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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Nelson Vergel, B.S.Ch.E., M.B.A.

Outsmarting HIV: A Survivor's Perspective

Nelson Vergel Asks for Your Help to Save HIV+ Venezuelans' Lives
May 22, 2014

"Nelson, I have read your expert column in Spanish at I am desperate since we are running out of HIV medications in Venezuela. Can you help us?" This was the first email I received 4 months ago before many others starting arriving in my mailbox.

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Can Bugs Increase CD4 Cells?
July 3, 2013


Hello, some studies show that probiotic yogurt can increase CD4 counts, but others show risks to those with compromised immune systems taking probiotics. What are your thoughts? I have been on HIV therapy for nearly 3 years and have not yet achieved a consistent CD4 count over 200. My % is 14. I started very low, under 20. Do you know of any progress on immune therapies to raise the counts? I have been following Cytheris and IL-7 therapy but the trials are taking a very long time. Thanks for your help.

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HIV Cure Research and Advocacy: What Is the Community's Role? (Videos)
June 6, 2013

Research activists and investigators from around the world met in Atlanta on March 2, before the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), to review the current status of HIV cure research and the role of the community in accelerating and facilitating progress in this important field.

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Making Sense of Supplements
December 18, 2012

The world of nutritional supplements is a confusing one, with thousands of claims that are not supported with clinical studies, or are based on research done in rats. There is no FDA oversight of these claims, and quality control audits of this industry are infrequent. However, the FDA is known for sending warnings about supplements that have been reported to cause health concerns, or with unapproved ingredients found in random testing.

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Nelson Vergel's Time-Saving Tips to Maximize the Benefits of Exercise
October 30, 2012

As a nutrition and exercise expert, in this video I share what I've learned in the past 27 years of exercising to combat HIV-related body changes, fatigue and mental outlook with great exercise tips that will save everyone time and costly mistakes.

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Nelson Vergel's Tips on Healthy Eating
October 16, 2012

Picking the right foods to eat can be confusing with so much contradictory and misleading information out there.

In this 19-minute video, Nelson reviews foods that he uses and buys at the grocery store to stay healthy.

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Empezando Tu Camino Como VIH Positivo
10 de agosto de 2012

El descubrir que uno es VIH + es una experiencia abrumadora y atemorizante. A menos que uno conozca a personas VIH + que podrían ayudarle a navegar los pasos a seguir para obtener el control del VIH, la búsqueda de información en el Internet y grupos de apoyo puede ser una experiencia llena de confusión. Y la mayoría de clínicas de atención primaria de pacientes VIH+ están tan agobiadas con tantos pacientes que tienen tiempo limitado para educar a alguien acerca de cómo mantenerse saludable con el VIH.

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What You Need to Know About HIV Cure Activism
August 8, 2012

Much like it happened during the 1980s and '90s, a new kind of activism is emerging in the fight against HIV. As newer HIV antiretrovirals have helped many regain their health, several activists are not relaxing about their work.

A shift in paradigm occurred when the research world accepted the fact that the "Berlin Patient" was cured of HIV. This shift has also fueled a resurgence of activism that very few people living with HIV are aware of.

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Starting Your Journey With HIV
July 31, 2012

Finding out that one is HIV positive is an overwhelming and scary experience. Unless you know empowered HIV-positive people who can help you navigate the next steps to gain control of HIV, searching for information on the Internet and at support groups can be a daunting experience. And most HIV primary care clinics are so burdened that they have limited time to educate someone about how to stay healthy with HIV.

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Ten News Items That Have Made Me Happy During the Past Month
May 31, 2012

These past several weeks have been great on many fronts. While taking a shower this morning, I counted a few of the great pieces of news that have come our way amidst all the negative news that the media dwells on to increase ratings.

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Outsmarting HIV: A Survivor's Perspective

Nelson Vergel is a chemical engineer who has become a leading advocate for sports nutrition, supplementation and the promotion of wellness in the HIV-positive community since his positive diagnosis in 1986. He is also the author of "Testosterone: A Man's Guide" and co-author of the book "Built to Survive"; the founder of the nonprofit organizations Body Positive Wellness Clinic and Program for Wellness Restoration; the Nutrition and Exercise forum expert at; and a bilingual speaker on lipodystrophy, wasting, exercise, nutrition, testosterone replacement, metabolic disorders, HIV medication side effect management and HIV salvage therapy. Nelson also moderates PozHealth, one of the largest HIV health discussion listservs online.

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Recent Posts:

Interviews and Articles Featuring Nelson:

HIV Nutrition (and Proper Pooping) With Nelson Vergel, Food Detective: A Video Blog (January 4, 2011)

Hitting the Gym With HIV Fitness Stud Nelson Vergel: A Video Blog (January 24, 2011)

Second Bioplasty Congress in Mexico: PMMA for Facial and Buttock Lipoatrophy (December 9, 2010)

Updates From the 1st International Workshop on HIV & Aging (October 21, 2010)

This Month in HIV: 2009 Update on Body Shape Changes and HIV/AIDS (April 2009)

Nelson From Houston: Activist Since 1986 (May 2007)

A Brief Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed by's bloggers are entirely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of itself.