Because some people
believe that HIV does not cause AIDS, some mothers
have decided not only to refuse AIDS testing
, but to give birth
their child while taking no anti-HIV medicines
. Unfortunately this, along with trusting non-licensed medical practitioners
and distrusting the medical establishment
, has apparently caused the death of a 3 year old girl
Building a better bug
Scientists at a top US vaccine research lab
have announced the creation of a new form of Eschericia coli
, the endemic and (usually) harmless bacteria, that colonises the mucal membranes of mice and secretes a custom-built peptide. The goal? A novel method of blocking the sexual transmission of HIV in humans
Crocodile Immune System Kills HIV
Because crocodiles fight amonst themselves and get seriously wounded from time to time they developed incredibly strong immune systems and natural antibiotics. So strong that they, well, let's hear from one of the scientists....
"The crocodile has an immune system which attaches to bacteria and tears it apart and it explodes. It's like putting a gun to the head of the bacteria and pulling the trigger," said Australian scientist Adam Britton.
Sounds like good news to me.
Dear Bareback Andy
--a response by Signorile to Andrew Sullivan's recent article on HIV--"Still Here, So Sorry"
-- how HIV vastly improved his life. (Sullivan also famously and prematurely wrote about the End of Aids in '96
The winning design for the National AIDS Memorial Design Competition
has been announced. Janette Kim and Chloe Town's "Living Memorial"
references forest fires, and will be located in the National AIDS Memorial Grove
in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Walter Hood, a juror, called the design a “gutsy anti-landscape element that reflects anger, death—and eventual healing and renewal.”
Updatefilter: Remember all the uproar over the new AIDS superbug?
Well, think again. NY Magazine tells all about the "medical panic attack": ... After the frenzy died down, however, the new epidemic began to look a lot less fearsome. In fact, on closer examination, almost everything about this case seems murky. An investigation by the Department of Health turned up no evidence that the New York man passed the virus to anybody. And on March 29, the department put out a press release saying that the patient was responding well to his medications. ... “I thought this sounded familiar, so I Googled ‘superbug’ and ‘AIDS,’” said GMHC’s Gregg Gonsalves. He found two cases reported in 2001 by a noted Vancouver AIDS specialist, Dr. Julio Montaner. The Vancouver Sun quoted Montaner about the cases, but he could have been describing the newest Patient Zero ...
March post on it here
"The Global Gag Rule Impact Project is a collaborative research effort ...
the project's objective is to document the effects of the Global Gag Rule on the availability of life-saving family planning services, as well as efforts to address other major threats to public health, including HIV/AIDS and maternal deaths due to unsafe abortion." This interactive database allows you to explore the impact that the Mexico City Policy has had on healthcare worldwide.
Quarantine camps head toward reality
Proposed law would allow round up HIV+ and People living with AIDS
HIV prevention efforts are failing.
Last year, the discovery of a New York man with a novel form of drug-resistant HIV that rapidly progressed to AIDS caused some to warn of the emergence of a "superbug
." The first clinical analysis of the case will be published
Saturday in The Lancet (NYT preview
); Dr. Martin Markowitz concluded the cause of the rapid progression to AIDS may be incomplete -- but that efforts to prevent the epidemic must be redoubled, especially in light of the growing use of methamphetamines
. Dr. Carlos del Rio is blunt
: "This is telling us that AIDS prevention programs have been a failure." The Gay Men's Health Crisis agrees
If your European ancestors survived the Bubonic Plague
700 years ago, they very likely may have also passed on to you a mutation of the CCR5 gene -- called delta 32
. This may not sound exciting, but delta 32 is a powerful mistake. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, attacks the human immune system, infecting the white blood cells sent to destroy it. The delta 32 mutation, however, effectively blocks the crucial gateway into human cells the virus needs. In fact, possessing delta 32 could save your life, and the lives of your children.
HIV vs. cancer
- two wrongs make a right.
