November 15, 2011
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 How Can We Support the Cure -- and the Man Who Was Cured?
If I want to send money to the best activist group working on cure research advocacy, who should I send it to? Also, I've heard that "Berlin patient" Timothy Brown isn't doing well financially. We shouldn't allow our only living cured person to be neglected by our community. Where can we learn more about Timothy Brown, and lend him some support?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Doing Well on Meds: Do My Partner and I Still Need to Use Condoms?
My partner and I are on HIV meds (different regimens) and we both respond very well to them. Is there really a risk that one of us will acquire or develop a drug-resistant strain of the virus and pass it on to the other?

Richard Cordova responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum


BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS


 Can I Inject Egrifta Less Frequently Than Once a Day?
I've been taking Egrifta (tesamorelin) for a year to reduce belly fat. Now that it's been a year, would it be all right to lower my dosage to less than every day? Doing so would save money as well as injection pain. Do you know what would happen if I only took it one to two times per week?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the November 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Soap Suds," 1980
Jimmy DeSana

Visit the November 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "i am anyone," is curated by Anthony Allen.

HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 How Do My 2 Regimen Options Compare to One Another?
According to my doctor, I have two options regarding which HIV med regimen to take next: Combivir (AZT/3TC) and Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) or Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Which would you recommend, and why?

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


 Stopped Taking HIV Meds and Feeling Great: Why Should I Start Again?
I've been HIV positive for 15 years. Two years after being diagnosed I started taking Crixivan (indinavir). Since then I've tried Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC), then Lexiva (fosamprenavir, Telzir), Norvir (ritonavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). For years I dealt with belly fat accumulation and a number of other terrible side effects, in addition to being severely clinically depressed. Two years ago I made a decision to stop taking my meds. I feel so much better and more alive! What are the potential consequences of my decision? Do you have any other feedback?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Does My New Poo Schedule Mean My Meds Aren't Being Absorbed?
I've been taking Norvir (ritonavir), Prezista (darunavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) for six months; it's restored my CD4 count to a decent level, and my viral load is undetectable. In the past month I've noticed a change in my digestive transit. I used to have one bowel movement a day, in the morning (I take my pills with dinner, around 8 p.m.), but now I go about two hours after I take the pills. Is this enough time for the pills to digest? Will going to the bathroom so soon after taking them mean the level of medication in my body will be lower?

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


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 What Do You Think of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
I'm a 47-year-old man, 14 years poz and going strong! However, I have slowly watched my testosterone level drop from the mid-normal range to its current low, out-of-normal range. I have an incredibly hard time getting an erection and even when I do and can ejaculate, it's hardly stiff. At my age I'm not ready to give up on sex. I'm about to go see an endocrinologist about testosterone replacement therapy. What are your thoughts about it? What are the risks, and what results have you heard reported?

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


 Can HIV-Positive Couples Have HIV-Negative Babies?
We're an HIV-positive couple and we've both been on HIV treatment for 10 years. Can we produce a child who's HIV negative? What are some important things to remember should the female partner get pregnant?

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


Connect With Others

Paying for HIV Meds: When Our Time Comes, What Are the Options?
(A recent post from the "Treatment & Side Effects" board)

We are a newly diagnosed couple waiting for all of our bloodwork to come back. We know I will likely have ADAP assistance in paying for meds, but my partner (a teacher whose insurance will not cover any HIV meds) will have no help. He makes "too much."

What are the options -- ALL OF THEM? Seriously. What do any of you have to share? Does anyone have suggestions or stories? Does he quit his job? Do we move? I know we may not even need to start meds just yet, but I need to know what help there is out there. If I know nothing my mind goes to a place where I'm scared we're going to be homeless and have no meds. -- HIVhilarity11

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UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 Viral Load Stays "a Little Bit Detectable": Should I Get a Resistance Test?
My viral load has been about 100, and intermittently undetectable (but not consistently), since I started taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) more than two years ago. My last labs showed my viral load went up to 584, though I did have a cold at the time. My doctor seemed unconcerned and said we'd see what the next labs show in three months. Does the increased viral load indicate the beginning of treatment failure? What are your thoughts on all this?

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


HIV TRANSMISSION


 Does Having HPV Put Me at Greater Risk for HIV?
I had receptive oral sex 36 days ago. I have the human papillomavirus (HPV). Do the effects of HPV increase my chance of getting HIV from my recent oral encounter?

Richard Cordova responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum



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