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POZLife: Life from the Infected and Effected point of veiw.

Marijuana VS. Aspirin

Posted by pozlife on March 4, 2009

News

by admin on Mar.03, 2009, under Bud Report, Laws, News

When Bayer introduced aspirin in 1899, cannabis was America’s number one painkiller. Until marijuana prohibition began in 1937, the US Pharmacopoeia listed cannabis as the primary medicine for over 100 diseases. Cannabis was such an effective analgesic that the American Medical Association (AMA) argued against prohibition on behalf of medical progress. Since the herb is extremely potent and essentially non-toxic, the AMA considered it a potential wonder drug.

Instead, the invention of aspirin gave birth to the modern pharmaceutical industry and Americans switched away from cannabis in the name of “progress.” But was it really progress? There can be no doubt that aspirin has a long history as the drug of choice for the self-treatment of migraines, arthritis, and other chronic pain. It is cheap and effective. But is it as safe as cannabis?

History:

Marijuana has been used for over 5,000 years.
No one has ever overdosed on marijuana.
Aspirin has been used for 108 years.
Approximately 500 people die every year by taking aspirin
The Law:

Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, meaning the US government believes it is extremely dangerous, highly addictive, and of no medical value.
Aspirin is available for pennies and can be purchased by children at any drug, grocery, or convenience store. Often they are just handed out free by people with no medical education.
Marijuana side effects and dangers:

The dangers of marijuana include possible respiratory problems caused by the deposition of burnt plant material on the lungs. This danger can be eliminated with alternate forms of consumption such as eating or vaporizing the medicine.
For two to four hours, marijuana causes short-term memory loss, a slight reduction in reaction time, and a reduction in cognitive ability. (It makes you stupid for a little while.)These conditions DO NOT persist after the herb wears off.

Hunger
Paranoia
Depression
Laughter
Introspection
Creative Impulse
Euphoria
Tiredness
Forgetfulness
Aspirin side effects and dangers:

When taken with alcohol, aspirin can cause stomach bleeding.
Reye Syndrome in children: fat begins to develop around the liver and other organs of the child, eventually putting severe pressure on the brain. Death is common within a few days.
People with hemophilia can die.
People with hyperthyroidism suffer elevated T4 levels.
Stomach problems include dyspepsia, heartburn, upset stomach, stomach ulcers with gross bleeding, and internal bleeding leading to anemia.
Dizziness, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, vertigo, vision disturbances, and headaches.
Heavy sweating
Irreversible liver damage
Inflammation and gradual destruction of the kidneys
Nausea and vomiting
Abdominal pain
Lethargy
Hyperthermia
Dyspepsia: a gnawing or burning stomach pain accompanied by bloating, heartburn, nausea, vomiting and burping.
Tachypnea: Abnormally fast breathing
Respiratory Alkalosis: a condition where the amount of carbon dioxide found in the blood drops to a level below normal range brought on by abnormally fast breathing.
Cerebral Edema: Water accumulates on the brain. Symptoms include headaches, decreased level of consciousness, loss of eyesight, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, memory loss and coma. If left untreated, it can lead to death.
Hallucinations, confusion, and seizure.
Prolonged bleeding after operations or post-trauma for up to 10 days after last aspirin.
Aspirin can interact with some other drugs, such as diabetes medication. Aspirin changes the way the body handles these drugs and can lead to a drug overdose and death.
If you think that cannabis is actually safer than aspirin, you are not alone. In October 2000, Dr. Leslie Iversen of the Oxford University Department of Pharmacology said the same thing.

In her book, ‘The Science of Marijuana,’ Dr. Iversen presents the scientific evidence that cannabis is, by-and-large, a safe drug. Dr. Iversen found cannabis had “an impressive record” when compared to tobacco, alcohol, or even aspirin.

“Tetrahydrocannabinol is a very safe drug,” she said. “Even such apparently innocuous medicines as aspirin and related steroidal anti-inflammatory compounds are not safe.”

So if safety is your concern, cannabis is clearly a much better choice than aspirin. If you eat it or vaporize it, it just might be the safest painkiller the world has ever known.

