November 20, 2012
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Living With HIV

 How Do I Get Rid of Belly Fat?
I'm 5 feet 7 inches tall, and normally 150 pounds with a slim frame. But after starting treatment about five years ago, I see no results after working out. How do I lose belly fat and stop looking like I'm pregnant?

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


 What Is a Normal Testosterone Level For Someone Aging With HIV?
I'm a 60-year-old positive man with an undetectable viral load and CD4 count above 500. However, my total testosterone level is 417 ng/dL. Is this low? I feel fatigued and have a low sex drive. I'm not depressed, just lacking the old "get up and go." What are normal testosterone levels for someone my age and status?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Aging With HIV" forum


Mixed-Status Couples

 Can My HIV-Negative Wife and I Put Aside the Condoms?
Before we found out about my status, my wife and I were not using condoms. I've been positive for four years and we 've been using condoms for the past two years. I'm currently on HIV meds. Will she become infected if we stop using condoms during sex?

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


Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns

 Does Group Health Insurance Pay for HIV Medications?
My meds are currently paid for by ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program). However, I will be getting group health insurance soon. I understand that some group plans have pre-existing condition exclusions for six to 12 months. Does this mean they won't cover my HIV drugs during that period?

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


 Why Can't People Living With HIV Buy Term Life Insurance?
Since HIV is no longer considered a terminal illness, why are we not eligible to buy term life insurance? This doesn't make sense.

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


Visual AIDS: Art from HIV-Positive Artists

Image from the November 2012 Visual AIDS gallery Detail from:
"Everything I Own", 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.


HIV/AIDS Treatment

 Which Treatment Is a Good Truvada Substitute?
Recently, I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. My nephrologist is pretty certain my use of Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) is to blame. Is Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa) a viable substitute? My friend told me it can cause liver damage. Is this true?

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


 Can Generic Atripla Cause Fatigue or Flu?
I started Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) about a month and a half ago. At first, I was fine, but after switching from Atripla to a generic version, I got the flu and felt so weak that even standing became a problem. Is this common?

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


Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS

 Is HIV Causing My Cognitive Functioning Problems?
I am a 59-year-old woman who's been positive for eight years. My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count fluctuates between 200 and 500. I am noticing that I have a very hard time concentrating, remembering names or details about what I say to people. When I think about what I did yesterday, it feels like a dream. I am not on any painkillers or illegal drugs, and I don't drink. I am on Norvir (ritonavir), Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) and Prezista (darunavir). I feel like I have amnesia. I've seen articles about loss of cognitive functioning and HIV. What are your thoughts?

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


 What Can HIV-Positive Individuals Do About Knee Pain and Foot Numbness?
My aunt is HIV positive and was advised to start treatment. She has asked me to get her some knee braces because she can barely walk. She also says her feet get numb at times. I am thinking of getting her some vitamins. What else would you suggest?

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


Connect With Others

Scared of Rejection: How Can I Get Back Into Dating?
(A recent post from the "Relationships and Dating" board)

I am an HIV-positive guy who wants to get back into dating, but I don't know how to go about it. I know everyone faces rejection it kind of scares me. Any advice? -- jtgymguy

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Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs

 What Contributes to Decreasing CD4 Counts?
Without treatment, how many CD4 cells would an HIV-positive person lose each year? What factors contribute to the decrease?

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



News & Opinion

 Is a Functional Cure on the Horizon?
Realistically speaking, how far do you think we are from a weekly or monthly treatment, or even a semiannual treatment that could be seen as a functional cure? We already have big advancements with treatments like Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) and Stribild (elvitegravir/cobicistat/FTC/tenofovir). Is it reasonable to expect a cure?

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


HIV Transmission

 What Is the Risk of Transmission From Anal Teasing or Frottage?
I recently had an encounter with another male who said he was negative. I noticed quite a bit of pre-cum on his penis, but didn't feel any as he pressed outside my anus. I felt quite a bit of pressure but no penetration happened. If he got any pre-cum on the outside of my anus, is there any risk of HIV transmission?

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





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