February / March #89 : Blame Candida - by Tim Murphy

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Rapid Test Time

The Love Cure

Date Bait

Make It Last Forever

To Die For

A Gallo Gotcha

Neg & Pos

That '70s Show

Tribute: Tom Fahey

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Thief of HAARTs

Shine Some Light

Hokey Pokey

AIDS Acts Axed

Good China

Copay Through The Nose

N-9?

Sore Winner?

Blame Candida

I Get Misty

Female Troubles

Fellow Travelers

Reality Check

Mailbox

America's Sweetheart



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


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February / March 2003

Blame Candida

by Tim Murphy

Yeast infections are the common cold of vaginal vexations, but in HIV ladies, they can be more frequent and harder to treat. To both avoid and avenge them:

Don't feed the yeast. Every gal has a small, harmless amount of the candida fungus in her mouth, digestive tract and vagina. It coexists with natural "good" bacteria that keep it in check, but a suppressed immune system can spur its overgrowth -- hence, the yeasty beast. If you can, avoid antibiotics, steroids and the Pill, which further tip the scale in candida's favor.

Grow the "good" stuff. Preserve yeast-fighting "good" bacteria by not douching, which washes it away. Promote it with acidophilus supplements. Consume fewer yeasty starches (breads, pasta, booze) and more soy products. And eschew nylon panties, tight jeans and damp swimsuits in favor of loose, breathable cotton -- or as one lady HIVer, who genteelly requested anonymity, urges, "Let the sun shine in!"

Treat to beat. If standard over-the-counters like Gyne-Lotrimin or Monistat don't work (even if used past the standard 3 to 10 days), go see Gyno about a prescription cream. Still can't ease the cheese? Doc can Rx an oral antifungal, but have a lab check a sample of your discharge to be sure it's just yeast and not a look-alike infection. And consider a CD4 update: New York HIV doc David Gelman, MD, says chronic or stubborn yeast infections can be "if not a red flag, then a yellow flag" for increased immune suppression.




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