March 1, 2010
Visit the Forums
"Hot Topics" Library
Change/Update Subscription


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 Is Abstinence the Best Way to Stay Safe Until My Partner's Viral Load Drops?
My partner recently contracted pneumocystis pneumonia. He was unaware of his HIV status until this point (I retested and I'm HIV negative). His T-cell count is 125 and his viral load is about 500,000. He started taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) last week. We primarily engage in oral sex. Is it safest to wait to have sex again until his viral load goes down?


More Questions About Mixed-Status Couples:


HIV/AIDS & BODY SHAPE CHANGES


 Starting to Notice Lipodystrophy: What's My Next Step?
I've been HIV positive since 2003. I'm not on HIV meds yet, my viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is 1,202. I've noticed recently that my forearms, legs and face are thinning. Should I start on human growth hormone or testosterone replacement (I have low testosterone) to gain fat?


The Latest Posts at TheBody.com's Blog Central
Mark King and FriendsMark S. King: A Night at Home With the "Real Poz Guys of Atlanta"
Last year, Mark S. King invited viewers of his video blog to a night of brownie eating and intimate talk with a group of his friends, all HIV-positive men. For this week's blog, he turned the cameras on his friends a second time. "I wondered if they would spill their hearts (and their secrets) again," Mark muses. The verdict? Says Mark: "They didn't disappoint me!"

Enrique and DevinEnrique Franco: Love Applies to All of Us
"You probably are only with me because I have HIV too," the love of Enrique Franco's life, Devin, once told him. "You probably would've never given me the time of day in other circumstances, huh?" This passing conversation led Enrique to think -- and blog -- about how being diagnosed with HIV has helped him realize "who my true partner could be and who my true friends are."


HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 How Should I Go About Changing the Time of Day I Take My Meds?
I recently started taking Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). My doctor told me to take Truvada in the morning and Sustiva in the evening. However, my medical aid said I should take both pills in the evening, and I know others on this combo who take both meds at the same time. I've been following my doctor's advice, but would I run the risk of developing drug resistance if I decided to change the timing of my dosage? What's the best way to make the switch to taking both meds in the evening?


 Having Surgery: Are There Interactions Between My Meds and Common Sedatives?
I currently take Epivir (3TC, lamivudine), Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin), and the regimen is working well for me. I'm having a minor surgical procedure in a couple of months, which will involve local anesthetic and sedation. I noticed that there are potential interactions between Sustiva or Kaletra and commonly used sedatives like midazolam. Should I take a break from HIV treatment before the procedure?


 Is an HIV Med Switch the Best Way to Fix Viral Load "Blips"?
I am a 53-year-old Native man who has been living with HIV/AIDS for more than 15 years. I've been taking Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) and Viramune (nevirapine) for about five years. My doctor is thinking of switching the Viramune in my regimen for Isentress (raltegravir) because I've had several viral load "blips" in the last two years (my viral load always goes back to undetectable the next month). Other than that, I am very stable with a CD4 count of 648. What could be causing these blips?


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment:


Also Worth Noting: Visual AIDS

Image from the March 2010 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
"Feats of Magic (#1)" 2003; David King

Visit the March 2010 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "The Pure Cut," is curated by Joseph Akel.
COINFECTIONS & COMPLICATIONS
OF HIV/HIV MEDICATIONS


 Should I Start Treating HIV Alongside Hepatitis B and C?
I've had HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C since 2008. I finished a 48-week course of interferon (Alferon N, Roferon-A or Intron A) and ribavirin (Rebetol, Copegus), which worked well in treating my hep C. I've also been taking Zeffix (a formulation of the HIV med lamivudine -- also known as Epivir -- used to treat hep B) for 18 months, which has also been successful. My HIV viral load is undetectable without HIV meds. My CD4 count dropped while I was on hep C meds, but it's since gone up to 636. What should I do next as far as keeping HIV in check?


More Questions About Coinfections & Complications:


UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 Is My Immune System Taking Care of Itself Without HIV Meds?
I tested HIV positive about a year ago. My initial CD4 count was 680 and my viral load was 30,000. Three months ago my viral load was the same but my CD4 count had gone up to 750. Does my CD4 count increase mean my immune system is taking care of HIV by itself? Should I be worried about my detectable viral load?


Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others
Serodiscordant Sex ... ?
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

"My boyfriend is HIV positive and I am HIV negative. In the beginning of our relationship, the sex was fantastic, fulfilling and frequent. Now, well, not so much. He has been suffering from ED (erectile dysfunction) almost every time we fool around. I know it's frustrating for me and he expresses a great deal of frustration as well, which is part of why I believe he has withdrawn a bit from me sexually.

"He told me that ever since his diagnosis he has dealt with ED. I do not believe it to be physical in its origin. He is healthy as a horse! I believe it is psychological. So I guess what I want to know is, has anyone experienced this before? What can I do to help him? I am already supportive and completely nonjudgmental about it. And he knows full well that our sex life does not change the fact that I love him with all my heart." -- eponastar
Click here to join this discussion thread, or to start your own!

To do this, you'll need to register with TheBody.com's bulletin boards if you're a new user. Registration is quick and anonymous -- click here to get started!

NEWS & VIEWS


 A Mathematical Model for Ending the HIV/AIDS Pandemic?
A reputable study out of South Africa recently found, based on a mathematical model, that HIV could be wiped out in approximately 40 years with widespread testing and starting HIV treatment immediately for anyone infected. Any thoughts?


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 Do Sickle Cells Slay HIV?
A professor of mine says that it's impossible for a person with sickle cell disease to get HIV. Is this true?






Activist Central

 Fill Out a Survey on Stigma by March 15 -- HIV-Positive Voices From Developing Nations Needed!


 Tell HHS That Black Women Openly Living With HIV/AIDS Should Be Represented on PACHA


 Join a Call and Discussion on HIV and Pregnancy on March 3


 Action Alert: Tell Congress You Support a Permanent Fix to Ryan White Housing Policy!


 Tell Congress to Finish U.S. Health Care Reform