July 27, 2010
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 How Can I Keep My Bones Healthy?
I'm 39 years old and I've had two spinal operations in the past year. Could these injuries have to do with low bone density? What can I do to keep my bones strong in the future?


 Dear Nelson Vergel: Are You Pulling Back on Recommending Testosterone Therapy for Poz Men?
I've been HIV positive for about five years, and on and off antidepressants since I was 21. My free testosterone level is in the normal range without supplementation. I'm also five feet eight inches tall and weigh only 112 pounds. I'm interested in testosterone to help my antidepressants work better and help me gain weight. Some of your recent answers on this forum indicate that you're moving away from the position that even men producing normal levels of testosterone can benefit from supplementation -- especially if they're depressed and/or underweight. Could you clarify?


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 Vitamin B12 and My Health
It's important to maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels to reduce the risk of serious problems with the blood and nervous system. Vitamin B12 deficiency affects many different people for many different reasons. Click here to learn about the importance of vitamin B12 and how it impacts your health.


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 Is It OK to Take My Wife's HIV Meds as PEP?
Last night I had a condom malfunction with my wife, whose viral load is undetectable. Unfortunately we live in a small town and hospitals are closed over the weekend. About seven hours after the incident I started taking my wife's HIV meds as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) -- she takes Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Will this regimen work as PEP? What are my chances of becoming HIV positive in this instance?


 How Do I Get My Partner to Accept That I'm HIV Positive?
I've been living with HIV since 1999 and have not yet started taking HIV meds. My CD4 count is 211 and my viral load is in the 17,000 range. My husband refuses to accept that I'm HIV positive, and we've been having unprotected sex since 2003. I recently forced him to use protection but he still gets upset when I won't be intimate with him without it. I've shown him test results and nurses have spoken to him, but he doesn't understand why he's not infected and why I don't "look sick" or take medication. How do I convince him?


HIV TRANSMISSION & TESTING


 Insertive Oral Sex as Sole Risk Factor: What Do You Suggest?
What do you recommend in terms of HIV testing for people whose only potential risk factor for HIV is unprotected insertive oral sex, but who otherwise play it safe?


 Are Tops at Lesser Risk of Becoming HIV Positive During Sex Than Bottoms?
I had unprotected sex with someone I didn't know at the time was HIV positive. I'm still going to get tested, but am I less likely to have become positive since I "topped" him?


TheBody.com at AIDS 2010

TheBody.com at AIDS 2010 TheBody.com was on the scene last week at the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) in Vienna, Austria. We brought you highlights, blog entries, videos, interviews and much more -- as well as a daily rundown of underreported stories and the buzz from bloggers, Twitterers and other personalities on the Web. It's all available on our AIDS 2010 homepage -- stop by and take a look!


HIV/AIDS & BODY SHAPE CHANGES


 Is There a Test for Lipodystrophy?
I've noticed that my stomach, torso and breasts are getting bigger. Is there a test to determine whether this is due to lipodystrophy or just normal weight gain?


 Can You Recommend a Regimen That Won't Aggravate My Body Shape Changes?
I'm 22 years HIV positive, with an undetectable viral load and a CD4 count that's always been between 900 and 1,200. I seem to be sensitive to fat redistribution and wasting side effects of HIV meds. I was on Epivir (3TC, lamivudine), Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Zerit (d4T, stavudine) from 1999 until 2004 when I started taking Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). At that point the changes in my body went from moderate to extreme. I'm doing great at keeping the virus in check, but that doesn't help me physically or mentally. My nutritionist, exercise trainer and psychologist all say I really need to get off these drugs. Is there a combo out there that's worth trying?


HIV/AIDS TREATMENT & SIDE EFFECTS


 Serious Gut Problems: Should I Switch Off Intelence?
I switched to Intelence (etravirine) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) from Combivir (AZT/3TC) and Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) last November. My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is 950, but my abdomen is extremely painful and swollen. I've been diagnosed with moderate gastritis and am waiting for the results of more tests. My diet is down to organic oatmeal with protein powder and goat's yogurt. My stomach has grown 12 inches in two months but I've lost 15 pounds. Could my new meds be having this effect on my gut?


 Could Hair Loss Be a Side Effect of My HIV Meds?
I've been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for the past two months, and it seems to be working well. However, for the past five weeks I've had excessive hair loss. Could my meds be causing this?


More Headlines About HIV/AIDS Treatment & Side Effects:


Connect With Others

Hit Over the Head With an HIV Diagnosis
(A recent post from the "I Just Tested Positive" board)

I feel like I've been hit over the head and reeling since being diagnosed as HIV positive. I have spent the better part of two weeks reading everything I can on the Internet only to feel overwhelmed, confused, scared. From reading some of the posts on this site, I know I am not alone -- although that is not how I feel most of the time. Can anybody help? -- sixtwenty3

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UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 How Can I Tell if My CD4 Percentage Fluctuations Indicate a Problem?
I have been living with HIV for 10 years. My CD4 counts have always been in the normal range, but my CD4 percentage has tended to fluctuate. It took many years, but it eventually went up to 40 percent, with my CD4 count hovering between 600 and 1,000. However, over my last four or five tests my CD4 percentage has dropped to 30 -- not up and down, just down. Should I be concerned?


 I Have a "Wild-Type" Strain of HIV: What Does That Mean?
I was diagnosed with HIV on Jan. 4, 2008. Since then my CD4 count has stayed between 680 and 800 with a percentage of 30, and my viral load is about 2,000 copies. How long will it be before my CD4 count starts to decline and my viral load increases? What does it mean that I have a "wild-type" strain of HIV, and does it make any difference as far as progression of the virus?


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 Summertime: Season of Viral Handshakes and Infected Backslaps?
What are the chances of getting HIV from sweat? It's summer now and I am in a business where I have to shake people's hands a lot. I recently shook the hand and patted the back of somebody that was HIV positive, and he was drenched in sweat. I had some small, old paper-cut-type cuts on my hand, and my thumb had a larger cut from a kitchen knife. What are my chances of getting HIV from this?






Activist Central

 This Week: Call on Congress to Reform Drug Sentencing to Fight HIV/AIDS


 President Obama: Address the ADAP Crisis!


 Participate in a New Survey on HIV Prevention Strategies Targeting MSM


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


 Action Alert: Help Homeless AIDS Activist Get Into Housing Today