December 28, 2009
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 Tips for Losing Weight and Eating Healthier After the Holidays
I'm a single man who lives alone and has been poz since 1994. I've been advised to lose about 40 pounds. I don't like to cook and have been trying to get out of the fast-food diet. Do you have any tips for starting a healthy food plan (hopefully an inexpensive one)?

 How Will Anabolic Steroids Affect My Health?
I'm using Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate) 300 mg per week and Sustanon 250 mg every two weeks. Could this negatively affect my CD4 count or any other aspects of my health?

 Do I Need the Flu Vaccine Even If I'm on HIV Meds With a High CD4 Count?
Should someone still get a vaccine against the flu if they're on HIV meds and have a CD4 count of 600 and an undetectable viral load? Don't those numbers mean that the person has no compromised immune system and could just take Tamiflu if he or she gets sick?

For much more on HIV and the flu (including the H1N1 flu), be sure to browse our large collection of overviews and news.


 Two Days of Missed Atripla Doses: Am I in Trouble?
I have been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for the last two years. Unfortunately, I had to miss my medication for two days in a row because I ran out of pills and both the pharmacy that has my prescription and my doctor's office were closed due to bad weather. I never missed my medication before this, but I'm a little bit worried. Will I face any difficulties due to these missed doses?

 After Years of Successful Treatment, Have I Reached the Beginning of the End?
For the past seven years, I've had an undetectable viral load, no opportunistic infections and a CD4 count between 780 and 830. However, in the last six months, my CD4 count suddenly dropped to 530. Is this the beginning of the end of my successful treatment? Will my health keep going downhill from here? Should I consider switching meds?

 Trizivir: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It?
I have been poz since 1987. I am 71 years old and in good health; my CD4 count is 1500. When my viral load started to increase about eight years ago, my doctor suggested it was time to start a regimen. For the past four years I have been on Trizivir (AZT/3TC/abacavir). My triglycerides tend to be high (I'm on treatment for it), but otherwise I have no problems. Would a more modern HIV medication regimen work better for me, or should I stick with what I've got?


 What Lab Results Should I Ask My Doctor to Provide?
I recently moved, and now instead of going to a "world class" HIV clinic I'm in a small town with doctors who don't give me great confidence that they are on top of their game when it comes to HIV. They mean well, but it is my life and I need to watch out for myself. I've gone for a couple of blood draws and the doctor has given me my CD4 count and viral load, but should I be asking for other results, too?

Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
One Year In and Still Struggling to Adjust
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

"I found out at the end of 2008 that I was HIV+. ... I really haven't talked about it with anyone and have just bottled it up. ... I tried to talk to some friends about it, but they can't relate to it and don't really want to talk about it. I guess I need to be more proactive in finding a support group and start dealing with it.

"Since finding out, I have more less shut down. In the early part of this year I kind of went on spending spree and racked up an ungodly amount of debt. I guess it was my way of dealing with it or avoiding it. Something to fill the void. I have also been drinking a lot and just trying to numb myself. ... I guess I just need to make some decision about what I want to do from here: Keep living they way I am or go outside my comfort zone and make some positive changes." -- wonderbread

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 A Point-by-Point Response to AIDS Denialism
I have been doing quite a bit of research, and all of the stuff I read says that HIV meds cause AIDS. I know of many people who have been HIV positive for a long time and simply change their way of life and are fine. I just tested positive, but I'm not worried at all, because I don't believe HIV causes AIDS. I think you're sponsored by drug companies and you are convinced that the meds are good. They are poison!

Want to learn more about what makes HIV/AIDS denialists tick? Check out one of our most popular articles of the year, "The Truth About HIV/AIDS Denialism," in which we talked with clinical psychologist Seth Kalichman, Ph.D., about this fascinating (and disturbing) topic.


 HIV Attack, Ninja Style
I was on the subway recently when I saw a man I've had serious issues with in the past. He came over to me and hit my shoulder lightly several times to show he was friendly, but the look on his face suggested he wasn't friendly at all. Now I'm wondering: If he had something sharp and small enough, like a needle with HIV fluid in it, could he have used it on me in a sneak attack without me even noticing, maybe because he's really good at acupuncture or something?

There's still time to vote in our "Strangest but Truest" poll of 2009! Tell us what you think was the most bizarre question highlighted in our "Hot Topics" e-mail newsletters this year.

Activist Central

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 Support Concrete and Specific HIV Prevention Measures in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy!