Tag Archives: iOS

STOPTOBER: HIV & Smoking, why you should quit, and available help.


In case you haven’t seen it yet, (or you have and you’re ignoring it) it’s “Stoptober” in 6 days’ time.  Why is that important?

According to Aidsmap, the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases reported that smoking has had a bigger impact on the prognosis of HIV-positive patients than HIV-related factors.  In a survey of 2,921 HIV-positive adults, the authors calculated that a non-smoker aged 35 had a life expectancy of 78 years.  This compared to a life expectancy of 69 for former smokers, and a life expectancy of just 63 for current smokers.

The risk of non-HIV-related death was five-times higher for current smokers compared to HIV patients who had never smoked.  HIV patients who were current smokers also had a four-fold increase in their risk of all-cause mortality.  Previous studies have shown that HIV-positive individuals are more likely to smoke than their HIV-negative peers.

According to the British Heart Foundation, over a third of gay men in the UK smoke, compared with the national average of 21%.  The authors of the Danish research believe their findings have important implications for HIV care, showing the importance of smoking cessation counselling and support.

“The loss of life-years associated with smoking was larger than that associated with HIV,” said the study. “HIV-infected smokers with long-term engagement in care lose more life-years to smoking than HIV.”

Illnesses that are potentially related to smoking, such as cardiovascular disease and cancers, are being seen with increased frequency in those living with the virus.

Quitting smoking has major and immediate health benefits for all tobacco users, including those living with HIV/AIDS. Quitting smoking decreases your risk of lung cancer and other cancers, heart disease, COPD, and stroke.  Smokers with HIV also experience a decrease in HIV-related symptoms and an improved quality of life after quitting.

Smoking weakens the immune system. It can make it harder to fight off HIV-related infections. This is especially true for infections related to the lungs. This is a risk for smoking cannabis as well as tobacco. Having HIV increases the risk of chronic lung disease and smoking can interfere with processing of medications by the liver. It can also worsen liver problems like hepatitis.

People with HIV who smoke are more likely to suffer complications from HIV medication than those who don’t. For example, those who smoke are more likely to experience nausea and vomiting from taking HIV medications.

Smoking increases the risk of some long-term side effects of HIV disease and treatment. These include osteoporosis (weak bones that can lead to fractures, more information here) and osteonecrosis (bone death, more information here.) HIV treatment slightly increases the risk of heart attack, but smoking is the major controllable risk factor for heart attacks or strokes.

Recent studies found that quitting smoking reduced heart attack risk in HIV patients more than other factors such as changes in medications.

Smoking and Opportunistic Infections

People living with HIV who also smoke are more likely to develop several opportunistic infections related to HIV. They are more likely to develop:

For women, smoking can increase the risk and severity of infection with human papilloma virus, this increases the risk of cervical disease.

Recently, the bacteria that cause Mycobacterium Avium Complex were linked to smoking. They were found in tobacco, cigarette paper and filters even after they had been burned.

More information on these studies are available at the Journal, Clinical Infection Diseases

Are you still reading? – Good, we hope this information hasn’t scared you off! – If you’re a smoker, you should know that help is at hand.  If you’re not a smoker and know someone who is, whether they’re HIV positive or not, your support can go a long way to helping someone quit, and that’s where “Stoptober” comes in.

Stoptober is a NHS initiative to encourage smokers to take up a stop smoking challenge for 28 days, in the month of October.  People joining the campaign are able to receive support from a Stoptober pack, an online and smartphone app and a 28 day text support service.

Research shows those who stop smoking for 28 days are 5 times more likely to stay smokefree.  Stoptober will lend a hand to help smokers achieve this goal.

To get your free Stoptober pack, visit https://stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk/ and register.  They also have a Facebook page and Twitter account you can follow along with smartphone apps which offer practical support, encouragement and personalised advice in the palm of your hand, throughout the 28 days, helping you every step of the way.

They feature

  • Daily support messages to help to motivate you
  • Record a motivation. This lets you take a picture, video or capture audio to remind you why you’re giving up
  • “Stoptober Me” function which allows you to take and share a picture of yourself with the famous Stoptober wheel
  • Badges to reward your progress
  • A help button with crave-busting tips and content to distract you
  • A shareable progress indicator so friends can see how you’re doing
  • A savings calculator so you can see how much money you’re saving
  • Success tips – tried and tested ways to help you

Check it out, available for Android and iOS

You can also chat an adviser online or if you prefer the retro route, you can call them on 0800 022 4 332 between 9am – 8pm.

There’s also a wealth of information and support available online too, just google “Stop Smoking” or visit some of these links, remember to come back and let us know how you’re doing in the comments below!

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Pill-Popping Reminder App for iOS!

Pill-Popping Reminder App Keeps You Out of the Hospital

So you know what happens if you don’t take your meds and you probably have one (or a dozen) pill box’s lying around somewhere and you even know a bit more about how HIV meds work.  All this knowledge is useless if you forget to take your meds but how to do you stay on top of it all when you’ve got so many other things to remember?

Any alarm system will do to remind you, be it an alarm clock, a watch or even a significant other.  Taking the correct medication at the right time can mean the difference between a nice evening in or a night in hospital and fortunately  for iOS users,there’s an app for that!

With the RxmindMe app, you’ll know when to take your drugs even when you’re out and about.

You’ve seen the translucent boxes with the compartments marked for each day of the week at the pharmacy and the free RxmindMe app (Android version is coming soon) is an extension to that simple system. The app not only reminds users to take their meds, it can be used to track prescriptions and store information about your doctor and pharmacy.

