March 8, 2011
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 Which Workout Regimens Work for Every Muscle Group?
I've been weight training since I was 17. I'm now 33 and I'm getting nowhere. I eat well and work out three to five times per week, and my body isn't developing. Do you know of any step-by-step, full-body workout regimens you could share with readers?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Will Inheriting Money Interfere With My Medicare and Social Security?
I've been HIV positive for 19 years. I'm no longer able to work full time due to the effects of a birth defect, so I work 16 hours a week and receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare. I will receive a decent inheritance when my mother passes away. Without Medicare I would exhaust the inherited money in five or six years paying for my meds. Will I automatically lose my benefits when I inherit this money?

Michael J. Van Essen responds in the "Workplace and Insurance Issues" forum


BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS


 What Options Are Available to Relieve AIDS-Related Wasting?
I'm 52 years old and I've been living with HIV for almost 20 years. In the '90s I tried Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate) to treat my wasting and got tremendous results. I stopped for a while and when I tried it again in a few years I saw no improvement. Serostim (somatropin) caused my blood sugar to spike to the point of a diabetic coma so I didn't continue with it. My wasting is really taking a toll on me. What can I do?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the "Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment" forum


 What Can I Do About Male Breast Enlargement?
Do you have any information about causes and treatment of moderate gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) due to lipodystrophy?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


Also Worth Noting: Visual AIDS

Image from the March 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
"Untitled (Map)" 1990; David Wojnarowicz

Visit the March 2011 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month's gallery, entitled "Why Do You Insist on Flaunting?" is curated by Sacha Yanow.

HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 What Might Happen if I Stop Taking Atripla?
I've been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for about three years, having switched from the same meds administered separately. My viral load was undetectable within 30 days of commencing treatment and my CD4 count has been above 1,000 for the past two years. I worry that Atripla may have some unknown long-term side effects. Is it advisable to stop taking it, and start again if negative effects develop?

Joseph P. McGowan, M.D., F.A.C.P., responds in the "Choosing Your Meds" forum


 Why Was I Prescribed One Regimen Over Another?
I was diagnosed with HIV in early 2011 and at the time my CD4 count was 10. I'm taking Combivir (AZT/3TC) and Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin), but should I be taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC)? How are treatment regimens chosen?

Joseph P. McGowan, M.D., F.A.C.P., responds in the "Choosing Your Meds" forum


 Can I Take a One-Time Dose of Ativan With Atripla?
I've been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for more than three years. Before I started taking HIV meds, I used to take Ativan (lorazepam) before dental appointments. I'm about to go in next week for major dental work. I told my dentist about the Ativan and he said he prefers to use Halcion (triazolam), but the Atripla package insert specifically says not to take Halcion while taking Atripla. Would it be unsafe to take Ativan since the two drugs are in the same class?

David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., responds in the "Mental Health and HIV" forum


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment:


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 How Do I Stop Taking Testosterone?
How should a person go about stopping testosterone replacement therapy? Does the body eventually begin to produce a normal amount of testosterone again?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 What's a "Borderline" Hepatitis C Test Result?
Three months ago I tested negative for hepatitis C, but today my test came back "borderline." What does that mean, and what should I do now?

Barbara McGovern, M.D., responds in the "Hepatitis & HIV Coinfection" forum


 Do HIVers Need to Be Careful Around Cats, Mice and Mold?
Are HIV-positive people in danger of contracting toxoplasmosis from cats? Are black mold and mice droppings dangerous as well? What can a person do to lessen the risk?

Keith Henry, M.D., responds in the "Managing Side Effects of HIV Treatment" forum


UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 Dear Dr. Bob: What Do You Mean When You Say "Dormant" HIV?
I'm a little confused. In the past you've written: "It may take up to 10 years after primary infection for HIV/AIDS symptoms to become manifest; however, that doesn't mean HIV has been lying 'dormant' all that time." However, another expert in another forum wrote: "Yes it can remain dormant." Were you both talking about the same thing when you referred to HIV being "dormant"?

Robert J. Frascino, M.D., responds in the "Fatigue and Anemia" forum


Connect With Others

Problems With Allergies Since Testing Positive?
(A recent post from the "Treatment & Side Effects" board)

So far I have tried to go on meds twice, and each time I have had severe allergic reactions. Since becoming positive, I have become allergic to penicillin as well.

Does anyone else have these sorts of problems with their medicines? If so, have you found an HIV med that worked for you? -- madisongurl

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HIV TRANSMISSION


 Can PEP Fail?
Do you have any information about failures in post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)? What factors can affect PEP's effectiveness?

Robert J. Frascino, M.D., responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum


STRANGE BUT TRUE


 HIV, Phone Home?
I'm in the phone repair business and a facility for people with HIV sent us phones to repair. One phone had water or juice spilled on it and the inside is still kinda wet, even after a week. While disassembling the phone I noticed a cut on my hand and the spilled liquid came in contact with my wound. Can I get HIV this way?

Robert J. Frascino, M.D., responds in the "Safe Sex and HIV Prevention" forum






Activist Central

 3/16: Implementation Fever: Making Health Reform and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Tools of HIV Prevention Justice


 Organizations: Call on US to Heed UN Words on Sex Worker Rights


 Congress: Ask for $$$ Estimate on the Nat'l AIDS Strategy!


 Activist Alert: Sign on to Demand Freedom for Chinese AIDS Activist


 House Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood: Sign a Letter to Congress to Save Critical Services!