Author: Nunya

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Hot Topics at The Body’s "Ask the Experts" Forums

Posted by pozlife on February 23, 2009

LIVING WITH HIV

Once You’ve Been Diagnosed With AIDS, Will You Always Have AIDS?
In one of your recent answers, you said that an AIDS diagnosis is irreversible. Are you saying that if a healthy HIV-positive person had an opportunistic infection or a CD4 count under 200 at some point, then that person still has AIDS, even if he or she currently has an undetectable viral load and a CD4 count of 1,500? Please explain!
Anabolic Steroids and HIV/Hepatitis B Coinfection
I am a 30-year-old professional model and athlete. I was diagnosed with HIV five years ago and hepatitis B (hep B) a little less than two years ago. I am taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) and my HIV viral load is 125 copies while my hep B viral load is 10,000 copies. I would like to regain a few pounds as well as some muscle mass that I’ve lost since starting on Atripla. I did a cycle of Equipoise and Winstrol before I was diagnosed with hep B, and it worked great. Would doing another eight-week cycle of steroids — either Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate) or Equipoise, along with Winstrol — affect my liver now that I have hep B?

Also Worth Noting: Breaking Research: In-Depth Coverage of CROI 2009

CROI 2009: Montréal, February 8-11

Articles and podcasts continue to flood in from TheBody.com’s coverage of CROI 2009, the 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Visit our CROI 2009 home page throughout the month as we add more highlights!

MIXED-STATUS COUPLES

Any Tips for a Mixed-Status Couple?
I was diagnosed in March of 2008. I am taking Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) and am proud to say that thus far I have been 100 percent compliant. My viral load recently dropped to undetectable levels, I feel great and my fiancée has been wonderful. We have a fairly active sex life consisting of protected vaginal and anal intercourse, as well as unprotected oral sex. My fiancée has been tested every three to four months since my diagnosis, and all her tests have come back negative. Is this enough? As a doctor who is also a member of a magnetic couple (one partner positive, the other negative), do you have any recommendations for us?

HIV TREATMENT

Should I Switch From Sustiva to Reyataz?
I have been on Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) for the past four years with great results: My viral load is undetectable and my CD4 count is 900. Lately, however, I have had chronic, persistent fatigue in the mornings and dizziness at night. I’m considering changing my Sustiva to Reyataz (atazanavir) boosted with Norvir (ritonavir), or possibly lowering my dose of Sustiva to reduce these unpleasant side effects. Would either of these make sense, or is it risky to change a regimen that is otherwise working great for me?
What Do You Think of a Regimen of Isentress + Intelence?
I’ve been positive for seven years and since starting treatment, my viral load has remained undetectable on several regimens. However, I have severe fat loss in my cheeks and body, and switching regimens has not helped me regain fat. I’m currently on Isentress (raltegravir), Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) and Viread (tenofovir) but I’m thinking of dropping Viread and Sustiva and just taking Intelence (etravirine) with the Isentress. Is a two-drug regimen unusual? Do you think this is too risky a move to make just to recover some fat?
Do I Have to Take Atripla on an Empty Stomach?
It’s recommended that Atripla (efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC) be taken on an empty stomach, but I like to eat at night. Will taking Atripla with food affect the way the drug works?

Also Worth Noting: Visual AIDS

Image from the January 2009 Visual AIDS Web Gallery
"Gay Pride Parade, NY," Luis Carle

Visit the February 2009 Visual AIDS Web Gallery to view our latest collection of art by HIV-positive artists! This month’s gallery, entitled "In the Flesh," is curated by Jo-ey Tang.

HEALTH ISSUES & SIDE EFFECTS

Which Side Effect Do I Want?
I started on Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) and Viramune (nevirapine) 18 months ago. One year into treatment, a bone density scan showed that I had moderate osteopenia (bone loss). Since the tenofovir in Truvada has been linked to bone problems, I planned to switch from Truvada to Ziagen (abacavir) — until I saw recent studies regarding Ziagen and cardiovascular problems. Do I have to choose between dealing with bone problems and risking a heart attack? What would you do?
What Will Help My Extreme Fatigue?
I am 34 years old and have been HIV positive for 18 years. My viral load is 759 and my CD4 count is 387. I am currently taking Isentress (raltegravir), Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa) and Viread (tenofovir). The problem is that I have absolutely no energy. I sleep between 13 and 17 hours a day — energy-wise, I feel no better now than I did with a CD4 count of 6 and a viral load of 750,000. I have read that taking Provigil (modafinil) may help my fatigue. What do you think I should do?
Can Tamoxifen Affect My Lipoatrophy Treatments?
I began taking tamoxifen (Nolvadex) four months ago to reduce male breast enlargement (gynecomastia), most likely caused by taking Sustiva (efavirenz, Stocrin) for my HIV along with Propecia (finasteride) for hair loss. The tamoxifen seems to be doing its job, but my dermatologist thinks it is causing my Sculptra (poly-L-lactic acid, New-Fill) facial wasting treatments to wear off more quickly than usual. Have you ever heard of such a thing?
Allergic to Sulfa Meds: Can I Still Take Prezista?
I am severely allergic to Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) and other sulfa-based meds. Is it safe for me to start taking Prezista (darunavir)?

