Loss of Libido After Diagnosis: Is This the End of My Sex Life? I haven't had sex in the three years since my HIV diagnosis. At 44, my testosterone levels are actually higher than normal and aside from HIV, I'm in very good physical health. The first year or two I figured that, after some time had passed and the initial shock of my diagnosis had worn off, sex would once again be part of my life. That time has come and gone and I still have no desire to be sexual with another man. Is there anything I can do to jump-start my sexual desire?
How Do I Deal With Having HIV? I cannot deal with the mental anguish of having HIV. I keep waiting to develop drug resistance or something else bad to happen. I just want it to be over and I'm considering just not bothering anymore. I'm seeing a counselor and was put on Wellbutrin (bupropion), but I still can't cope. What can I do? How long have others you've known been able to deal with this?
Any Tips for Eating Well and Losing Fat? I'm doing well on Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC). My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is around 400. But I've gained more than 40 pounds and I need to lose some weight. Also, my bowel movements are all loose, and most have an oily film floating on top of the water. What could be causing this? Do you have any everyday fat-loss and nutrition tips for me?
Is Natural Conception Really Possible For Mixed-Status Couples? I asked my doctor what other options are available for mixed-status couples wanting to have a child, aside from IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and sperm washing. He said that as long as the HIV-positive partner's viral load remains undetectable, it is indeed possible to conceive naturally since the chances of transmitting the virus are extremely low and very close to zero. He also suggested that the HIV-negative partner take HIV meds after exposure to further reduce the possibility of infection. What are your thoughts?
Do Any Body Shape Changes Develop From Taking PEP? I am currently on a 28-day course of Combivir (AZT/3TC) and Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir). Have there been any reported cases of lipoatrophy or lipodystrophy from taking this regimen as PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis)?
Is Morning Lightheadedness a Side Effect of Atripla? I've been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for two months with no really bad side effects, except after waking up, I feel lightheaded. I have to sit for a few minutes before it goes away. What could be causing this, and what can I do?
Do-It-Yourself Dosing Changes: What's the Risk? I've been taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) for close to two years and have had good success overall with the medication. However, it baffles me that a 400-pound guy would be on the same pill as a 150-pound guy. I'm concerned about the potential long-term effects these meds could have on my liver and kidneys. Is there an alternative dosage that maintains the ratio of the three meds in Atripla? Would there be any problem with splitting the pills and taking a half-dose on alternating days?
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OTHER HEALTH ISSUES & HIV/AIDS
How Are Anal Lesions Screened and Treated? I'm 56 years old and I've been HIV positive for 25 years. In 2008 I was diagnosed with "intense dysplasia in the anal canal." I get an anoscopy every year to follow up. What do you know about anal dysplasia? What else can be done to monitor or treat this condition? Is it likely to develop into anal cancer?
Should I Worry About Getting a Cortisone Injection? I started Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) 10 days ago and have three weeks before my next blood draw. Due to a long-term running injury, my orthopedist suggested I get a cortisone injection in a bursa sac in my hip. I asked my HIV doctor about potential drug interactions; he said he didn't have any "serious concerns" given that it was a one-time, localized injection, but he did tell me that steroids suppress the immune system, and that the cortisone could potentially affect my next lab test results. Do you have any thoughts?
Could My Perinatally Infected Child Be HIV Negative After All? My 9-year-old child contracted HIV from his birth mother. He was diagnosed at 10 weeks of age and started HIV meds immediately. By 14 weeks he had an undetectable viral load using ultrasensitive testing. He has never had a detectable viral load. He recently tested negative for HIV antibodies. He also experiences side effects from his HIV meds. I've asked his doctor if he can prove my son still has HIV. His doctor doesn't know of a test that could do so. Do you know of such a test?
What Percent Risky Was My Behavior? I recently had sex with an HIV-positive guy. I was the top and did not use a condom. I know there's some risk, but do you know the percentage? Does ejaculating inside the partner carry more risk than pulling out?
Stories From the "Worried Well": I Wasted 7 Years Worrying About HIV! It's hard to remember when you're wracked with fear that HIV is not the easiest virus to transmit, and that not every encounter will lead to HIV. Waiting seven years to get tested did nothing for me physically or mentally. For all you out there who are afraid to take that step, use my story as an example and don't waste precious time. Get out there and know your status!
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