Drug-resistant HIV strain alarms officials
Speculation abounds about the 40something year old man, but doctors think that he had sex with someone who had AIDS and had already developed a resistance to drugs, and then his own crystal meth use created an unkown strain in him. [NYT article
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness & Information Day February 7, 2005
Seventy-two African-Americans are infected with HIV every day African-Americans make up approximately 12 percent of the population of the United States, yet 38% percent of total AIDS cases reported in this country are among members of the Black community. In 2003, more African Americans were reported to have HIV/AIDS than any other racial/ethnic group.
Every year, people all over the world say stridently stupid, misinformed or absurd things about HIV and AIDS
Every year, people all over the world say stridently stupid, misinformed or absurd things about HIV and AIDS. Here's a list of some folks who make you wonder what, if anything, they were thinking before they opened their mouths in 2004. Their comments are best met with three little words: Just shut up.
"His voice was otherworldly — you couldn't believe the sound".
Everyone who ever heard Klaus Nomi
's voice had the same comment: "It can't be real
." You hear that response throughout "The Nomi Song
," the documentary about the obscure
German-born artist who was a fixture on the New York music scene
in the late '70s-early '80s, and a legitimate pop star in Europe
. He was also a mystery
, even to those who knew him. The film primarily covers the years between his 1978 New York club debut - which was captured on film - and his AIDS-related death in 1983 at age 39. Nomi never had an album officially released in the U.S.
but was wildly popular among New York clubgoers
as well as in France and his native Germany. More inside.
A Natural Solution for a Tighter Vagina
Dry sex is extremely popular
in Africa due to the sensation of tightness and additional friction it provides, despite the fact that it is associated
with higher rates of HIV transmission. But if you don't have access to mutendo wegudo (soil with baboon urine)
, Scott and Cynthia Koss have the product for you.
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
The Church Awakens
"The AIDS pandemic is the greatest humanitarian crisis," Casey said. "It just begs a reaction from the church."
The church is now in full reaction mode. More than 2,000 Christian medical professionals, church leaders, and students gathered for the ninth annual Global Missions Health Conference, November 11-13, at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. They spoke not only of statistics that confirmed the extent of the pandemic (43 million people living with HIV/AIDS; 8,000 deaths each day; 14 million orphans), but of working together.
That BBC article about AIDS and NYC? Debunked.
This one's for schroedinger, who posted the original BBC story
about the documentary accusing the NYC Association for Children’s Services of using children in foster care for drug testing experiments without parental consent on MeFi here.
Here's an intelligent and well thought out rebuttal from blogger respectfulofotters
to the points made (and sources used by,) the documentary.
Today is world AIDS day,
and two days ago a joint French/Brazilian project has had some starling success
in creating a vaccine that shows promise in stemming the epidemic
which has killed 20 million
since 1981. Whether you realize it or not, chances are you know somebody who is HIV+, so please take some time today to remember the suffering and fallen...and remember to practice safe sex
. Also: AIDS blogs
. (Second link via POE News
Today is World AIDS Day.
Take some time today to learn something new, or maybe get tested
. Smart is sexy.
The HIV virus has jumped from primates to people
on at least seven separate occasions in recent history, not twice as is commonly thought. And people in Cameroon are showing up with symptoms of HIV, but are testing negative for both the virus and its primate equivalent SIV, the virus from which HIV is thought to have evolved. That suggests that new strains of an HIV-like virus are circulating in wild animals
and infecting people who eat them, sparking fears that such strains could fuel an already disastrous global HIV pandemic.
As the world meets
in Bangkok to discuss responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic (wow, even Richard Gere
thinks it's important!), these very effective public service ads (1
all .mpg files) from the Stephen Lewis Foundation
bring the epidemic down (or up) to an emotional level.
July, 2004 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic:
"The HIV epidemic is worse than ever." "As the AIDS pandemic enters its 24th year, the number of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continues to increase steadily.
Two thirds of infected persons are in Africa, where the epidemic exploded during the 1990s, and one fifth are in Asia, where the epidemic has been growing rapidly in recent years." A new report
from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS shows that ""in short, the epidemic is outstripping efforts to contain it."
"We're talking about more than 8,000 deaths every single day and in the war against AIDS we know the tools that work, we know the sorts of intervention that work, and if an administration is choosing other than these, and is doing less than it ought, then they're absolutely responsible."
