January 10, 2012
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Lisa B. Hightow-Weidman, M.D., M.P.H., and David Wohl, M.D.


 Two Seasoned HIV Docs Join the Safe Sex and HIV Prevention Forum
Please join us in welcoming Lisa B. Hightow-Weidman, M.D., M.P.H., and David Wohl, M.D., as the newest experts in our "Ask the Experts" forums. Both are professors as well as clinicians at the University of North Carolina -- Chapel Hill, and both have extensive experience working with people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Wohl is also an "Ask the Experts" veteran, having answered questions in the Choosing Your Meds forum from 2002 to 2008. His and Dr. Hightow-Weidman's perspectives are excellent additions to the diverse and growing Safe Sex and HIV Prevention forum expert team.


 How Do I Control Water Weight While on Testosterone?
What are some of the causes and symptoms of increased water retention while using testosterone? Is there anything that can be done to manage this effect?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum

 Is Sauna Use Safe for People Living With HIV?
I love to go to the gym because exercise helps me look and feel good. I love to use the sauna at the gym as well. Is using the sauna potentially harmful for HIV-positive people?

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


 Am I Missing Out on an Important Experience by Playing It Safe?
I'm 37 and I've never had anal sex. My boyfriend tested HIV positive a year ago, he takes HIV meds and and his viral load is undetectable. Since I've never experienced the complete intimacy involved in having somebody cumming inside me without a condom, do you think I'll someday start to regret being with someone with whom I always use condoms? I love my boyfriend, but is love enough?

Shannon R. Southall responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum


 How Do My New Meds Measure Up in Lipoatrophy Risk?
I just started taking Norvir (ritonavir), Prezista (darunavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) about a week ago. Is this regimen considered low risk where lipoatrophy is concerned? Are there better regimen options for avoiding this effect?

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

announcing the "strangest but truest" of 2011

Dr. BobWe here at TheBody.com scoured the "Strange but True" sections of last year's Hot Topics newsletters and nominated some of the most unusual HIV-related scenarios people asked about in 2011. We also brought back some old "bests of the worst" from previous years as a tribute to Bob Frascino, M.D., ("Dr. Bob"), master of the "Strange but True" response, who passed away in September 2011.

Hundreds of you voted on which of the 10 finalists represent the zaniest of what the forums have to offer. We've tallied up the votes and calculated their average ratings, so check out the "Best of Dr. Bob" from 2011 and beyond!


 Is Kidney or Liver Failure Inevitable on HIV Meds?
I currently take Complera (rilpivirine/tenofovir/FTC). I was talking to someone who told me that the HIV meds will eventually lead to kidney or liver failure 20 years or so down the road. This idea is just irking me. Is it true? Is it inevitable that HIVers eventually die from kidney or liver failure because of the meds?

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

 Doesn't My Size Mean I Should Take Less of My Medication?
I take Aptivus (tipranavir) and Norvir (ritonavir). After reading that many HIV meds are tested in men who are at least 200 pounds, I thought that since I'm a small guy of only 140 pounds, I could cut the dosages of both my meds in half. I've been doing this for two weeks now and my side effects have been gone ever since; in fact, I feel like I have more energy. What are the potential risks of this plan?

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

 How Can I Tell if My HIV Meds Are the Reason I Can't Sleep?
My HIV med regimen includes Intelence (etravirine), Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Could one of these meds be causing my sleeplessness? How can I figure that out?

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

More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment:


 How Does Heavy Drinking Affect HIV?
My wife was diagnosed with HIV in March 2011. Her CD4 count was 100 and her viral load was 273,000. She was put on Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) and long-term antibiotics; but because of immigration problems she was deported back to Africa, where she has been binge drinking two to three times a week for the past three months. She's still taking meds, however. Is heavy drinking while on HIV meds detrimental to her health?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum

 Is It Too Late to Be Vaccinated for HPV?
My CD4 count is 350 and my viral load is undetectable. I recently had a slightly abnormal anal Pap smear, so my doctor had me get an anoscopy. The specialist said that everything looked fine, and suggested that I consider getting a Gardasil vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV). My regular HIV doctor thinks I should wait until more research into the benefits of this vaccine is completed. Given that I'm sexually active, not in a monogamous relationship, and can afford the vaccine, should I just do it? What do you recommend?

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

Connect With Others

Getting Comfortable With Sex Again: Can Anyone Relate?
(A recent post from the "Gay Men" board)

After almost two years of living with HIV, I'm finally starting to be open about my status and to let people really get to know me. However, I'm still not comfortable with sex. Therapy really isn't an option for me because of where I'm located.

Can anyone suggest books or anything that may help me? -- engmoto

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 How Could a Person With the CCR5 Mutation Become HIV Positive?
I have an HIV-positive friend who has the CCR5 mutation. He's never had a detectable viral load and he is not on HIV meds. If bone marrow with this genetic mutation cured "Berlin patient" Timothy Brown, then how can someone who has the gene naturally be infected? If the virus needs the CCR5 protein to infect the cell then how can someone in my friend's situation become HIV positive?

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


 Would Syphilis Cause a False-Positive HIV Test?
I'm a 30-year-old man with no history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). I had a possible exposure to STDs and HIV through unprotected oral sex (I was the insertive partner -- the one getting sucked). It happened exactly seven days ago. How accurate would an HIV test be at 28 days? What about tests for other STDs? If I contracted syphilis from this encounter and was tested for HIV, could syphilis antibodies cause my HIV antibody test to mistakenly come back positive?

Lisa B. Hightow-Weidman, M.D., M.P.H., responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum

 Swallowed Something From a Stripper's Breast: Am I At Risk?
I swallowed a small amount of breast milk from a stripper. I don't know her HIV status, and my mouth is intact -- no sores, cuts or bleeding gums. How likely is it that I could become HIV positive as a result of this encounter?

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

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