Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-10-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



AIDS Nelson Vergel, AIDS expert, talks HIV and healthy aging
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Nelson Vergel is not what you think of when you say "AIDS over 50."

With hefty round muscles pushing out against a tight blue t-shirt and a lively demeanor, Vergel looks more like Mighty Mouse than a person resistant to nearly every HIV drug on the market. But Vergel is in the business of de-bunking myths about aging with HIV, and while his own HIV is a struggle, he's also the living example of his work.

Vergel presented some of the latest findings on HIV and aging at Center on Halsted May 31, during his free talk, "Promising Advances in HIV Cure and Healthy Aging Research." The event was sponsored by Test Positive Aware Network.

The Houston-based author and activist focused heavily on the scientific reasons why a cure to HIV/AIDS is both a distant dream and an impending reality. But while Vergel is following progress on possible cures, his own work focuses on informing other HIV-positive people on the changes HIV causes in the body and strategies for living well with the virus.

"We're getting older. What is the quality of life going to be?" Vergel asked an audience of about 30 people.

According to Vergel, medication is just one of four useful in battling HIV. He also includes stress reduction, exercise, and nutrition.

In three years, he said, there will be four once-a-day HIV pills on the market (there is currently just one—Atripla). Still, HIV drug production is slowing because it's less profitable than other drugs.

"We're moving into a new world," Vergel said. He expects that some HIV patients will be asked to go off their medications in time so that new possible cures can be tested.

That possible cure might include one found four years ago in an American living in Germany. The famous "Berlin Patient" may have been cured of his HIV when he received a bone marrow transplant from a donor whose genetic mutations made him resistant to HIV. Research on that method is ongoing, Vergel said, but it's also still very risky and not enough information is available to make it a viable option yet.

In the meantime, Vergel recommends nutrition and exercise. Because people living with HIV are at heightened risk of osteoporosis, HPV, and other illnesses, Vergel said it is especially important to remain vigilant about getting screened for other illnesses, especially HPV.

"We're not talking about bottoms or tops or women or men," Vergel said. "[HPV] is affecting everyone."

Medicine aside, exercise is the best medicine, said Vergel. "We [HIV-positive people] have an acceleration of the aging process by about 15 years," Vergel said. "Frailty in aging is most related to body strength."

Vergel suggests leg squats for preventing frailty. He also said a healthy combination of cardio and muscle resistance can slow the aging process.

New research has also shown merits of some vitamins in relieving some HIV symptoms. D vitamins can help maintain bone strength, while B vitamins can help relieve depression. Vergel warned, however, that patients talk to their doctors about vitamins as some can interact with HIV medications.

Vergel doesn't stop at health, however. His talk also included strategies for fighting changes in body fat and fat under the skin (also known as lipohypertrophy and lipoatrophy) because Vergel said, "it's not about getting older. It's about getting your healthy look back as you age."

Vergel thinks that a lot of doctors are reluctant to offer facial treatments to HIV patients who lose fat under facial skin because they see it as unnecessary, but he said that changes to body weight prevent some people from going on medication at all. However, a number of treatments exist for preventing weight changes while on HIV medication.

Finally, Vergel discussed testosterone treatments, which he has covered in his latest book Testosterone: A Man's Guide. Testosterone is often taken by HIV-positive patients to combat fatigue, lack of motivation, poor appetite, and muscle loss. Vergel warns that these should be taken with caution because they can fuel cancer.

Before making any decisions, he said, talk to your doctor. But do your own homework, too, he said because not every doctor will cover all the bases on HIV management.

"The thing is, we don't have standards," he said. "We don't have guidelines."

Information on Vergel's work as well as his complete slideshow presentation is available on his website: .

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Housing opportunities for youth 18-24 living with HIV 2016-10-21
CDPH announces new fatal case of meningococcal disease 2016-10-15
Howard Brown to host government officials in HIV stigma, epidemic talks 2016-10-14
New HIV medication and patient assistance program announced 2016-10-14
HIV+ prisoners focus of AFC Black Lives Matter conference 2016-10-11
Wilmette man accused of criminal HIV transmission 2016-10-11
Recognizing National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016-10-05
Northwestern to run LGBT, AIDS exhibitions 2016-10-05
AFC's Project Elevate hosts premiere of video vignettes 2016-10-05
Thousands participate in AFC's 15th annual AIDS Run and Walk 2016-10-01
Illinois HIV+ people urged to take quiz 2016-09-28
County health system expands PrEP access 2016-09-21
Project Elevate red carpet Sept. 29 2016-09-21
White House meeting on LGBTQs, People Living with HIV in criminal justice system 2016-09-20
'My Positive Message' HIV video-awareness campaign launches 2016-09-20
20th annual AIDS Benefit at Chicago Academy for the Arts Sept. 23-24 2016-09-17
Academy's AIDS benefit Sept. 23-24 2016-09-14
Illinois HIV+ people urged to take quiz 2016-09-07
Sidney Thomas on board post, career, HIV/AIDS activism 2016-09-07
Northwestern to run LGBT, AIDS exhibitions 2016-09-07
AFC, Harvard Law file federal complaint against Humana 2016-09-06
Visibility: Art AIDS America exhibit converts Chicago bank into gallery 2016-08-24
AIDS History: 35th Anniversary of Gathering in Larry Kramer's Living Room 2016-08-11
Experts: 'Negligible risk' of HIV transmission if person is virally undetectable 2016-08-10
National: Hillary's HIV/AIDS platform, Pulse Nightclub, Cleveland Pride 2016-08-09
Band together, Illinois: AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to unite the HIV community Oct. 1 2016-08-05
Clinton builds on her commitment to end AIDS as an epidemic 2016-08-02
HIV-positive activist speaks at DNC 2016-07-28
Quigley Statement on FDA Request for Comment Period on Blood Donor Deferral Policy 2016-07-27
HIV positive speaker at the Democratic National Convention after 12 year hiatus 2016-07-27
New blood-donation rules for gay men slowly take effect 2016-07-20
Chicago House unveils new leaders 2016-07-20
AIDS Healthcare Foundation holds pre-RNC concert 2016-07-18
Report: No new transmissions between HIV-negative partners and people on HIV treatment 2016-07-15
'Art AIDS America' coming Dec. 1 2016-07-14
Ride for AIDS culminates with emotional festival 2016-07-13
Chicago House announces new board members 2016-07-07
Ride for AIDS Chicago: Fighting HIV/AIDS mile after mile 2016-06-29
Nat'l HIV Testing Day June 27 2016-06-22
Panel examines challenges of HIV prevention 2016-06-21

Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by