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November 12, 2007
In This Hot Topics:
  • HIV Treatment
  • Complications of HIV & AIDS
  • HIV & HPV
  • HIV Transmission
  • Strange but True
  •  HIV TREATMENT

    What's the Safest Way to Stop My Meds?
    I want to stop taking my meds -- Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) and Viramune (nevirapine) -- but my doctors don't agree on the proper way for me to stop. How can I limit my chances of developing resistance when I stop taking my meds?


    Will HIV Treatment Get Even Simpler in the Future?
    I recently read about a study that suggested Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) might effectively fight HIV without the help of other HIV meds. That makes me wonder whether people with HIV drugs will be able to take fewer HIV meds in the future. As stronger HIV meds become available, could monotherapy (the use of just one drug, instead of a combination of meds) become the norm?


    Long-Term Survivor With a High CD4 Count but Rising Viral Load; Should I Start HIV Meds?
    I've been HIV positive for more than 20 years. I took Retrovir (zidovudine, AZT) monotherapy for about six years in the early 1990s, but I'm not taking any HIV meds now. My CD4 count is still in the high 500s and overall I'm pretty healthy, but my viral load recently climbed from less than 15,000 to 48,000. Should I think about starting HIV treatment now? If so, with what?


    Newly Diagnosed and Wondering About Resistance
    I know resistance to HIV meds is still a major issue in HIV care, but it seems that fewer and fewer people are talking about it these days. Why is that? As a newly diagnosed HIVer, do I need to worry about resistance?


    My CD4 Count Is Still Low; Should I Switch HIV Meds?
    I was diagnosed with HIV in July and started taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) in August. My viral load quickly went to undetectable, but my most recent CD4 count was only 205. Now my doctor wants me to switch to Reyataz (atazanavir) + Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Do you think I need to change HIV meds?
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     COMPLICATIONS OF HIV & HIV MEDS

    Can Marijuana Mess With My CD4?
    I smoke mariajuana recreationally, and have been doing so since I was young. My CD4 count is in the 400s and my viral load is around 3,000. Will smoking pot lower CD4 count? What affect does marijuana have on HIV?


    How Can I Treat My Anemia and Fatigue?
    I'm a 50-year-old man who was diagnosed with HIV in 1992. Anemia and fatigue are really starting to interfere with my life: I'm tired all the time and very slow to get going in the morning. Some days the fog doesn't seem to lift from my head at all, and my legs feel really heavy when walking up the slightest incline. What can I do to beat this?


    Could Giving a Child HIV Meds Ruin Her Liver?
    I'm outraged at the thought of putting a small child on HIV medications for her entire lifetime. I believe that HIV medications are highly toxic. Won't giving them to a child for several years ruin her liver?


    Are My PCP Prevention Meds Safe?
    I've been prescribed Mepron (atovaquone) to prevent pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). The prescribing information for Mepron warns that the drug may have "metabolic effects." Could you explain the health risks of taking Mepron?
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     HIV & HPV

    HIV Versus HPV
    Last night, a woman I'm dating told me that she has HPV. We haven't had sex yet, but I'm worried. I really care about her. Are HPV and HIV the same virus? If not, how are they related?


    Should Men Get Vaccinated Against HPV?
    I am a 43-year-old, HIV-positive man. Is it a good idea for me to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine? I know it's officially recommended only for girls and young women, but I heard it might also prevent anal cancer in men.
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     HIV TRANSMISSION

    Oprah Convinced Me I Have HIV
    My condom broke while I was having sex with a prostitute. At first I wasn't worried, but then I saw an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show about rising HIV infection rates among women. Now I'm convinced I have HIV, but I dread taking an HIV test. How can I calm myself down enough to actually go get tested?


    Lymph Nodes and HIV
    I'm a man currently serving in Iraq, but it's HIV that has me scared. I had unprotected sex with a woman before I came over here, and now I have a swollen lymph node on one side of my neck. I'm having trouble getting blood tests done while I'm in Iraq. Do you think the puffed-up lymph node means I have HIV?
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     STRANGE BUT TRUE

    A Really Nasty Computer Virus
    I fixed an HIV-positive friend's computer. The dust inside the computer got everywhere. I breathed it in and found it all over my scraped-up hands. Now I'm wondering: I couldn't catch HIV from computer dust, could I?
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    Visual AIDS
    Art From HIV-Positive Artists

    Image from the November 2007 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
    "Gaze in the Military," 1997; Samuel F. Lewis
    Visit the November 2007 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Mnemonic Provocations," is curated by Mario H. Ramirez.

    This Month in HIV
    Sex, Privacy and the Law
    When You're HIV Positive

    This Month in HIV

    Since the mid-1980s, people with HIV in the United States have been fired, evicted, injured, imprisoned, ostracized and even killed simply for having the virus in their blood. As an HIV-positive person, what can you do to protect yourself -- in life, in love, at work and elsewhere?

    In our newly launched October edition of This Month in HIV, attorney and HIV advocate Catherine Hanssens walks us through the facts about HIV, sex, privacy and the law in the United States. Click here to read the interview, listen online or download an MP3!