Living With HIV/AIDS: Myths and Facts

Having HIV Means You Have AIDS

Myth:Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that destroys the body’s CD4 immune cells, which help fight disease. With the right medications, you can have HIV for years or decades without HIV progressing to AIDS. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is diagnosed when you have HIV as well as certain opportunistic infections or your CD4 cell count drops below 200.

It’s Difficult to Get HIV From Casual Contact

Fact: You can’t catch or spread HIV from hugging someone, using the same towel, or sharing the same glass. It’s very rare to get HIV from a blood transfusion — the U.S. blood supply is carefully tested. However, you can get the disease from having unprotected sex, sharing needles, or getting a tattoo from unsterilized equipment.

YouHave Just a Few Years to Live

Myth: Because of the HIV drugs that are now available, the truth is that many people can live for decades with HIV and have a normal or near-normal life span. You can help prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS by seeing your doctor regularly, taking your medicines, and following your doctor’s guidance.

You’ll Know You Have HIV Because of Your Symptoms

Myth: Some people don’t show signs of HIV for years after being infected. However, many can have some symptoms within 10 days to a few weeks after infection. These first symptoms are similar to the flu or mononucleosis and may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, rash, and muscle aches. They usually disappear after a few weeks and you may not have symptoms again for several years. The only way to tell you have HIV is to get tested.

HIV Can Be Cured

Myth: There is no cure for HIV in most cases, but treatment can control virus levels and help maintain your immune system. Some drugs interfere with proteins HIV needs to copy itself; others block the virus from entering or inserting its genetic material into your immune cells. All HIV-infected people should start treatment. These medicines are called antiretroviral therapy. Your doctor can say what drug combination is best for you.

Anyone Can Get HIV

Fact:  About 37,600 people in the U.S. get HIV each year, and more than 12,000 people with AIDS die each year. Anyone can get HIV — men, women, and children, people who are gay or straight. Men who have sex with men make up about 26,300 new HIV infections each year. Women account for about 7,400 new infections. African-Americans continue to have the most severe burden of HIV, compared with other races and ethnicities.

Sex Is Safe When Both Partners Have HIV

Myth: Just because you and your partner both have HIV, it doesn’t mean you should forget about protection when having sex. Using a condom or other latex barrier can help protect you from other sexually transmitted diseases as well as other strains of HIV, which may be resistant to anti-HIV medication. Even if you are being treated and feel well, you can still infect others.

You Can Have a Baby if You Are HIV-Positive

Fact: Infected mothers can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy or delivery. But you can lower the risk by working with your doctor and getting the right care and medication. Pregnant women with HIV can take medications to treat their infection and to help protect their babies against the virus.

You Can’t Avoid Other HIV-Related Infections

Myth: People with HIV can be likely to get infections like pneumonia, tuberculosis, candidiasis, cytomegalovirus, and toxoplasmosis. The best way to cut the risk is to take HIV medications. People with advanced HIV infection (AIDS) can prevent some of these infections with specific drugs in addition to antiretroviral therapy. You can lessen exposure to some germs by avoiding undercooked meat, litter boxes, and contaminated water.

You Can’t Get Lifesaving Drugs Without Insurance

Myth:  There are government programs, nonprofit groups, and some pharmaceutical companies that may help cover the cost of HIV/AIDS drugs. But be aware: These drug “cocktails” can cost $10,000 a year or more. Talk to your local HIV/AIDS service organization to learn about financial help.

7 Warning Signs | You’re Mentally and Emotionally Exhausted

7 Warning Signs | You’re Mentally and Emotionally Exhausted. A long, stressful day at work, followed by a full house with children running around and leaving a mess in their path can really take a toll on someone’s mental and emotional state. But is this emotional and mental exhaustion, along with depression, something we are born with, or is it strictly trauma related? According to Dr. Zul Merali, president and CEO at The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, it is a combination of both.

7 Warning Signs | You’re Mentally and Emotionally Exhausted
7 Warning Signs | You’re Mentally and Emotionally Exhausted

Dr. Merali explained, during a phone interview done exclusively with Providr: “We are all born with serotonin, which binds with the brain receptors. You can have genetic mutations where you might be born with genes that produce high levels of serotonin, or they might produce low levels of serotonin.” He adds: “Those who are born with low serotonin levels may function properly, but all it can take is a couple of stressful or traumatic events that can cause them to become depressed or mentally and emotionally exhausted.”

