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Author Topic: Is Regan and the Rep. Congress Responsible for the state of the AIDS Epidemic  (Read 11927 times)

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Offline jimw

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There were some comments made in the Profiting from HIV thread that made me post this.

In June 1981, during Reganís presidency, the CDC reported the first case of what would later be known as AIDS.  President Regan, however, did not publicly utter the word AIDS until 1985 and I believe it was another year before he ďofficiallyĒ mentioned AIDS in a speech Ė preferring rather to ignore the crisis.  Who knows how many people could have been saved had he not taken this approach and rather addressed the crisis head on when it first arose? 
 
Programs to prevent the spread of HIV are a crucial component of the long-term fight. Yet, President Bush, and the last Republican Congress specified that only 20% of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) could be spent on prevention and that one third of that money had to be used to promote abstinence until marriage.  More money has been spent in that area than on any other prevention activity. Given the increase in teen pregnancies and the increase in HIV infection rates among our teens, I think it is safe to say that ďabstinence onlyĒ programs are ineffective.
 
Another program aimed at preventing the spread of HIV is needle exchange programs (NEDs).  However, a restriction forbids the use of taxpayer money to provide clean needles to injecting drug users on the theory that it encourages illegal drug use.  The US is the only country in the world to ban use of government money for NEPs.  Private non-profits and some state and local governments have been the main sources of funding for NEPs, which face other legal and regulatory hurdles on the state and city level as forty-seven states continue to classify syringes as drug paraphernalia, making them illegal to buy or own without a prescription.

The scientific evidence indicates that needle exchange programs work.  Seven federally funded studies during the 1990s, conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the CDC and the National Academy of Sciences among others, all reached similar conclusions that NEPs work in reducing HIV's spread among IV drug users, their partners and children, and that they do not encourage increased drug use.  On the international level, Congress and the Bush administration have extended the federal funding ban to any projects receiving funds from PEPFAR.  (I believe this is still the case but someone can correct me if I am wrong on this.)

The same is true for condom distribution in prisons.  It has been estimated that the prevalence of HIV infection is nearly five times higher for incarcerated populations than for the general U.S. population.  However, less than one percent of U.S. correctional facilities provide inmates with condoms.  Only prisons in Vermont, Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Philadelphia provide condoms for inmates.  Some prisons in Mississippi allow distribution of condoms to married inmates during conjugal visits.  Most recently, Republican Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have allowed the distribution of condoms to prisoners in California at no cost to the taxpayers on the ground that it encouraged sexual conduct between prisoners, which was forbidden!  It has been estimated that as many as 65 - 71% of inmates engage is sexual intercourse while in prison.  Clearly, the institutional bans on sexual activity do not curb instances of sex between inmates or inmates and prison employees.

Finally, as if the above wasnít enough, there is a federal restriction which requires that all antiretroviral medications be approved by the FDA.  This requirement blocks the use of more inexpensive generic antiretrovirals, even those approved by the WHO! 

So, yes, I blame President Regan and the Republican Congress for the state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Offline J.R.E.

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I've posted this before :

http://www.aegis.com/pubs/atn/2004/atn040607.html


The following press conference is the first public mention of AIDS in the Reagan White House. At that time 200 Americans had died of a new infectious disease. Reagan himself did not mention AIDS for three more years.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

PRESS BRIEFING BY LARRY SPEAKES

October 15, 1982

The Briefing Room

12:45pm EDT

Q: Larry, does the President have any reaction to the announcement ≠ the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and have over 600 cases?

MR. SPEAKES: What's AIDS?

Q: Over a third of them have died. It's known as "gay plague." (Laughter.) No, it is. I mean it's a pretty serious thing that one in every three people that get this have died. And I wondered if the President is aware of it?

MR. SPEAKES: I don't have it. Do you? (Laughter.)

Q: No, I don't.

MR. SPEAKES: You didn't answer my question.

Q: Well, I just wondered, does the President ≠

MR. SPEAKES: How do you know? (Laughter.)

Q: In other words, the White House looks on this as a great joke?

MR. SPEAKES: No, I don't know anything about it, Lester.

Q: Does the President, does anyone in the White House know about this epidemic, Larry?

MR. SPEAKES: I don't think so. I don't think there's been any ≠

Q: Nobody knows?