Also Worth Noting: Connect With Others

Homophobic U.S. Preachers Denied Entry to the United Kingdom
(A recent post from the "Gay Men" board)
Hot off the presses: The UK government has just announced that Kansas-based preachers Rev. Fred Phelps and Shirley Phelps-Roper, whose slogan is "God Hates Fags," will be denied entry to the UK if they arrive tomorrow, as promised, to picket a play about the brutal 1998 homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming. Rev. Phelps and his followers picketed Matthew’s funeral with banners proclaiming such things as "Matt Shepard Rots in Hell," "AIDS Kills Fags Dead" and "God Hates Fags."
– Ruairi

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HIV gene therapy trial promising

Posted by pozlife on February 17, 2009

 

The therapy aims to stop HIV re-producing

One of the first attempts to use gene therapy to treat HIV has produced promising results in clinical trials.

When the therapy was tested on 74 patients, it was shown to be safe and appeared to reduce the effect of the virus on the immune system.

In theory, one treatment should be enough to replace the need for a lifetime of antiretroviral therapy.

The study, by the University of California, Los Angeles, appears in the journal Nature Medicine.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gifThe researchers have shown enough of an effect for us to be hopeful that a gene therapy approach to HIV treatment might eventually deliver effective treatments for the disease http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif

Keith Alcorn
HIV information service NAM

Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has greatly improved the prognosis for people infected with HIV.

However, it must be taken on a daily basis, there is a risk of adverse reactions and the virus – which has an astonishing capacity to evolve rapidly – is starting to develop resistance to the drugs.

Therefore, new ways to combat the virus are badly needed.

Stem cells

The latest therapy involves giving patients blood stem cells modified to carry a molecule called OZ1, which is designed to stop HIV reproducing itself by targeting two key proteins.

The patients in the trial either received the therapy, or a dummy treatment.

After 48 weeks the researchers found there was no statistically significant difference in the amount of HIV circulating in the blood of the two groups of patients.

However, after 100 weeks the patients who received the gene therapy had higher levels of CD4+ cells – the key cells of the immune system which are specifically destroyed by HIV.

Lead researcher, Professor Ronald Mitsuyasu, said the research was the first to come through tightly controlled trials in which patients did not know whether they were getting the therapy or the placebo.

He said: "Gene therapy has the potential of needing only a one-time or infrequent administration of product and would allow the patients to control their own HIV internally without the need for continuous drug therapy.

"While this treatment is far from being perfected, it is not yet as effective or as complete as current antiretroviral therapy in controlling HIV, the study did show proof of concept that inserting and administering a single anti-HIV gene in the patients’ own blood stem cells and giving it back to them could reduce viral replication to some degree when anti-HIV medications are stopped."

However, Professor Mitsuyasu said long-term follow up was needed to ensure the therapy was safe.

‘Exciting’ area

Jo Robinson, of the HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "Gene therapy is an exciting area which aims to create a one off treatment for HIV, avoiding the need for people to take daily medication.

"However, it’s a very complex area and early days in research terms so we’re a long way from something like this being on the market.

"This particular trial proved safe and has shown some promising results which definitely warrant further investigation.

"Some people find their HIV becomes resistant to current treatments over time so it’s essential that we invest in researching potential new approaches like this."

Keith Alcorn, of the HIV information service NAM, said: "The viral load responses in this study were very modest, and for any other sort of product would not justify going forward.

"However, the researchers have shown enough of an effect for us to be hopeful that a gene therapy approach to HIV treatment might eventually deliver effective treatments for the disease."

