November 23, 2009
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Also Worth Noting: This Positive Life: A Gay, Hispanic Veteran Living Openly With HIV

Enrique Franco

The U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy got Enrique Franco kicked out of the Army. It was also the reason he found out he was HIV positive. Diagnosis turned Enrique's life upside down, but he's now standing tall. "This is my body, this is my life," he says. "I refuse to put my head down." Read this moving interview.
COINFECTIONS & COMPLICATIONS OF
HIV/HIV MEDICATIONS


 Is the H1N1 Flu Mist Safe for HIVers?
I was vaccinated with the H1N1 (swine) flu mist at work on Oct. 16. I just read that people with HIV are not supposed to get this kind of vaccine. My CD4 count is 400 and my viral load is undetectable. Should I be worried?


 Which Erectile Dysfunction Drug Can I Take With My HIV Meds?
I recently began my first HIV med regimen with Kivexa (Epzicom, abacavir/3TC) and Stocrin (efavirenz, Sustiva). Which erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs can I take with this combo? I have no other health issues. Also, can you advise which ED drug is the best?


 Can an HIVer Get Her or His Tonsils Removed?
My fiancé is HIV positive and his doctor advised him to have his tonsils removed because of some problems he's had with them. Is this OK for someone with HIV?


HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 My CD4 Count Is 5: Why Don't We Hear More About Guys Like Me?
It makes me feel strange when I read posts about individuals with CD4 counts of 750 and undetectable viral loads. I rarely read anything about someone with a low CD4 count. I've been HIV positive for 11 years and I'm 53. I had pneumonia two years ago and went off meds for four years. I simply have no desire for a long, medication-filled life, and the side effects at this point would be terrible. You should have a forum for individuals with poor numbers, and less about guys who want to take testosterone and have high CD4 counts.


Also Worth Noting: U.S. HIV/AIDS Plan: Testify via E-mail Until Dec. 7!
The White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP)'s series of HIV/AIDS community discussions is nearing its end. The final discussions will take place in New York City on Dec. 4, and in Puerto Rico on Dec. 14. If you live in either of these places, take a look at the details and register for the meeting of your choice. While you can no longer submit your testimony via the online form on ONAP's Web site, you can e-mail your testimony to ONAP from now through Dec. 7.
 Making Sense of Unusual Prezista Dosage
I am a hospital pharmacist who does a lot of HIV care and medication review. I recently came across a patient taking an odd dose of Prezista (darunavir). The person is on Intelence (etravirine), Epivir (3TC, lamivudine) and Isentress (raltegravir) with correct dosing, as well as 1,000 mg of Prezista twice daily, boosted with Norvir (ritonavir). I was not able to reach the HIV specialist, but do you know of a rationale for using a dose this much higher than what is normally recommended?


 Am I Responding to HIV Meds Too Slowly?
As of March 15, my CD4 count was 24 and my viral load was more than 500,000. I took Lamzid (a generic form of Combivir, or AZT/3TC) and efavirenz (a generic form of Sustiva, or Stocrin) between March 23 and June 15, when my CD4 count was 169 and my viral load was 184,000. I switched the Lamzid in my regimen to Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) to avoid lipodystrophy, and have been taking it since July 15. My most recent test results showed a CD4 count of 287 and a viral load of 105,000. I've never missed a dose, and a helpline adviser told me my viral load should have been undetectable by now. Should I be concerned?


UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 Why Did My CD4 Count Drop and My Viral Load Increase?
My most recent lab test results showed that, in the past three months, my CD4 count has decreased from 841 to 584 and my viral load has increased from 34,000 to 53,000. I'm really worried. Do you have any idea what could be causing these changes? Could it be because I had hepatitis A and B vaccinations a couple of days before my lab tests?


Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
Now That I Am Positive
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

I discovered I was HIV positive on Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, just a couple of weeks before my 43rd birthday. I had been avoiding this thing for 27 years; not only frightened of it but terrified of it. In my naiveté, I believed that I may be immune to it, because I had been tested so many times and was always negative. Now that I am HIV positive, I am no longer frightened of this thing. In fact, I welcome it into my life. Sounds bizarre, doesn't it? Why would anyone welcome this into their life? But I no longer have the fear of it, the anxiety. I have another reason to get the very most out of my life: physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. I have a reason to organize my life and to fight for it. I don't really know what the future has in store; I only know that I will be part of it, convinced, at last, that it holds a place for me. --TDE1966
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HIV TRANSMISSION


 Is There an HIV Risk in Using Saliva Instead of Lube During Anal Sex?
What is the risk of HIV transmission from one man to another during anal sex when saliva is used as the only lubricant? Assuming the condom does not tear, can the receiver get HIV from the insertive partner's saliva?


Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
Looking for Female Friends in My Area
(A recent post from the "Women" board)

I am a newbie and I'm looking for a friend in my general area. I live in southern California, in the Inland Empire region. I don't know anyone in my area living with HIV and would like to meet a friend who can relate. --lgsweet
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STRANGE BUT TRUE


 Can HIV Live in Raw Honey?
Recently I applied some raw honey (unboiled and taken directly from the honey net in the trees) to a facial wound. The honey is sold in containers by local villagers. What if the person pressing the honey had cuts on his hand and his blood mixed with the honey? Could I get HIV by applying the honey to my wound?







Activist Central

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