News & Views: Depression & HIV; Sexual Assault & Disclosure; Providers & PrEP; and More

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April 17, 2014 Top Stories at TheBody.com Read Past Newsletters Change/Update Subscription
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spacer.gif Mathew Rodriguez Hello Readers,

Sometimes, the challenges that face people living with HIV can seem insurmountable. In this week’s newsletter, we have stories of someone who was sexually assaulted, a person whose partner passed away, and another who deals with repeated gastrointestinal issues.

But, with each trial comes an inevitable success — one person became a published poet, one finally got onto treatment and got healthy, and one had an entire vignette called “Ms. Chanel” written and performed about her.

I hope you can take some solace in the stories in this week’s News & Views, because they show that challenges often bring wonderful rewards when we overcome them.

Joyfully yours,

Mathew Rodriguez
Community Editor, TheBody.com

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HIV & YOUR HEALTH

thumbnail image for blurbTaking Your First HIV Med With the Encouragement of a Loved One

Joseph P had his filled prescription for three days before he actually took a pill. Some key words of support helped him take the first step.

thumbnail image for blurbdiamond.gifGet More From Your Medical Care: 7 Resources Show You How
How can you fit regular medical appointments into your life — and make the most of them? These resources can help you boost communication with your doctor.

my first pill
thumbnail image for blurbWhether it was AZT or Atripla, the 1980s or the 2010s, a person living with HIV who is on treatment always remembers that first pill. And we want to hear about it!

Did you deal with side effects? Were you hesitant to begin treatment? Did you have to do some tinkering to find the regimen that was just right for you?

Write out your story (between 200 and 1,000 words, please!) or film a YouTube video, and email it to mrodriguez. You can also read user-submitted stories that are part of this series! justline.gif
HIV PERSPECTIVES & OPINIONS

thumbnail image for blurbAntron Olukayode on Sexual Assault, HIV Disclosure and Spinning Life’s Trials Into Art

A self-described “artivist” goes through the lows — sexual assault, diagnosis and homelessness — and the highs — starring in a CDC campaign, artistic success — since his diagnosis at 19.

thumbnail image for blurbdiamond.gifOn Denial After an HIV Diagnosis
Why has guest blogger William lived so long after his diagnosis? “My story must not be finished yet,” he says. Read his account of his first days with HIV in this guest blog.

Join the Conversation Stacey F. (From Los Angeles) on “5 Years After My HIV Diagnosis

“I absolutely loved this and got teary reading it. Thank you for sharing this story with the world and for using that difficulties that life has sent your way to enhance the lives of others.”

Read the rest of the comment and join the discussion on this article!

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HIV RESEARCH & TREATMENT NEWS

thumbnail image for blurbHow Depression Impacts HIV (Video)

Is there a connection between depression, a person’s ability to keep HIV under control, and heart attack risk? Two experts discuss the latest clues in an unfolding mystery.

thumbnail image for blurbdiamond.gifStudies Investigate Hepatitis C Among Gay and Bisexual Men
For at least the past decade, an outbreak of sexually transmitted HCV has been occurring among men who have sex with men — the vast majority of whom have been men with HIV. But why?

thumbnail image for blurbdiamond.gifEmerging Issues in an Aging HIV-Positive Population (Video)
Four top experts team up for a wide-ranging conversation on an increasingly important — but extremely complicated — set of health problems that affects HIV-positive people as they grow older.

getting to undetectable
thumbnail image for blurb An undetectable viral load: the point at which HIV, though still present, cannot be found in a person’s blood with the most sensitive tests available. For many of those who have reached undetectable, it was a major milestone in their lives. We asked people living with HIV to contribute thoughts and stories about getting their own viral loads to undetectable.
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HIV/AIDS BLOG CENTRAL

thumbnail image for blurbNolan Hill: Introducing Project Haven (Video)

“I want to make sure everyone knows that you are not defined by your disease and that there’s so much more, and that you are still you.”

thumbnail image for blurbdiamond.gifBen B.: On Nutrition After a New HIV Diagnosis
“We should eat better because we CAN eat better. It’s similar to how the advent/usage of clean drinking water 150 years ago made those human beings the luckiest in history.”

thumbnail image for blurbdiamond.gifMark S. King: When People With HIV Became Suicide Bombers
“Anyone with HIV and a pissed off ex-lover should feel worried, since these cases often become a matter of whom you believe.”

thumbnail image for blurbdiamond.gifRae Lewis-Thornton: Ms. Chanel, Part 1
“Somewhere between a forkful of steak and a bite of bread, I began to feel a somewhat familiar sensation. Something warm and liquid seemed to be easing its way out of my body.”

