Hot Topics at The Body's Ask the Experts Forums
July 22, 2008
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MIXED-STATUS COUPLES

 Is Being With an HIVer Too Much to Risk?
After being separated from my first love for years, I learned he had been diagnosed with HIV. I broke off the relationship entirely after testing negative because I think being with an HIV-positive man is too much to risk, even for love. However, this man insists that having a relationship with an HIVer isnít all that dangerous. I think heís being selfish. What do you think?


 Can You Get HIV by "Docking"?
I'm curious about the risk of HIV transmission from "docking" -- inserting my penis into another man's foreskin. Could I get HIV if I dock long enough -- say, for a minute or so?



Also Worth Noting: Visual AIDS

Image from the July 2008 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
"Will Art Save My Life?" 1990; Nancer LeMoins

Visit the July 2008 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Militancy and Mourning," is curated by Paul Sendziuk.

LIVING WITH HIV

 All Signs Say I'm Doing Much Better; Why Don't I Feel It?
All my blood tests say that I'm doing better since I started HIV treatment three months ago. I'm also living a healthier lifestyle than ever before. So why am I feeling so ill and tired?


 Is Binge Drinking Really That Dangerous?
I was recently diagnosed; my viral load is 19,000 and my CD4 count is 460. I haven't started treatment yet and I was wondering if my once-a-week indulgence will affect my health: Every Saturday night, I go clubbing and have around 15 drinks over the course of seven hours. How much damage is this really doing to my body?



HIV NEWS & VIEWPOINTS

 Is It Time to Sing "Ding, Dong, the HIV Travel Ban Is Dead"?
Yippee! The U.S. Senate has approved a bill that would end the 15-year-old rule banning people with HIV from traveling to the United States. Is this rule change definitely going to become law?


 Is the U.S. Government Hiding an HIV Cure in a Secret Vault?
I have a theory that the U.S. government has a formula for stopping HIV dead in its tracks. I also bet that if big pharmaceutical companies discover a cure, they will keep it a secret, too. I think we need to rise up and force the powers that be to stop withholding lifesaving treatment. Do you agree?



HIV TREATMENT

 What Happened to the Experimental Drug KP-1461?
I thought that the initial trials of KP-1461, an experimental HIV drug, were really promising. However, I recently heard that the drug was suddenly found to have no effect against HIV. I'm really confused. Can you explain what's going on?


 Will One Missed Dose Make Me Drug Resistant?
After almost eight months of being completely adherent to my HIV treatment regimen, I forgot to take my meds for one day. How likely is it that this lapse will cause drug resistance?


 Can I Take Kaletra Just Once a Day?
I was wondering about taking Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) with Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Truvada is a once-a-day pill, and to make life easier I'd like to take Kaletra once a day as well, even though it's prescribed as a twice-a-day drug. Is this safe?



Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
How Safe Is Safe?
(A recent post from the "Gay Men With HIV" board)

I'm a newly diagnosed gay male who is trying to navigate his way through dealing with this process. ... Since my diagnosis I have been pretty freaked out with the thought of having any sort of sexual interactions with anyone. I know that this is a very normal reaction, and that I will become more comfortable with myself and my sexuality with time. The major [question] is if I could now be comfortable engaging in sexual acts with someone who has a negative status. I would never want to get someone infected with this virus.

How safe is "safe sex"? What are people's experiences with oral sex? Do I have to always use condoms when receiving oral sex? I tend to have a lot of precum, and I know that the virus can be transmitted through that. This makes me very nervous. In addition, I feel like I will be so inhibited and uncomfortable, and I'm worried that it will affect my behavior.

-- dancin_man

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

HEALTH ISSUES

 Stopping Treatment for Toxo
When is it safe to go off toxoplasmosis meds?


 What to Do About Borderline Low Testosterone Levels
My testosterone levels are technically normal, but they're right at the bottom of the acceptable range. I think these borderline-low levels are beginning to affect my life: I've totally lost my sex drive and generally feel tired and out of sorts. I'm already on HIV meds and an antidepressant. Does it makes sense for me to start testosterone therapy or steroids?


 Am I Taking the Right Meds for HIV and Hep B?
I'm coinfected with chronic hepatitis B and HIV, but my viral load for both viruses is undetectable. Still, I'm worried I may not be taking the right meds: I'm only on Combivir (AZT/3TC) and Viramune (nevirapine). Should I consider switching?


 Is There a Limit to Sculptra Use?
I was treated for facial wasting three times: Once with Radiesse and twice with Sculptra. My last Sculptra treatment consisted of five separate visits. After the fifth visit, my doctor told me it was probably the last time that Sculptra would be useful. Is there really a limit to how often Sculptra can be used successfully? If so, what should I try next?



YOU & YOUR LABS

 My Viral Load Remains Barely Detectable
I was diagnosed with HIV in 1987, and this February I finally started my first HIV drug regimen. My CD4 count keeps rising, but my viral load seems to have "stalled" at 60. Should I be worried that it's not undetectable?


 Viral Load Rising Fast; Should We Move Up Our Next Doctor's Appointment?
My partner has been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for a few years. His viral load was undetectable for more than two years, but now it's rising: In his last three blood tests, his viral load went from 4,300 to 16,000. The doc doesn't seem overly concerned, and has not moved up my partner's next appointment, which is still a few weeks away. Should we push to get to the doc sooner?



STRANGE BUT TRUE

 A Positive Pup?
Can my dog get HIV from me by chewing on a towel with my dried blood on it?


 13 Years Later ...
I was exposed to HIV 13 years ago. Since then I've gotten tested seven times. Even though the results always come back negative, I'm still really worried that I'm positive. Could all my results over the past 13 have been false negatives?



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