& THE WORKPLACE
Physicals and Disclosure
If I choose not to disclose my HIV status during a pre-employment
physical, can this cause problems on my actual insurance paperwork?
I know they usually ask you to fill out a checklist of health problems
on pre-employment exams. How do I get around this?
as an HIV-Positive Nurse
I am an HIV-positive nurse; does that mean there are types of
nursing work I can no longer do? Nursing is my calling, but I'm
torn between my morals and the need for confidentiality.
My church recently adopted an application process for anybody
volunteering to work with children. One of the questions on there
is if you are HIV positive; if you are, they will not allow you
to work with young children. Aren't churches obligated to follow
HIV anti-discrimination laws?
WASTING (LIPOATROPHY) & HIV
I'm from the United Kingdom, and was lucky enough to join a clinical
trial for New-Fill. After my first round of injections, though, I
didn't notice any difference. Will this change as I receive more injections?
Since I have only very mild facial wasting, will I only need a few
treatments? What can they do to make the injections less painful?
Lipoatrophy Treatment Testimonial
I have to tell everyone about my miraculous experience! I recently
had my second course of a new treatment for severe facial wasting.
It was the first holiday season in many years in which I didn't run
away from people's cameras. I can now look in the mirror without cringing,
I no longer have to blow out my cheeks to shave and the ulcers inside
my mouth from brushing my teeth have all healed. Please spread the
I started taking lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) and
Combivir (AZT + 3TC) shortly after I was diagnosed with AIDS five
weeks ago. Now I'm nauseous all day and have heartburn when lying
down. Is there anything I can do to ease these side effects?
I've been HIV positive since 1984. I've been
experiencing joint pain in my shoulders, back and hips for several
years now. When I try to bring my arms out to the side I can only
go so far before I feel the pain. I'm on tenofovir (Viread) and Trizivir
(AZT + 3TC + abacavir), but I don't think it's a side effect from
these drugs because I've been on other antiretrovirals and still felt
the joint pain. Any ideas on what is causing it?
Tired and Losing Short-Term Memory
Even after I have slept for eight hours, I never feel
rested, and I've been experiencing short-term memory loss. My testosterone
is normal, though, and my doctors dismiss these problems. What could
be causing them? I'm a long-term survivor (22 years) and have been
on drug therapy since 1991. I'm currently taking atazanavir (Reyataz),
efavirenz (Sustiva), ritonavir (Norvir) and tenofovir (Viread). Have
I lost my energy for good? Will my memory get worse?
Necrosis and Fatigue
I was recently diagnosed with necrosis in both hips
and take small amounts of pain killers. My CD4 count is 33 and my
viral load is 130,000. I still work full time and I am on my feet
all day. Lately I've been having problems with extreme fatigue and
have been falling asleep before I realize what's happening. I'm currently
on 3TC (lamivudine, Epivir), ritonavir (Norvir), T-20 (enfuvirtide,
Fuzeon) and tipranavir. I've never had this problem before and it's
really starting to get to me. Any suggestions?
Treatment During Acute Infection
I was most likely infected with HIV sometime in July or August;
luckily, I have a primary care doctor who has a large HIV practice.
My CD4 count is 675 and my viral load is approximately 220,000. My
doctor recommends that I start HIV meds now, use them for the next
12 to 18 months and then suspend therapy. What do you think?
Question: Do you feel that 12 to 18 months
is the definitive period of time that people should be on treatment
during this "acute" phase of HIV infection?
Long Should I Wait?
Since being diagnosed with HIV about three years ago, I've seen
three different doctors, and each has told me I shouldn't take meds
until my CD4 drops to 200 or less. Right now, my CD4 count ranges
from 550 and 900 and my viral load has been between 800 and 1,200.
My only health problem has been oral thrush, but when I stop smoking
cigarettes it goes away. Should I really keep waiting to start treatment?
Viral Load, Low CD4 During Acute Infection
I recently tested positive and my latest numbers are awful: my
viral load is 660,000 and my CD4 count is 168. A friend told me that
this is normal for recently infected people, since my body is working
overtime to fight off the infection. Is this correct?
Infection: First Steps to Treatment
I'm a white, heterosexual man living in the U.S. who was infected
with HIV-2 by a woman. What's the best course of treatment?
Editor's Note: HIV-2 is a strain of HIV common in parts of Africa
(particularly in the western part of the continent), but rarely seen
in the U.S. To learn more about HIV-2, read
this article from the CDC.
Are there tried and proven regimens for HIV-2?
SEX & HIV TRANSMISSION
Risk When You're Over 50
I'm a 56-year-old woman who had unprotected vaginal sex. The thought
that I could be at risk for HIV never entered my mind -- it wasn't
around in my generation. Now I have a host of symptoms. Could it be
of HIV-Antibody Tests
Although my HIV-antibody test was negative, my test for cryptosporidiosis
came back positive, so the doctors took blood for an HIV viral load
test. It came back at 130,000 -- I had HIV. In a sense, my crypto
saved much of my basic immunity to HIV: Because of it, and the viral
load test they gave me as a result, I was able to start HIV treatment
while I was still seroconverting. If this could happen to me, then
why are we still using antibody tests when viral load tests seem much
Risks of Nose-Picking
After masturbating a prostitute (who also gave me fellatio), I
picked my nose. Could I have exposed myself to HIV?
Can HIV survive in orange juice?