Connect With Others Married and Positive
(A recent post from the “Living With HIV” board)

“I’m having weight loss surgery in a few weeks and several months ago when I met my surgeon, I privately disclosed to him that I had HIV to be safe. This was a choice I made as I could have taken the risk and not disclosed but I am very, very private about my status. I thought that when I told him I stressed that it was a very private matter and that I was hoping it would stay on a need to know basis. Yesterday, when I went to do my pre op testing, I noticed he had put that I had HIV on my medical charts and people who were doing my ultra sound, pulmonary tests, EKG and just lab techs all had that information.”

privatepos

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 email address) — click here to get started!

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HIV/STD TRANSMISSION, EDUCATION & TESTING

thumbnail image for blurbGetting Comfortable With PrEP: A Provider’s Perspective

Unlike condoms, oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a prevention strategy that requires doctor’s approval. So, what does Dr. Joel Gallant have to say about it?

thumbnail image for blurbdiamond.gifNo Condoms and an Undetectable Viral Load: What the Research Shows
If a major study found “zero” cases of HIV transmission among mixed-status couples, why did it also find that the risk was higher than zero?

More HIV/STD Transmission, Education & Testing Headlines:

other sides of hiv
thumbnail image for blurbMany types of medications can save or improve lives, but they can also have unintended consequences. Side effects of meds (whether for HIV or some other condition) can be mild or life altering, horrible or even pleasurable; some people living with HIV never experience any at all. Whether you’ve worried about side effects or dealt with them firsthand, it seems like everyone’s got a story about them. We want to know about yours.

To share your “side effects” story, write it out in 1,000 words or fewer, or film a YouTube video, and email it to mrodriguez. Many readers’ stories will be posted on TheBody.com!

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HIV COMMUNITY NEWS & FEATURES

thumbnail image for blurbLongtime AIDS Survivor Stephen Kovacev to Run Boston Marathon

In 1997, Stephen Kovacev became the first person living with AIDS to complete the Boston Marathon, and he will be running it again on Monday, April 21, this time in solidarity after last years tragedy.

thumbnail image for blurbdiamond.gifThe Importance of Community-Based Organizations for Women and Girls
“CBOs must continue to focus on at-risk women, including those who are left to support and care for children whose father is incarcerated,” writes Priya Rajkumar of AIDS United.

More HIV Community News & Features:

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Google Alert – HIV Mississippi

Google
HIV Mississippi As-it-happens update ⋅ April 17, 2014
NEWS
Longer Looks: HIV Epidemic In The Deep South; Planning For Alzheimer’s Kaiser Health News
One of the strangest things about the H.I.V. epidemic in the Deep South—from Louisiana to Alabama to Mississippi—is how easily most Americans …

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Google Alert – HIV Alabama

Google
HIV Alabama As-it-happens update ⋅ April 17, 2014
NEWS
Longer Looks: HIV Epidemic In The Deep South; Planning For Alzheimer’s; Obamacare Kaiser Health News
One of the strangest things about the H.I.V. epidemic in the Deep South—from Louisiana to Alabama to Mississippi—is how easily most Americans …

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Center for HIV Law & Policy

Hot Topics: Fasting; AIDS Prognosis; Bloating; Copay Assistance; and More

If you have trouble reading this email, you can see the online version at: www.thebody.com/topics.html

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April 15, 2014 Visit the Forums Read Past Email Newsletters Change/Update Subscription
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spacer.gif Living With HIV diamond.gifIs Fasting Safe For People Living With HIV?
When I’m fasting, I sleep around 10 p.m. and don’t eat until midday the following day. I only do this three times a week and make sure I stay hydrated. Is fasting OK for HIV-positive individuals?

Nelson Vergel responds in the “Nutrition and Exercise” forum

diamond.gifWhat Is My Prognosis After an AIDS Diagnosis?
I was diagnosed with a CD4 count of 42. What can I expect after starting treatment?

Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C., responds in the “Understanding Your Labs” forum

diamond.gifFive Years After Diagnosis
thumbnail image for blurbDavid Duran was diagnosed with HIV in April 2009. Here, David recounts the alcohol-filled depression that followed, and the steps he took to dig himself and find sobriety — and his own inner strength.

Mixed-Status Couples

diamond.gifNo Condoms For Two Years: How Did My Partner Test Negative?
I’ve been with my partner for two years now and we’ve never used protection. However, I tested positive and he tested negative. How is this possible?

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

diamond.gifA Negative Opinion on PrEP
thumbnail image for blurb“I can only speak for myself when I say that those gay men saying that using PrEP in this way is OK are DEAD WRONG.”

Insurance, Workplace & Legal Concerns

diamond.gifDoes Copay Assistance Work With Coinsurance?
Under my new insurance, my meds are a tier-5 specialty, meaning I’ll have to pay a percentage of coinsurance, not a copay. Because of this difference, will my copay assistance programs still help pay for some of my meds?

Jacques Chambers, C.L.U., responds in the “Workplace and Insurance Issues” forum

diamond.gifUnderstanding Health Insurance Coverage Under the New Law
thumbnail image for blurbThe Affordable Care Act is transforming health insurance in America — and you need to be prepared! This article will get you started.

