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Dave R.

HIV, Neuropathy and More: Avoiding Becoming a Nervous Wreck

Crime and Punishment: An International HIV Disclosure Dilemma
October 25, 2012

There are times when many people outside the United States and Canada experience National Enquirer levels of disbelief at what's goes on in parts of North America in the field of sexual behavior and politics. The current criminalization of people with HIV who fail to tell their partners of their status is just such a moment in time. The sex may be safe and the viral load may be undetectable but you can still be charged with using your body and your virus as a murder or assault weapon, if you don't pre-warn that you're living with HIV.

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Truvada: Troubles Ahead?
October 5, 2012

Sometimes a sort of HIV-related sixth sense kicks in and you get that feeling in your water that the latest advance regarding prevention and treatment just doesn't ring true. Do you feel that occasionally? This story about Truvada, being used as a prevention tool, just gives me the chills. It's as if they just haven't taken into account the foibles of human nature when it comes to doing what you're supposed to do.

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Self-Protection Against Cyber Haters and Other Bullies
September 16, 2012

I think many people react quite understandably and sensibly to cyber hate mail by trying to show the bully up as immature and antisocial. However, if the bully thinks he or she has been seen through, that serves to inflame their hatred in a sort of reverse psychology and the situation can become worse. This occasionally leads to what's known as cyber stalking. This most often applies to public figures and celebrities but many HIV-positive people have been the victims of hate campaigns and continued pestering. The bully can apparently find ways to recruit others to his/her cause and uses technology to track the victim's every Internet movement. This can be very alarming, especially if you feel you're being watched at all times -- a classic symptom of being stalked. Upsetting cases have led to exposure in the victim's work environment, as rumors and half truths are spread amongst unwitting colleagues at work. Once in the open, as we all know, Pandora's Box can never be closed. In the end, no reaction at all to the original tweet or comment may be the safest option, however angry or upset you may feel.

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140 Ways to Hate ... Just One to Despair
September 16, 2012

One of the few advantages of getting old is knowing that you really don't have to put up with other people's crap anymore. That said, the first hate mail that hit my inbox shocked me more than I expected. I almost gave up blogging there and then; the hurt was both unexpected and unjust and I had to take several breaths and remind myself that this happens millions of times a day across the world. Then I wondered why people feel the need to vent their hatred on the Internet and what could be done about it.

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Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones
August 31, 2012

You know whatever they say about 50 being the new 40 and 60 being the new 50, well that's all fine and dandy for the super-fit, senior gym bunny, but if you're HIV positive it can be a very different matter, or at least in my case! From my point of view, 50 was the new 60 and 60 was the new 70 and now every new birthday seems to increase in dog years.

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They May Not Be Your Best Friends ... but Doctors Need Love Too! Part Two
July 10, 2012

People have to find the happy medium between passive respect for the doctor and yelling at him or her because you don't hear what you want to hear. We also all need to make adjustments in our approaches and learn to use the wealth of new information available in such a way that a consultation with a doctor becomes a constructive and rewarding process for both sides.

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They May Not Be Your Best Friends ... but Doctors Need Love Too! Part One
July 3, 2012

I often find myself having conflicting feelings about doctors. I've got several specialists, who take care of various complaints both pre and post-HIV and a home doctor who deals with every-day ailments and tries to keep an eye on the big picture too. Sometimes I'm enormously grateful that I live in a country where that's possible and where I don't have to pay extra for any basic medical services. Other times, I seethe with frustration at mistakes, or wrong diagnoses, or misguided treatments.

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Guinea Pigs, Crash Test Dummies and HIV/Neuropathy Treatment
June 14, 2012

It's hard to estimate the impact of the latest news to hit the neuropathy forums (what! we can't have trending stories too?) but anyone who has recently Googled the words HIV and Neuropathy has been confronted by dozens of links referring to the news that Lyrica (or pregabalin) is pretty much useless for treating neuropathic pain. It's not often that the internet neuropathy community (normally a mild-mannered, stoical, too-busy-dealing-with-symptoms folk) spreads a story so quickly across their websites, blogs, forums and chat rooms and when it happens, it's for a good reason!

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Viral Politics, or How They'll Spin You Into Sin!
May 31, 2012

Poorer regions of the world have never been given so much money and support to combat the spread of HIV as during the last ten years, yet despite massive financial back-up for health initiatives, HIV prevalence and rates of infection are increasing in those areas and not shrinking! As a result, while the epidemic is weaker in terms of global statistics; it is expanding and intensifying in specific areas.

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HIV, Neuropathy and More: Avoiding Becoming a Nervous Wreck

Dave R.

Dave R.

English but living since 1986 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. HIV+ since 2004 and a neuropathy patient since 2007. I've seen quite a bit, done quite a bit and bought quite a few t-shirts if you know what I mean; but all that baggage makes me what I am today: a better person I believe, despite it all.

Arriving on, originally, was the end result of getting neuropathy as a side effect of the medication, or the virus, or both. I found it such a vague disease and discovered very little information that wasn't commercially tinged, or scientifically impenetrable, so I decided to create a daily Blog and a website where practical information, hints, tips and experiences for patients could be gathered together in one place.

However, I was also given the chance to write about other aspects of living with HIV and have now contributed more articles about those than about neuropathy. That said, neuropathy remains my 'core subject' although one which unfortunately dominates both my life and that of many other HIV-positive people.

I'm not a doctor or qualified medical expert, just someone with neuropathy and HIV who has spent the last few years researching the illness and trying to create information sources for people who want to know more.

I also have my own personal website and write for

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