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Show on the road: Top 10 kitsch destinations

Posted by pozlife on February 8, 2009

by Aefa Mulholland

Highbrow destinations and lofty, cerebral cultural attractions are not for all of us. Sure, long days spent pouring over masterpieces might be all that some people desire to fill vacation days, but if there’s a drive-thru shaped like an oversize hot dog or a quirky museum dedicated to questionable medical devices (St. Paul, Minn.), neon art (Los Angeles) or lunch boxes (Columbus, Ga.) nearby, they will always top my to-do list.

Sadly, some of my favorite attractions, such as Lexington’s biblically themed mini-golf course (complete with elves and gnomes standing in for apostles), and Portland, Ore.’s 24-hour Church of Elvis, are no more, but there are still plenty of kitsch pit stops to be made. Read on for some of my favorite offbeat attractions around the country.

1. Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
http://www.dollywood.com
Dolly Parton’s Tennessee mountain home, a butterfly-adorned family fun park in the Smokies, offers a slew of Dolly-themed diversions, as well as rides including Beaver Creek, Piggy Parade, Rockin’ Roadway and Tennessee Tornado.

2. Las Vegas, Nev.
http://www.visitlasvegas.com
The motherlode of kitsch, Vegas offers a veritable overload of the splashiest, trashiest, campest sights in the country, from the Liberace Museum and Elvis impersonators by the score to the astounding heights of architectural kitsch that the casinos have reached.

3. The Donut Hole
Los Angeles
http://search.cityguide.aol.com/losangeles/restaurants/donut
-hole/v-138202
A donut drive-thru to beat all other drive-thrus, the Donut Hole in La Puente, about 12 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, is actually a tunnel between two chocolate-covered half donuts.

4. Shady Dell RV Park
Bisbee, Ariz.
http://www.theshadydell.com
This cache of vintage aluminum travel trailers in this former copper-mining town in the Mule Mountains is the perfect place to stay during Bisbee’s annual gay Pride celebrations (June; http://www.bisbeepride.com). Check into a 1949 Airstream, 1950 Spartanette or 1951 Royal Mansion, have yourself a little something to eat at Dot’s diner, then go back to your rig and turn up the cassettes of big-band music thoughtfully provided within.

5. Graceland
Memphis, Tenn.
http://www.elvis.com
The King of Kitsch’s home life is preserved in all its glittery, manically patterned shag-carpeted glory at his Memphis mansion. Join the determined flow of middle-aged Middle Americans as you trot through the ground floor and grounds.

6. Velveteria
Portland, Ore.
http://www.velveteria.com
Velvet paintings, from Yoda to Elizabeth Taylor to the Virgin of Guadelupe, as well as changing exhibitions, are on show in this purple shag-carpeted, pink-curtained and tiger-striped treasure trove of tack.

7. The Grand Guitar
Bristol, Tenn.
http://www.talentondisplay.com/grandguitar.html
Home to a guitar store, a museum and a radio station (country, of course), the world’s only three-story guitar-shaped building nestles on the border of Virginia and Tennessee, three miles outside Bristol.

8. The Museum of Bad Art
Dedham, Mass.
http://www.museumofbadart.org
Wonder at the marvels within at this Boston-area museum, the world’s only cultural institution "dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms."

9. Madonna Inn
San Luis Obispo, Calif.
http://www.madonnainn.com
Choose from uniquely quirky quarters at the Madonna Inn, an eclectic 109-room marvel with accommodations including the zebra-saturated Jungle Rock room or Caveman and Rock Bottom rooms, where boulders are big and Flintstones fantasies are plentiful.

10. Bob’s Java Jive
Tacoma, Wash.
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/WATACjavajive.html
Although former residents Java and Jive, a duo of caffeine-fueled drummer chimps, are no longer in residence, Tacoma’s coffee-pot-shaped bar still manages to work up a ruckus, with live bands playing in the venerable venue most nights of the week.

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Untitled

Posted by pozlife on November 23, 2008

Well what to say on this cold day.  For some reason I can not get warm. The doctors say its is from muscle loss..talk about looking like Mr. Potato head !  I see that E harmony is being force to take on gay clients.  I am not sure the laws from above were right.  We have many HIV & Gay and lesbian chat rooms and some say no to straight people straight up front. So should it not be that they too, should  be posted gay personals ?  Why are movies so fucking cookie cuter….give me some strange and some unexpected ends ! I just hate watching yet another expeced planned ending.  The mist short from King is a great short story and movie. the story and the movie end diffrently and the movie was way more interesting.  Who would have thunk it and the way the media has fucked up every one of most of his books ( Carrie,Shawshank,Green Mile, Misery being the best of his movie adaptations )………..then we have lawnmoer man…the panish story was much beter than his taken  from “Flowers From Angernon” or is it “For Allgeron?  Eracer head fucks with your mind!!

