General Health

Sober – The New Danny

published: May, 01, 2012 Categories // General Health, Health, Lifestyle, Living with HIV

Danny Miller says ``Sometimes I could get my drink on and be fine, no sick, no pain, and no hospital. But that was all just luck of the draw. When it all came down to hard facts, for me, drinking was a stupid, irresponsible thing to be doing.``

So for the last four years my doctor has been badgering me about drinking. Telling me that I REALLY need to quit doing it. That all my problems concerning my pancreas and it’s cyst all come back to drinking. That drinking causes my pancreas to produce extreme excess amounts of the enzyme lipase which then lands me in the hospital with pancreatitis, unable to eat anything but small amounts of ice chips and consume no beverages of any kind, not even water. (Ice chips are made of water so I’m

HIV and the Older Patient

published: April, 04, 2012 Written by // Guest Authors - Revolving Door Categories // General Health, Newly Diagnosed, Health, Revolving Door, Treatment, Guest Authors, Living with HIV, Population Specific

New US HIV Treatment Guidelines which discuss when to start antiretroviral therapy also include an important new section on HIV and the older patient.

HIV and the Older Patient

Editor’s note:  The most eye-catching piece of information here – and this is new - is the statement that if you’re living with HIV, over 50 years of age and haven’t yet started antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now recommend HIV treatment, regardless of your CD4 cell count. PositiveLite.com discussed the guidelines relating to the general  HIV-positive population here. Today we focus specifically on the section relating to HIV and aging

“Doing pretty well for your age.”

published: March, 05, 2012 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // General Health, Health, Living with HIV, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy has been going to the same HIV Positive Care clinic in a downtown Toronto hospital since 1993. On a recent visit, he stops to take the temperature of the place, and the routine health care he’s getting there.

“Doing pretty well for your age.”

Nineteen years.  My god!  I know this place well.  St Michael’s hospital in downtown Toronto is a bit of a labyrinth – a rather decrepit building comprised of four wings and numerous tunnels. Having visited almost every department but maternity in my time, I know this place like the back of my hand. I feel almost at home here. This Wednesday morning I have a ten o’clock appointment, but I’m early so I sit in the fourth floor Positive Care waiting room looking around.  Beige walls

The "other" acid reflux.

published: December, 02, 2011 Written by // Wayne Bristow - Positive Life Categories // General Health, Health, Treatment, Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow talks about his troubling stomach condition, what can be done to treat it and its connections with treatments for HIV.

The

I'm not just someone who is going to talk to you about the stomach condition popularly known as acid reflux,I am also a sufferer, big time. From the information I have gatherered and included here, it is time to talk to my doctor and maybe insist that he set me up with a surgical procedure to fix it and not just treat it. I started getting heartburn many years ago, not on a daily basis, maybe once or twice a month. Usually it was because of what was in my diet - alcohol, candy, spicy foods es

Taking the next step: My first visit to my Naturopath.

published: September, 19, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // General Health, Food, Nutrition and Recipes, Mental Health, Health, Vitamins - Supplements, Brian Finch

Going to this Naturopath was the best decision I've made in a long time

Taking the next step: My first visit to my Naturopath.

When it was recently suggested that I go see a naturopath a couple months ago, I shrugged it off. I’ve gone this route before and It’s been helpful and I’ve learned a lot from those visits. But in the end I’d slide back into my old ways and some of the underlying issues didn’t seem to get dealt with  - such as my lack of energy. When I picked up this nasty bug from Italy and had to take Flagyl, a drug with warnings that it is possibly carcinogenic, at it’s maximum dosage, it f

Sometimes you gotta butt out: ten days later

published: September, 13, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // General Health, Mental Health, Health, Smoking Cessation , Brian Finch

I did like the Italian “Glamour” cigarettes I was smoking. The same as the nelly little ones I smoked in Canada, but with a pretty flower on the filter.

Sometimes you gotta butt out: ten days later

Ten days later: still not smoking. It’s funny, no later than a few hours into quitting smoking did I have my first smoking dream. The antibiotics I was taking were knocking me out that Saturday, so I slept all morning. It’s easy to start the day off not smoking when you’re asleep.  But alas, as I drifted in and out of sleep, I dozed off again and  - bang  - I was right in to a dream having a cigarette. My thoughts were, “What? I’m not supposed to be smoking. Why am I s

The Flagyl Blues & my recipe for success

published: September, 01, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // General Health, Mental Health, Health, Brian Finch

At least they say I look good!

The Flagyl Blues & my recipe for success

Flagyl Blues: A traveller's guide to weight loss. In my last post I shared some of the challenges I face. One message I wanted to get out is that those of us who work on Positivelite.com are just like those who come to the site. We are you and you are us. Today I wanted to focus on some of the solutions that I'm focusing on and not just the problem. Before I get to that I wanted to thank everyone forthe very kind messages I received after letting everyone know where I was at. A perfect storm h

Buckle Your Seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!. Bette always said it best.

published: August, 24, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // General Health, Mental Health, Health, Brian Finch

I’ve been trying to write a light and funny post for quite some time, but it just hasn’t been in me.

