June 24, 2014
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HIV/AIDS Treatment

 Starting Atripla: What Side Effects Should I Be Ready For?
I'm thinking of starting treatment with Viraday (a generic version of Atripla available in resource-poor countries). How long will it take for my body to adjust to the drug, and what side effects can I expect?

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

 How Long Till I'm Undetectable?
I started my HIV treatment with a viral load of 36,000. After one month it went down to 245 and after three months to 152, but I'm worried because I am not undetectable yet! Is this normal?

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

 My Treatment's Working, But ...
I've been on Atripla since I found out I was positive almost two years ago. I have an undetectable viral load and a healthy CD4 count. However, I am always tired, find it very hard to wake up, and have a hard time planning meals around my pill due to an extremely varied work/life schedule. What are my options?

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

 How to Make HIV "Take Up Knitting"
thumbnail image for blurbMuch of the research on finding an HIV cure has focused on pulling HIV out of its hiding spots within the body. But what if we could alter a person's cells to prevent HIV from even reaching those hiding spots? Answering this question is the mission of David Harrich, Ph.D. -- and he thinks he might be getting close.

Connect With Others

My Miracle: A "Normal" Immune System
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

"Just had to share the great news! I never thought I'd hear the doctor call me 'normal' but she did just that on my last check up! Last year at this time I had a CD4 count of 150, today my count is almost 600. I can't tell you how excited I was when I heard her say, 'We can take you off the Bactrim now, since your immune system is normal.' ... The positive life is much different than I thought it would be. Life is just as challenging as before, but my husband (who is doing wonderfully as well) and I seem to take less for granted."

 -- Ninjawife

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Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns

 Is It Safe to Go Without Insurance While I'm Between Jobs?
I have a new job offer. There will be several days, between my current employer and starting with the new employer, when I will be uninsured. Should I bother with COBRA during this period, or should just take a leap of faith and hope it will all be fine?

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

 Moving From Brazil to U.S.: Can I Afford HIV Treatment?
I'm in a mixed-status relationship with a guy (I'm the negative partner). He found out he's positive in January and started treatment. We're from Brazil but are about to move to California for 18 months. Most websites seem to say that HIV treatment in the U.S is way too expensive. Is there anything my partner can do to get affordable treatment while we're in the country?

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

Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS

 Where Did This Foot Numbness Come From?
Are my HIV meds causing numbness in my toes and feet, or is it something else? I take Isentress, Emtriva and recently added Edurant. I also take a few psychiatric meds.

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

 What's the Best Solution for This Horrible Nausea?
I've been positive since 1989 and started treatment in 1997. No big problems or illnesses -- except side effects. I have always had a sensitive stomach, but after taking all these pills for the past 17 years I think it has finally had enough. I tried Atripla and Stribild, and both caused nausea and vomiting for hours. Is this what the rest of my life is going to be?

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

 Recapping 2014 Hepatitis C Treatment Research Thus Far
thumbnail image for blurb2014 has so far been a year of breakthroughs for hepatitis C (HCV) treatment. Here is an overview on some of the major developments.

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.

HealthCentral, TheBody.com's sister site in the Remedy Health Media network, 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!

Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs

 How Can I Tell if I'm a Non-Progressor?
I was diagnosed in 2004 and am not on any meds. My viral load is now at 1,200 -- though at its highest it was 7,000. My CD4 count is 490 and has never been lower than 326. What does all this mean -- and is it OK that I'm still off treatment?

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

 What's Up With My Viral Load and CD4 Roller Coaster?
I was diagnosed in January 2014, and my doctor told me the infection was really recent. I started treatment with a viral load of 400,000 and a CD4 count of 320 CD4-cells. In April 2014, my viral load was 800 and my CD4 was 690. In June 2014, my viral load was up to 8,000 but my CD4 was still 690. What's going on? Has my Atripla has already stopped working?

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

 Did My Trip to Europe Kill My HIV Meds?
I've been HIV positive for over 25 years, am on meds and have never had an AIDS-defining condition. My CD4 count hovered in the 600 to 700 range until recently, after an exhausting trip to Europe, it dipped to 464. My doc isn't alarmed, but I am -- have I put my treatment success at risk?

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

 Can Antiretrovirals Help Those Who Control HIV Naturally?
thumbnail image for blurbThe more we learn about "HIV controllers," the more we realize that they may not actually be "controlling" their HIV infection quite as well as we'd thought.

Strange but True

 Did My Haircut Go Viral?
One month ago, I went to a barber shop. After cutting my hair, the barber used his razor to shave the back of my neck -- and he cut a pimple. I didn't bleed -- it didn't even hurt -- but if that blade hadn't been properly cleaned from a previous customer who had HIV and was cut, could I be at risk?

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

 Did My Husband Sign His Way Into HIV?
My husband was signing a document and the sales rep passed him a pen -- the same pen the sales rep was using. I noticed the sales rep had red, probably bloody cuticles. If the sales rep was HIV positive, could the pen have transmitted the virus?

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


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