January 4, 2010
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MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 Why Use Condoms for Oral Sex?
If the risk of HIV transmission from giver to receiver of oral sex is so miniscule, then should anyone really bother with condoms in these situations? Where should we draw the line between "risky" and "not risky" when it comes to oral sex?


 Oral Sex vs. Penetrative Sex While on HIV Meds: Equal in Transmission Risk?
Dear Dr. Bob: It seems from some past posts that you don't consider unprotected oral sex in a magnetic relationship a dangerous activity, yet you caution magnetic couples to use condoms every time they have penetrative sex -- even if the HIV-positive partner in both cases is taking HIV meds. If the risk of transmission from both activities is considered extremely low, why do you continue to recommend condoms only for intercourse?


Strange But True: Vote Note for the Oddest Posts of 2009
You have just four more days to cast your vote for the most bizarre HIV-related question asked in our "Ask the Experts" forums last year! From farts to zits to disgruntled airport security workers, you'll be amazed at just how far-out some folks can get in their paranoia over a possible HIV exposure.
HIV/AIDS & BODY SHAPE CHANGES


 Sculptra or a Fat Transplant: Which Is Better for Treating Lipoatrophy?
I have very noticeable facial wasting. I'm considering either Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid, New-Fill) treatments or having fat transplanted from my abdominal area to my face. Which treatment would be most effective -- and which is most affordable?


 Could Combining Facial Fillers Cause Painful Side Effects?
I had silicone facial filler placed in my nasal folds many years ago. Then, about four years ago, I got Bio-Alcamid (poly-Alkyl-Imide) injections in my cheek near the side of my nose where the silicone was placed. Now I have a hard knot inside the end of my nose, and the skin in that area feels painful and tight. My sinus area is also swollen, but not red or hot to the touch. Could I have an infection? Could there be a problem with the two fillers interacting?


HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 Is Gene Therapy in the Works for Treating HIV/AIDS?
Are you aware of any clinics worldwide that currently offer either stem cell transplants or gene therapy as HIV treatment? In your opinion, is either of these methods a viable substitute for HIV meds?


 Which First-Line Regimen Is Least Likely to Affect My Brain?
I am 45 years old with a CD4 count of 400 and a viral load of 60,000, and I'm planning to begin HIV treatment soon. I believe Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Prezista (darunavir) and Isentress (raltegravir) could be a good choice. However, I'm looking for a regimen that won't affect my brain, since I've experienced increased forgetfulness and loss of concentration over the past year. I've read that Isentress has low penetration of the central nervous system, but I've found very little information about the central nervous system and the Prezista + Norvir combo. What do you suggest?


Visual AIDS: Benefit Art Sale This Weekend in N.Y.!

Postcard

If you're in New York City this weekend, you can purchase one-of-a-kind artworks and help an HIV/AIDS organization in the process! Visual AIDS is hosting its annual Postcards From the Edge benefit sale on Saturday, Jan. 9, and Sunday, Jan. 10. Hundreds of original postcard-sized works of art (some created by well-known artists) will be on display, all of which are available for $75 each. Proceeds will go to Visual AIDS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the lives and preserving the artworks of U.S. artists living with HIV.
OTHER HEALTH ISSUES


 Herbal-Based Slimmers and HIV/AIDS: Any Risk?
Are there drug interactions between Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) or Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and any of the ingredients in the weight-loss supplement Simply Slim?


 Can Chiropractic Care Treat HIV/AIDS?
While I was in chiropractic school, I saw evidence that chiropractic care could improve people's immune response and possibly treat HIV. What are your views on this?


 Can Pregnancy Cause Indeterminate HIV Test Results?
I'm 29 years old and seven months pregnant. My HIV test has come back indeterminate twice, so my doctor wants me to see a blood specialist. I've read that indeterminate HIV test results are common in pregnancy, but my obstetrician acted like she'd never seen such a thing. What do you think?


HIV TRANSMISSION


 How My Possible HIV Exposure Made Me a More Educated Person
I recently had protected vaginal and unprotected oral sex (as both recipient and provider) during a drunken summer tryst with a sex worker. Despite some symptoms over the past five months, I have repeatedly tested negative for HIV and hepatitis C. I will continue to test out to the six-month mark, but I know that these results are likely to remain negative. This experience (and this forum) has made me much more aware of a virus that I had believed was irrelevant to me as a married, heterosexual man. Please accept my heartfelt thanks and prayers for your ongoing efforts against HIV/AIDS!


 How Do I Get Past My Crippling Fear of HIV?
I have never engaged in any risk behavior for HIV, yet I have a pathological fear of it, and the fear is ruining my life. I fear that there is contaminated blood all around me and that people are trying to infect me. I even fear getting tested because the results may not be reliable. Not existing would be a better fate than constantly living in fear and agony. How can I overcome this?



Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
Advice Needed From "Strict Tops": How Were You Infected?
(A recent post from the "Gay Men" board)

"I'm currently in a relationship with a monogamous partner. He knows my HIV status and we have protected sex. We slipped up the other day though. He was OK with the situation but I am a bit uneasy. Are there any strict tops out there that could share the story of how they got infected? I have read articles on the chances of a bottom infecting a top being very low, but I just want hear from those who may have had something like this happen." -- running4it
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STRANGE BUT TRUE


 Talk About a Twisted Sister!
Two weeks ago, my evil sister put my ex's urine or vaginal fluid (I'm not sure which) on my cat. I unsuspectingly closed-lip kissed the cat moments later. Now I've got symptoms! Am I at risk for HIV infection?






Activist Central

 Arrests of HIV-Positive People Continue; CDC Must Act! Sign On!


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