June 17, 2014
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Mixed-Status Couples

 We Already Had Sex; How Do I Disclose?
I've been on a few dates with this amazing guy. I usually disclose before anything sexual happens, but in this case I was weak. I know I need to tell him about my status, but how do I bring it up?

David Wohl, M.D., responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum


 HIV Disclosure: African Americans Tell How They Told
thumbnail image for blurbIt's been said that the intense focus on privacy in many African-American communities creates a "veil of secrecy" around HIV, making it profoundly difficult for many individuals to be open about their HIV status. Here, 12 African Americans with HIV share their experiences.




Living With HIV

 Is My Eventual Decline Inevitable?
As a newly seroconverted man in his late 20s, I'm terrified about the future. Is it likely that my health will deteriorate so much in the next few years that I'll have to leave my job? Should I abandon my thoughts of having a family?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Are Poppers Dangerous?
I sniff poppers about three times per week. I'm also taking Atripla. I don't do any other party drugs and I'm extremely adherent to my HIV med doses, but am I hurting my immune system with the poppers?

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


 Should I Take Vitamin D Supplements?
What are the benefits of vitamin D3 for people with HIV? How much should I take daily?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Can HIV-Positive People Have Babies? 7 Myths Dispelled
thumbnail image for blurbIf you think that HIV-positive people can't have babies, then we have some news for you! Don't let ancient medical reports and ignorance mislead you: Read about these seven major myths regarding HIV and having children.



how do you #LiveBold?

thumbnail image for blurbEach of us knows all too well how deeply stigma can affect the lives of people with HIV. We also know how much HIV-positive people do, day in and day out, to push back against that stigma.

TheBody.com's parent company, Remedy Health Media, is honoring that fight against stigma with a photo contest that gives you a chance to make a statement -- and potentially win some cash in the process.

The Live Bold, Live Now Photo Contest invites people who are living with a significant health issue to share their story by July 11; public voting will determine the winners of a $500 first prize, $250 second prize and $100 third prize.

Visit the photo contest entry post on Remedy's Facebook page to learn more and participate!



HIV/AIDS Treatment

 How Strict Is the "Empty Stomach" Requirement for Atripla?
I'm currently on Sustiva, Epivir and Viread (a regimen very similar to Atripla). I've read that these should be taken on an empty stomach, but just how "empty" does my stomach need to be? What happens if I eat food when I take my meds?

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


 How Long Is the "Adjustment Period" When Starting Treatment?
Approximately how long does it take for the body to adjust to HIV meds? I just started taking Isentress and Truvada, and am wondering when I can stop worrying about certain side effects emerging.

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


 Is a Two-Drug, Single-Pill Regimen Possible?
I read a press release about a new one-pill regimen being developed that combines Edurant, an NNRTI, with Tivicay, an integrase inhibitor. The companies producing the drug are excited about it, obviously -- but should I be?

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


 6 Reasons Why People Skip Their HIV Meds
thumbnail image for blurbWe all know it's important to take HIV medications every day, but let's face it: It's not always the easiest thing to do. Here are six key obstacles that can block the way between you and your meds -- and tips on how to get past them.


Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns

 Will Medicare Give Me Decent HIV Care?
What can I expect from Medicare when I retire in two years? How good are they about paying for meds and labs?

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


 What Do I Need to Consider Before Switching Jobs?
I'm considering a new job with a new company, but I have questions about how my current medical coverage would translate into coverage under the new company's insurance plan. How do I get answers without disclosing my status?

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



Connect With Others

One Year Later, Healthier and Happier
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

"One year ago, I tested positive. ... When the results came back, my counts were CD4 = 5 and viral load = 416,000. My life changed. I cleaned myself up. No more drugs. I was going to live.

"The reason I am posting here is so that others know that you can do it. Follow your doctor's orders; be compliant no matter how bad you may feel. I am now undetectable and my CD4 is 233. I know [what it's like to be] scared and angry. I am now happy and ... I am here to give you hope and support."

 -- rsmithson

Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

To do this, you'll need to register with TheBody.com's bulletin boards if you're a new user. Registration is quick and anonymous (all you need is an email address) -- click here to get started!




Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS

 Seven Years of "AIDS" but Never Sick?
Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with "full-blown AIDS" -- but I never felt sick. I'm 67 now, on treatment, and doing extremely well. I never even have a cold. How is all of this possible?

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


 Shingles Vaccine?
Should I take the shingles vaccine if I'm living with HIV? I've been positive since 1995, but my CD4 count is high and my viral load is undetectable.

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


 Can My Hep C Coinfection Go Away By Itself?
I've had confusing results from hepatitis C tests over the years. In the late '90s, I seemed to test positive, but as recently as last month a test came out negative. Can someone be spontaneously cured of hep C? How does my HIV-positive and hepatitis B-positive status play into this?

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




Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs

 Is Today's "Undetectable" The Same as Yesterday's?
Why do my viral load test results say I have "<20 copies/mL" when most tests I read about measure "undetectable" at 50 copies/mL?

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


 Are CD4 Fluctuations Normal While Taking HIV Meds?
When I started treatment, my CD4 count was 225. Over the following six months, it has gone as high as 379 and as low as 304. Should I be concerned about these fluctuations?

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





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Activist Central

 Nelson Vergel Asks for Your Help to Save HIV+ Venezuelans' Lives


 CDC Launches "Start Talking. Stop HIV.": A New National HIV Prevention Campaign for Gay and Bisexual Men


 The HIV Economic Empowerment Campaign: A Time for Change, a Time for Action


 Tell the White House to Ensure HIV Coverage Under Obamacare