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Ask The Doc: Body Beautiful for Pride

by Dr. Peter Meacher

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday June 13, 2017

Dr. Peter Meacher, MD FAAFP AAHIVS
Dr. Peter Meacher, MD FAAFP AAHIVS  

In this special Pride month edition of Ask the Doc, Dr. Peter Meacher, MD FAAFP AAHIVS, shares some advice on helping you be your best during the celebrations and parties that happen around Pride.

He looks at the use of exercise, including body building and the use of nutritional supplements, to get you that rock-hard bod that others love to touch. And while you're out at that Pride parade or street festival, but sure to protect yourself -- whether that means using sunscreen or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

How Can I Get Fit For Pride?
(Source: EDGE Image Library)

How Can I Get Fit For Pride?

Q. I'd like to slim down and tone up for Pride. Should I try one of those 'crash diets?' Will it conflict with my HIV meds?

A. Being fit and in shape is great for your health. Exercise, especially a combination of both aerobic exercise such as running, biking or StairMaster and resistance exercise such as lifting weights, is a huge health benefit.  

Be cautious about weight loss products, "testosterone boosters" and body building food supplements. These are not FDA-regulated and there is reasonable cause for concern about the purity and effectiveness of such products. Even vitamins, when taken in mega doses, can be harmful.  

It is really important therefore to discuss with your healthcare provider, especially if you're also taking any prescribed medications such as Truvada for PrEP as, among other things, some over the counter products could increase the chance of kidney problems. There may be better ways to achieve goals using the dollars you're spending to buy high protein, natural foods and not expensive supplements.

Fun in the Summer Sun

Fun in the Summer Sun

Q. I'm excited to go out and get a little wild for Pride! But I'd love a few tips on how to say relatively safe.

A. Many people love summer and love a tan. Whether chilling at the beach or marching for Pride, remember you can get a tan without burning and when using sunscreen. Use a sunscreen SPF 15 or higher to avoid wrinkles and premature aging. 

Check yourself for melanoma regularly; melanoma can be cured if picked up early and cut out; know the ABCDE's of melanoma. Red flags include if a mole has irregular borders, is not the same color throughout, grows, itches, bleeds, or is bigger than 6mm across.

Remember, excess sun may not be the only thing you've been exposed to during Pride. If you've engaged in unprotected sex and you're not already taking Truvada for PrEP, you'll want to look into Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). If you might have been exposed to HIV during Pride, get to an Emergency Room no later than 72 hours after, to see if PEP is right for you. PEP is a short course of antiretroviral drugs that can stop exposure to HIV from becoming a lifelong HIV infection.

Peter Meacher MD is a Board Certified Family Physician and credentialed as an American Academy of HIV Specialist (AAHIVS). He has been the Chief Medical Officer of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center since 2013.

He completed residency at Montefiore's Department of Family Medicine where he was then Chief Resident and Faculty Development Fellow. He worked for 14 years as an HIV and Primary Care Provider, becoming the Medical Director of a federal qualified health center in the South Bronx developing programs in HIV & transgender care before joining Callen-Lorde.

He was on the NY/NJ Board of AAHIVM, works with NYSDOH AIDS Institute Clinical Guidelines Program, serves on the AIDS Institute Mental Health Guidelines Committee and chairs the HIV/HCV/STD QI sub-committee of CHCANYS

Ask the Doc

This story is part of our special report titled Ask the Doc. Want to read more? Here's the full list.

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