December 6, 2011
Visit the Forums
"Hot Topics" Library
Change/Update Subscription


LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 Post-Traumatic Stress and Long-Term HIV Survival: How Do We Cope?
I'm a survivor of childhood sexual abuse as well as a longtime HIVer. Every single gay man I knew or had known up until the 1990s has died. I spent nearly 20 years expecting death any week, attending three to four "memorial services" on weekends, and never once having family or straight friends ask how I was handling it or what they could do to help. I recently realized that I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. My doctor says I could live into my 80s or more, but under these conditions I'm not sure I wish to. I know "raw" sexual encounters with other poz men aren't the answer, but they're the only pleasure that distracts me from memories of that time. Do you have any suggestions?

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


 Will My Testicles Shrink While I'm on Testosterone?
I'm in treatment with Arimidex (anastrozole) and a testosterone gel for secondary hypogonadism. Can I expect to keep my testicular volume on this course of treatment?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS


 Why Is Radiesse Not Sticking Around?
I used to get Radiesse (calcium hydroxylapatite, Radiance) treatments three or four times a year, but I've gone seven times this year. I was treated with Radiesse in August, but by the first of October I had a hollow area under one cheekbone and am starting to develop one under the other. I understand the product's lifespan varies, but this seems extremely short lived, especially when I've had longer lasting results in the past. Does Radiesse simply stop working with time? I really like my doctor, but could she be using the wrong injection technique?

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


Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the September 2011 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Still Life With Orchids," 1999
Bradford Branch

Visit the December 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "The Sword of Damocles," is curated by Patrick Webb.

HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 Can Archived Resistance Affect Treatment Outcome Before I Even Start Meds?
What is "archived resistance"? I've heard it means that it's possible to have hidden HIV mutations that don't show up on resistance tests or have any effect until the person starts taking HIV meds. How is this possible? Does this mean you could think you're good to go on all regimens, or most of them, and find out that you actually have fewer regimens that will work due to these archived mutations?

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


 Viral Load "Blip": Should I Be Preparing to Change Regimens?
I've been taking Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) and Viramune (nevirapine) forever. My viral load recently went up to 174. If this turns out to be a signal of treatment failure, I'm curious about my options. I assume Emtriva (emtricitabine, FTC) is the probable culprit. I think I remember that AZT (Retrovir, zidovudine) and Emtriva have mutations that contradict each other. Would it make sense just to add AZT to my mix for a bit?

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


 Will a Garlic Tea Interact With My HIV Meds?
Can I soak garlic in hot water and drink the tea for its potential cholesterol-lowering benefits? Will this concoction have any negative interaction with my HIV med regimen, Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC)?

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


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 What Can I Do to Manage Depression?
I've been HIV positive for 22 years. My CD4 count is 487 and my viral load is undetectable. I've been depressed for quite a few years now. Could it be my HIV meds? I've taken quite a few HIV meds over the years, but none with the results that Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) seems to have produced. What can I do about depression when it threatens to take me over?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Can Tanning Beds Have an Effect on an HIVer's Immune System?
I work with a 25-year-old HIV-positive gay man who's been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for 18 months. He's in total compliance with his meds, eats well, exercises and has the support of his family and friends. His T-cell count remained steady in the upper 200s to lower 300s during his first year on meds, but it's recently dropped significantly. Besides being under a lot of stress, the only other potential cause of this drop that we can think of is that he's a frequent user of tanning beds. Could tanning impact his T-cell recovery?

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


More Questions About Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS:


Connect With Others

Can I Live With Shame, Guilt and HIV?
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

Just in time for the holiday season I was diagnosed HIV+ and after two grueling weeks, I got my CD4 cell count and I am officially labeled as having AIDS. My count is 48. Sucks, right? Yeah. But that is not the whole of the story. In my quest for seeking some random sexual experience I may have infected my wife unknowingly. Molested as a child, raped as a teenager, I thought getting married would make it better. Cold marriage, very little sex from the beginning. ... I began to wander and now I am HIV+. ...

She's getting tested now ... I used protection. I thought I did everything right. ... I pray that our complete lack of sex has protected her. ... She is planning on a divorce, keeping the kids and in her words, "I do not give a fuck what you do." And I deserve that. I am guilty.

So now the question remains: Do I start taking meds and live? Or curl up in a homeless shelter and die? ... Would it not be easier to let this take me than explain everything to my family, friends and workers? ... I'm so confused and frightened, and a lot of other adjectives. Does anyone have ideas or thoughts? -- Cruhaven

Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

To do this, you'll need to register with TheBody.com's bulletin boards if you're a new user. Registration is quick and anonymous (all you need is an e-mail address) -- click here to get started!



UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 How Long Does It Take for HIV to Appear in the Blood?
I became HIV positive in 2010. I'm in good health and my CD4 count and viral load are under control. Around 20 days after I was infected I had unprotected sex. Fortunately the person has since tested HIV negative but it makes me wonder: How many days does it take for the virus to reach a person's blood?

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


HIV TRANSMISSION


 My Neck Got Cut in a Barbershop: Am I at Risk?
I've been traveling and have gone several times to a barber near my hotel for a shave. My neck got cut at least two times on different occasions. Is there a chance of infection with HIV this way?

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


 Can HIV Be Transmitted by a Woman During Sex With Another Woman?
What are the chances of HIV infection occurring during oral sex between two women?

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



Advertisement


Follow Us
Facebook  Twitter



Activist Central

 Count HIV+ Women In! PWN Launches National Campaign on World AIDS Day


 African American HIV University Community Mobilization College: Apply Today!


 Congress Must Protect Medicare, Medicaid, Ryan White and Critical Health Services


 Sign On: Treatment Prevents Transmission -- Obama, Stand Up for Treatment Expansion Worldwide


 Action Alert: Tell Gov. Cuomo to Consider Transgender Medicaid Proposal


 Take Action! PWN Stands With Planned Parenthood


 Tell Your Representative to Join the Congressional AIDS Caucus