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AIDS Questions

Posted by pozlife on October 29, 2008


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It’s Time to Demand Respect for Black People With HIV, Activist DeclaresIn an Impassioned Speech, Sheryl Lee Ralph Implores the Media to “Do Something Different”

Posted by pozlife on October 3, 2008


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On Aug. 4, a panel of African-American HIV community leaders held an emotional press conference in which they expressed frustration and anger about the lack of attention being paid to the HIV epidemic among U.S. blacks. Sheryl Lee Ralph, an actress and long-time HIV activist, was one of those who spoke. Here is the text of her speech. (You can also click here to read or hear TheBody.com’s interview with Ralph.)

Sheryl Lee Ralph
Sheryl Lee Ralph

I thank everybody sitting up here today. I thank them all for the kind of work that they have been doing for so long. But to all of you sitting out there who have the power of the pen, to everybody out there who is going to write a story, to everybody out there who is going to push a button and send a message out into cyberspace: I need you to do something different! It cannot be business as usual when it comes to black people and AIDS, black people and AIDS in America, black people and AIDS around the world! Something must be done differently. Because, if you sprechen sie Deutsches, AIDS is a problem. ¿Usted habla español? El SIDA es una problema. Vous parlez français? Le SIDA est un problème. You speak English? AIDS is a problem. And I want you to deal up front and in your stories about the “ism.” Because “ism” is playing a big part in what has happened, what does not happen, and what will not happen in the future if we don’t do something different.

I had a moment. I spoke with Senator Hillary Clinton. And I said, “Senator, what about AIDS in America?” She stopped what she was doing. She turned to me and she said, “If AIDS were affecting the general population the way it is affecting women of color, black women especially, there would be a national health emergency.” That was two years ago. Two days ago, the report came out from the CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] that the numbers of AIDS, as it had been calculated in black America, are far more than they expected. When will the national emergency take place? When will somebody get truly outraged? When is somebody going to value black people?

I’m not a charity case. I’m not a poverty case. I’m not looking for a handout. I am looking to be valued as a full, complete, human being, whether I am on the continent of Africa, whether I’m on the hills in Japan, whether I am in Hawaii, whether I am in the mountains of Central America. If I am Negro, Cimarron, I want to be valued as a human being. [in accented English] I want you to listen to me when I talk to you and I have an accent. I want you to know that I am important, just like you. [ends accented English] I want you to look at black me and stop looking past me. Stop looking around me. I need a seat at the table. I need a seat at the table! [applause]

Stop writing policy for me, and you haven’t really talked to me. Stop telling me what I need to be doing, and you don’t know me. So if you have got the power of the pen, you’re going to push that button into the Internet; I need you to write and do something different. Because I am black. I am in the world. And I matter just like anybody else. [applause]

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Top African-American HIV Activist Calls for “National AIDS Strategy” in United StatesPernessa Seele Asks: Why Does the United States Seem to Care More About Africans Than Its Own Citizens?

Posted by pozlife on October 3, 2008


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On Aug. 4, a panel of African-American HIV community leaders held an emotional press conference in which they expressed frustration and anger about the lack of attention being paid to the HIV epidemic among U.S. blacks. Pernessa Seele, the head of the HIV organization The Balm in Gilead, was one of those who spoke. Here is the text of her speech. (You can also click here to read or hear TheBody.com’s interview with Seele.)

Pernessa Seele
Pernessa Seele

Welcome to all of you. It’s always good to be with my colleagues up here on the dais. As the CEO and founder of The Balm in Gilead, an organization working both in Africa and in black America — specifically, working in Tanzania and in black America — I am very happy. Very honored, and very happy, of my government’s response to black people in Africa. But I am very disgusted and very frustrated of my government’s response to AIDS among its own citizens.

In Tanzania, The Balm in Gilead is a vital component of a comprehensive plan to effectively address HIV/AIDS. A vital component. We come together every week — government, civil societies, NGOs [non-governmental organizations] — working to make sure that plan is implemented, funded by my government. And yet, in black America there is no plan. In Tanzania, 65 percent of the teenagers are HIV positive, and my government is doing something about it. In the United States, among all teenagers with HIV and AIDS, 65 percent are African-American teens, and my government is doing very little, if anything, about it.