MR. SPEAKES: There has been no personal experience here, Lester.

Q: No, I mean, I thought you were keeping ≠

MR. SPEAKES: I checked thoroughly with Dr. Ruge this morning and he's had no ≠ (laughter) ≠ no patients suffering from AIDS or whatever it is.

Q: The President doesn't have gay plague, is that what you're saying or what?

MR. SPEAKES: No, I didn't say that.

Q: Didn't say that?

MR. SPEAKES: I thought I heard you on the State Department over there. Why didn't you stay there? (Laughter.)

Q: Because I love you Larry, that's why (Laughter.)

MR. SPEAKES: Oh I see. Just don't put it in those terms, Lester. (Laughter.)

Q: Oh, I retract that.

MR. SPEAKES: I hope so.

Q: It's too late.

This transcript was quoted at the beginning of Jon Cohen's book, Shots in the Dark: The Wayward Search for an AIDS Vaccine, 2001.

040612
ATN040601


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright © 2004 - by John S. James. See "Permission to Copy" at: http://www.aidsnews.org/canhelp. How to help AIDS Treatment News: http://www.aidsnews.org/canhelp.

AEGiS is made possible through unrestricted grants from Boehringer Ingelheim, the National Library of Medicine, and donations from users like you. Always watch for outdated information. This article first appeared in 2004. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor.

AEGiS presents published material, reprinted with permission and neither endorses nor opposes any material. All information contained on this website, including information relating to health conditions, products, and treatments, is for informational purposes only. It is often presented in summary or aggregate form. It is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professionals. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.

Copyright ©1980, 2004. AEGiS. All materials appearing on AEGiS are protected by copyright as a collective work or compilation under U.S. copyright and other laws and are the property of AEGiS, or the party credited as the provider of the content. comments@aegis.org.




Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline aupointillimite

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It was too late by that point, wasn't it though?

Personally, I blame all the allegedly consequence-free fucking that occured in the 1960s and 70s for the state of HIV/AIDS in the West.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline ACinKC

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I'll blame the dutch and their blasted polio vaccine in Africa.


But I blame the Republicans for EVERYTHING that is wrong in this country.  It only seems right.


Edited to change smallpox to polio vaccine.  Had to fact check.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 05:04:39 PM by ACinKC »
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline jack

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You have no idea how silly that sounds but if you must blame someone,be my guest. Is he also to blame for the epidemic in other countries? Funny how a guy who didnt have HIV could be responsible for infecting so many. How was he supposed to stop it? People are still getting the virus today,who is responsible for that? W?
The Congress was democrat when Reagan was President, the senate republican.

Offline ACinKC

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Reagan and Bush sure havent HELPED the situation much.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline aupointillimite

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I have to stand wiith Jack on this one.  Stop the presses.

This is ridiculous.

So Reagan didn't mention AIDS.  Whoop dee shit.  Was The Gipper god-like in his ability to fix things when mentioning them by name?   

Would it have made everything better if he had?

I highly doubt it.

And Jack's right... I'm sure Reagan is responsible for all those dead AIDS babies in Africa, too.

No.

You wanna hold someone responsible?  Try the world's scientific community which ignored the increasing evidence throughout the 1970s that a new disease was coming.  They're the ones who are supposed to pay attention to to stuff like that.


Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Dachshund

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I blame those damn monkeys...everything else is the Republicans fault.

Offline ACinKC

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I blame those damn monkeys...everything else is the Republicans fault.

The ones the Dutch used?
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline jimw

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You have no idea how silly that sounds but if you must blame someone,be my guest.
As the leader of the free world, he chose to ignore the crisis rather than addressing it with leadership and compassion.  Before he even mentioned the word - tens of thousands of Americans had died.  Yes, I blame him and President Bush for the state of the epidemic and for hampering efforts to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS, and if that makes me silly, the please call me silly.!

Offline jack

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leader of the free world? you mean of the United States. Fuck man, why is someone in Africa gonna put on a rubber for Reagan? I guess during those 8 years of Willy, the epidemic stopped? Like I said if it makes you feel better to blame your problems on a freaking politician, go right ahead.

Offline J.R.E.

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Lets get back to the issues. 25 years later, no health care, millions of deaths due to aids, People in the United States  on waiting list for meds....
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline Dachshund

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....and the right blames their problems on us.

Offline J.R.E.

