November 14, 2012
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Living With HIV

 How Can I Improve My Memory Naturally?
I take Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa), Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Viread (tenofovir). I'm thinking of starting to take ginkgo biloba supplements to improve my memory. Have you heard about any studies of this supplement in people living with HIV? What else can I do to give my memory a boost?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum

 Orthodox, Gay and Recently Diagnosed: Is It OK to Be Who I Am?
A month ago one of my nightmares came true: I found out that I'm HIV positive. I'm an orthodox man raised in a small city, and I believe this happened to me as punishment for my non-orthodox way of life. I don't know if my family or my priest could ever accept the fact that I'm a gay man living with HIV. What do you think?

Rev. Todd A. Brown responds in the "Spiritual Support and HIV" forum

Mixed-Status Couples

 What's My Risk of Becoming Positive?
A few weeks ago I had sex with an older guy. We had oral sex (I received) and then anal sex (he received). We used a condom, and I never actually came. I recently found out that he is HIV positive and I'm just a little nervous now. Is there any chance at all that I could've come in contact with HIV during the encounter I describe?

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

Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the October 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Viral Romance", 1992
Frank Moore

Visit the November 2012 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view the latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, "The Multitudes of Frank Moore," is curated by the Visual AIDS staff.

Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns

 Can I Contest Being Fired for a Positive Drug Test Result?
I'm HIV positive and I have a prescription for Marinol (dronabinol), which is derived from the same substance as marijuana. I just got fired from work for a positive drug test. I can't lose this job; what can I do to prove I wasn't on illegal drugs?

Christa Douailhy responds in the "Legal Issues and HIV" forum

HIV/AIDS Treatment

 Starting HIV Meds After 12 Years: Is the Outlook Still Good?
I've been HIV positive since January 2000; I'm 38 years old, I've always had a CD4 count higher than 600, and my most recent viral load was 28,000. I'll soon be starting HIV meds for the first time with Complera (rilpivirine/tenofovir/FTC). I've never felt physically unwell from HIV, but I do struggle with fatigue. Considering all the new opinions and facts about earlier treatment, can I hope for treatment outcomes similar to someone who started meds earlier than I did? Though my virus is not resistant to any HIV meds, will the meds be as effective for someone who has lived with untreated HIV for more than a decade?

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

 Is Epzicom Not as Good as Truvada?
In a recent answer on your forum, you mentioned that there might be drawbacks to taking Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa) due to its having decreased potency compared with Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). What do you mean by "decreased potency"? Should a person not take Epzicom if they have other options?

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

Connect With Others

Seeking Relationship Role Models: Any Mixed-Status Couples Out There?
(A recent post from the "Relationships and Dating" board)

Two guys here, mixed status, looking for a little advice. We've been together a few months and are navigating how to deal with our neg/poz match-up. We'd like to hear from some similar couples about their experiences within a serodiscordant relationship. ... We're both 30something, each new to this. Any stories, comments or advice are welcome! -- AboutTimex

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Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS

 Does HIV Coinfection Affect Hepatitis C Seroconversion Time?
I'm living with HIV and I may have been exposed to hepatitis C. My four-week post-exposure hepatitis C test was negative, as was my syphilis test. However, would my being HIV positive delay hepatitis C seroconversion? How soon should I consider retesting for hepatitis C before I can be confident in the results?

Lynn E. Taylor, M.D., F.A.C.P., responds in the "Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection" forum

 What Could Be Causing My Rectal Bleeding?
I've been HIV positive since 1992 and at one point had a T-cell count of 7. I was on all types of drug trials. Now my CD4 count is 202 and all my other numbers are in normal range. I take Isentress (raltegravir), Selzentry (maraviroc, Celsentri) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). For several years, my first bowel movement of the morning has been painful, and when I clean myself there's fresh blood. I went to a colorectal specialist who didn't see anything wrong. I get enough fiber so that isn't the problem. I also have some rectal itching. Any idea of what might be going on?

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

HIV Transmission

 Can Nipple Fluid Transmit HIV?
The last time I had (protected) sex, I was touching my male partner's nipples and saw that a transparent fluid had come out of his nipples and was on my fingers. Is there a risk, if he has HIV, that this fluid could infect me?

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

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