March 13, 2012
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 How Can I Make a Difference With My Life?
As a person living with HIV I feel like I'm wasting my life. Despite being a college graduate, I have not had any form of employment for the last seven years. But I know I can make a difference. How can I share my knowledge on HIV/AIDS and help raise funds for the community?

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


 Dear Nelson: Am I Taking a Risk Every Time I Eat Sushi?
You advised against eating raw fish, in a previous response about what type of fish to avoid. Does that mean no sushi? I eat sushi about once a month. What are the risks?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the February 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Fan Earrings," 1998
Jerome Walker

Visit the March 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, "From Arches to Earrings," is curated by Glynnis McDaris and Julia Trotta.

INSURANCE, WORKPLACE & LEGAL CONCERNS


 Can My Niece Press Charges Against a Boyfriend Who May Have Exposed Her to HIV?
I have a niece who was dating and sleeping with a guy for about three months. They had an argument and he admitted he was HIV positive. If he is indeed HIV positive, are there actions that can be taken against him, like charging him with attempted murder, because they did have unprotected sex?

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


 Should HIV-Positive Health Professionals Inform Their Employers About Their Status?
Is disclosing required in order for a health professional to practice? Where can I find more information?

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


More Questions About Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns:


HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 Could My Med Switch Be Causing My Fatigue?
I was on Truvada (tenofovir/FTC), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Norvir (ritonavir) for over five years. But because of stomach issues, I had to switch out the Reyataz for Prezista (darunavir, TMC114) for about six weeks. I started getting terrible headaches, so my doctor switched me to Truvada and Isentress (raltegravir). But now I am feeling extremely tired, more than usual. Is it because of the new regimen?

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


 Can I Take Hallucinogenic Mushrooms With My HIV Meds?
I'm HIV positive and want to know if I can take hallucinogenic mushrooms. What are the risks? Will it affect my immune system or my health?

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


 Is Resistance to a Regimen Inevitable?
If a person is adherent and does not get reinfected, can they still become resistant to their regimen? What have you seen in your clinical experience?

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


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 Living With Tuberculous Meningitis: Can I Get My Concentration Back?
I have been living with HIV for 12 years, maintaining a CD4 count of 600 to 900. However, I contracted tuberculous meningitis and it has made my personality flip 180 degrees. Prior to this, I was seen as very sensible, considerate and polite. Now I have no reservations about speaking to a person I may have just met, and even go on for too long. Moreover, my attention span is shorter than ever. I used to devour books, but have only read one in the four years following my diagnosis. What can I do about this?

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


 Lost Sex Drive: How Can I Regain My Mojo?
I am an HIV-positive 54-year-old male in a mixed-status relationship. My CD4 count is around 575 to 650 and my viral load is undetectable. But where is my sex drive? I used to love sex, but now I have little interest in it. Could it be because of my HIV meds? I am in good shape and work out three times a week. What else can I try?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Aging With HIV" forum


Connect With Others

My Boyfriend Recently Tested Positive: Should I Stay or Go Now?
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

Two months ago, my boyfriend of four years, father of my 2-year-old daughter, was diagnosed HIV positive. After starting treatment, he is feeling great. I am negative and test regularly, but will get another test next month just to confirm.

However, I am really confused and don't know if I can continue my life with him, knowing he is HIV positive. As for now, I love him and want to support him. Some days he feels like he should walk away and let me find someone else. I consider this sometimes, but we have a good relationship and do have a child together. Yet I'm scared to have sex even with protection. Any advice? -- Obvious1

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UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 What Does My CD4 Percentage of 6 Mean?
I have been off of HIV meds for over a year and just got my lab numbers back. My CD4 percentage is 6. Is this good or bad?

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


More Questions About Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs:


HIV & HEPATITIS TRANSMISSION


 Which HIV Meds Are Recommended as PEP?
This is the third day on my PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) regimen, but I noticed that my doctor only prescribed me Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Is this good enough? What are the usual PEP regimens?

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


 Are You Sure Hepatitis B and C Can't Be Transmitted Through Food?
If hepatitis B and C can be transmitted through sharing razors and toothbrushes, why is it OK to share food and eating utensils? Aren't they just as capable of transporting blood from one person to another?

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


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 Can I Get HIV if There's None To Begin With?
Can I contract HIV even though my partner is HIV negative?

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

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