November 27, 2012
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Living With HIV

 What Can I Do About Depression and Weight Loss?
Since my diagnosis I have become very depressed. As a result, I have not been eating as much and have steadily lost weight. I am on Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) and my doctor prescribed me Prozac (fluoxetine) to reduce the depression and possibly increase my appetite. What else would you suggest?

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

 Should I Quit My Job Because I Have HIV?
I recently tested positive. My CD4 count is 169 and I'm taking Bactrim (co- trimoxazole) until it rises above 200. I'll probably start HIV meds in a week. But should I quit my job because my CD4 count is low and I might infect others? I work in an office as a call center representative.

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

Mixed-Status Couples

 Should I Stay With My HIV-Positive Bisexual Husband?
My husband of over 38 years received an AIDS diagnosis two years ago. It devastated me. I had no idea he was living a double life throughout our marriage. Is it possible to stay married when I'm not in love with him anymore? I still like him and he is my best friend. He wants me to stay, I believe, out of fear of loneliness and financial worry. But can a bisexual man stay faithful to his wife after so many years of deceit? It's been two years and I still don't know what to do. We've tried counseling but stopped. Should I stay or go?

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

Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns

 Can My Employer Deny Me Health Insurance?
My employer advised me to seek cheaper health care coverage because the new plan he was selecting was somewhat expensive. Once I selected and purchased coverage on my own, he got upset and informed me that I could never get health insurance through the company again. Can he do this?

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

 Can My Doctor Disclose My Status in a Social Setting?
I recently learned that my eye doctor disclosed my HIV status to someone else, without my consent. It happened in his home when he and another man came across my profile online. My profile does not indicate any status, yet my doctor told the man that I was positive. He wasn't mean about it, just imparting information, but it seems unprofessional to me. What do you think?

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:
"Aquarium", 1997
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

 What Should I Do About an Accidental Double Dose?
I accidentally took a double dose of Reyataz (atazanavir), Norvir (ritonavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). All the information I've seen says not to double dose. Could it potentially cause any side effects or damage? Is there anything I should be concerned about?

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

 Can I Take a Short Drug Holiday to Find Out What's Making Me Sick?
I feel fatigued on my meds, Viramune (nevirapine) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC ), and they make me sick. Is it about time I take a break and isolate the cause of my misery? I have read about the risks of drug holidays, but I've decided to take one. How long is too long? What exactly am I risking if take a short break to see if my health problems are related to the drugs themselves?

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

Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS

 Is the Shingles Vaccine Recommended for People Living With HIV?
I have an undetectable viral load and my CD4 count is 1,300. I am 58 years old and my doctor recommended that I get the shingles vaccine. He is a certified HIV practitioner and says this is a new recommendation. Should I get it?

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

 Should I Disclose to My 5- and 11-Year-Old Children?
I told my eldest son I had HIV when he was 15. I was very ill at the time, with HIV causing my brain to swell. He stopped talking to me, saying it was too much for him to take. Now I need to tell my two youngest children that I have HIV-associated dementia. They know I always forget stuff and that I've been very ill. Hopefully this will improve with time and understanding, but the children's mother doesn't see why the kids even need to know I have HIV at all. What should I do?

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

Connect With Others

Do I Need to Tell My Fling That My Husband Has HIV?
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

My husband is living with HIV. We found out a couple years ago. We've been married for nine years, but have not had sex for the last seven! We are still together and I love and support him. But we still have no sex life, mainly because he seems to have no sex drive. A few months ago, I got into a casual sexual relationship with a colleague. I am HIV-negative, but I am wondering if I need to mention my husband's status to this person. Any suggestions? -- maya38

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Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs

 Should I Worry About CD4-Count Fluctuations?
Back in May, my CD4 count was 722, but in October, it went down to 500. Should I be worried? I have an undetectable viral load and have never missed a treatment dose. I eat well, exercise and take supplements. But my 15-year-old son has been giving me some stress with school. Could the stress or supplements be causing the drop in my CD4 count?

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

News & Opinion

 The Passing of Brandon Lacy Campos
I'm very sorry to hear about Brandon's death. But I am also afraid. Did he leave us because of HIV-related causes?

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

 What's the Difference Between AIDS and "Full-Blown AIDS"?
The term "full-blown AIDS" hasn't been used in ages. It just infuriates me every time it appears!

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

HIV Testing & Transmission

 Is the Window Period for HIV Testing Three Months or Six Months?
I have read many posts, but am still very confused about the window period. Some say three months is conclusive, while others say six. This is ridiculous for those of us who want to know our true status and move on from a potential exposure. Even on this site, most say three months is conclusive, but every once in a while the whole "some take longer, up to six months" answer pops up. Which is correct?

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

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