The app includes access to the FDA Drug Database so users can keep abreast of the medications they’re taking. And to help cut down on the confusion of look-alike pills, the app features the ability to photograph your pills.

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Dating, HIV & You

Dating is a tricky area of vulnerability, intense emotions and fear, as well as a very real risk of rejection for anyone. When HIV and/or AIDS is involved, the vulnerability, fear or risk of rejection and intensity of emotions can be ramped up high enough to cause serious anxiety.

Some people who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS prefer to date others with the same diagnosis. This can bring tremendous relief, as discussions around this topic are not, for the most part, bound to be taboo, and the physical, emotional, spiritual, family and medical struggles and challenges that are shared may create a profound sense of communion and understanding.

Others are open to dating people without a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS and this brings up a whole host of confusing issues and multiple questions which must be answered.

Should you disclose your diagnosis? If so, when might that be appropriate? If not, is that all right, or even fair or ethical to your partner or potential partner? If you are taking medication and practicing safe sex, are you still contagious and can you spread this disease to a potential partner?

These questions bring dinner, movies, music, romance and long walks on the beach to a whole other level, one in which illness and questions of contagion and mortality are turned over and over in one’s mind. The sources at the bottom of this page can lead you to find answers to many of these questions, and I will attempt to briefly touch on them here.

Firstly, any dating relationship would thrive in an atmosphere of honesty. After all, if you are looking for a real connection with another human being and not merely for a quick romp in the bedroom, having HIV/AIDS and living with that reality would be a very important part of your life.

While you don’t need to disclose this on the first, second, or even third date, if things are getting more serious or leading to a sexually intimate relationship, disclosure is important. Not only that, but if you are dating someone whom you feel would not be able to handle hearing about this condition, you must ask yourself why you are putting yourself in that position to begin with.

Why are you choosing to date a person who will not accept you in your life as it is today?

Part of embracing yourself, loving yourself, and getting involved in an emotionally healthy relationship with someone who values you is about accepting your diagnosis and being involved with people who can accept it as well.

Low-risk sex means using a condom all the time, a practice everyone (straight, gay, bisexual or transgendered) should be engaging in while dating anyway. With self-confidence, safety, romance and honesty in mind, going out into the dating world may be just a little less daunting and a little more exciting.

Original Article via EmpowHER

Have an iOS device?, there’s a wealth of apps available for you as reported previously, another app of note and topical for this post is PositiveSingles by successfulmatch.com. PositiveSingles is the world’s largest, most active and most trusted iOS app for people living with HIV and other STI’s

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Steve Jobs and HIV Apps for iOS

Steve Jobs was an extraordinary man. He has left his mark on four industries: personal computers with Apple II and Macintosh, music with iPod and iTunes, phone with iPhone, and animation with Pixar.  With no college education, he managed to build an empire and became a multi-millionaire in a few years. He was is now widely acknowledged as one the world’s most eminent business executives and an unrivalled visionary. He has, quite literally changed millions of lives by making technology easy-to-use, exciting and beautiful. Steve Jobs announced he was suffering from pancreatic cancer in 2004 and on Wednesday, 5th October died at his home. His death was announced by Apple.

One of his creations is the mobile platform iOS which can be found on iPod, iPhone and iPad. Mobile computing has revolutionised the way we use our mobile phones. Allowing us to do much of what can be achieved on a laptop on the move. If it weren’t for Steve Jobs many of the advanced mobile operating systems would have taken much longer to create.

To celebrate the life of Steve Jobs and the developments he pushed forward, we share with you 3 iOS apps which may be use for individuals living with HIV.


Use this application to search for potential drug-drug interactions between anti-HIV drugs and other medications an HIV+ patient may be taking. Results are presented as a “Traffic Light” system (red, amber, green) to indicate the recommendation. A brief summary of the interaction is given, along with a grading of the quality of evidence (very low, low, moderate, high). The application is available free of charge and has been developed by the HIV Pharmacology Group at the University of Liverpool through support from MSD, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Janssen


PozTracker is simple and secure health management tool for people living with HIV/ AIDS. It is designed to help you stay on track with your medication, record your test results & monitor your progress.

HIV iConference

HIV iConference puts HIV/AIDS conferences in the palm of your hand. Within hours of a national meeting or international conference, HIV iConference brings breaking news, clinical trial results, abstracts, expert commentary, and interactive meeting features right to your iPhone. Access same- or next-day content through a user-friendly interface. Follow program discussions. Archive relevant meeting highlights. All that—and earn CME credit, too. HIV iConference coverage is selected and edited by renowned faculty who share their expert perspective on the clinical implications of breaking results. They’ll put you up-to-speed with new knowledge and ready to translate relevant clinical findings to patient care.

Do you know of any more we could include in the list? – Let us know in the comments below

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Information about the effort and influence surrounding HIV/AIDS prominent people is available here.

Use Your iPhone or iPad to Practice Safe Sex

No, we’re not suggesting you use your iOS device to practice safe sex but did you know you can use it to locate places where you can get condoms?

MTV Staying Alive and iCondom are asking everyone to join them in the fight to help prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs. Together they are creating the world’s largest condom distribution map for iPhone, the first user-generated map of its kind.

iCondom is the only international app for iPhone that locates condom dispensers nearest to you and shows you their locations on a map. You can rate and comment on dispensers so that others will have up-to-date information on the quality of the dispenser.  The app is free and available from the app store now!

Together, we can make it easier for people to avoid putting themselves and others at risk.

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