[Eleven] days ago, The New Yorker’s Daily Comment blog published an essay by Michael Specter titled “What Young Gay Men Don’t Know About Aids,” in which Specter points to the increase of “unprotected anal intercourse among gay men,” claims that “the rates of HIV infection will surely follow,” and then identifies the cause of this shift as the ignorance of my generation, who weren’t around to see the AIDS epidemic for themselves. The piece is a call to arms of sort, stating the need for increased public funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, and concludes by quoting Larry Kramer’s famous 1983 warning, “1,112 and Counting.” It’s a familiar argument—one that, in my lifetime, I have heard repeated ad nauseam and, I fear, largely misses what AIDS means to me and many other young gay men.
291 diseases and injuries + 67 risk factors + 1,160 non-fatal complications = 650 million estimates of how we age, sicken, and die
As humans live longer, what ails us isn't necessarily what kills us: five data visualizations of how we age, sicken, and die. Causes of death by age, sex, region, and year. Heat map of leading causes and risks by region. Changes in leading causes and risks between 1990 and 2010. Healthy years lost to disability vs. life expectancy in 1990 and 2010. Uncertainties of causes and risks. From the team for the massive Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. [more inside]
In the past, various possible treatments and methods have been suspected of helping combat AIDS, which have later been proven correct. Other, less reputable treatments have also been claimed to work, the likes of which descend towards malpractice, pseudoscience and criminal negligence. But in a turnabout, the olive oil element of South Africa's controversial treatment, deemed to be "Africa's Solution", actually helps as well.
Who goes to POZ Parties? Researchers profile HIV-1 positive men who have sex with men (MSM) at so-called "POZ parties": "Predominantly white and over the age of 30, subjects in the sample include a broad range of years living with HIV infection. Motivations for using a POZ Party venue for sexual partnering include relief from burdens for serostatus disclosure, an interest in not infecting others, and opportunities for unprotected sexual exchange. High rates of unprotected sex with multiple partners are prevalent in the venue. Although the sample evidences high rates of lifetime exposure to illicit drugs, relatively little drug use was reported in these sexual environments."
Is circumcision an AIDS weapon? To cut or not to cut? Does circumcision prevent the transmission of HIV? It was deemed "An acceptable strategy for HIV prevention" in Bostwana and a study looking at the magnitude of females who get infected with HIV/AIDS/STDs through circumcision
Haunted by a truly global epidemic, perhaps it is time to consider the effects of globalization on the spread of diseases like AIDS. In addition to making it easier for disease to achieve global prevalence, global economics reduce funding for public health by placing treatment emphasis on those who can pay for their drugs, and, in the case of AIDS, may also encourage pharmaceutical companies to pursue expensive life-long 'treatments' rather than cures. Furthermore, younger, economically depressed members of the global economy are wholly dependent on the whim of richer nations for their well-being in the face of devastating epidemics. In this case, it seems that the global marketplace has failed to be the holy grail it is so often presented as.
AIDS Dissidents argue AIDS is not really caused by HIV but is a production of medical and pharmaceutical conglomerates. They are willing to argue the point even though some are HIV positive. They use "Seven Deadly Deceptions" such as "The HIV test is unreliable--so don't get tested." to further their cause; and their cause is growing.
The Hunt for the Origin of AIDS "The notion that AIDS arose from a polio vaccine made with contaminated chimpanzee cells is far from the only theory about how the epidemic started, and it is hotly disputed. The quest for the source of the epidemic is intensifying, as researchers scour the jungle for clues and try to "walk back" the disease genetically with the help of the world's most powerful computers."
AIDS Altered the Fabric of New York in Ways Subtle and Vast. (NYTimes, reg. required) "...New York City after AIDS is somewhat like America after World War II.."