June 8, 2010
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MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 A Light Tap on the Back Door: Am I at Risk?
I was lying in bed with my HIV-positive ex-boyfriend. I rubbed my unprotected erect penis against his anus with minimal pressure, but we didn't have intercourse. Since then I've had a few enlarged lymph nodes. Is there any chance I could have been infected with HIV during this activity?


LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 Can I Keep Up My Rigorous Exercise Regimen Despite Being a Vegan?
I'm 51 years old. I was diagnosed HIV positive in August 2008 and am currently taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). I'm also a vegan, and I work out five days a week. I look and feel great, but how can I sustain my workout regimen for the next several years despite not eating meat?


 How Do I Know if My Symptoms Add Up to AIDS-Related Dementia?
I'm 47 years old, HIV positive and in good health overall. However, lately I've been forgetting things all the time. I've also noticed a decrease in my attention span and ability to focus, as well as an increase in compulsive behavior. It often seems as If I'm just viewing the world and not participating, like the world is going by and I'm just watching it go. Do the effects I'm experiencing now point to dementia?


 Could Long-Term Testosterone Use Have Made Me Sterile?
I've used testosterone injections for seven years, but I've heard that using testosterone can make a man sterile. Now that my HIV is under control and I'm not going anywhere, I want to have children, but I feel like crap every time I try to stop taking testosterone. What can I do?


Faces of Pride

LGBT Pride Month is upon us: Celebrate your pride!

Take a look at our Faces of Pride page (or Mark S. King's example on the right) for inspiration. Then send us your own photo in which you're holding (or sitting next to, or standing on top of, or ... you get the idea) a homemade sign telling us what Pride means to you. We're posting new submissions throughout the month!
Pride Means ... (submission from Mark S. King)


HIV/AIDS & BODY SHAPE CHANGES


 What's Up With This New Belly Fat Reduction Drug for HIVers?
Can you tell us what you know about Egrifta (tesamorelin), the drug that may soon be approved in the U.S. specifically to treat fat accumulation in HIVers?


 Do I Really Not Have Enough Flesh for Filler Treatments Around My Cheekbones?
I started having my face filled with Radiesse (Radiance, calcium hydroxylapatite) four years ago, and I've been happy with the results. However, my doctor says there isn't enough flesh covering my cheekbones to get a good result from injections in this area, and I've ended up with what looks like a bag on top of my cheekbone. Would Sculptra (Radiance, poly-L-lactic acid) be a better alternative, or am I just an unsuitable candidate for treatments in this area?


HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 If I Got HIV From My Partner, Why Aren't Our Viruses Resistant to the Same Meds?
My partner and I have been together for nine years. He told me he was HIV positive in February 2009, and I tested positive in March 2009. According to his physician, his virus has resistance to one of the meds in Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). However, my doctor says that my virus has no resistance to any of the meds in Atripla. If I got HIV from my partner, how is it possible that he can't take Atripla and I can?


 Viramune Versus Isentress: Which Is Better for Me?
I am considering beginning treatment with a regimen of Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) plus either Viramune (nevirapine) or Isentress (raltegravir). Can you summarize the pros and cons of these two meds?


 Are There Enough HIV Treatment Options to Get Me Through the Rest of My Life?
Although I've never started HIV treatment, I was given Sustiva (Stocrin, efavirenz) monotherapy once when I was hospitalized with bacterial pneumonia. I'm now resistant to Sustiva (which is a component of Atripla [efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC]). When it's finally time for me to start treatment, will there be enough regimens out there that don't contain Sustiva to get me through several decades on HIV meds?


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment:


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES


 Diabetic and Recently Diagnosed With HIV: What Do I Need to Know?
I've been a type 2 diabetic for three years and I take metformin and glipizide, as well as lisinopril for my blood pressure. If I have to start HIV treatment, will it interact with these other meds? What questions should I ask my new HIV specialist?


 Dealing With Multiple Side Effects: Is There Any Hope?
I am 49 years old. When I was diagnosed with HIV five years ago, my viral load was approaching 100,000 and my CD4 count was 27. I have been on a variety of HIV meds since then. While my CD4 count is up to the 350 range and my virus remains undetectable, I suffer from headaches, a host of gut problems, insomnia, lightheadedness, dizziness and double vision so severe I can no longer drive -- all on a daily basis. My energy level is very low and I get exhausted easily. Although recent studies seem to indicate I could live a fairly normal lifespan, it certainly doesn't feel like I have 30 years left! What can I do?


 Healthy Lifestyle and High Lipid Levels: What Can Be Done?
My husband has been HIV positive for 10 years. He takes Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC), his viral load is undetectable and his CD4 count is 377. He eats healthily, exercises daily, doesn't smoke and rarely drinks. However, a health screening at work revealed that his cholesterol and triglycerides are very high and his blood pressure is at prehypertension levels. We have no idea how to begin dealing with this! Could his meds be playing a part? Can you recommend next steps for him to take?


More Questions About Other Health Issues:


Connect With Others

Is There Any Place for a White, Middle-Class Woman With HIV?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

"I ask myself this question every single day: Where do I fit in? I am white, female, straight, married, have health insurance, make good money (middle class) with lots of bills. I thought HIV was HIV and who should care about sexual orientation. We are all sharing this disease together and should stand together.

"There was one program (one of a kind in my area) so promising, but since I make too much money I cannot join their program. The program is only available to low-income people, period. I can't even pay to get in the program because it is a funded program.

"Support groups? Are there any out there for someone like me? ... I don't socialize at all and have a hard time going out and facing this world every single day. ... I don't want to go to just any therapist and nutritionist with no experience with HIV/AIDS, and forget about a public gym. How do I find help -- or am I just out of luck having a middle-class income?

"I am not mad at anybody, I just really am hurting emotionally and physically right now and just want to belong somewhere and get the help that I need." -- Atheena

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NEWS & VIEWS


 Treating HIV With Antigens: Miracle Cure or Age-Old Scam?
What do you think about the approach of eliminating HIV from the body using antigens to stimulate the immune system? Is this not the way many vaccines and treatments have worked in the past and still do today?


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 Not the Blessing I Was Hoping For
I went to church and the priest had a large open cut on his forehead -- the blood was visible, no Band-Aid, though some ointment was on it. I noticed this only as I was taking communion and didn't react fast enough to not eat it. Is there a risk of HIV transmission this way, if in fact the priest was infected and got his blood on the communion wafer and I ate it right after he handed it to me?






Activist Central

 Action Alert: Urge Your Senator to Support an Extension of Critical Medicaid Funding


 HIV Community Sign-On Letter to Boycott Arizona -- Sign On by June 10


 AIDS Watch at Home 2010: Make Congress Listen Right in Your Own Backyard


 China: Release Activist on Medical Parole


 Women Living With HIV: Take a Survey on Sexual and Reproductive Health Services