February / March #99 : Gum Up

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Table of Contents

Daring to Declare

Old Drugs, New Tricks




Go, Girl!


Tribute: Greg Smith

Service With a Smile

Karma Chameleon

That ’80s Show

Criminal Neglect



In Memoriam

The Great Depression


Getting Down

Norvir up by 400%

Guidelines Re-revised

Genital Hospital

Immune Up

Do Single HIVers Die Faster?

More than 50 percent

Growing Up Positive

Gum Up

Quick Study: Vitamins & Minerals

Editor's Letter


Unhappy Meal

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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February / March 2004

Gum Up

Sometimes my mouth is so dry—I assume it’s from my meds—that my lips almost stick to my teeth and I have trouble talking (not to mention bad breath). Water doesn’t keep my mouth moist and candies worsen my thrush. Chewing gum wets my whistle and lets me talk to people without worrying that I’m breathing fumes in their face. [For more on dry mouth, see “Watch Your Mouth,” POZ, January 2004.]

Brands like Dentyne have gone “icy,” burning my mouth, which is tender from all my meds, and making my nose run. So I chew sugarless Juicy Fruit. The sweetness helps settle my stomach when I’m nauseous. [It’s only available in Canada; statesiders can buy other sugar-free brands.] I like the chiclets—they have more flavor and hold their texture longer than the sticks.

Someone who isn’t positive once told me, “My mother taught me that ladies don’t chew gum.” I’ve learned over the years that ladies with AIDS do.

-Janet Conners
Hatchet Lake, Nova Scotia

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