Buckle Your Seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride!. Bette always said it best.

I’ve been trying to write a light and funny post for quite some time, but it just hasn’t been in me. Like many people living with HIV, I struggle with depression, and have been hit with a major bout of it. I want to thank Bob Leahy for helping out so much over this past bit of time. Hence I have not been writing, been on Twitter, and maybe a smidgen on Facebook, but not much there either. What I am seeing here in Toronto is a major gap in services for people who need help to deal with at t

Common Lab Tests for HIVers and Why You May Need Them

published: July, 31, 2011 Categories // General Health, Health, Guest Authors

Don’t understand why all those vials of blood are taken, what the tests are and what the results tell your doctor - and you? This will really help.

Common Lab Tests for HIVers and Why You May Need Them

This article by D. Gregory Smith first appeared in The Blierico Project . The Bilerico Project is the web's largest LGBTQ group blog with dozens of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and genderqueer contributors.  Check ithe website out.  It's highly recommended.  HIV-infected persons have a lot to deal with. It can be hard to think about - and even harder to talk about. There's a lot to know about this disease and it can be overwhelming. Because it can be, we may

Brian FInch on Empowerment Interview: Proud FM

published: June, 15, 2011 Written by // Brian Finch - Founder Categories // General Health, Features and Interviews, Health, Brian Finch

Hear my tips on getting the most out of your doctors' appointments.

Brian FInch on Empowerment Interview: Proud FM

Last week I went on Proud FM for an interview on "patient empowerment." This is just a fancy way of saying I had a chat about how to make the most out of your doctor's visit; if you are having trouble with your medications don't be afraid to do something about it.  There are so many options for HIV medications these days that for most people there is always another combination that will work for you.  People such as myself who are multi-drug resistant don't have a lot of o

Mind Games - (le français suit)

published: April, 11, 2011 Written by // CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource Categories // Aging, CATIE, General Health, Mental Health, CATIE - HIV and Hep C Info Resource, Health

What can you do to keep your brain sharp? Instead of listing a bunch of ideas here, we want to suggest you read the fantastic Positive Side article “A Mind of Her Own."

 Mind Games - (le français suit)

We know what you’re thinking: “Those folks at CATIE would never play with our minds, so what can this post possibly be about?” You’re right, we never would; we’re straight-shooters. So, what are these mind games then? How’s about we call them mental gymnastics, as in the things you can do for your brain to keep it in tip-top shape. We know that HIV affects the brain, and that the extreme damage, called AIDS dementia complex, is now much less common thanks to HIV treatment. However,

Inflammation in HIV Disease

published: March, 26, 2011 Categories // Aging, General Health, Health, Living with HIV

Devan Nambiar says the bottom line is that the cause of inflammation is unclear and is likely multifactorial. Further research is needed to improve quality of life, minimize degenerative diseases and co-morbidity in HIVers on HAART

Inflammation is a hot topic and of much concern for many PHAs. However the findings from various research do not provide specific answers but have at least started to look beyond HIV viral load and CD4+. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD): Research in ongoing HIV disease has found many factors that cause inflammation on a cellular level in the body. We know untreated HIV infection causes a state of intense chronic inflammation, which co-relates with early onset of cardiovascular disease in HIV infec

The Most Effective Anti–Cholesterol Drugs

published: January, 19, 2011 Categories // General Health, Health, Treatment

Devan Nambiar tells us HIVers how to have healthy cardio-vascular systems

High cholesterol and an increase in triglyceride level (fat in the blood) is a concern for many poz folks. Cardiovascular disease is a high risk factor for HIVers too. Many factors can cause an increase in cholesterol and triglycerides, including HIV infection. High cholesterol and triglyceride levels are treated with statin drugs, such as Lipitor (atorvastatin), Pravachol ( pravastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin). The statin drugs help to decrease bad cholesterol (LDL), increase good choleste

Treating Influenza Naturally with Homeopathic Medicine

published: November, 17, 2010 Categories // Alternative Therapies, General Health, Health, Treatment

I do not get flu vaccine as I believe there are many ways to boost our immune system versus getting the shot. For years, I have used complementary therapies to keep the flu bug away

As many of us folks living in this colder climate are approaching the flu season and health providers are recommending we get our flu vaccines.  I do not get flu vaccine as I believe there are many ways to boost our immune system versus getting the shot.  For years, I have used complementary therapies to keep the flu bug away.  It is very important to take adequate vitamin D3 from 1000 I.U. to 4000 I.U. daily as our gorgeous sun tends to disappear.   One of the effecti

HIV and Arthritis

published: September, 21, 2010 Categories // Aging, General Health, Health

A while back in late summer of this year, I attended a public forum on HIV and Arthritis. As I get older and having hit the 50 year mark, I wonder...

..if the aches and pains in my bones and joints are of an organic process or what else is brewing below the skin level in the joints, bones and muscles.   I was having a peculiar pain in my knees and wrist and I wondered was this arthritis or  living with HIV or just getting older, or long-term effects of HIV drugs or all of the above! I do realise that every year for the last 3 years as we approach the fall season, my bones get a wake up call. Interesting every September and O

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