With that said, it’s important to recognize the warning signs of depression and mental and emotional exhaustion. Here are some of them.

Irritation
Irritation

1. Irritation: I asked Dr. Merali if there was any connection between irritation, depression and mental exhaustion. His first words to me were that they were both “intricately tied.” He explains that when everything is going well in someone’s life, they don’t stress or worry about anything. But when someone is unable to cope with certain things, whether it is small or big, they begin to become irritated. He adds: “When it becomes a pattern, it’s basically the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The stress becomes too much for the individual and because it has now become part of your daily life, you stay irritated because you can’t break the pattern.” One of the reasons why this occurs is because of awareness of certain events. Dr. Merali used a car accident as an example. He explained to me that certain events or places can be triggers to your mind. When you remember a certain place or event that was stressful or traumatic, you associate that with how it made you feel. So if you constantly have the same stress in your life, it’ll cause you to become mentally and emotionally exhausted.

Lack of motivation
Lack of motivation

2. Lack of motivation: While speaking with Dr. Merali, I asked him if he thought that being unmotivated was part of mental exhaustion. He quickly replied ‘yes’ and explained that one of the reasons people become unmotivated in life is because of exhaustion. As an example, he makes a reference to someone who likes to run marathons, “If you are a sprinter or a runner who runs a marathon, you’re not going to feel like running once you complete it, and you’ll be depleted.” He says mental and emotional motivation is the same thing, if you’re too tired to feel motivated, you become unmotivated. In many cases of mental and emotional exhaustion, especially depression, Dr. Merali stated that anhedonia is often present. Anhedonia is when people lose interest in activities they used to enjoy and have also decreased their ability to feel pressure.

Sleeping Disorder
Sleeping Disorder

3. Sleeping Disorder: I asked Dr. Merali if sleeping disorders could be a direct sign of depression and mental and emotional exhaustion. He said that from his experience, they are. When he would ask someone when they first noticed that they might be depressed or mentally and emotionally exhausted, their response would be that it started with their sleep being disturbed. Now, he also mentions that there could be two aspects of sleep that can be a warning sign; if someone sleeps too much, or if someone sleeps too little. Dr. Merali says that the reason why people cannot fall asleep when they are suffering from depression or mental and emotional exhaustion is that their biological rhythm is disrupted. He also adds that depression can also be associated with a seasonal affective disorder. This is when people become depressed when the clock shifts or the time changes and the days become shorter. Also, Dr. Merali adds that if someone is on antidepressants, adequate sleep is needed because the medication will not be effective if the body is not obtaining proper rest.

No Patience
No Patience

4. No Patience: As Dr. Merali explained earlier, irritation, which can also include lack of patience, is a common sign of depression and mental and emotional exhaustion. He makes reference to the age characteristic and how lack of patience and irritability are often common for younger people, where sadness is more prominent with someone who is much older. The reason why people often become short with their colleagues and family, according to Dr. Merali, is because they are overwhelmed. He adds that they don’t feel like talking because their mind is in a million different places and they cannot concentrate on just one thing. The small things become big things, and big things become larger.

Disruption of Appetite
Disruption of Appetite

5. Disruption of Appetite: Dr. Merali explained to me that the body has certain hormones and neurotransmitters, and when we become hungry, certain ones are produced by our body. But when the body has a hormonal imbalance, like low levels of serotonin, it leads to impaired functions of all the hormones and neurotransmitters involved in this process, which leads to loss of appetite. He adds that leptin and ghrelin both play essential roles in regulating your appetite. So when you have high blood levels of leptin, your appetite is reduced, and when you have high levels of ghrelin, your appetite is increased.

Sadness
Sadness

6. Sadness: Sadness is more associated with the older generation, according to Dr. Merali. He explains that the reason why people become sad when they are depressed or mentally and emotionally exhausted is that they cannot handle the stress associated with it. When you become mentally and emotionally exhausted, your mind is racing but you are trying to make it stop. Dr. Merali adds that this overwhelming feeling causes people to break down and often cry until they become too tired to release any more emotion. People will often have low serotonin levels if they are experiencing extreme sadness.

