November 16, 2009
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 Recently Diagnosed With Osteopenia: When Should I Start Bone Meds?
I have been on Reyataz (atazanavir), Norvir (ritonavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) for a little more than two years. I had a DEXA scan and my doctor said I have osteopenia and I should probably start Fosamax (alendronate) or Boniva (ibandronate) in about two years. I have a family history of osteoporosis. I've also had some fractures and dislocations over the years that have been causing some pain in the last few months. When I look at my DEXA scan report, what levels and terms should I look out for that would indicate a need to start Boniva or Fosamax sooner than two years from now?

Also Worth Noting: New Blog: Back From the Brink of Death

Thomas DeLorenzo

People still die from AIDS-related causes in the U.S. -- and some of them die without even knowing they're HIV positive. This almost happened to's blogger Thomas DeLorenzo. When he found out he had HIV in 2001, he also discovered that he had two opportunistic infections. His doctor told him he missed dying by just a few days. In his latest blog entry, Thomas recounts why he buried his head in the sand.
 HIV Meds Have Made My Belly Big and My Cheeks Sunken!
I used to have a somewhat good body and now my cheeks are sunken in and my belly is fat and hard. I look like I'm six months pregnant. My breasts are big and my legs are thin, and I'm embarrassed to go places because of the way I look. I'd been taking HIV meds for two years before these effects began. What can I do about them? My viral load is undetectable, my CD4 count is more than 1,000 and I am taking Intelence (etravirine) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC).

 Where Can We Find an Expert in MS and HIV?
My partner is 42 years old and has been HIV positive for 14 years. He's very healthy -- his CD4 count is nearly 1,000. His viral load has been undetectable for years. He's recently been diagnosed with relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). I'm a physician myself, and I'm looking for someone with experience in HIV as well as treatment of MS. Can you recommend some options? None of his current docs know of anyone who has done work in this area.

 How Can I Be Cured of HCV, but Not HIV?
Are HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) so dissimilar that I can be cured of one and not the other? I had HCV, went through interferon (Alferon N, Roferon-A or Intron A) treatment and also started HIV treatment with Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). I followed all the rules and never missed a single dose of any medication. The doctor says the HIV is "hiding" somewhere in my tissues (Brain? Spleen? Gallbladder? Thymus? Where is it "hiding"?). Yet, the liver doctor says I'm "cured" of HCV. Can you explain?

 Having HIV and the Flu: What Are the Risks?
What are the risks and complications for someone with HIV if they get the seasonal flu or H1N1 flu?


 What Should I Choose for My First HIV Regimen?
I saw my physician assistant and was informed that my CD4 count was 288 and my viral load was 104 million or thereabouts. Both of us decided that it would be wise for me to start treatment immediately. I brought up the idea of being on the combination Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) and Isentress (raltegravir), while he thought I should be on Truvada and Viramune (nevirapine), the most effective combo. What do you think?

Also Worth Noting: U.S. HIV/AIDS Plan: Online Testimony Deadline Extended!
The White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP)'s series of HIV/AIDS community discussions is sweeping the U.S. The deadline for submitting online testimony has been extended to Monday, Nov. 23, at 6 p.m. Eastern Time! There have also been some changes to the list of upcoming meetings -- please take a look, and follow the directions to prepare for the meeting of your choice. The next discussions will take place in Jackson, Miss., on Nov. 16 (that's tonight!), and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Nov. 20.

 Could I Be a Long-Term Nonprogressor?
If I contracted HIV about six years ago and have not had an AIDS-related sickness, could I be a "long-term nonprogressor" -- someone whose body controls HIV without the benefit of HIV meds?


 Marijuana and Antiretroviral Medications
Does marijuana interact with HIV medications?

 What's the Effect of Taking Ecstasy With HIV Meds?
What happens if you take Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and Combivir (AZT/3TC), and three hours later you pop an ecstasy pill?


 Is It Better to Get Tested for HIV or to Not Know My HIV Status?
I am afraid of being HIV positive. I am 26 years old and was in a relationship for two years in which we left condoms out of the equation (I was the "top," or insertive partner). I haven't had an HIV test for three years. Should I start using condoms now and not bother getting tested since I'm terrified of testing positive?

 Positive, Undetectable "Bottom" in a Magnetic Couple: Is My Partner at Lower Risk?
I'm a 54-year-old gay man from Vermont and I've been HIV positive for 22 years. My viral load finally dropped to undetectable in the past year. I also have a new man in my life for the first time in a while. He's HIV negative and after some negotiation, we decided to forego condoms (he's the "top," or insertive partner). Does the fact that I am undetectable and extremely careful mean that I'm not putting him at risk? Having him become infected would be too much to bear.

Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
How Do You Overcome Rejection?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

This might sound lame because I am a mature woman and not a teenager, so please don't judge. I have been positive for 10 years and trying my best to live like a normal human being. So I decided to start Internet dating on the positive dating sites. I communicated with several guys and decided to go out on a date with this one guy that I liked. The date went really well and we talked for hours and at the end he promised to call the next day. One week later, nothing. I tried calling him on the third day and left a message, but no reply came. I am not going to try him again because I have some self-respect, but the rejection is stressing me out. What I can't understand is how people can be so cruel. To make matters worse, I really, really liked him and wanted to be friends even if the dating didn't work. My question is: How do I get him out of my mind and move on? I have a life and I am a busy person so I am not sitting at home sulking, but this experience is really hard. -- AsiaHope

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 Could My New Sex Toy Have HIV on It?
I just received a new sex toy in the mail and I used it immediately without washing it. Now I'm freaking out. What if someone used the new toy before and returned it? I'm still a virgin and I'm so scared. Should I get tested for HIV?

 A Stranger Used My Bathroom: What if He Contaminated It With AIDS?
I let a man who was hooking up my cable use my restroom. After he was done, I heard him saying that he might have AIDS. So when he left, I cleaned my bathroom thoroughly. I have been so worried ever since. Could he have contaminated something in my bathroom? I have three kids and I'm very concerned. I've been having headaches, back pain, nausea and fatigue.

Activist Central

 Participate in the White House's HIV/AIDS Community Discussions on the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

 Alert: Don't Let Dems Wimp Out on Opposing Abstinence-Only Funding

 U.S. Territories Separate and Unequal in Healthcare Reform; How You Can Help

 Can't Make It to a White House HIV/AIDS Community Discussion? Provide Your Testimony Online for the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy!

 Urge President Obama to Lift the Ban on Federal Funding for Syringe Exchange Programs