February 12, 2013
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Living With HIV

 What Can I Do About Constant Tiredness?
I started HIV meds about a month ago. Now I feel tired and sleepy most of the time. What can I do to boost my energy?

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

 What Are the Benefits of Taking DHEA Supplements?
Can you explain what DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is and what it does for the body? Specifically, how does taking DHEA supplements help people living with HIV?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum

Mixed-Status Couples

 My Partner Wants to Bareback, but He Doesn't Know I Have HIV!
I'm an HIV-positive woman dating an HIV-negative man. We're using condoms during sex, but sometimes he wants to have sex without condoms. He doesn't know my status and I'm afraid to tell him. I'm on treatment and my viral load is undetectable. Does this lower the risk of transmitting HIV? How do I disclose my status without scaring him off?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum

Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns

 Can My Insurance Company Force Me to Use Mail-Order Pharmacies?
My insurance company is still forcing me to use a mail-order pharmacy. I thought New York state law allowed me to use retail pharmacies if I wanted. Who do I contact about this?

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

 How Can I Get Insurance to Cover My Colonoscopy?
I've been living with HIV for 22 years. At age 52, it's time to get a colonoscopy. My insurance covers everything, but there is a deductible every three years of $2,500 per illness. Therefore, if I can't link my colonoscopy to HIV, my insurance won't pay for it. What valid reasons might an HIV-positive person have for needing a colonoscopy?

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

Tips on Telling People You're Positive

four faces Sharing with friends or family that you're living with HIV may be one of the greatest challenges you'll face -- and it's not something to rush into if you're not ready. Browse through these tips and bits of advice, and you'll discover that sharing your diagnosis with others can have unexpected results.

HIV/AIDS Treatment

 Which HIV Regimen Is Best for Those With Kidney Issues?
I recently switched to Stribild (elvitegravir/cobicistat/FTC/tenofovir). Now a few months later, I might need to try another regimen because my creatinine clearance levels have decreased. I used to take Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) before, but it made my head foggy. I prefer a once-daily med taken at bed time. Which regimen would you recommend, taking kidney health into consideration?

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

 What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
How can I maintain my sexual appetite and erection, particularly while on HIV treatment? What factors contribute to erectile dysfunction?

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

Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS

 Do I Need to Increase My CD4 Count Before Starting Hepatitis C Treatment?
I am living with HIV and hepatitis C. My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is 100. My doctor suggested I start hepatitis C treatment, but I've heard the treatment can be harsh. Should I delay starting hepatitis C treatment until my CD4 count is higher?

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

 What Could Be Causing Swollen Glands?
I have developed swollen glands under my ears and behind my jaw. They are sometimes painful. What could be the cause and how can I treat them?

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

Connect With Others

Newly Diagnosed and Afraid: How Will I Survive?
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive " board)

I just received my diagnosis 48 hours ago. I'm going to see my case manager next week, but in the meantime, I know I'll think every cough and sniffle means the end. I'm a graduate student, so I have room and board. However, what if I'm too sick to continue school? What if I can't afford HIV meds? How do I tell my family? -- GradStudent1

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Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs

 Are CD4 Count and Viral Load Directly Related?
I just got my latest lab results. My viral load dropped from 6005 to 111, but at the same time, my CD4 count dropped from 990 to 684. Is there a direct correlation between the two? For example, if there's less virus in your body, does that mean you need fewer CD4 cells to fight it? How can I boost my CD4 count?

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

 Should I Be Concerned About CD4 Count Decreases?
I've been on HIV meds for almost two years. My CD4 count was 1002 a year ago, and then 902 six months later. My latest CD4 count is 789. My viral load is undetectable. But should I be worried that my CD4 count is going down?

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

HIV Transmission

 What Are the Best Methods for Having Safer Sex?
Obviously, not having sex means no risk of transmitting HIV, but honestly who can live without doing it? I just want to have fun and be safe at the same time. So what are the best methods for practicing safer sex?

Erik Glenn, M.A., responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum


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