As prevention fails and more people die, some are "still insisting that only brand-name AIDS drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,
most of them manufactured by big U.S. pharmaceutical companies, can be bought by beneficiaries of U.S. aid, despite the fact they are as much as five times more expensive as their generic equivalents manufactured in poor countries."
The CDC recently issued new HIV prevention guidelines
that would mandate all organizations that get any federal funding to submit all surveys, curricula, web materials, posters, ads, brochures, etc. to new community-based Policy Review Panels. Politically appointed censors rather than health officials will now decide what's acceptable in terms of HIV prevention and education. Materials must promote abstinence and include a message about the ineffectiveness of condom use in preventing the spread of HIV and STDs. There is a period of public comment on the new regulations until August 16. - more inside -
The Copenhagen Consensus
is Bjørn Lomborg’s latest agenda-setting
enterprise. Eight top economists (of which three are Nobel laureates) were
asked to rank 32 of the world’s challenges
using cost-benefit analysis and estimation of importance. The resulting ranking
suggested that the HIV/AIDS epidemic be prioritized first.
As always with Mr. Lomborg (previously discussed here
), the whole enterprise was
surrounded by controversy, and triggered a counter conference, The
, and earned him the privilege of getting likened to
Hitler by a high-ranking UN official
Two HIV Cases Put a Scare Into P9rn (LATimes)
Several major adult movie companies — including the industry's largest, Vivid — have decided to stop filming for 60 days after two stars tested positive for HIV. But other companies dismissed the plea for a moratorium, calling it "paranoid" and "knee-jerk," and vowed to keep their cameras rolling. The industry, they said, was perfectly safe."I'm against any stop in production," said a producer "It will put a lot of people out of business. You'll have people who will start losing their apartments. It's just not fair."
When do adult movies (a hugely profitable business
where unprotected sex is often performed) end being sexy and start being "Russian Roulette on dvd" scary?
The two actors who have tested positive for the HIV virus are identified as Darren James and Lara Roxx. Roxx (who's 18 or 19) had only been in the adult industry for three months
. 45 actors and actresses who subsequently either worked with James or the women he had sex with after contracting the virus, which is believed to have occurred in Brazil (where, incidentally, star and director John Stagliano
-- not completely work-safe link -- says he caught AIDS in 1997), have been identified, too. warning: except the Stagliano link, all the others are work-safe. (more inside)
"Orphans and babies as young as three months old have been used as guinea pigs in potentially dangerous medical experiments sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, an Observer investigation has revealed.
"British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is embroiled in the scandal. The firm sponsored experiments on the children from Incarnation Children's Centre, a New York care home that specialises in treating HIV sufferers and is run by Catholic charities." [link
African AIDS Drug Plan Faces Collapse.
The World Health Organization's Three by Five
programme seeks to supply 3 million Africans with anti-HIV drugs by 2005. But it's in danger, due to lack of cash... and opposition from special interests
who seem to be exerting influence over the U.S. government. According to Stephen Lewis
, U.N. Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, 'If Three by Five fails, as it surely will without the dollars, then there are no excuses left, no rationalisations to hide behind. There will only be the mass graves of the betrayed.'
The San Francisco Chronical has an observance
on the 10th anniversary of the death of Randy Shilts. His second book, And the Band Played On
opened my eyes to the AIDS epidemic, as I am sure it did to a lot of straight people. I was amazed to see him pilloried in the gay press as being a traitor to his "kind." My understanding is that this disfavor arose from his assertion that aspects of the hard-won sexual freedom enjoyed by many gay men were also killing them. Anyone want to weigh in on this?
Aids in Africa
- you know the facts right? Well perhaps not, what you know are the predictions of a Computer Model. Rian Malan in today's Spectator highlights how alarmingly inaccurate such models are proving. Paul Henman
illustrates how common it is to build political assumptions into a model and then hide them under layers of complexity and apparent objectivity. Think global warming
. How do we challenge the models that increasingly determine our opinions and priorities?
Frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear the accuser and accused freely speak.
In the west, before it was HIV/AIDS, it was GRID, for Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Disease, or Kaposi Sarcoma-Opportunistic Infection, or simply "gay cancer." But there are other names for it now, where it hits hardest, but no less euphemistic or obscuring. More inside...
