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June 25, 2007
In This Hot Topics:
  • Living With HIV
  • HIV Treatment
  • Complications of HIV & HIV Meds
  • HIV Transmission
  • Strange but True
  •  LIVING WITH HIV

    Can I Go to Jail for Having Consensual, Unprotected Sex?
    Can an HIVer be convicted of a crime for having unprotected, consensual sex with an HIV-negative partner?


    How Do I Stop Thinking About My HIV?
    I can't stop thinking about the fact that I'm HIV positive. Don't get me wrong: It's not always in a negative way. It's just always there. I am fatigued and tired all the time. Every day, I take 100 mg of Zoloft and one Atripla. My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is 794. I really hate that I did this to myself. I just want to feel good again. What can I do?


    Aging + HIV + Meds = ?
    I'm a recently diagnosed person in my late 40s. I was wondering: Do we really know that much about people with HIV who are over 40? Can you shed some light on what happens when the effects of aging mix with HIV, HIV meds and opportunistic infections?


    Do I Have 16 Fewer Years to Live Because I Have HIV?
    I recently read about a study that said HIV infection shortens a person's life by 16 years. I'm 59 years old and have been HIV positive for more than 20 years. Even though I feel great, do the results of this study mean I'm in the "sundown" of my life?


    HIV, Syphilis and Depression
    I was just diagnosed with both HIV and syphilis. The syphilis has been treated, but I still have rashes on my body that I think are related to the disease. On top of everything else, I'm feeling depressed. What should I do about these rashes? What can relieve this depression?


    Dual Infection With HIV-1 and HIV-2
    I've just been diagnosed with HIV-1 and HIV-2. Is it unusual to have both types of the virus? What does this mean in terms of the HIV medications I should take? Do people with both strains of HIV have a different life span than people infected with just one?
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     HIV TREATMENT

    Deciding When to Begin HIV Meds
    Since I was diagnosed last summer, my CD4 count has remained above 300 and my viral load has hovered around 250,000. I've read that as long as my CD4 count is above 250 I don't need to start HIV meds, but I've also read that I should start treatment if my viral load is above 100,000, which it is. What should I do? I'm in no rush to start meds, but I don't look or feel very good: I have loose bowel movements, bleeding gums, and lymph nodes so big I feel self-conscious wearing a T-shirt.


    Can Meds Keep HIV Suppressed Forever?
    I've been HIV positive for more than seven years, and I'm still unclear as to what the future holds for me. My doctor told me that it's realistic to hope for lifelong suppression of my HIV, but a nurse I met said that I'll inevitably develop drug resistance. To me, these statements seem contradictory. Who's right?


    Does My Viral Load Have to Be Undetectable, or Can It Just Be Very Low?
    I've had HIV for 22 years. Until two years ago, I was bothered only by minor symptoms, even though my CD4 count was below 200 most of the time. But two years ago, intense diarrhea struck and I was hospitalized with wasting syndrome, requiring intravenous nutrition for one year. My viral load was around 90,000 and my CD4 count was below 50. Tests showed I had resistance to all approved HIV meds. I was finally put on the new HIV meds raltegravir (MK-0518) and etravirine (TMC125), and I'm doing better -- my viral load dropped to around 150 within two weeks. But it's still detectable! Should I still be trying to get my viral load below 50?


    Is Ozone Therapy Really a Fraud?
    Dear Dr. Bob: I read a recent post in your forum in which you said ozone therapy is a fraud. How can you be so sure? Although I'm aware that there are horrible people out there who will use false promises about ozone therapy to make money, I feel that ozone therapy does have many benefits. How can you judge ozone therapy if you've never researched it yourself?
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     COMPLICATIONS OF HIV & HIV MEDS

    What If My Hep C Treatment Fails?
    What should I do if I have hepatitis C, but a course of treatment with ribavirin and interferon fails to work?


    What Can I Do About Fatty Liver?
    I recently found out that I have "fatty liver," which has been caused by my HIV meds. Are there any meds or vitamins I can take to treat this condition?


    HIV Meds or Diabetes: Which Is Causing My Neuropathy?
    I am HIV positive and have type 1 diabetes. Three months ago I started taking Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Since then I've developed neuropathy (tingling/numbness) in my feet, and I occasionally feel it in my hands, upper legs and arms. Could my meds be causing the neuropathy or could this be related to my diabetes?


    Bad Kidney Test Results: Do I Switch Meds?
    I'm a 65-year-old man who's been living with HIV for more than 20 years. My latest lab tests showed some very bad results for my kidneys, and my doctor blames the Viread (tenofovir) in my regimen. I've got a history of heart problems and some resistance to HIV meds, so I'm not sure what my next step should be. What do you recommend?
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     HIV TRANSMISSION

    A Bloody Kiss
    An unhealthy-looking guy kissed me so hard he made my lip bleed. Could I have gotten HIV from him?
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     STRANGE BUT TRUE

    Nicotine, Tar ... and HIV?
    Can I get HIV by sharing a cigarette with someone who's positive?

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    Live Chat @ The Body
    Ask an Expert About HIV Treatment on Wed., June 27

    TheBody.com chat logo
    At 7 p.m. Eastern Time (4 p.m. Pacific) on Wednesday, June 27, join us at TheBody.com for a one-hour chat with Dr. Edwin DeJesus, one of the top HIV care providers in the United States! He'll answer your questions about how to choose an HIV treatment regimen that works best for you -- or how to tweak your existing regimen to make it even better.

    To sign up for an e-mail reminder about this chat, or to submit a question you'd like Dr. DeJesus to answer, click here!

    Profiles in Courage
    Inspiring Stories From HIV-Positive African Americans

    Terry Johnson
    The same year AIDS took his brother's life, Terry Johnson was diagnosed with HIV. The diagnosis came during a routine physical exam as he was re-entering the National Guard. Although Terry knew that he had put himself at risk for HIV, he still wasn't prepared for the positive result. "I thought of HIV as a death sentence that only weak people got," Terry recalls. "When I got [my diagnosis], I had to rethink my perception of what HIV was."

    Once Terry made the decision to educate himself about HIV, he realized that he could live a long, healthy and productive life with the virus. Now Terry works as an HIV-prevention specialist. "I have a message of hope for anyone who will listen and I will assist them on their journey to wholeness," he says.

    The Body is honored to present this one-on-one interview with Terry. It's one of many profiles in courage in our updated African-American HIV/AIDS Resource Center. Stop in and browse through interviews, personal perspectives, podcasts, resource listings and more!