This is incredible news! It’s not a cure for AIDS, but it’s looking to be your best preventative measure to keep from getting infected with HIV. Of course that shouldn’t be an excuse to go out and stick your wang into every hole you can find, because you can still catch STDs…as half of these folks found out. Whoops.
After 2.5 Years, No One in Large SF PrEP Group Contracts HIV
Two and a half years into a large Truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) program in San Francisco, none of the more than 600 men who have sex with men (MSM) taking the HIV prevention medication have contracted the virus. At the same time, many of these individuals are using condoms less since starting PrEP, and during their first year on Truvada half of them had contracted at least one sexually transmitted infection (STI). Those at higher risk of the virus were more likely to opt to start PrEP after their initial consultation.
Up until a few years ago, people with HIV had to accept the fact that they would likely be dead before middle age — but many have survived thanks to advances in treatment. Now they’re dealing with new complications (some health related) and uncertainties about a future they didn’t really plan for.
My husband once found himself in this exact situation. In the late 90’s when he was diagnosed with HIV, he was already losing weight rapidly and beginning to see some of the other symptoms. He really wasn’t expecting to live more than a couple of years. After a rough start with some meds that messed with his system in nasty ways, he finally found something that worked for him…and today he’s happy and healthy, with many more years ahead of him than he was ever expecting. But the eventual realization that he wasn’t going to die before age 30 was difficult to wrap his head around, and it came with its own emotional and physical hurdles. Nothing like in the movies when the doctor says “You’re cured!” and everyone cheers, then the credits roll.
Spared Death, Aging People With H.I.V. Struggle to Live – The New York Times
Steve Schalchlin would be the first to tell you he lives in a time of miracles, and about how hard that can be. In 1995, as his body wasted away from AIDS, he took the limited time in front of him as a challenge: he would write songs, make amends, fill his remaining days with life. And by the end, with his digestive system shut down, his figure skeletal, he was ready to die. Then he won a lottery for a new AIDS drug that had been rushed through the approval process. Almost overnight his health began to return, and with it, another, more open-ended, challenge: life.
“Suddenly the future seemed like this long, empty road going toward the horizon, and I felt like, what am I gonna do with my life now?” Mr. Schalchlin, 59, said the other day, still marveling at the turn of events. “I had already accomplished all my goals that I had set for myself. And now I had this endless amount of time ahead of me, and I felt depressed.”
This nutjob is running for office in Iowa. He basically said that God rains AIDS down on the evil homosexuals because they are the filth of the earth. Stay classy, Republicans! (P.S.: Straight people get AIDS too, you clueless asshat.)
Jeremy Walters, who is running for the State House in District 67 in Iowa, posted a rant on his Facebook page against gay people. He included the classic homophobic rhetoric that AIDS is God’s method of punishing gay people.
Here’s his post:
A Vatican cardinal has, in so many words, declared that chastity fights AIDS. Oh, for fuck’s sake. Chastity can keep you from contracting an STD, but it doesn’t “fight” anything. Shit, we may as well claim that chastity fights cancer and halitosis while we’re at it. Yeah, I know it’s a matter of semantics, but let’s get our ideas right, shall we?
Also, while chastity can prevent bad things like STDs and pregnancy for those who take risks, it also prevents good and important things like intimacy and pleasure for people who make responsible choices. Let’s not pretend that chastity is the only real option for avoiding STDs here, which is always the message coming from the churchies. Catholics in particular have always been big on suppressing intimacy and pleasure…for anyone not standing in the pulpit, anyway.
What our administration needs is some perspective. This is something you can get from the Cost of War website (thanks to Thomas Debris for alerting me to it). According to their figures (apparently calculated according to Congressional estimates), with the money we’ve spent on this war we could have funded worldwide AIDS programs for 19 years, built 1,779,403 public housing units, hired 3,424,820 new teachers, etc. The war’s cost is rising so rapidly that these numbers will undoubtedly change in the next hour or so, but you get the idea. However, priorities tend to change when there’s oil to be controlled, money to be made, lobbyists to appease, deals to be made. I mean, it’s OIL! Ya can’t compare the welfare of your own citizens against that kind of treasure, can ya? Stupid liberal commie left-wing evildoer enemy sympathizers, always thinking about people instead of money. Hmmmph!
God, this is horrible… This is an aspect of the hurricane aftermath that hadn’t occurred to me until seeing this story. Along with all the other medical hardships people in New Orleans are having to deal with, there are many with HIV who are displaced and have no access to the drug “cocktails” which keep them healthy (and, in come cases, alive). Skipping too many doses can open a window for the virus to do major damage in little time, so they are relying on the generous help of charity groups and donations because the drugs can be massively expensive. Those who have had to flee the state entirely are especially screwed.
Of course, this is not to belittle other people’s conditions which rely on steady medication or other supplies, as many people could be in more immediate need of attention. It just struck a chord with be because I have friends who are taking HIV cocktails to remain healthy; the thought of them being put in this sort of situation sends a chill up my spine. It adds another dimension to the concept of being prepared for disaster…how do you prepare for this if you can barely afford your current prescriptions, even with insurance, as is usually the case?
The headline says it all: Alarm Over Single AIDS Case Is Challenged by Questioners. Too bad this story didn’t come out a few weeks ago during the initial panic. Apparently several cases of drug-resistant HIV have surfaced in the past, but without the sky-is-falling headlines. This particular case is actually treatable by two major drugs, and his rapid deterioration may have been caused more by his extremely heavy meth use than anything else. On various other news sites, you can find many differing opinions about all this. This is why I like to get more information about things before I run around shrieking that the new supervirus is about to strike, which alot of gay publications seem to be doing. It doesn’t mean that a new strain isn’t about to strike, of course…it just means that I don’t like to panic about something that isn’t happening.