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.
Another Worlds AIDS Day, another statement from the Vatican
saying you should never use a condom. [via rc3
"They do not use Western means to tell time. They use the sun.
These drugs have to be administered in certain sequences, at certain times during the day. You say, take it at 10 o'clock, they say, what do you mean, 10 o'clock?" They, of course, refers to "Africans" and the above logic from the head of USAID
was used an explanation for why it's tough to extend AIDS treatment to Africa. The only problem with this argument is that it's wrong.
People with HIV in developing countries are in better compliance with drug regimes than in the US as new research is showing
[RealAudio]. As we've seen throughout the epidemic, it's a lot easier to get funding for researchers in lab coats than for actual treatment . . .
Heres an intresting entry from the Wikipedia
The link points to a short article on the AIDS "patient Zero" Gaëtan Dugas. hopefully this should serve as a good starting point for research or discussion. Although in the new millennium I wonder what sort of civil liberty issues this type of of research might have.
Fight AIDS @home
is a valuable resource for your "wasted" computer cycles. Instead of search the universe for extraterrestrial life
, shouldn't we be searching our world for cures to our own diseases?
Public Lives: Freddie Mercury
, Arthur Ashe
, Rock Hudson
, Brad Davis
, Perry Ellis
, Eazy E
, Michel Foucault
, Amanada 'Miss Kitty' Blake
, Roy Cohn
, Keith Haring
, Robert Mapplethorpe
, Rudolf Nureyev
, Anthony Perkins
, Willi Smith
, Ricky Wilson
Private lives: Gail Farrow
, T Billy
, Bob BJ Johnson
, Nkoosi Johnson
, Terry McCormick
, Catherine Margaret Cory
Public or private, we've all had losses. Is there anyone you are remembering today?
Here's a pragmatic look
at why companies like De Beers
and British Petroleum
seek to combat the spread of HIV. Can this be an example of how an act of self-interest can also be an act of humanitarianism?
In Uganda, 1.7 million children have been orphaned by Aids - a tenth of the world's total. Here is one woman's story
. If you do not have the time to read through the article, please consider a visit to www.sendacow.org.uk
, the charity mentioned in the article.
Starting with this year's State of the Union address, President Bush began a plan to increase aid to Africa
, and at the center of that plan is funding to prevent the spread of AIDS and HIV
that has reached epidemic proportions on the continent. Critics however, have noted that aid to clinics comes with strings attached. Abstinence is preached first and foremost
and condoms are mentioned only as a last resort. This reporter flat out says the policy to curtail the funding and use of condoms in Africa is killing millions
Today is World AIDS Day
. If you have a website of your own, you might consider participating in Link and Think
The value of disobedience. [note: nytimes]
"Ignoring the reactionary policies of the Vatican, some local priests and nuns quietly do what they can to save parishioners from AIDS." So: when and why do people choose to quietly disobey, rather than leave and promote change from outside their social institutions...or vice versa? Should dissenters just leave, or stay and fight? Anecdotes from Republicans and NRA members are especially welcome ;-)
Vatican declares fresh Death all around.
It seems the Vatican is telling people in countries with high AIDS infection not to use condoms, because the virus is small enough to pass through the porous latex. The World Health Organization believes condoms do reduce the risk of AIDS transmission. To which the Vatican's Cardinal Trujillo replied: "They are wrong about that... this is an easily recognisable fact."
Michael Johnston, a strong voice of the ex-gay movement, falls from grace
, admitting he willingly had unprotected sex with men without disclosing his HIV+ status, after appearing in national advertisements to promote the ex-gay movement
. One of his strongest supporters, the Concerned Women for America, are calling it a "severe moral failing"
and equating homosexuality to alcoholism (i.e., a disease).
First Documented Case
of HIV hybridization in a human being was presented at the International AIDS Society conference in Paris. In this case, genetic tests on a superinfected woman showed that the two strains she was infected with swapped genetic material, creating a new hybrid strain of HIV. The actual effects are not yet clear, but this could pose a serious problem for researchers trying to create a vaccine.