|• LIVING WITH HIV
An HIV Diagnosis Isn't the End of Your Life -- It's a New Beginning
I've been HIV positive since 1988 and on HAART since 1997. There was a time when I thought I'd never see my children graduate from school, meet my grandchildren or be in love again. But it's
been 18 years, and I'm healthy and fit -- I'm enjoying a life I didn't think was possible when I got diagnosed. I'm proof that there's life with HIV; just keep hope and stay informed!
What Should I Do When My Life Doesn't Seem Worth Living?
I've been living with HIV for 10 years, and I'm tired and depressed. My 20-year relationship is a disaster -- it's not even really a relationship anymore. I've thought about leaving, but I
just don't have the energy for all the drama. Could "suicide by AIDS" -- avoiding meds and letting illness eventually get me -- be my way out? I don't feel comfortable talking to
my doctor about this, but I don't feel that life is worth living anymore. What should I do?
|• HIV TREATMENT
How Do I Choose My First HIV Treatment Regimen?
I know that the once-a-day HIV combo pill is becoming popular, but what's the best drug combo for an HIVer who is going on meds for the first time? What options and variables should
Combination Pill Confusion: Did My Doc Switch Me to Two Meds or Three?
My doctor recently switched my Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) to Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) + tenofovir (Viread). Does my new regimen include three meds or just two? I know some pills
combine more than one drug, but I get confused about which ones and how they work together. Will this new regimen work? Or should I keep taking the Atripla until my next doctor's appointment?
|• YOU AND YOUR LABS
CD4 Count, CD4 Percentage and Viral Load: How Do They All Relate?
I've been HIV positive for almost a year, and until recently my CD4 count and percentage have both been stable: CD4 count 820 to 860, CD4 percentage 22%. However, my last CD4 count was 680,
even though my percentage stayed about the same. What exactly is the difference between these two measurements? And does my recent drop in viral load tie in to all of this?
• TAKE A SURVEY ON ANEMIA
Although HIV-positive people may experience anemia, many HIVers know very little about it. How much do you know about anemia and HIV? Share
your thoughts in this quick survey brought to you by Ortho Biotech. Your responses will be kept completely anonymous.
|• COMPLICATIONS OF HIV & HIV MEDS
Are There Any Treatments for Abdominal Fat Gain?
I'm 68 years old and was diagnosed with HIV last year. I'm now on HIV meds, have my viral load under control, feel well and look healthy. The problem is that I've always been a well-developed,
athletic person, but now I'm gaining weight around my stomach. Are there any drugs I could take to stop this fat gain?
Can I Switch From Kaletra to Atazanavir to Lower My Triglycerides?
Two weeks after starting Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir), my triglycerides jumped from 250 to 600. Four months later, they've climbed as high as 900. My doctor has suggested taking a type of
drug called a fibrate to cut my triglycerides, but I don't want to add another drug to my regimen. Could I switch from Kaletra to a more fat-friendly protease inhibitor like atazanavir (Reyataz)
Could My New Regimen Be Causing Fatigue and Depression?
I recently switched meds from d4T (stavudine, Zerit) + 3TC (lamivudine, Epivir) to fosamprenavir (Lexiva, Telzir) + Truvada (tenofovir/FTC). Since the switch, I've gained some weight in my
gut and back, and I've been combating fatigue and depression. I guess that non-HIV factors could be contributing to these changes, but I wonder if they might all be from my new meds. What do
Worried About an Unusually Dark Bowel Movement
I've been HIV positive for three years and am on ritonavir (Norvir) + Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) + atazanavir (Reyataz). Ever since I began meds I've been having a lot of gut problems. My last
bowel movement was black, and I know that's not a good sign! What should I do?
|• HIV NEWS & VIEWS
Are the Media Doing Enough to Educate the Public About HIV?
It seems that many people are deathly afraid of becoming HIV positive, and I think it's because of a lack of proper education. Most of their fears are completely irrational. Do you think the
media are doing everything they can to educate the public about HIV? Or are they more concerned with ratings and drama than the truth?
|• STRANGE BUT TRUE
Can I Get HIV By Sharing a Nasal Irrigator?
I clear out my sinuses by pouring fluid into my nostrils with a special type of pot. I let one of my housemates, who may or may not have HIV, borrow the pot, and then used it again myself
a few days later (after giving it a good washing). Now I'm a little worried. I know that snot doesn't transmit HIV, but could I still be at risk?
Can HIV Get Into My Semen and Infect Me After I Masturbate?
In health class I learned that HIV can be found anywhere. Can HIV find its way from my surroundings into the semen I ejaculate while masturbating, and then infect me?