March 6, 2012
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 Are You Giving Up on the Cure?
I was reading your last response about a functional HIV cure in which you claimed that it would most likely take more than 10 years to develop a cure. Reading your previous responses on the issue you seemed much more optimistic. What happened?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Aging With HIV" forum


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 How Much of a Risk Are We Taking With Unprotected Oral Sex?
I'm an HIV-negative man and my girlfriend is HIV positive with a viral load of 200,000 and a CD4 count of 750. Oral sex is very important to both of us. I've performed unprotected oral sex on her multiple times, and vice versa, and we're careful about sores and cuts; we always use condoms for intercourse. I've read literature that says anything from there's no HIV risk with unprotected oral sex to I'm most likely already infected. What do you think? Do you know of any documented cases of someone contracting HIV from oral sex on a female?

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


INSURANCE, WORKPLACE & LEGAL CONCERNS


 How Can I Get Health Coverage Back for My Registered Domestic Partner?
I'm a retiree in California and have health coverage through my (former) employer, a large California-based aerospace company. My registered domestic partner has had health coverage for the past five years as my dependent. For 2012 my employer is denying coverage for domestic partners. Any idea why they can now refuse coverage, and what we can do about it?

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


 Two Chiropractors Refused to Treat Me: What Can I Do?
Two different chiropractors have refused to treat me due to my HIV status, directly stating that they didn't have the proper gloves or facilities to treat "people like me." Are there grounds to sue based on this type of discrimination? What actions can I take?

Christa Douaihy, Esq., responds in the "Legal Issues and HIV" forum


the latest in hiv research: croi 2012 @ thebody.com

Seattle What's coming down the pipeline in HIV treatment, prevention and care? CROI is the largest annual science meeting in HIV, where researchers and clinicians go to learn the most important lessons and developments in the field. The gathering began this weekend, and TheBodyPRO.com -- TheBody.com's sister site for health professionals -- will be on hand to bring you wide-ranging coverage.

Visit our CROI 2012 home page frequently this week for key study summaries and a discussion of conference highlights!



HIV/AIDS & HEPATITIS C TREATMENT


 What's New With Ibalizumab?
I've had very good luck with ibalizumab, the drug in development (TNX-355, formerly known as Tanox). Can you give me an update on what's going on with this drug in 2012? Are there any new developments we should know about?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Do Calcium and Magnesium Have a Negative Effect on Isentress?
I switched to a regimen of Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) recently and am doing very well on it so far. Every morning I usually drink a glass of milk after taking Isentress. I also take vitamin D and calcium supplements. I heard somewhere that calcium and magnesium can affect the effectiveness of Isentress. Is it true? Should I stop drinking milk when I take Isentress as well?

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


 Another Time Around With Hepatitis C Meds: For How Long Will I Be Treated?
I'm a 55-year-old man with hepatitis C genotype 1B (my initial viral load was 3.8 million) and in otherwise good health. I'm currently 20 weeks into triple therapy with Incivek (telaprevir), peginterferon and ribavirin, and my hepatitis C viral load was undetectable at four, eight and 12 weeks. I've been unsuccessful on dual therapy before. What does this mean for the length of my treatment course now?

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


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 Positive Anal Pap Smear but Negative HRA: What's Going On?
I've been HIV positive for four years, with a CD4 count of 330 and an undetectable viral load for the past three and a half years. Recently I had a high-resolution anoscopy (HRA) and the examination didn't show any abnormalities, so I was relieved at that. However, my anal Pap smear result showed anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN 2). Should I be worried about precancerous changes in my anal canal? How do you interpret these results? If I have HPV (human papillomavirus), how long would it take an HIV-positive person like me to get rid of it?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Aging With HIV" forum


 How Do I Know if I'm Depressed?
I take Isentress (raltegravir), Selzentry (maraviroc, Celsentri) and Viramune (nevirapine). I've been HIV positive for 22 years and I'm doing well. However, lately I've been losing my drive to exercise and eat well, as I have for the past several decades. I still go dancing every weekend and have a great group of friends, but being single and keeping healthy just for myself is getting hard at age 63. Is this the state of mind the younger generation calls depression? Could it be a side effect of HIV meds? Do you think I'd take better care of myself if I were in a relationship?

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


Connect With Others

Pen Pal for a Poz Friend in Prison?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

A friend of mine is HIV positive and has been in prison for the past 27 years for a crime he didn't commit. Recently the Innocence Project has taken his case and they have hopes of having my friend released. He became HIV positive while being held in protective custody in 1985. I am hoping to connect him with someone who would like to be a pen pal / friend to him and answer some of his questions about living with HIV. Would anyone out there be interested in contacting him? -- DawnW

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HIV & HEPATITIS TRANSMISSION


 Can a Person With Hepatitis C Donate Organs?
Could someone living with hepatitis C (hep C) donate their organs (besides their liver) to others in general? Could they give organs to other people living with hep C?

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


 Why Was I Tested for HIV?
I just officially found out I'm pregnant. I already took a preliminary, preconception HIV test six months ago and it came back negative, but I was sent out for another test today. Why would they do this, since my husband and I are completely monogamous with each other and have participated in no other risky behavior since my last test? Is it possible that the first test was a false negative or was not done correctly? Do I need to be concerned?

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





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