Join the Conversation

Mark S. King (From Washington, D.C.) on “5 Years After My HIV Diagnosis

“‘I wish I could have back the two years I wasted feeling low and useless.’ I hear that loud and clear, and I also know that nothing in this life is really wasted, especially when it helps us develop empathy for the lives of others.”

Read the rest of this comment and join the discussion on this article!

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HIV/AIDS Treatment

diamond.gifWhat Should I Do if I Accidentally Take Two Doses?
I accidently took two doses within two hours, and started feeling numbness, slight fever and tingling all over. Did I overdose? When should I start my regimen again?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum

diamond.gifDoes Atripla Cause Bloating?
Since starting Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC), I’ve bloated somewhat and put on weight around my gut. Is Atripla causing this bloating?

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

diamond.gifHow to Make HIV “Take Up Knitting”
thumbnail image for blurbMuch of the research on finding an HIV cure has focused on pulling HIV out of its hiding spots within the body. But what if we could alter a person’s cells to prevent HIV from even reaching those hiding spots?

Other Health Issues & HIV/AIDS

diamond.gifIs My Addiction to Masturbation Causing Health Problems?
I’ve had considerable hair loss, blurring of vision, breast development, weight loss and stunting of height. I’m also experiencing depression and loss of concentration. Is this because I’ve masturbated every day for the past three years?

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

diamond.gifHIV in the Blood and Gut: Exploring the Differences
thumbnail image for blurbHIV doesn’t treat all parts of the body equally — a fact that has ramificationsnot just for the health of people with HIV, but also for our efforts to develop an HIV vaccine, recent research has found.

News & Opinion

diamond.gifIs There Really a Cure For Hepatitis C?
I tested positive for hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies, but did not have any HCV RNA in my blood. Was I cured without medications?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection” forum

Connect With Others

Disclosed to Doctor Before Surgery: Will My Status Stay Private?
(A recent post from the "Living With HIV" board)

A few months ago, I met a surgeon to discuss weight loss surgery, and I privately disclosed my HIV status to him. I stressed that it was a very private matter. However, yesterday, when I went to do my pre-operation testing, I noticed that he had put my HIV status on my medical charts, so anyone who had access to these charts could see my status. Now he says that once I’ve told him, it becomes part of my medical record. Is this allowed? How can I keep my status private?

privatepos

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 email address) — click here to get started!

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Understanding HIV/AIDS Labs

diamond.gifWhy Are Both My CD4 Count and Viral Load Going Down?
I’m on treatment and my viral load is going down. However, why is my CD4 count also decreasing?

Mark Holodniy, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.I.C., responds in the “Understanding Your Labs” forum

diamond.gifCan You Recover From a CD4 Count of Two?
My partner was diagnosed two years ago, but refused to take meds. Now his viral load is over two million and his CD4 count is two. He started Stribild (elvitegravir/cobicistat/FTC/tenofovir) just to find out that he is already resistant to the drugs. Is there any chance he can recover?

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., responds in the “Choosing Your Meds” forum

HIV Transmission

diamond.gifWhat’s the HIV Risk of Anal Fingering?
Can I contract HIV from receiving anal fingering?

Shannon R. Southall responds in the “Safe Sex and HIV Prevention” forum

diamond.gifSluts, Stigma and PrEP
thumbnail image for blurbAccording to Alex Gardner, when we’re taling about PrEP and stigma, the real question should be, “Just what is it that we are ashamed of?”

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About This Email

This email update has been sent to .

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TheBody.com’s Email Updates
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New York, NY 10017

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Google Alert – HIV Louisiana

Google
HIV Louisiana As-it-happens update ⋅ April 15, 2014
NEWS
Suspect reportedly exposed Louisiana detective to HIV during drug bust Fox News
A Louisiana detective who got into a tussle Friday with an HIV-positive suspect during a drug bust was pricked in the finger by a heroin-laced syringe, …

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Google Alert – HIV Louisiana

Google
HIV Louisiana As-it-happens update ⋅ April 15, 2014
NEWS
The INDsider

Leges OK sodomy, Bible bestofneworleans.com
LFF’s Bill Smith said the bill would not address the AIDS crisis in Louisiana and Baton Rouge, which has one of the highest rates of HIV in the U.S. …

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Google Alert – HIV Alabama

Google
HIV Alabama As-it-happens update ⋅ April 12, 2014
NEWS
Area sorority holds walk to fund HIV/AIDS awareness FOX10 News – Mobile
… hosted an HIV/AIDS awareness three-mile walk and Health Fair on Saturday, April 12, at the University of South Alabama Intramural Field Complex.

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Google Alert – HIV Alabama

Google
HIV Alabama As-it-happens update ⋅ April 12, 2014
NEWS
South Alabama Youth Ballet “The Legend of Oran” FOX10 News – Mobile
The South Alabama Youth Ballet is presenting “The Legend of Oran” this weekend in Mobile. According to legend, Oran is where the great and final …

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Policy Update – April 11, 2014