Alternative Therapy Spotlight: Therapeutic Massage

The most effective treatment in suppressing viral load is antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, some ART drugs can cause uncomfortable side effects, and living with HIV can take its toll on an individual’s social, emotional and mental well-being. Complementary therapies can effectively address the side effects or consequences of living with HIV and active HIV treatment. UNM Truman Health Services offers a number of complementary therapies, including therapeutic massage.

Understanding Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic massage is the systematic manipulation of soft tissues (skin, muscles and connective tissues) using various levels of pressure, strokes and other techniques. Therapeutic massage may be applied to the entire body or focus on specific areas where tension is causing pain and/or contributing to compensatory movements that are pulling (or may pull) the body out of natural alignment.

The practice of therapeutic massage is regulated by the state health board, and to get the Continue reading

An Alternative to “Kick and Kill” as a Potential HIV Cure

In the 30+ years since the HIV/AIDS virus was identified, incredible scientific advances have led to the development of drugs that effectively prevent viral progression, allowing people living with HIV to enjoy longer, healthier lives. With viral suppression nearly mastered, the focus in HIV/AIDS research turns to complete eradication of the virus from an infected body. While some research groups work to develop a vaccine, others seek to destroy Continue reading

Complementary Treatments to Antiretrovial Therapy

If you are newly diagnosed with HIV, you may be wondering about your treatment options. You may already know that antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the most effective treatment protocol in terms of suppressing viral load. However, there are complementary treatment options that may relieve unpleasant side effects of ART (if any) and enhance your physical, mental and emotional health.

Understanding ART

Antiretroviral therapy typically involves a combination of two or three separate antiretroviral medications. Each medication included in a person’s ART regimen inhibits viral replication at a different stage to effectively reduce the viral load.

Statistics about ART

To date, antiretroviral therapy is the most effective means by which to suppress viral load and Continue reading

The HPV Vaccine – And Why It’s Important for People of All Genders and Sexualities

GettyImages-521047460Human papillomavirus, also called HPV, is a common STI, with over 3 million animal cases seen by doctors. This viral infection leads to the formation of genital warts, which can affect both men and women.

More disconcertingly, HPV has also been linked to an increased cancer risk. As a leading cause of cervical cancer, HPV is a big issue on the radar of Continue reading

Can You Find Insurance Coverage for Transgender Procedures?

With over 700,000 transgender people in the United States alone, there’s an increasing demand for health care coverage that addresses specific needs such as hormone therapy. Medical care is expensive enough, even with the Affordable Care Act, that it can be impossible for people to get certain procedures without insurance coverage.

The transgender community faces higher rates of poverty than cisgender people, which makes something like hormone replacement therapy prohibitively expensive even at $30 a month. For individuals suffering severe body dysphoria, surgical intervention can quite literally save lives, preventing suicide. But is there a way to cover the cost of these procedures? Continue reading

How Terminology Has Changed

Doctor and patientIn 1982, the severe immune deficiency amongst gay men was called “gay-related immune deficiency” or GRID. It was renamed in September of that year by the CDC to AIDS. As the disease was studied, multiple stages of infection were identified, and medical professionals were able to use those to help people understand what was happening to their bodies and why. Now, however, the term “AIDS” is being replaced with Stage 3 (AIDS). Why?

Improved Treatments

When HIV was first identified and was being studied, there was Continue reading