The U.S. federal effort, in many ways, is a patchwork, not well coordinated and not accountable for making steady progress and bringing down the incidence, increasing access to care, or reducing racial disparities in the epidemic, as it is in Tanzania and other countries, as you know. One essential element in building a more effective domestic response to HIV/AIDS is the implementation of a true, national AIDS strategy. The national AIDS plans of the past have often lacked clear objectives or accountability mechanisms, and they often did not coordinate work across federal agencies, as they do in Tanzania.

We need a national AIDS strategy that focuses on all our governments, health care providers and communities, on achieving steadily improved results, as they do in Tanzania. Over the last year, support for a creation of a national AIDS strategy in the U.S. has been gaining momentum. Over 250 organizations and hundreds of individuals are endorsing a call to action of a national AIDS strategy. That call to action outlines several principles necessary to creating a strategy that can make a real impact, like it is doing in Tanzania.

An effective national AIDS strategy will require presidential leadership, a top-level commitment to making progress in the response to AIDS at home, in black America, as it is doing in Tanzania. We have the tools in hand in the U.S. in black America to significantly bring down the rates of new HIV infections, increase access to lifesaving care, and reduce racial disparities. A comprehensive, result-oriented national AIDS strategy can help us make steady progress in addressing the AIDS epidemic at home, as it is doing in Tanzania.

The African-American faith community, which The Balm in Gilead represents, is calling on our president, members of U.S. Congress, health care providers, all of America, and specifically, all of black America, to stand up and to support an effective national AIDS strategy in the United States. Thank you.

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AIDS 2008 Newsroom

Posted by pozlife on October 3, 2008

This newsroom only contains news, viewpoints and first-person stories from AIDS 2008; for in-depth coverage of key research presented at the conference, visit our AIDS 2008 home page on The Body PRO.

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Cases of HIV Detectable in Semen, but Not Blood

Posted by pozlife on September 27, 2008

Five percent of HIV-positive men in a French study had detectable HIV in their semen even when no HIV was detectable in their blood, say the authors of a study published in the August 20 issue of AIDS. This result stands in contrast to a Swiss position paper earlier this year that declared it nearly impossible for an HIV positive person with no sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and an undetectable viral load in blood for at least six months to transmit HIV to an uninfected sex partner.

The authors of the Swiss paper stated at the time that they wanted to provide an accurate view of the HIV transmission risks for serodiscordant couples—where one partner has HIV and the other does not—who want to have children through natural conception. Currently, the only recommended method of conceiving a child for couples where the man is HIV positive and the woman is HIV negative is artificial insemination with semen that is proven free of HIV.

To determine the possible risk of HIV transmission for serodiscordant couples, Anne-Geneviève Marcelin, PharmD, PhD, from the Université Pierre & Marie Curie in Paris, and her colleagues examined paired blood and semen samples from 145 HIV-positive men who had used the services of an assisted reproductive agency in France. Some of the men gave multiple samples over time, so Marcelin’s group was able to compare 264 paired samples in all.

Marcelin’s team found that the amount of virus was almost always consistent between blood and semen samples. In 85 percent of the paired samples both the blood and the semen had undetectable levels of HIV. In 3 percent of the samples, both the blood and semen had HIV present. Seven of the 145 men, however, did have detectable virus in their semen, but none detectable in their blood sample. All of the men were on a stable antiretroviral (ARV) therapy regimen, and none had an STI. The men were also taking a wide variety of ARVs, including those known for getting into seminal fluid. All of them were also later able to provide a semen sample that was undetectable for HIV.

The authors point out that these men could have infected their female partners if they had attempted conception through unprotected sex when they had detectable virus in their semen, but not in blood. The researchers give several reasons for possible fluctuations in seminal HIV levels, including undetected STIs, adherence challenges and ARVs that fail to penetrate seminal fluid. Other reproductive specialists who work with serodiscordant couples have pointed out that prostate or urethra inflammation, which may not be due to any infection, could lead to increased HIV production, even in the presence of ARV drugs.

Search: Pregnancy, conception, viral load, semen, Anne-Genevieve Marcelin, Universite Pierre & Marie Curie

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