April 12, 2011
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LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS


 What Are the HIV-Related Laws in My State?
I'm going to school to be a counselor and am writing a paper on obligations of health care professionals to inform others when clients disclose their HIV status to them. Can the providers tell anyone? Where can I find out about other rules and laws relating to HIV disclosure and testing?

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


 What's the Best Way to Use Creatine Monohydrate for Building Muscle?
I've decided to start using creatine monohydrate to build lean muscle mass and strength when I work out. When should I take this supplement, and how much should I take?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


MIXED-STATUS COUPLES


 How Did My Fiancé Stay HIV Negative Despite Us Having Unprotected Sex?
I'm 23 years old and I was diagnosed with HIV in September 2009. Prior to my diagnosis I had unprotected sex with my fiancÚ for three years. Since then he's been tested three times, all of which came back negative. The doctors explained to us that some people do not have some kind of receptor cells and this puts them at a lower risk of becoming HIV positive. What do you think of this explanation?

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


BODY SHAPE CHANGES & HIV/AIDS


 Why Is My Sister Losing Fat and Muscle?
My sister has been on HIV meds for more than 10 years. Now she's experiencing muscle and fat loss. What could be causing this, and how can we help?

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


'poetry month @ thebody.com: submit your work!

quillDo you hide yours?
Like most of the world?
Do you not mention it?
Ignore its ache?

--From "Scarred," one of two poems submitted by Darris Willis


April is National Poetry Month in the U.S., and as we did this time last year, we're now accepting your submissions of poetry about living with, or being affected by, HIV/AIDS!

Anything you write is fair game. Pieces can be literal or abstract, serious or funny, short or long (but hopefully not too long), whatever you want. Select poems will be featured on our site and in e-mail newsletters all this month. Click here for more detailed information on how you can submit your poem (anonymously, if you'd like).



HIV/AIDS TREATMENT


 How Exactly Does Vitamin D Help Prevent Kidney Problems and Bone Loss?
I seroconverted to HIV positive about two years ago and started taking Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) 10 months ago. I've been reading about the link between kidney damage and Truvada. In a recent presentation at the CROI 2011 HIV research meeting, some researchers showed that taking vitamin D could potentially help with bone and kidney problems by regulating the release of a certain important hormone. What does all this mean?

Nelson Vergel responds in the "Nutrition and Exercise" forum


 Regimen Switch to Prepare for Pregnancy: Should I Worry About a CD4 Count Drop?
I used to take Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Since I've been trying to get pregnant, I asked my physician to change my HIV med regimen. I'm now on Truvada and Viramune (nevirapine). It's been three months since I switched and to my surprise, my CD4 count has dropped from 500 to 300 (my viral load is still undetectable). Should I be concerned?

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


More Questions About HIV/AIDS Treatment:


OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS


 What's the Deal With HIV and Heart Disease Risk?
Is it HIV meds or HIV itself that puts HIVers at greater risk for heart disease? What can be done to lessen these risks in the long term?

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


 Can Women Get Testosterone Replacement Therapy to Combat Fatigue?
I was diagnosed with HIV six years ago with a single-digit T-cell count. My viral load is currently undetectable and my T-cell count is close to 300. For the past four months I've been overwhelmed by fatigue. I'm almost too tired and weak to work, and it's getting worse. It turns out my testosterone level is low for a woman. My doctor refuses to try testosterone replacement because its use in women hasn't been approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). What do you think?

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


More Questions About Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS:


Connect With Others

Enjoy Life, Even if It Hurts -- It's Worth It!
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

Since coming here in '04, I have realized how insignificant a broken bone and, say, broken cartilage really are in terms of how it affects me now.

My son (8) and I were wrestling because Wrestlemania was coming on, and his knee hit my nose -- broken of course. Doing all this hurt so nice. You see I haven't had fun and laughed with my little guy in a couple months -- too bad it happened over broken body parts, lol.

My moral for this is simple: Have fun even if it hurts; the fun he had was worth it to me. I think before HIV, this would have been a problem ... but, now I look at it as I'm blessed to enjoy the fun day we had. Just thought I would share some humor, and an observation on how our values can and do change when HIV exists in our lives. -- alive2

Click here to join this discussion, or to start your own!

To do this, you'll need to register with TheBody.com's bulletin boards if you're a new user. Registration is quick and anonymous (all you need is an e-mail address) -- click here to get started!



UNDERSTANDING HIV/AIDS LABS


 Is My Viral Load Staying Detectable or Could My Lab Results Be "Tainted"?
My viral load has fluctuated quite a bit since my diagnosis five years ago. My virus has no resistance to my regimen of Isentress (raltegravir), Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). When I've asked my HIV specialist why my virus can't seem to achieve undetectable status, I've gotten a variety of one-sentence explanations. During my last visit he had a new reply: "Maybe the labs are tainted." My doctor theorized that the lab company does so many of these test that the process could become compromised, resulting in inaccurate test results. Have you heard of such situations?

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


HIV TRANSMISSION


 Can Scabies Transmit HIV?
I visited a sex worker in Bangalore about three months back. We didn't have vaginal, anal or oral sex; she just gave me a hand job, and I was wearing a condom. I saw scars in between her fingers after the act, and two weeks later I got similar scars between my fingers and on my penis, and it was itchy. The dermatologist diagnosed me with scabies. Do scabies mites transmit HIV?

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






Activist Central

 Take Action: Call-In to Support HIV Funding in the U.S.!


 Sign a Birthday Card for Health Care Reform!


 Choice in HIV Prevention -- Let FDA Look at the PrEP Data


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


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