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April 28, 2008
In This Hot Topics:
  • Mixed-Status Relationships
  • Body Shape Problems
  • Cancer and HIV
  • Other Complications
  • Living With HIV
  • HIV Treatment
  • Strange but True

    What Does "Safer Sex" Really Mean?
    I'm married and HIV positive; my husband is negative. I go way overboard with protection -- make my husband wear latex gloves to touch me sexually, use dental dams for oral sex and limit open-mouth kissing. I do not want to give him HIV, yet I want to have as normal sex as we can. Can you please tell me what is safe?

    How Am I Still Negative After Several Years With a Positive Partner?
    My partner of 12 years and I got tested for HIV recently; we learned he is positive and I am negative. We think he got HIV a few years ago, when we both had sex with other people. But if he's had HIV for so long, shouldn’t I be positive by now?

    How Can a Woman Infect a Man With HIV?
    What exactly needs to happen for an HIV-positive woman to pass the virus to a man during vaginal sex? Is the risk low?

    Body shape problems have been an especially hot issue in our "Ask the Experts" forums lately. In fact, each of our three new forums -- one on aging, one on nutrition and one on facial wasting -- recently featured questions on this important topic!

    Graeme Moyle, M.D.Will Gastric Banding Help Me Lose Weight?
    Is gastric banding (an operation in which surgeons install a device that constricts a person's stomach) a safe way for overweight, middle-aged HIVers to get trim? (This question was answered by Graeme Moyle, M.D., in our new "Aging With HIV" forum.)

    Nelson VergelHow Can I Lose My Belly Fat?
    I have been on Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) + Combivir (AZT/3TC) for almost three years. Since then I have gained almost 20 pounds of hard fat around my midsection and can't seem to lose it. Do you have any suggestions for slimming down? (This question was answered by Nelson Vergel in our new "Nutrition and Exercise" forum.)

    Gerald Pierone, M.D.Why Won't This Fat Go Away?
    I've been living with HIV for 14 years, and during that time I've developed large fat deposits in my back, my belly and even my pubic area! I weigh 300 pounds (despite having skinny legs), diets have had no effect, and liposuction proved to be only a temporary fix. What can I do? (This question was answered by Gerald Pierone, M.D., in our new "Facial Wasting" forum.)

    Anal Cancer Risk Factors?
    I was recently diagnosed with anal cancer. I already know that being a gay man who had anal sex certainly played a role in this, but how much did having HIV or being over the age of 50 put me at risk? What are the other risk factors for anal cancer?

    Treatment Priorities When You Have HIV and Cancer
    I've been diagnosed with both HIV and cancer. Which should I treat first?

    Can't Keep It Up!
    I'm worried that my HIV meds may be the reason I can't maintain an erection. Is there anything I can do?

    I Love the Sun, but It No Longer Loves Me
    For several years I have been extremely sensitive to the sun. Little blisters appear on any part of my skin that is directly exposed to sunlight, and sometimes even SPF 48 sunblock can't protect me! Could this be a side effect of my HIV meds?

    Can I Change My Regimen to Avoid the Runs?
    I've been taking Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa) and Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) since I was diagnosed with HIV three years ago. I now have an undetectable viral load and a CD4 count of 278, but I have diarrhea every day. I want to switch HIV treatment regimens to avoid the diarrhea, but I'm worried about changing a regimen that seems to be working. Can you help?

    My Best Friend Thinks He's Going to Die
    My best friend recently tested positive for HIV and seems to have lost all hope. He's only 23 years old and he thinks he's going to die. What can I do to help him?

    Memory Loss and HIV
    I'm a 37 year-old HIVer, and I'm experiencing more and more memory loss. Is this a side effect of my HIV meds, the virus itself or something else?

    For the Love of Grapefruit
    I've heard that I shouldn't be drinking grapefruit juice because I'm on Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) monotherapy. Is this true?

    Is Searching for an HIV Cure a Fool’s Errand?
    I think it's ridiculous to expect researchers to be able to find a cure for HIV. After all, it's a virus, and we've had no success at curing the common cold, another virus. Wouldn't we be better off just concentrating on creating a vaccine to control HIV?

    Waiter, There's a Virus in My Soup
    While eating at a restaurant recently, a small piece of my food fell off my plate and onto the table. I picked it up and ate it. There was no sign of blood on the table, but if someone with HIV had bled on it, could I have become infected?

    Visual AIDS
    Art From HIV-Positive Artists

    Stop in and browse the full collection!
    "DANGER (From AIDS Historical Virus Series)," 1996; Joe Monroe
    Visit the April 2008 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Red, White & Blue," is curated by Max-Carlos Martinez and Edward Winkleman.

    Connect With Others
    t The Body's Bulletin Boards

    Should I Jump Right Into Treatment?
    (A recent post from the
    "Living With HIV" board)

    I just got my first blood work tests back: My CD4 count is 374 and my viral load is 10,400. My doctor said I should consider treatment. Should I wait and take another round of tests, so I can average the two?

    -- dcboy20

    Click here to join this discussion thread, or to start your own!