You Focus Inwards Instead of Outwards
You Focus Inwards Instead of Outwards

7. You Focus Inwards Instead of Outwards: Dr. Merali explained to me that someone who is depressed or mentally and emotionally exhausted will tend to focus on things that reflect them inside rather than look at the bigger picture. Everything becomes about them, even when it shouldn’t. He adds that people will also isolate themselves and detach themselves from the rest of the world. In reality, being around people and talking is one of the ways to treat depression or mental and emotional exhaustion, Dr. Merali adds. But to someone suffering from it, they don’t see it that way. They see social interaction as another burden that will add to their stress.

Treating Depression, Mental and Emotional Exhaustion
Treating Depression, Mental and Emotional Exhaustion

Treating Depression, Mental and Emotional Exhaustion: According to Dr. Merali, exercise and meditation are good treatments for depression and mental and emotional exhaustion. But he does add that when someone is experiencing either of those conditions, lack of motivation could be present as well, so it’s easier said than done. He emphasizes that people need to try and see past the lack of motivation and see that the physical health benefits of exercise and meditation will not only help with their condition but can also help prevent other health issues from occurring. In addition, Dr. Merali also suggests that people should consider ‘talk treatments’ where they either discuss their issues through an intervention with friends and family or they speak to a psychologist or therapist.

5 Exercises To Get Rid Of Underarm Fat And Breast Side Fat

5 Exercises To Get Rid Of Underarm Fat And Breast Side Fat

Today, it’s not so much about being skinny. Rather social media and society, in general, like to promote a healthy body. Though dieting is a big part of that, exercising has a huge role in this as well. We all may have different bodies, but we all want to be our healthiest and look our healthiest.

When you have areas that you might feel have excess fat, that may cause those areas to look slightly bigger. Men and women experience different parts that they feel store the most excess fat. For women, those problem areas are usually their thighs, buttocks, and arms.

If you are someone who is having difficulty figuring out where to start to lose underarm and breast side fat, stop worrying. Most likely, it’s not even excess weight but some insufficiently developed muscle of the arms and chest. These are all easy exercises that, over time, add up to some great results.

1. Dumbbell Floor Press. The first exercise that you can do to help out those frustrating areas is the dumbbell floor press. According to Women Fitness, this exercise is a pure upper body movement, allowing you to press some heavy weights without hurting your shoulders and back. The site notes that all you have to do is lie on your back on the floor and push up the dumbbells up so your arms go directly over your shoulders. Women Fitness also notes that pressing one arm at a time will “increase the core demands of the exercise, as you have to brace to keep your torso steady”.

Before we get to the next exercise it is important to realize that everyone experiences those annoying folds of skin between your arm and your breast. So if you feel like you are the only one that struggles, don’t! It’s super common. According to Women’s Health Magazine, “all of us store weight in certain places based on our genetics. So if you’re trying to lose a little from a certain spot, you need to focus on losing overall body fat.”

The magazine continues by noting that diet has a huge role in all of this. So, although these exercises can help you gain muscle and reduce the fat, if you are eating fattening food, these exercises won’t help! Women’s Health writes that you need to make it a point to take in less calories than you are “expending overall (not just via exercise)”.

2. Staggered Push Ups. Alright, back to the exercises. Shape.com is a fitness site and they’ve released a 30-day-challenge HIIT workout. One of the exercises they’ve included is the staggered push-up and that’s the exercise that’ll help you with underarm and breast side fat. The site notes that unlike regular push-ups, with these you have to have one hand slightly back and the other slightly in front of you. Then you do the push-up!

As previously mentioned, you can be working out as hard as ever, but if you aren’t eating the right foods, you won’t see the results you want. According to Livestrong, the best pre- and post-training meals for most exercises typically have a combo of high-quality protein, high-quality carbohydrates, healthy fats and some fruit and veggies. But everyone’s body is different so you need to find what works for you and your lifestyle!

3. Dumbbell floor fly. To perform this exercise, you must keep your back straight, lean forward and bring the weights together in front of you until your arms form a circle. LiveStrong notes that any form of standing dumbbell training works a lot of muscles in your upper body. But form is very crucial. The site notes that having poor form can cause shoulder impingement.

