September 21, 2010
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 How Can I Deal With My Rage at My Poor Health?
I was diagnosed with HIV in 1988. In 1992 I had a health condition which eventually led to impotence. My T cells were under 100 and in 1994 I developed cytomegalovirus (CMV) of the retina. The CMV drugs led to kidney failure and I was on dialysis for more than eight years until I got a transplant. I haven't worked in 15 years. On the outside I seem OK, but inside I'm enraged and exhausted. I think I'm a lost cause. Do you have any suggestions?


 What Are Some Potential Causes of Erectile Dysfunction?
I've been HIV positive for four and a half years and have also been diagnosed with low testosterone. I have no libido, can't maintain an erection and don't feel confident starting relationships -- and I'm only 35. Even testosterone replacement therapy isn't working. What could be causing these symptoms, and what are my first steps in treating them?


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 My HIV-Negative Boyfriend Wants to Bareback: Should We Ditch the Condoms?
I've been HIV positive for four years with an undetectable viral load for the past three years. I haven't had unprotected sex since my diagnosis, but I've been dating an HIV-negative guy for a few months and he wants to stop using condoms. He said he recognizes the risk, but that as long as I'm the receptive partner and my virus is undetectable, he isn't worried. While the idea of "barebacking" is appealing, I'm wondering whether we should do it. What do you think?


 Receptive Partner Just Diagnosed HIV Positive: What's the Insertive Partner's Risk?
My boyfriend and I both believed we were HIV negative and decided to have unprotected sex. We recently discovered he's HIV positive. I'm totally aware that I'm at a huge risk, and I plan to be tested, but are there any statistics on how huge my risk is as the insertive partner?


watch a movie, meet thebody.com

The Other CityIf you'll be in New York City this week, we hope you'll join us for a screening of an important HIV-related documentary -- and a chance to meet some of the people behind TheBody.com!

The Other City, a stark, honest and brutal-yet-inspiring film about HIV/AIDS in U.S. inner cities, will be showing at the Clearview Chelsea Cinema for one week, from Sept. 17 through Sept. 23. Following the 7 p.m. Sept. 23 screening, TheBody.com will host a Q & A panel discussion with experts and leaders in the HIV/AIDS community. We hope you'll join us!

If you're in Chicago, Los Angeles or Washington, D.C., The Other City will be coming to your city this month as well! Visit the film's official site for more info, and read our interview with the filmmakers to learn more about the documentary.

BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS


 What's the Best Diet for Fighting Lipodystrophy?
I'm trying to lose some weight I put on due to taking protease inhibitors, and lower my elevated triglycerides as well. My doctor says I'm starting to be at risk for diabetes. What type of diet is best for decreasing belly fat?


 Where Can I Get High-Quality PMMA Products and Injections?
I have mild lipoatrophy, but want to treat it before it gets worse. Is the best place to get PMMA (polymethyl-methacrylate, also known as Articol, Artefill or Metacrill) injections still from Dr. Marcio Serra in Brazil? Are there places in Canada that could provide the service or the product? Is there a form of Artefill available in the U.S. that uses non-bovine collagen? What else should I know about PMMA?


HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 Dear Nelson Vergel: What Do You Know About Ibalizumab?
I know you've been taking ibalizumab (TMB-355), the HIV drug in development, for some time now. Can you share your experiences and give us an update on the drug's progress through the development process?


 Tension and Other Mental Health Issues: Could My Meds Be to Blame?
I have been on Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for two years, my viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is 700 or above. I've never had vivid dreams from my meds -- just occasional problems sleeping at night. However, recently I've been extremely tense and unable to concentrate while driving. At times I literally start shaking. I usually take Atripla at bedtime, and my lack of concentration is worst between 5 and 6 pm when I am driving back from work. Have others reported similar concerns while taking Atripla?


 Is It Safe to Switch Back to My Original Combo After Taking Atripla?
I have been on Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) for more than four years. I recently switched to Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC), mainly for reasons of convenience and cost. I've been on Atripla for almost two weeks, and yesterday I noticed a strange, itchy rash on my arms and hands. I've also been dealing with some other side effects, and I'm regretting my regimen change. Can I go back to my original regimen of Norvir, Reyataz and Truvada?


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment:


UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 How Low a Viral Load Can the Most Sensitive Tests Detect?
What does it mean to have an "undetectable viral load"? Is 103 copies considered undetectable? What's the lowest viral load that can still be detected by a sensitive test?


Connect With Others

My Husband Is HIV Positive and I'm Negative -- and I Feel So Alone
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

My husband of five years just found out that he is positive. My initial test was negative and my six-week check was also negative. ... Since finding out, I feel so alone. I can't tell anyone and the ones I have told can't believe I am staying with him. We are having intimacy issues as expected. He is so depressed, and I am dealing with the guilt that I remained negative after all those years. I just want to feel like I am not alone in the situation, and that eventually we can have a normal happy sex life with each other. Can anyone share their stories with me? -- Jen1

Click here to join this discussion, 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 (all you need is an e-mail address) -- click here to get started!



HIV TRANSMISSION


 Celebrated the End of PEP With Unprotected Sex: Is It Safe to Re-Treat?
I just finished taking a course of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) meds and decided to celebrate with my new guy -- but part of the celebration involved bareback sex, and he bled on my penis. Do I have to go through the whole 28-day course of PEP again? Is it safe to do this so soon after the last time?


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 I Got the Glory ... but From Which Hole?
I try to stick to oral sex because of the reduced risk of HIV, but I was getting a blow job at a glory hole last night and I'm worried that the guy on the other side might have slipped my penis into his anus instead of his mouth. Do you think it's possible not to notice the difference between a blow job and anal sex?



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Activist Central

 Sept. 22: Join CHAMP and the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance for RED HOT Webinar Discussion and Strategy on HIV Prevention


 Action Alert: Say NO to Abstinence-Only Sex Education


 President Obama: Address the ADAP Crisis!


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


 Action Alert: Help Homeless AIDS Activist Get Into Housing Today