. The lowest it's ever been is 40; then I started HIV meds in 2005. Recently I was astonished to find it had peaked at 350, the highest it's ever been in 15 years. I see on this site that people should start treatment if their CD4 count is 500 or below, but mine seems to be naturally low. I have never had a day's illness in all these years. Should I be worried that I have only ever attained 350 CD4 cells at once?

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


HIV TRANSMISSION


 Can an HIV-Positive Person Be Reinfected?
Can someone who has been diagnosed HIV positive be reinfected by another person also living with HIV? Is it possible for someone to know if their strain is the same one their partner has?

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



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