4. Dumbbell rows. They are noted by muscleandfitness.com to be the most basic exercise that “strengthens the back, shoulders, and biceps while actively engaging the core throughout the movement”. The site also notes that dumbbells are a crucial aspect for this exercise (as well as all the other ones) because they not only create muscle, they create balance and stability on both sides of the body. Don’t be afraid to lift and create muscles; it’ll create such a difference.

5. Dips. According to livestrong.com, dips are exercises that go a long way for those annoying, flabby areas of your body. They write, “dips are intense and effective isolation exercises that help develop powerful and defined triceps”. They’re also exercises that you can do just about anywhere. That’s why the last exercise on this list is the bench dip. Just position your hand shoulder-width apart on a bench or chair. With your legs straight out in front of you, simply move up and down, with a pause at the bottom!

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The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship

The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship. People don’t realize but body language tells you a lot about a person. It essentially can reveal various secrets about someone that they might not even realize about themselves. There’s a whole science to body language that many of us haven’t taken the time to learn about. For example, a pat on the top of the back is friendly and encouraging; something a friend might do, according to study-body-language.com. On the other hand, if someone touches your lower back it means they’re really interested in you romantically, and might even be lusting after you, according to Cosmopolitan.

The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship
The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship

But it goes beyond the individual. Being able to read body language can also reveal a lot about the relationship that you are in with someone. For example, in your mind, it could be going really great with the person you are with, but for them…things might be a little off. Body language can reveal all that!

Here are a few signs that’ll help you understand what exactly is going on in your current relationship with the help of body language. Maybe you’re just starting a new relationship or you’ve been with the person for quite some time. Regardless, check out these signs!

The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship
The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship

1. Emphatic Eye Contact. According to luvze.com, you know if someone is really into you if there is an over-exaggeration of eye contact. I mean, every time you look up, that person is locking eyes with you. Girls try to play it more subtly, but guys? That’s typically the clear sign they are feeling you. It’s that shy, “I’m trying to not let them notice I’m staring at them” look.

2. The Way Their Feet Are Pointed. Get-a-wingman.com notes that the foot plays a very important role in reading whether or not someone is super into you. Sounds ridiculous, but it’s fairly true. The site notes that if, during a conversation, the person is super into you and into what you are saying, notice their foot. The person will always sit or stand in a way that their feet are pointed towards you.

The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship
The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship

3. How Close They Are To You. Do you ever notice when you are having a conversation with your partner, how close they are to you? You might not realize, but the distance between bodies is a pretty strong indication of attraction. Get-a-wingman says that even if you’ve been with the person for quite some time, you can use this body language to tell if they are interested in anything you are saying.

The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship
The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship

4. The Head Tilt. Science of People notes that another way to tell if your partner is into you is watching the classic head tilt. The site says that by tilting your head, it shows that you are not only interested but engaged in the conversation as well. That means, during conversation tilt your head while looking at them.

The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship
The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship

5. Public Displays of Affection. Whether you are that couple that enjoys holding hands during dinner or not, it is a huge indication if someone is into you or not. Of course, some prefer not holding hands across the table but if it does happen, it’s a pretty good sign. People have their opinions on the matter. For example, an article written for Glamor noted that holding on for the entire meal just looks awkward.

The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship
The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship

6. They Try To Make You Laugh. Psychology Today notes humor is a huge plus side to any relationship. If you can make someone you like or love laugh? Then you are good in their books. A way to tell if someone is into you is when they make a joke in a group of people, but they only look to you to make sure that you are laughing. No one else. This is a clear and strong sign.

The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship
The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship

7. They Smile Specifically At You. Guys specifically have this mysterious, masculine thing going on. But according to luvze.com, a way you can tell if a guy is super into you is if he focuses his wide smiles on you and only you. Also, guys typically start to show their wide smiles in a photo, so if he does that with you…you are good in his books!

The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship
The Body Language | Which Will Reveal The Truth | About Your Relationship

8. Mindful Posture. The last body language sign that reveals the truth about your relationship is posture. That’s right. According to luvze.com, men specifically tend to straighten up when a girl they like walks into the room. Typically, he was slouching before you came in and now he’s standing pretty nice and tall. So watch out for that.