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

Losing Sleep on Dolutegravir? You’re Not the Only One

Recent studies are showing that dolutegravir, an antiretroviral marketed under the name Tivicay or Triumeq (when combined with abacavir/lamivudine), may cause neuropsychiatric side effects at higher rates than clinical trials indicated. These symptoms are causing many people to cease taking Tivicay and search for more side-effect-neutral treatment medications.

Dolutegravir Facts

Dolutegravir (DTG) is an integrase strand transfer inhibitor. It works by blocking the HIV virus from inserting or integrating DNA into the DNA of the host cell. Without integration, the virus cannot replicate, helping the body to maintain a low viral load.

DTG’s approval was fast-tracked by the US Food and Drug Administration, arriving on the market by August 2013. Soon after, DTG was approved by Health Canada (November 2013) and the Continue reading

Fun Alternatives to Giving Out Halloween Candy

Who doesn’t want to have the coolest house on the block this Halloween? So to make yours memorable try these Halloween candy alternatives. Not only will they be a hit with the neighborhood kids, their parents will love you too!

Sweet Treats that Aren’t Candy

There are a number of non-candy treat alternatives to tempt the little trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood:

  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Yogurt covered raisins
  • Cookies
  • Mini muffins
  • Fruit snacks

Many of these sweet treats are available in snack-size packages that can be purchased at your local bulk wholesaler. Why not mix up a few of these packages and put them together in a holiday themed bag?

Delicious and Nutritious Treats

Sweet doesn’t have to mean loads of extra sugar. Some sweet treats can also Continue reading

LGBTQ+ October Events

October is full of events for the LGBTQ+ community in the greater Albuquerque area, and much of the fun extends into the winter holiday season.

This month, Albuquerque will host:


Noche Extravaganza (National Latino AIDS Awareness Day)
October 6
National Hispanic Cultural Center

Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
October 13-22
Guild Theater
3405 Central Avenue
Albuquerque, NM 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

How to Maintain a Healthy Body with HIV

Advances in HIV treatment now make it possible for people living with HIV to live a full life. Maintaining physical and mental health is essential to making the most of your life—with or without HIV.

How to Keep Your Body Healthy – The Basics

What people living with HIV need to maintain their physical health is no different than what is required for someone without HIV:

Balanced diet
A balanced diet is one that mostly consists of vegetables and fruits, whole grains and lean meats. Sugar, salt and fat should be consumed sparingly.

Your doctor may have more specific dietary recommendations to ensure that you consume enough calories to sustain a healthy weight and get additional nutrients that can boost immune function to ward off opportunistic infections, especially Continue reading

New Studies around the World for HIV Cure

The search for a cure for HIV is an ongoing endeavor, and a global one. New research into viral reservoirs led by Arhaus University Hospital in Denmark is a multi-national effort to explore if drugs already available for HIV treatment can be used in new ways to achieve remission without life-long antiviral/antiretroviral treatment. Continue reading

Reasons to Keep Up with LGBTQ+ Entertainment

It’s a human phenomenon that we tend to express interest in what is already familiar. Unfortunately, that leaves a lot of life and experiences outside our “box.” Even if you are not a member of the LGBTQ+ community, there are a lot of great reasons why you should keep up with the goings-on in the LGBTQ+ entertainment world.

See Realistic Representations of LGBTQ+ Life

If you and no one you know is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s likely that Continue reading

Treatment Protocols for Newborns of Mothers Living with HIV

Development in HIV treatments allow individuals living with HIV to live normal, healthy lives, and for many women, that includes carrying and delivering a child. However, when a woman is living with HIV, there are risks that the virus may be vertically transmitted to the baby. Treatment protocols have been developed to minimize the risk of virus transmission to newborns. Continue reading