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December 27, 2005
In This Hot Topics:
  • Mixed-Status Relationships
  • Living With HIV
  • HIV Treatment
  • Understanding Your Labs
  • HIV & Treatment-Related Health Problems
  • Hepatitis C
  • Pregnancy & HIV
  • Strange but True
  •  MIXED-STATUS RELATIONSHIPS

    When Should I Disclose to My Girlfriend?
    I've been HIV positive for almost two decades and recently divorced my HIV-positive wife. I have two children (both HIV negative) and an undetectable viral load. I recently met another woman (who also has children); we ended up in bed on our first date, but I was able to keep it to just kissing and petting. I want her to get to know me better before I disclose my HIV status, but I also don't want to have sex without disclosing first. At the same time, I'm afraid of the reaction I might get if I tell her. What should I do?


    Supporting a Partner With AIDS
    My partner has recently been diagnosed with AIDS. I told him that I still love and accept him as much as I did before -- if not more. However, I don't know how else I can help him. Sometimes he is very loving and I feel like we're so close; other times, he is distant and does not want to communicate at all. What should my attitude be?
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     LIVING WITH HIV

    Newly Diagnosed; Am I Doomed?
    Can HIV meds really save me? I'm a recently diagnosed, 24-year-old black man living in the Caribbean. I have a viral load of 7,810, a CD4 count of 326 and a CD4 percentage of 24%. My doctor says I have no reason to be concerned; is he right? Will I survive?


    Should HIVers Be Vegans?
    I have heard of HIV-positive people who have sought to "detoxify" themselves by swearing off everything but fruits and vegetables: no meat, no dairy, no medications, no nicotine, no caffeine, no nothing. The rumor is that, after they detox and go vegan, they can actually become HIV negative. Any truth to this?
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     HIV TREATMENT

    Multi-Drug Resistance Without Ever Taking Meds?
    I think I've read that 15 percent of new HIV cases have a strain of the virus that is resistant to one or more HIV meds. Somebody I spoke with, however, says 15 percent of new cases are resistant to all HIV meds. Who is correct?


    Most Common First-Line Regimens; Use of Fosamprenavir
    What are the three most commonly prescribed first-line HIV treatment regimens? How do you feel about the use of fosamprenavir (908, Lexiva, Telzir)?


    What's on the HIV Treatment Horizon?
    What do you feel are the most significant upcoming changes in HIV treatment, beyond the expected increase in the number of new drugs within existing classes? I see so much on the Internet and in the news about therapeutic vaccines, immune system enhancers and so on, but I would like a doctor's point of view on what is really important.


    Refrigerating HIV Meds
    I'm taking Epzicom (abacavr/3TC, Kivexa) + Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) + tenofovir (Viread). At what temperature do they need to be stored?
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      UNDERSTANDING YOUR LABS

    What Are CD4 Ratios and Percentages?
    Instead of CD4 count, the people in my HIV support group talk about "ratios" and "percentages," but I have no idea what they're talking about. Could you explain?

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     HIV & TREATMENT-RELATED HEALTH PROBLEMS

    Gugulipid Supplements for High Cholesterol?
    I've heard that a supplement called Gugulipid can help lower cholesterol levels. Do you know if this is true? Are Gugulipid supplements safe to take with HIV medications?


    Symptoms of Anemia
    I'm about to start my first HIV treatment regimen -- Combivir (AZT/3TC) + efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin) -- and am paranoid about anemia. What signs or symptoms should I be on the lookout for?


    Anadrol-50 and Procrit: Comparing Two Very Different Meds
    What's the difference between Anadrol-50 (an anabolic steroid) and Procrit (generic name: epoetin alfa)? Which is better for treating fatigue or anemia?
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      HEPATITIS C

    My Hepatitis C Is Detectable Again; What Now?
    About six months ago, I completed a 48-week course of treatment for hepatitis C (type 1a). Each time my hep C viral load was tested during treatment, my viral load was undetectable. However, my latest hep C tests showed that my viral load had rebounded to 300,000, although my liver enzymes were normal. Does this mean I need another course of treatment -- and if I do, how likely is it that it'll work the second time?

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      PREGNANCY & HIV

    HIV Concerns From a Newly Pregnant, HIV-Negative Woman
    My HIV-positive husband and I have been married five years. I have been HIV negative throughout our relationship, and his viral load is undetectable. However, we just found out that I'm pregnant. Should I be concerned that my baby or I will become HIV positive?


    Trizivir and Pregnancy
    Is it safe to have a baby while taking Trizivir (AZT/3TC/abacavir)?

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      STRANGE BUT TRUE

    HIV in the Garbage
    Can I get HIV from a trash can?


    HIV and Hot Tubs: A Dangerous Combination?
    What's your take on being HIV positive and using a hot tub?
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    Visual AIDS
    Art From HIV-Positive Artists

    Image from the Visual AIDS Web Gallery
    "Memorial Chair (Club Chair)," 2000;
    Michael Ransom
    Visit the Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view a thought-provoking collection of art by HIV-positive artists!

    Medicine Recycling
    Your Unused HIV Meds
    Can Save Lives!

    AID FOR AIDS

    AID FOR AIDS is a New York-based nonprofit organization that collects unused, HIV-related medications and redistributes them to people living with AIDS in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.

    Have HIV-related medications (including antiretrovirals and meds used to prevent or treat opportunistic infections) you'd like to donate? Click here to find out how.

    Ryan White CARE Act
    The Reauthorization Fight
    Has Just Begun

    The Ryan White CARE Act is one of the most important laws in the United States for uninsured people living with HIV. For the first time in five years, the Ryan White CARE Act is up for reauthorization -- the entire law is currently being revisited, which could result in major changes in the way the act works and funding is doled out.

    What are some of the biggest issues impacting the reauthorization, and how might they impact you? Visit The Body's main page on the Ryan White CARE Act reauthorization for background info, news, policy statements and more!

    Want to take action now? Click here to send a letter to your U.S. senators and representatives urging them to increase funding for the Ryan White CARE Act.