March 15, 2011
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 How Can I Stop Feeling Tired All the Time?
I was diagnosed with HIV five months ago and I take Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Although I sleep well at night, exercise five to six times a week, am on testosterone replacement therapy and try to maintain a daily intake of 2,000 calories, I've been feeling exhausted all the time. What else can I do?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Planning a Pregnancy: Will I Need to Switch HIV Meds?
I'm planning on having a baby but I'm currently on Combivir (AZT/3TC, known as Lamzid in its generic form) and Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin). My CD4 count is 380 and my viral load is undetectable. Is it possible for me to have a baby? Are there any HIV med regimen changes I may need to make?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the "Choosing Your Meds" forum


More Questions About Living With HIV/AIDS:


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 Haven't Wanted Sex Since My Diagnosis: Will This Ruin My Relationship?
I was diagnosed HIV positive in January. I was probably infected in 2006, as I've been faithful to my partner since our marriage in 2007. My spouse has tested HIV negative. My biggest worry now is that we haven't had sex since I was diagnosed. He's very supportive and we're still in love, but I have no desire for sex whatsoever. He hasn't suggested sex either, but I think he's holding back to see what I do. Do you think this lack of sex could have a long-term effect on our relationship?

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


BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS


 Would a New Regimen Be Less Likely to Cause Body Shape Changes?
I've been on Combivir (AZT/3TC) and Viracept (nelfinavir) for more than 20 years, and my CD4 count has always been above 1,000. I've recently started developing "ropes," as I've heard them called -- visible veins on my calves due to lipoatrophy, which seem to be progressing to my thighs. I brought them to my doctor's attention and he recommended I change from Combivir to Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Do you think this is a wise move?

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


HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women

Women

In the spirit of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and Women's History Month in the U.S., TheBody.com has revamped its HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women with new content, amazing personal stories and useful resources!

Whether you're recently diagnosed, a longtime HIV survivor, an HIV advocate, an HIV prevention expert or a person who cares for somebody living with HIV, our HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women is the best place on the Web to turn to for community, information and guidance.



HIV/AIDS TREATMENT & SIDE EFFECTS


 How Toxic Are Current HIV Meds?
I believe I've had HIV for almost 10 years, but I was diagnosed just two years ago. My CD4 count stays around 700 and my viral load is around 11,000, so I'm delaying starting HIV meds. When will we know more about whether it's better to wait to start meds? We hear so much about how toxic HIV meds may be. Have HIV meds gotten a bad rap, or is there really something about them that's different from other medications that makes them more toxic?

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


 Taken Off Truvada: Is Kaletra Monotherapy Safe?
I've been taking Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) for the past five years. My CD4 count is 388, its highest yet, and my viral load is undetectable. I have avascular necrosis of the hip and in 2010 I had two total hip replacements. My doc took me off Truvada, so now I'm only taking twice-daily Kaletra. Was this a wise move? Do you think Truvada could have played a big role in my hip problems?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the "Choosing Your Meds" forum


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment & Side Effects:


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 What Kinds of Neurocognitive Issues Are Related to HIV?
A few weeks ago I was given an AIDS diagnosis -- my CD4 count is around 125. I hope to start HIV meds tomorrow. I've noticed over the past year that my short-term memory has gotten much worse. I have to set out reminders all over the place just to get through my normal day. Could these memory issues be HIV related?

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


 What Should I Know About Taking Isoniazid?
I'm currently taking Lexiva (fosamprenavir, Telzir), Norvir (ritonavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). The doctor at my job suggested I start taking isoniazid (INH) because I tested positive for latent tuberculosis on a PPD skin test. Are there any drug interactions between INH and my HIV meds? What else should I be aware of while taking INH?

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


More Questions About Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS:


Connect With Others

How Can I Help My HIV-Positive Partner Open Up to Me?
(A recent post from the "My Loved One Has HIV/AIDS" board)

I'm dating an HIV-positive guy. I am trying to understand what he goes through every day and what his world is like. We have dated for more than eight months now and I would love to be intimate with him but he says he isn't into sex anymore. Sometimes I think he needs to talk to other people about his problems and his worries. It's hard for me to talk about it because none of my friends or family knows about his health. I'm not afraid -- I love this man for who he is. How do I talk to him about things? How do I express my feelings without hurting him? Maybe if I connect with someone with HIV on here, I can get some of my questions answered? Thank you so very much for any help anyone can provide. -- jwaesm

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UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 Are My Numbers the Norm for Early HIV Infection?
I was infected with HIV three months ago. Three weeks later I became ill with flu-like symptoms and had a fever for exactly two weeks. I feel fine now, except for anxiety. I tested positive at that time. Over the past month and a half my CD4 count has continued to drop. My viral load, which was 1.8 million at the time of my diagnosis, has also dropped, but it's still 660,000. I'm debating whether to start treatment. Is it typical for a person's viral load to stay this high this long after initial infection? I'm worried that my CD4 count will drop below 300. If it does drop, will it likely rebound?

Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C., responds in the "Understanding Your Labs" forum


HIV & STD TRANSMISSION


 How Could My Partner Transmit Syphilis to Me, But Not HIV?
How is it possible for me to test reactive for syphilis but negative for HIV and hepatitis, and for my partner to test HIV positive? He's been my only partner in the last two years, so the syphilis infection was definitely from him. I'm beyond the window period for HIV seroconversion. How can a person transmit one sexually transmitted disease but not another?

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


 How Long After an Exposure Does ARS Occur?
Can you walk me through the main phases of ARS (acute retroviral syndrome)? I'm told it presents in seven to 10 days after exposure and subsides in five to 10 days. Does that sound accurate?

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






Activist Central

 Action Alert: Join the Fight to Support the Affordable Care Act and Reject Repeal Efforts


 Sign on, Sign Up, Speak Out: Save Prevention Access


 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!