January 24, 2012
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 Will I Fail My Pre-Employment Physical if I Disclose My HIV Meds?
I'm a flight attendant and I'm HIV positive. During the pre-employment physical examination for a job in my field, the doctor asks you all the meds you're currently taking. Does disclosing that I take HIV meds mean I'll fail my physical?

Jacques Chambers, C.L.U., responds in the "Workplace and Insurance Issues" forum


 Which Fish Should We Eat, and Which Should We Avoid?
What kinds of fish should a person be wary about eating, and why? Which fish are cold water fish, and what are the health benefits of eating cold water fish over other kinds?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 How Can an HIV-Positive and an HIV-Negative Person Have a Baby?
If an HIV-positive person and his or her HIV-negative partner want a child, what are the different ways they can go about getting pregnant if the man is the positive partner? How about if the female partner is positive?

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


 Could I Infect My Negative Partner When I Get "Carried Away"?
I've been HIV positive for eight years. My viral load has always been undetectable and I always take my meds. Recently I started dating an HIV-negative man. When we have sex, sometimes I get so excited beforehand that I rub my penis on his anus before I put on a condom, and there's a little penetration with pre-cum. This has happened a few times. Is there great risk of infecting my partner in this way? I'm full of fear that that will happen someday, and the fear is so hard to live with. What do you recommend?

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


Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the January 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Arthur Rimbaud in N.Y. (Peep Show)," 1978-1979
David Wojnarowicz

Visit the January 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "If You Didn't Laugh, You'd Cry," is curated by Stuart Sandford.

HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 Am I Prolonging the Time Until an Inevitable AIDS Diagnosis?
Can I still develop AIDS while taking HIV meds? Does every person living with HIV eventually progress to AIDS? Am I just delaying the inevitable by taking meds?

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


 Switching From Atripla to Complera: What Should I Be Aware Of?
I took Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for 14 days but developed a severe rash and switched to Complera (rilpivirine/tenofovir/FTC) right away with no skipped doses. Could the switch in and of itself cause any problems, considering there were no missed days? I've also been off Atripla for three days and my rash is still raging. Can Complera also cause a rash? What's going on here?

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


 Is a Hepatitis Vaccine Medically Necessary for HIVers?
I was diagnosed with HIV in 2006. I travel internationally for work, and in conversations with local residents of the areas to which I travel, many seem concerned about hepatitis -- especially in Great Britain. I took a hepatitis test which came back negative, and my doctor suggested I be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. However, my insurance company needs a "medical necessity" statement before they will pay for it. My doctor wrote a general statement to the effect that that I "have HIV and need the vaccine." I know the insurance company is going to want something more specific. Do you have anything to add?

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


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment:


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 Increased Cancer Risk in HIVers: What's Going On?
Recently I read about higher risk for many types of cancer among HIV-positive people, even with CD4 counts above 500. If I'm a heterosexual man, am I still at greater risk for anal cancer? How can liver cancer be detected earlier?

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


 What Are the Benefits of HCG for Poz Men Taking Testosterone?
I'm on testosterone replacement therapy as well as the anabolic steroid Deca Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate). I'm able to ejaculate semen, but it's very little and I don't have a full erection. What is human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), what does it do, and what in particular does it do for men on testosterone? Are the purposes of HCG purely cosmetic, to make men's testicles look bigger after they've shrunk from years of testosterone use? Does it have any benefits in terms of sexual function?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


More Questions About Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS:


Connect With Others

What Are You Doing to Stay in Shape?
(A recent post from the "Nutrition, Exercise & HIV" board)

I'm fascinated with how fitness and wellness have helped me to stay around on this pale blue dot we affectionately call Earth. So what kind of fitness-related training do you participate in to stay healthy, fit, and alive?

As a hemophiliac, I cannot participate in contact sports, and I need to be careful of my joints in general. That said, two years ago I discovered triathlons and I've never looked back. I train six days per week, leaving one day for complete rest and rehabilitation.

I find that fitness keeps my joints strong and less prone to bleed. It also sharpens my mental abilities, and gives me extra energy.

What do you do? And, do you think it helps keep you alive? -- vripley

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UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 Can a Person Have a Low CD4 Count and Still Not Have Symptoms?
Can you have a CD4 count of less than 200 -- a clinical AIDS diagnosis -- and not have any other signs of progression to AIDS? My CD4 count is less than 200 and I appear to be in good health. Is this normal?

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


HIV TRANSMISSION & TESTING


 Does Colitis Increase My Risk of Acquiring HIV From My Poz Partner?
I have colitis and take Remicade (infliximab), which is known to weaken the immune system. I also have a partner who's HIV positive. Is my risk of acquiring HIV higher than the average person's risk because of my condition and the meds I take?

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


 What Do My "Indeterminate" HIV Test Results Mean?
I'm 12 weeks pregnant. At 10 weeks I had the routine HIV screening. My rapid test must have come back "reactive," and my Western blot test came back "indeterminate." My doctor read through all the antigens they test for and they were all "not present"; however, they said there was a "non-specific band present." What does that mean? I've only ever slept with two people -- including my husband, who just tested HIV negative. Should I be trying to figure out when I might have been exposed to HIV? Also, I'm a type 1 diabetic. Could my autoimmune disorder have complicated what could end up being a negative HIV test?

Erik Glenn, M.A., responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 Wearing and Sniffing Other People's Dirty Panties: What's the Risk?
Can you catch HIV from someone else's dried-secretion-stained underwear if it touches your nose, mouth or genital area?

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





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