December 28, 2010
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 What Do We Have to Look Forward to in 2011?
Dear Nelson Vergel: Do you think 2011 will be a good year for HIV/AIDS? What are the main things we should be excited about as far as research and treatment?


 Love to Eat, Hate to Cook: Got Any Tips for Eating Right?
I'm single and I hate to cook, but love to eat. Unfortunately I tend toward pre-packaged or fast foods. I know the foods I should eat, but can't seem to get myself to cook them; besides, cooking can get expensive for one person. Any suggestions on how to improve my "single-guy diet"?


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 Should I Tell My Family About My Partner's HIV Diagnosis?
My partner and I have been together for two years. A year ago he tested HIV positive, but I'm negative. He's in good health and optimistic about the future, and we recently became engaged. My parents have met him and love him. He has not told anyone about his HIV status but I'm having real issues with not telling my own parents. Part of me thinks this is a private issue that doesn't need to be shared with them; I also feel as if, by not telling them, I'm somehow deceiving them. What do you think?


 Condom Failure With Undetectable Viral Load: What's the Chance I Infected My Partner?
I'm 45 years old, HIV positive and have been on meds for many years. My CD4 count is 800 and my viral load is undetectable. My girlfriend is HIV negative. We had sex two weeks ago and the condom broke. What was the risk of infecting her? What future course of action should we take?


BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS


 What Should I Know About Anabolic Steroids?
Should I try using methandrostenolone (Dianabol, or "Dbol") or Anapolon (Anadrol, oxymetholone), two anabolic steroids, to gain weight and build muscle mass?


 Are My Body Shape Changes Due to HIV Meds or Pregnancy?
I've been on Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for about a year and a half. I had a baby prior to that and only took Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) for the last two trimesters of my pregnancy. These are the only meds I've ever taken. I've noticed a bit of fat accumulation around my belly and thinning in my legs and butt. Are these common side effects of Atripla, or am I picking up body changes associated with my pregnancy?


HIV/AIDS TREATMENT & SIDE EFFECTS


 What Can I Do About Constant Fatigue?
I've been HIV positive for 10 years now. I currently take Norvir (ritonavir), Prezista (darunavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC), my CD4 count is 800 and my viral load is 900; but I'm extremely tired all the time. I've already tried Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada, but that combo didn't help the fatigue. Plus, my virus has developed resistance. Might there be some hope for me with another regimen, or eventually with the new drugs in the pipeline? What else can I do?


 How Do I Avoid Sustiva Side Effects When I Want to Go Out at Night?
I currently take Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) at 10 p.m. before bed. On three occasions I've attempted to go out after taking my meds, but by midnight my head starts spinning and all I want is to sleep. On the odd occasion that I do want to go out, can I take Truvada at 10 p.m. as usual and take Sustiva when I eventually go to bed?


 What Do You Know About Revivo?
I've been HIV positive for two years and my CD4 count is 465. I'm not on medication but I started taking Revivo (Chinese herbal tea) two months ago because I heard it keeps the viral load low and increases CD4 count. I'm still waiting for my test results, but do you know anything about Revivo?


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment & Side Effects:


Connect With Others

My Mother's a Longtime HIV Survivor -- And I'm Concerned About Her
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

My mother has HIV. I finally found out in 2008. She denied it when I asked her in the mid-1990s, when I was younger, but finally admitted it once I confronted her as an adult. She was relieved to have it out in the open, but she's suffered depression her whole life, stemming from a bad upbringing. She even started using drugs when my brother died in 2004.

I feel so bad that for all these years she's had to hold it in. My mother is a very strong woman but doesn't know it. She tells me about her CD4 count and viral load. I am glad she is open with me, but I know she's not being 100 percent truthful, probably to protect me. I've been trying to go to her doctor's appointments with her but she never tells me when or where they are. I just want to know and to be on track with her! I feel like I should be doing more for her. I beat myself up all the time. Does anyone have any ideas about what I should do?  -- JJ77

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HIV TRANSMISSION & TESTING


 Are My Negative HIV Test Results Conclusive?
I'm a health care worker, and blood from a patient of unknown status got into my eyes and mouth. I've had negative HIV test results up to five months after the exposure. Is it possible that my chewing tobacco habit could compromise my immune system so I'm not developing HIV antibodies? Also, is it possible I have HIV-2?


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 The Blue-Plate Special: Could Crepes Pubique Transmit HIV?
I was out eating at a diner and took a bite of my crepe when I felt something odd in my mouth. I took it out, only to find a pubic hair. Could I get HIV by chewing on a cooked pubic hair?




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