June 29, 2010
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 How Do I Gain Back Weight I've Lost on HIV Meds?
I am on HIV meds and losing a lot of weight. How do I find out what's causing this weight loss, and what can I do to healthily gain weight?


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 Possible HIV Exposure by Finger in Rectum: Should My Partner Start PEP?
I am HIV positive and my partner is HIV negative. I take Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) and my viral load has been undetectable for about five months. Recently he and I were having sex and I came on my own hand. I inserted a finger into his rectum a few minutes later. I pulled out when I realized I hadn't washed my hands after my orgasm. Should my partner take post-exposure prophylaxis? Would a week of his taking my Atripla do the trick?


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HIV/AIDS TREATMENT & DRUG RESISTANCE


 Can I Still Take a Combo Pill if My Virus Is Resistant to Two of the Meds in It?
My HIV drug resistance test showed that my virus has low-level resistance to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) -- the class of HIV meds to which two of the three drugs in Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) belong. Could Atripla still work well for me? What's the average time period between starting HIV meds and treatment failure due to resistance?


 HIV Med Dose Timing -- and Changing Time Zones
I take Combivir (AZT/3TC) once at 10 a.m. and again with Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) at 10 p.m. Is it OK to take Combivir a bit earlier in the evening? Also, I travel a lot. If I travel to another time zone, can I continue to take Sustiva at night, even though I'll either be shortening or lengthening the gap between doses on the first day?


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment & Drug Resistance:



Pride2010@TheBody.com

As LGBT Pride Month draws to a close -- as we fold up our rainbow banners, brush the glitter from our clothing and move on with the year -- we welcome you to look back at the insights some of our bloggers shared as part of Pride2010@TheBody.com:
Tree AlexanderTree Alexander: Pride Can Start Young
"Every Pride season I think back to when I first came out to my mother. ... I was 13 years old."
Robert BreiningRobert Breining: Pride Sometimes Takes Practice
"I thought these events and parades were all about flaunting your sexuality. I was too ashamed of who I was to do that."
Sherri Beachfront LewisSherri Beachfront Lewis: You Can Be Straight and Still Party With Pride
"I remember how, in my youth, I'd sit on my West Village, Waverly Place stoop in New York City, watching the parade march by from my personal perch."
Take a look at some of the other perspectives we highlighted as part of Pride2010@TheBody.com!


HIV/AIDS & OTHER HEALTH ISSUES


 What Can I Do About Impotence?
I was diagnosed with HIV five years ago and started treatment with a CD4 count of 4. I currently take Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) as well as Crestor (rosuvastatin) to control my cholesterol and Androgel to keep my testosterone at normal levels. About nine months ago I began to have trouble getting erections when my wife and I make love. I've tried Viagra (sildenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil) as well as a penis pump, with little result. I've been with my wife for nearly 20 years and we've been intimate on numerous occasions since my diagnosis. What could be going on?


 CD4 Count Drop After Cancer Treatment: Will My Numbers Recover?
I've been HIV positive for 10 years and I recently finished six weeks of treatment for anal cancer. Since starting cancer treatment, my CD4 count has crashed from above 700 to 120. Will my CD4 count ever go up as high as it was before? What can I do to prevent opportunistic infections while I recover?


 Severe Allergic Reactions to Meds: How Can I Be Sure My New Regimen Won't Cause Them, Too?
I'm 45 years old and have been HIV positive since 1990. I have started HIV meds three times -- twice in 1998 and again in December 2009 -- and each time I developed a severe rash covering my entire body. I'm very concerned about starting another course of treatment. How can I know for sure what I'm reacting to? Is allergy testing an option? Which HIV med combinations should I consider?


More Questions About HIV/AIDS & Other Health Issues:


UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 Unsettling Lab Results During Acute Infection: Should I Start HIV Meds?
I was recently infected with HIV and my CD4 count and viral load numbers have been horrible, though they're starting to improve: my viral load went from 6 million to 2 million to 155,000 and my CD4 count rose from 218 to 300 over the course of three weeks. Are numbers like these normal during seroconversion? Will they dramatically rebound, or do I need to start HIV meds right away?


 Should I Be Concerned About My CD4 Percentage Dropping?
I was diagnosed with HIV 17 months ago, but I'm pretty certain I've been poz for nine years. When I was diagnosed my CD4 percentage was 19 and my CD4 count was 171. My CD4 percentage has bounced between 23 percent and 26 percent since then, but now it's down to 20 even though my CD4 count is 668. (My viral load has also dropped, to 9,000.) My doc says I'm doing great, but I'm a little concerned about my percentage dropping. Do many docs suggest starting meds once the percentage drops below 20, regardless of high CD4 count and relatively low viral load?



Connect With Others

A Bumpy Start on the Road to Living With HIV
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

"Here I am, four months in from being diagnosed, still reeling a little, healthy (low viral load, high CD4), just made my first regular quarterly 'blood donation.' OK, I'm scared sh**less. ... Had a not-so-healthy breakdown last week which led me to taking a leave of absence from work and realizing that I also needed to seek treatment for alcohol abuse. ... I didn't exactly dream when I was little of becoming anything in particular ... but I sure as hell didn't ever dream of being a cliche: an HIV-positive, gay, recovering alcoholic. ... So I'm posting this to seek out some contacts or friends to connect with." -- pawsguy

Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

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HIV TRANSMISSION


 Exposed to HIV and Getting Tested: When Can We Stop Worrying?
Between my partner and me, one of us was exposed to HIV via heterosexual contact about 13 weeks ago. We've since had unprotected intercourse. We've both had several negative HIV tests since that time. Do we need to test any more?


 Can I Get HIV From a Barber's Blade?
Can a person get HIV if a barber cuts one HIV-positive person while dry-shaving them, then cuts another person with the same blade, unwashed, five minutes later?


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 When Hosts Forget to Serve Snacks to Their Guests ...
While I was at my friend's house, I licked and smelled a couple of dirty thongs from her clothes hamper. The day after the thong-licking I had diarrhea. Could I have gotten HIV or another sexually transmitted disease this way?






Activist Central

 Are You Ready for the Release of the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy?


 Participate in Important New Survey on HIV Prevention Strategies Targeting MSM!


 NMAC Asks for Your Help Ending S.B. 1070; Promoting Comprehensive Federal Immigration Reform


 Public Comment Period Now Open: Issue Brief on LGBT Marginalization as a Social Driver of HIV in the United States


 Action Alert: Help Homeless AIDS Activist Get Into Housing Today


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