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Newly Updated and Expanded Edition of Built to Survive! Now Available

By Guy Pujol

November/December 2003

Built to Survive!: A Comprehensive Guide to the Medical Use of Anabolic Steroids, Nutrition and Exercise for HIV(+) Men and Women

The third edition of Michael Mooney and Nelson Vergel's Built to Survive!: A Comprehensive Guide to the Medical Use of Anabolic Steroids, Nutrition and Exercise for HIV(+) Men and Women was released last month. This updated and expanded edition contains two new chapters on mitochondrial toxicity and facial wasting, which the authors describe as "the most important issues in the lives of those living with HIV" (p. 57).

Built to Survive! is an easy-to-read resource book for people living with HIV disease, addressing two primary sets of problems: body composition (particularly wasting and lipodystrophy) and drug side effects. Written by HIV treatment advocates Michael Mooney and Nelson Vergel, Built to Survive! offers practical information for maximum health and quality of life. Mooney, a nutrition industry insider and former competitive bodybuilder, and Vergel, a long-term survivor of HIV who credits his health and vitality to the program outlined in this book, advocate a comprehensive program based on nutrition, exercise, supplementation and anabolic support to combat wasting (unintentional weight loss), lipodystrophy (fat redistribution) and medication side effects (such as diarrhea, neuropathy, high cholesterol, depression and decreased libido).

Built to Survive! begins with Nelson Vergel's own story of living with HIV disease and discovering a holistic program which allowed him to fight back from AIDS Wasting Syndrome by building 45 pounds of muscle and rebuilding his health. The book continues by explaining the Program for Wellness Restoration (PoWeR) and how this program can benefit all people living with HIV/AIDS. The book offers logical and convincing arguments for the use of anabolic-androgenic agents (steroids and hormone precursors) and appetite stimulants, when needed, to enhance body composition, and Mooney and Vergel support these arguments with scientific studies and peer-reviewed journal articles.

This third edition of Built to Survive! not only updates information in chapters contained in previous editions but also adds two new chapters. Chapter 13: "Mitochondrial Damage" by Brad S. Lichtenstein, N.D., explains how antiretroviral medications (particularly the NRTIs) damage the cells' mitochondria (which produces energy for the cell) and, subsequently, contribute to lipodystrophy -- both lipoatrophy (fat loss) and lipohypertrophy (fat accumulation) -- and offers complementary therapies for strengthening and protecting the mitochondria.

Chapter 14: "HIV-Related Facial Wasting: Potential Reconstructive Procedures" by Nelson Vergel provides a descriptive and comparative analysis of the various reconstructive techniques being used to counter the effects of facial wasting. Four primary options are discussed -- fat grafting, facelift, dermal/fat grafts and artificial filling materials -- with the majority of the chapter devoted to a comparison of artificial filling materials. Facial implants considered include collagen, silicone, New-Fill® and others.

The updated and expanded information in this third edition of Built to Survive! make it worth the price, even for people who own the first or second edition. Copies of Built to Survive! can be purchased from AIDS Treatment Initiatives (ATI) for $19.00 (suggested retail price: $24.95). The Ebook (electronic copy) of Built to Survive! may be purchased online at for $14.95 (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).

This article was provided by AIDS Survival Project. It is a part of the publication Survival News. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

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