Café Discovery: AIDS news

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

It has been my custom over the past couple of years to observe World AIDS Day by opening a diary somewhere (tomorrow at Daily Kos is my plan this year) called Sharing Our AIDS Stories.

I started that off telling about my therapist and my friend, Kurt Wilhelm.  Then I invited people to tell their own stories.  The response was nearly overwhelming.  I endeavored then, as I will tomorrow, to read and answer every post, until I got some helpers towards the end.  At first the majority of comments were by people who talked about their friends or family who had died or who were living with AIDS, but as the day went on, more and more people living with AIDS started telling their stories.

It will be a little tougher tomorrow since it is a Monday and I will have to be at work for most of that time.  Sadly, they expect me to work when I am at work.

As a lead up to tomorrow, I provide some links to some current AIDS stories in the news.  But first a poem:

Art Link


Days Will Come

Days will come

when sanity will

regain supremacy,

when disease will

be battled without

political consideration,

when people’s deaths

will not be occasions

to seek out

personal advantage.

But not today.

–Robyn Elaine Serven
–December 1, 2005

China’s rural migrants are new front in AIDS fight

“The epidemic is lowly prevalent in general but it is highly prevalent among specific groups such as migrant workers, and in some regions particularly remote areas and the countryside,” said Wang Weizhen, deputy director of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment at the Ministry of Health, according to state media.

Could An End to AIDS Be in Sight?

Just because someone has been infected by HIV doesn’t mean that they have AIDS. Someone who has been infected with HIV may be perfectly healthy and not realize they have the virus. However, eventually they may develop AIDS. The CDC estimates between 1 and1.2 million Americans have HIV or AIDS and around 25 percent of those don’t even know it.

Monday Is World AIDS Day – Do Something About It!

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2007 some 2.5 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.

Around 95 percent of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

Mbeki Aids denial ‘led to deaths of 365,000’, report claims

According to UN figures, South Africa today has 5.7 million people – almost one in five adults – who are HIV positive. Over 900 people a day die as a result of AIDS.

But while its neighbours Botswana and Namibia suffered Aids epidemics of a similar scale to South Africa and took action, Mr Mbeki refused to provide his people with the essential medicines to save lives, the report said.

Maria Elena Salinas: We need to confront Latino AIDS issue

A few weeks ago during a conference in Los Angeles, public health officials and community leaders discussed the reasons behind the growing number of Latinos affected by AIDS. They attributed the phenomenon to a lack of understanding of the disease and a lack of information about how it can be transmitted.

As a result, Latinos don’t get tested as much as other groups. Latinos with AIDS sometimes are infected for up to 10 years before they are tested, so that makes it more likely that they could be spreading the disease without knowing it.


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    • Robyn on November 30, 2008 at 21:08

    Going it Alone from The Last Session:

  1. My institution has a very large HIV and AIDS out patient clinic. We rarely, rarely, seem them as inpatient, the occasional non-compliant teenager who doesn’t want to admit he/she is taking all those medications.

    In Memphis, a lot of women get HIV from their partners who have done jail time or from partners who aren’t willing to admit they have had gay or bi-sexual relationships which makes sense because we do live in the Bible Belt.

    When I worked in Texas our patient population was entirely Latino and unless thing shave changed in 10 plus years discussing birth control, specifically condoms with young men and women was not an easy task. They were not receptive.

  2. I had a patient who was 16. She was from across the border in Mexico but her boyfriend lived on the American side. She got pregnant and the parents forced them to marry. I had to go in there and tell her she had tested positive for HIV.

    She didn’t even know what it was! She told me he was her only partner and there was no way she was an IV drug user: too naive. We were worried about how the parents would react so the doctor told them while I talked to her. I think the baby was also positive but don’t remember.

    It was all I could do when her new husband came in, not to fucking slap the shit out of him. He, of course, denied that he could have HIV claiming she got it some “other way” but never accused her of cheating because we just knew it wasn’t her. Poor thing she told me she didn’t even like sex. It was quite the drama showdown with him, her, both sets of parents and the social worker.

  3. …which hit the news yesterday or the day before, and you may have meant to hit with the “end in sight” link: some WHO researchers did computer modeling of HIV transmission and found that universal testing and immediate anti-retrovirals would (in their model) stop the epidemic.   People on anti-retrovirals don’t carry the same load, and are not nearly as contagious.  Downside: anti-retrovirals are really (really) horrible drugs to take, and not recommended, at this point, for people who aren’t showing symptoms.

    It was interesting they chose the word “voluntary” to go with “universal”, in the title.

    • Alma on November 30, 2008 at 21:31

    Nowhere near a total cure or treatment, but at least starting back on the right track. I heard on one of the news channels that Obama is planning on reversing the first bill Bush signed into law.  The one taking away money from the clinics in other countries if they teach, or give out contraceptives, including condoms.

    • kj on December 1, 2008 at 04:29

    as my mother would have said. or snicklefritz, she said that too.  🙂

    falling asleep. (almost ambien writing.) downloaded “Gimp” and “Inkscape” (free drawing programs) yesterday and wanted to tell you before i forgot.

    as happens too often, will come back tomorrow to read this.  eek.

  4. My brother in law (sister’s husband) had a gay brother, Roger.  Five brothers, two sisters, grew up in a mill town in nowheresville, alabama.  Roger and brother in law were the only ones to leave.  Roger went to New York, working in the book publishing business. I only met him once, when sis got married.  At that time I did not know Roger was gay.

    About 10 years ago, Roger died of aids.  He and his partner had bought a flat together in Brooklyn (I think).  Roger’s parents brought Roger back to AL for burial.  They fought tooth-and-nail with “that boy” (Roger’s partner) to get the flat sold and collect the proceeds.  They’d have never done that had Roger’s widower been Roger’s widow.  The battle lasted at least a couple of years, and it was very hard on the parents’ health.  They were unbelievably angry; they felt “that boy” had no right.  It was really so sad.  They could have relied on one another for support in a tragic time instead of fighting bitterly.

    • frosti on December 2, 2008 at 03:33

    People forget there were so many mysterious features.  It was a series of unusual diseases that nobody ever got like Kaposi’s sarcoma, viral encephalitis, unusual lymphomas, and unusual pneumonias, cytomegalovirus in the eye, various unusual diarrheal illnesses.  Those that criticize the medical community forget that it was hard to pinpoint the root cause.

    My first case in the ICU was an unconscious, septic man on a ventilator, from South Beach, huge tiger on the buttock wrapping around the torso with the tail you can guess where.  I felt so sorry; there was no saving him.

    I remember failing to diagnose a case of rampant endocarditis because the patient was so immunosuppressed that there was no fever, no symptoms.  But when he died, there was staph all over the internal surface of his heart.

    Then there was the really nice man who developed rapidly progressive dementia right in front of our eyes.  

    We did not understand the linkages between these people.

    I received a book in the mail of lots and lots of women with HIV/AIDS who looked so normal and so healthy, that it makes you really think about your prejudices.

    • kj on December 2, 2008 at 03:47

    twenty years ago (?) when i read Randy Shilt’s “And The Band Played On.”  really hit hard.

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