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July 30, 2007
In This Hot Topics:
  • Living With HIV
  • You and Your CD4 Count
  • HIV Treatment
  • Women & Pregnancy
  • Strange but True

    Why Am I Still Healthy After More Than Five Years With HIV?
    I was diagnosed with HIV five years ago, but I've never had any symptoms. My CD4 count has consistently been more than 800, and my viral load has always been undetectable. Does this mean I am a long-term nonprogressor, or could my initial HIV diagnosis have been wrong? I want to live a normal life as a wife and mother, but I'm constantly scared of getting sick or people finding out that I'm HIV positive.

    15 Years Without HIV Meds -- and Counting!
    I've been HIV positive since 1992 and have never taken meds. Despite this, my CD4 count is higher now than it was when I was diagnosed! My theory is that not taking HIV meds is what has kept me so healthy. What do you think?

    How Much Can My Low CD4 Count Rise After Starting Treatment?
    When I was diagnosed with HIV in February, my CD4 count was 20. I immediately started taking HIV meds, along with antibiotics to ward off opportunistic infections. I'm about to go in for my second set of lab tests. What can I expect? How much should my CD4 count rebound?

    Does Fluctuating CD4 Count = HIV Drug Resistance?
    I'm on HIV treatment, but my CD4 count keeps fluctuating: 536 in January, 883 in April, 753 in June. Does this mean I'm developing HIV drug resistance?

    Do I Need to Start HIV Treatment With a CD4 Count Above 400?
    My doctor is urging me to start HIV meds, but I'm reluctant. In July my viral load was 127,000 (although usually it's between 3,000 and 30,000) and my CD4 count was 430. I've been in good health since my diagnosis in 2002. I'm scared of the side effects of HIV meds and worried that I'm not ready to be 100 percent adherent. Do I need to start treatment for HIV right now?

    Should I Add MK-0518 to a Drug Regimen That's Already Working?
    I've been on a successful HIV treatment regimen for three years. My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count/percentage is 380/30%. However, I've heard good things about the integrase inhibitor in development, MK-0518 (raltegravir). Could this new drug make my current regimen even more effective?

    Should I Start HIV Meds to Protect My HIV-Negative Boyfriend?
    I'm in excellent health, but I'm dating an HIV-negative man and want to reduce my risk of infecting him as much as possible. What are the pros and cons of starting treatment now? My first lab results, which were taken six months after I was infected, came back with a viral load of 74,000 and a CD4 count of 864.

    Wisdom of Taking My HIV Meds Once Every Two Days to Spare My Kidneys
    I'm a woman over 50 who has been taking Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) + Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) for the past two years. Now my doctor says she's concerned about my kidneys; she recommends I start taking my meds once every other day instead of once a day. Does this sound OK to you?

    I Started Treatment During Acute Infection; Should I Stop It Now?
    I was diagnosed with acute HIV infection in December 2006, and a month later I started Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). Now I'm seeing a new doctor. Because my CD4 count is over 600 and my viral load is undetectable, this new doctor suggests I stop my HIV meds. I trust both of these HIV doctors. Whose advice should I take?

    Having a Baby When You're Hepatitis C Positive
    My wife has hepatitis C and is 10 weeks pregnant. (She's not HIV positive, but I am.) Her doctor says her liver function tests are on the rise. What does this mean, and what should we do about it?

    Should a Pregnant, HIV-Positive Woman Stop Taking Her HIV Meds?
    I'm caring for an HIV-positive woman who's 10 weeks pregnant and taking Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa) + Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin). Her doctor says she shouldn't be taking any HIV meds because they could harm her baby. What do you think?


    Giving a Whole New Meaning to Foot-and-Mouth Disease
    I'm a doctor, and I was caring for an HIV-positive patient with a very high viral load and very low CD4 count. As part of the examination, I scraped the sole of his foot with my car key to test his reflexes. Later that evening, when I had my hands full getting out of the car, I put the key in my mouth. Can I get HIV this way?

    Can a Goat Cure HIV?
    Have you heard about a man studying goat serum as a possible cure for HIV? It sounds pretty interesting to me.


    Visual AIDS
    Listen to the Latest
    Research From IAS 2007

    Photo Collage of HIV Experts at IAS 2007

    Get the latest info on HIV-related research straight from the researchers' lips! We interviewed a wide range of HIV experts at the 4th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2007), which took place last week in Sydney, Australia. Podcasts of these interviews are now available, and we're adding more every day!

    From conference wrap-ups to recaps of individual studies, our IAS 2007 podcast index is the place to be for audio recaps straight from Sydney! Check back often; we're always adding additional podcasts, and full transcripts of each interview will be available soon.

    Visual AIDS
    Art From HIV-Positive Artists

    Image from the July 2007 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
    "Installation View," 1996;
    Mark Morrisroe
    Visit the July 2007 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "I'm Not Mad at You, I'm Mad at the Dirt," is curated by Scott Hug, an artist whose work focuses on current social and political events, investigating politics, pop culture and media obsession.