October 26, 2010
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 Vindictive Ex Using My HIV Status as a Weapon: Any Advice?
I've been poz for three years. Back in April I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend -- he's a top and I'm a bottom. I'd told him verbally that I was poz. We've since broken up, and even though he's been tested and is still HIV negative, he's now saying I never told him I was poz and threatening to turn me in to the police. If he does this, would it just be my word against his?


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 Dear Dr. Bob: What Non-Medical Advice Can You Give to a New Magnetic Couple?
Six months ago I met my current partner; we fell in love and are still going strong. I am HIV negative and my partner is "virally enhanced," as you say. I've appreciated the medical information and studies you've provided, but could you highlight some non-medical concerns magnetic couples should be aware of -- communication issues, fear of transmission or other relationship dynamics specific to magnetic couples?


 Mixed-Status Couple Into Fisting: What Do We Need to Know?
I've been HIV positive for about five years and I take Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). My CD4 count is 650 and my viral load is undetectable. I also recently tested positive for hepatitis C (HCV). My boyfriend is HIV and HCV negative. We are very much into fisting. He is the top and always uses gloves. Is there a risk of transmitting HCV to him; and if so, is there a way to further protect him from getting infected?


"This Positive Life" Video Series

Far too many people with HIV live in isolation, dealing with their diagnoses, medical visits, meds, health issues and stigma all by themselves.

Each month, TheBody.com's This Positive Life video series will bring you two new interviews to watch (or read!). These inspiring videos feature HIVers from all walks of life as they talk about what it means to live -- and live well -- with HIV.


HIV/AIDS TREATMENT & SIDE EFFECTS


 Resistant to Atripla: What Are My Next Steps?
I was diagnosed with HIV 22 years ago and I've been on Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for the last three years. I just received the results of my first genotype test, and it showed that my virus has become resistant to Atripla. Are there any other regimens that would allow me to take pills only once a day? What else should I do?


 High HIV Med Dosage: Could My Liver Be Suffering the Consequences?
I'm currently taking Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC), all at the maximum dosage level. My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is over 700. My friends have noticed that since I started taking these meds, my eyes have been yellow. I know that continued use of some strong medications over time can cause liver damage, so I'm wondering if my liver is being affected. Would it be in my best interest to ask for a reduction in my dosage?


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment & Side Effects:


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 Flu Season With a Low CD4 Count: Can I Be Vaccinated?
My CD4 count is 81 and my viral load is undetectable. I asked my doctor if it is OK for me to get vaccination shots. He said that because my CD4 count is low it would not be beneficial to me. Most people at work have been sick lately, so I am very concerned I will catch something. What should I do?


 Chemo Drove My Viral Load Up: Will It Ever Come Down?
I'm in good health HIV-wise, with a viral load that's usually undetectable. I've recently had four sessions of chemotherapy and I have another one this week. When I went to see my HIV doctor, my labs showed that my viral load increased due to the chemotherapy. What are the odds that my viral load will go back down, and keep me undetectable?


Connect With Others

Why Have I Lost Confidence in Speaking My Mind Since Testing Poz?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

Tonight's one of those "bad nights." Tonight, I'm not as mostly-fearless as I usually am. I'm dealing with a roomful of catty women and backstabbing and backbiting. I've been in situations like this before, where you don't know who you can trust and your bosses treat you all like children. It's maddening when you're healthy, and this is the first time I've dealt with it since HIV.

I'm keeping my mouth shut about things that I wouldn't have before, and I don't like it. I used to be someone that people would come to with concerns, because they knew I could phrase it well, and I wouldn't tell who said what. People still do come to me like that, but I've got a whole lot more to lose now, and I'm less likely to help them out. And I don't like it.

Any advice on how I can still use my writing/communication/silver tongue and not screw myself? -- klclt

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UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 How Do I Interpret These CD4 and CD8 Count Test Results?
I started HIV meds with Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) in mid-August. I understand CD4 counts can bounce around, but in the past month my CD4 count dropped by more than 110 while my CD4 percentage went up more than nine points. How is this possible? Also, what could be the reason why my CD8 count went down by more than half?


HIV TRANSMISSION


 Missed Dose of PEP: Are My Chances Greater of Becoming HIV Positive?
I started a post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) regimen of Combivir (AZT/3TC) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) within 24 hours of my HIV exposure. On day two I took the Combivir and was planning on taking the Truvada later that day but forgot. I took it the next morning instead. Did not taking the Truvada the second day increase my risk of seroconversion? Also, does drinking alcohol decrease the medications' effectiveness?


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 See Spot Lick Dick -- See Dick Get Spots?
I caught my son in the bathroom getting his crotch licked by our dog. I have since taken the dog to a family that will take better care of it because I can't trust my son anymore. My son is 15 and hasn't had sex, other than getting his crotch licked by the dog. I'm afraid he will get a sexually transmitted disease or something from the dog. Is this possible?






Activist Central

 Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program Applications Due Friday, December 3, 2010


 Make the AIDS Vote Count: Ask Your Candidates' Stance on Women and HIV Issues!


 Call on Peruvian Authorities for Justice in Murder of HIV/AIDS & Gay Activist


 Learn How You or Your Org Can Get Out the Vote on Nov. 2!


 Women With HIV Deserve Abortion Coverage: Tell the White House!


 Join a Facebook and Twitter Campaign to Fight NY Gov. Paterson's Rent Cap Veto!


 NIAID to Host Public Meeting on Future HIV/AIDS Research Networks


 President Obama: Address the ADAP Crisis!


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