December 8, 2008
Visit the Forums
"Hot Topics" Library
Change/Update Subscription

LIVING WITH HIV

 "Hydroxycut Hardcore": A Safe Fat-Burning Supplement?
Would it be all right to start taking Hydroxycut Hardcore liquid capsules to reduce some of my body fat? Is this product safe for people with HIV? Does it interact with HIV meds?


 My Brother Seems to Be Giving Up; What Can I Do?
My brother has HIV and was recently released from the hospital. He told me that his CD4 count was 26 and that he doesn't take his HIV meds consistently because he's depressed. I can't get him to be honest with me about what all this means, but I get the feeling he's trying to prepare us for the worst. Is there anything I can do to help him?


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES

 My Pregnant Wife Was Just Diagnosed; What Do We Need to Know?
My wife is pregnant. She's tested positive for HIV; I've tested negative. We have no idea where to go from here. Can you help us figure out our next steps?


Also Worth Noting: Visual AIDS

Image from the November/December 2008 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
"A Wishful Gargoyle," 2003; Rene Capone

Visit the November/December 2008 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Salute," is curated by HIV Plus: Health + Spirit + Culture + Life.
HIV TRANSMISSION

 Kissing an HIV-Positive Person With Bleeding Gums
I'm in a magnetic relationship (I'm the negative partner). My partner has gingivitis and while we were kissing passionately, I noticed his gums were bleeding. I don't have any visible cuts or sores in my mouth. How high is my HIV risk in this situation?


 Can I Have Unprotected Sex With the Person Who Infected Me?
I'm a gay man and I contracted HIV from my partner. I've tried all the condoms on the market and have a severe allergic reaction to them. My partner and I are still having unprotected sex, and I'm the receiver (bottom). Is this OK?


HIV TREATMENT

 Starting Treatment: When Will My Viral Load Become Undetectable, and When Will Side Effects Kick In?
I began taking HIV meds for the first time just five days ago. I haven't felt any side effects yet; is that likely to change? Also, my viral load was 3,000 when I started meds, and my CD4 count was 350. How long will it take for my viral load to become undetectable?


 Using Sustiva + Truvada Instead of Atripla for One Night
I take Sustiva (efavirenz) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) as separate pills, but I have a friend who takes Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC), which combines both drugs. If my friend forgot his meds and was staying at my place overnight, could I give him one of my Sustiva pills and one of my Truvada pills in place of his one Atripla pill?


 Taking Fish Oil Capsules to Offset Lipid Increases on Kaletra
I am taking fish oil capsules to lower my triglycerides, which went up after I started taking Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir). Do you think the fish oil will really help? Is there any risk of drug interactions?


Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
Discrimination in the Delivery Room: Should I Prepare for the Worst?
(A recent post from the "Women" board)

I have been positive for over 10 years. Now I am pregnant and in my first trimester (yay!). My doctors have been very supportive. ... However, I fear discrimination in the delivery room. ... My doctors I get to pick and choose, but the other staff is just thrown at you. Some could be great, but I am scared of a well-meaning but under-informed nurse misdirecting my care or being rude while I am defenseless to respond.

Would having a vocal friend there help (my husband is great, but he is very quiet and non-confrontational)? Am I just overreacting?

-- megjemima

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

Also Worth Noting: Medicine Recycling

Recycle Your Meds

Your extra medications are needed by many people with HIV. Organizations such as Aid for AIDS and the Starfish Project will pay for you to send them your extra meds for HIV and related illnesses, and then ship them to people in South America and Africa who would die without them.

If you have extra meds you don't need, please take a moment to learn more about Aid for AIDS and the Starfish Project, or click here for additional news and information about medication recycling programs.
HEPATITIS

 Undetectable Hepatitis C Viral Load After Four Weeks of Treatment
My husband is HIV positive and coinfected with hepatitis C genotype 1. About eight weeks ago, he started hep C treatment because he had a high hep C viral load. It dropped to undetectable after four weeks of treatment, but his CD4 count sank from 340 to 200. How worried should we be? What are his chances of a sustained virologic response to hep C treatment, and for how long should he continue treatment?


 Will There Be a Cure for Chronic Hepatitis B?
What are the chances that researchers will discover a cure for chronic hepatitis B within the next 10 years?


HEALTH ISSUES & SIDE EFFECTS

 Solutions for Severe Erectile Problems While on HIV Meds
I am 53 years old and have been HIV positive since 1989. For four or five years now, I've had erectile dysfunction problems and produce no semen at all. Medications don't help. I'm taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) and a low dose of Serostim; my testosterone levels are normal. What are my options? The only ones I've heard about are surgical pumps or injections, both of which sound uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing.


YOU & YOUR LABS

 Can a Flu Shot Increase My Viral Load?
I got my flu shot the day before yesterday, and I'm due for a viral load test in about a week. Can the flu shot cause my viral load to increase? If so, how long would that increase last?


 Undetectable Viral Load and CD4 Count Increase -- Without HIV Meds?
It's been five years since I was diagnosed with HIV and I'm still not on HIV medications. However, my latest tests showed that my viral load is still undetectable and my CD4 count is around 1,000 -- both of which are better than they used to be. My doctor even retested me for HIV just to be 100 percent sure that I'm definitely HIV positive (I am). Is there any scientific explanation for this?


STRANGE BUT TRUE

 The Nose, HIV and Two Dominatrices
I recently was involved with two dominatrices, and I'm a little worried. I think some vaginal fluid got in my nose when one dominatrix sat on my face. I also sucked on a dildo, and they put nipple clamps on me and inserted a vibrator and fingers into my anus. Could any of these contacts have put me at risk for HIV?