February 7, 2012
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 How Do I Deal With the Uncertainty of Living With HIV?
I've found it stressful to see people who are being successfully treated for HIV die between 50 and 60 years old. I just turned 48. What if my number is up in the next decade? Suppose I spend all my money doing things I want to do now, then live into retirement and have nothing saved because I didn't expect to live that long? What if I save lots of money, then die before I'm able to use it? How am I supposed to enjoy my life day by day?

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


 Returning to Work: How Will I Keep Paying for My HIV Care?
Ever since being placed on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) due to an AIDS diagnosis in 2008, all I could think about was returning to the workforce and finding my place in the community again. However, I'm terrified of losing my ability to pay for my HIV meds and medical care. What do I need to be aware of as I prepare to return to work?

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


BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS


 Should I Treat My Enlarged Parotid Glands?
I've been looking for information on electron radiation therapy for the treatment of enlarged parotid glands, which can cause facial distortion -- particularly a "moon face" look. Does this treatment method have any clinical benefit besides improving quality of life through cosmetic benefits? Does it have any effect on viral load or CD4 count? Where can I get more information?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


what's fueling hiv in black america?

hands

Today, Feb. 7, is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the U.S. In observance of the day, TheBody.com asked African-American HIV/AIDS experts to cut through the hype and tell us in plain language what factors are really to blame for the persistence of HIV in African-American communities.



HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 What Can I Do if I Can't Get ADAP Coverage?
What will happen to people who can't get access to their HIV meds through AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs)? If income requirements for eligibility keep lowering, do people have to just not get their meds and wait to die? What are our options?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Why Would I Ever Need to Switch Meds?
Thankfully, I've never experienced any side effects in the past two years I've been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC), my first and only HIV med regimen. Is there a chance that I may one day need to change my medication? What factors would contribute to this need to switch?

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


 How Can I Get Rid of Loose Stools?
In my first month on HIV meds I had no side effects, except for slightly looser stools. Now, after several months, it seems my stools are always loose, regardless of what l eat. Is this common? What can I do about it?

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


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment:


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 Is Depression in Poz People Caused by the Virus Itself?
I recently saw the psychiatrist at my provider's office due to some depressive thoughts. Is depression a common occurrence due to the virus's effect on the body, as opposed to the psychosocial factors that contribute to depression in people living with HIV? Aren't antidepressants just an aid until one can change the psychosocial factors and feel better on their own?

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


 Can HIV Meds Slow the Progression of Hepatitis C?
How can HIV meds have an effect on hepatitis C virus progression? I've read that they can exacerbate liver damage, but is it possible that the meds could also slow liver disease progression?

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


 Reactive Syphilis Test After Treatment: Is This Possible?
Is it possible to be treated successfully for syphilis and have a nonreactive test result, then have another reactive test without having had sex with anybody?

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


Connect With Others

Hey, Poz LGBT Folks: Share Your Coming-Out Stories!
(A recent post from the "Gay Men" board)

What has the whole "coming out" process been like as a person living with HIV who is gay, bi or transgender? Is coming out -- as HIV positive and/or as LGBT -- something you still struggle with? Why, or why not? I am a young person in my early 20s. I was born with HIV and I am bi, and I would love to hear other people's stories of coming out! -- Keya

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HIV TRANSMISSION


 Just How Delayed Was the Most Delayed Seroconversion Ever?
I had a low-risk exposure to HIV 18 months back. I have tested negative for HIV every three months since that encounter. I've been reading about delayed seroconversion and I was wondering: According to available literature, what is the longest possible duration between HIV exposure and seroconversion? I read about a case in a 1997 study in which seroconversion took eight to nine months. Is that the maximum?

David Wohl, M.D., responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum


 Pregnancy Has Me Anxious: Is My Risk Real?
I have a fear of contracting HIV from means that are out of my control. I'm pregnant with my fourth baby, and my fears seem to heighten when I'm pregnant. I recently went for prenatal testing and they needed to draw blood. I'm worried that when I wasn't looking, the technician might have accidently pricked herself with the needle she then used to draw my blood. If I contracted HIV or hepatitis C, this would not only affect me but also the baby inside me. I'm really scared and would just like to enjoy my pregnancy rather than worry. Should I get tested for HIV?

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


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 Could Sparky's Claws Double as HIV Transmitters?
Last week I visited an HIV-positive friend. I brought my small dog that likes to scratch people's legs as a greeting. He scratched my friend's leg, and a few minutes later the dog scratched my arm. Neither of us bled, but my skin did burn and get red. I know the "H" in HIV stands for "human" and dogs cannot contract it, but could the (hypothetical) blood on the dog's nail be fresh enough to have infected me?

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



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