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« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 05:21:50 PM by J.R.E. »
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline Boo Radley

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    • Animal Rescue New Orleans
So Reagan didn't mention AIDS.  Whoop dee shit.  Was The Gipper god-like in his ability to fix things when mentioning them by name?   

Would it have made everything better if he had?

It's not that he didn't mention AIDS, it's that he flatly refused to fund any research into the obviously serious epidemic because the constituents affected were queers.  There is no denying that.   Research which could have helped was stymied from the very beginning and unfunded for several years. 

The epidemic grew for years before any real commitments were made to battle it.  All resources available were devoted to locate the cause of Legionnaire's Disease in 1976 (which I know was not during Reagan's term but if it had occurred on his watch do you think he would have ignored it as well?) but 4 years later a disease which was obviously as serious or more so was completely ignored.  ACT UP and GMHC and ASOs did not form in a vaccum, they rallied to support those afflicted and to shame an indifferent government and country into acting responsibly. 

Would it have stopped the epidemic?  Of course not, but swift action on the part of the federal government probably would have reduced the future number of infections, possibly even yours, Benj.   If Reagan had acted when AIDS first reared its head I think everything might be a little better now but we'll never know.  By the time the first AIDS cases were recognized thousands of gay men were already infected and no one blames that on Reagan, but how many thousands of infections could have been prevented if the federal government had funded crucial research in 1980, 81, 82, 83, etc.?   Sheer greed and indifference assured thousands of hemophiliacs and blood transfusion recipients were infected but the federal government took no action until most hemophiliacs using Factor VII had full blown AIDS.

I'm no Masters and Johnson but the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s was not the first period in U.S. history large segments of the populace were engaging in promiscuous sexual activities.  The Roaring Twenties were as spectacular in the commitment to ignoring sexual mores as the Free Love 60s. 
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 05:50:44 PM by Boo Radley »
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write © 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline J.R.E.

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So Reagan didn't mention AIDS.  Whoop dee shit. 




With all due respect to you benj...It's comments like this that make me very well aware of why we need a long term survivors forum.

I was already infected with HIV, along with many others on this site, before Reagan uttered "AIDS"



Sad-------Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline Joe K

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It was too late by that point, wasn't it though?

Personally, I blame all the allegedly consequence-free fucking that occured in the 1960s and 70s for the state of HIV/AIDS in the West.


So Reagan didn't mention AIDS.  Whoop dee shit.  Was The Gipper god-like in his ability to fix things when mentioning them by name?   

Would it have made everything better if he had?

You wanna hold someone responsible?  Try the world's scientific community which ignored the increasing evidence throughout the 1970s that a new disease was coming.  They're the ones who are supposed to pay attention to to stuff like that.

I find these comments to be highly insulting and they would never be uttered by anyone who had lived through the horror of the first years.

It is apparent that you feel comfortable judging others and I would ask, just how did you become poz?  You seem to have no problem passing moral judgements on people and how refreshing that you can proclaim that it was our sexuality that has brought AIDS to the current crisis it is in the West.

You also have no clue on how hard it was to stand by, as your friends died, while the PRESIDENT refused to even acknowledge there was a disease killing gays by the hundreds.  The whole point is that if Ronnie could have uttered the AIDS word when he first took office, we would have had an additional five years to work on the virus, rather than the administration just making fun of our horror.

This last comment about doctors is so off base, again you do not have a clue.  I went to one of the first major AIDS clinics and if you think they were hiding anything, you are crazy.  What they could not hide was their abject horror as we just kept dying and they crawled across broken glass to do all they could for us.

I am with you Ray and some of you wonder why us Long-Termers needed our own forum.
Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans.

Though you may be only one person in the entire world, to one person, you may be the entire world.

I wish to become half the man, that my dog thinks I am.

Remember me with simple acts of kindness and I will live forever.

Offline aupointillimite

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Oh Jesus Christ.

I'm clearly not talking about doctors who treat patients.  Doctors aren't researchers who have to keep their eyes peeled for the next new disease.

It was the researchers and scientists who are supposed to keep an eye on this stuff, and they were the ones who dropped the ball.

And I'm sorry, I find it hard to believe that a politician mentioning a disease would have made anything better, emotionally or otherwise.  I really do.

Was the reaction of the Reagan administration criminal?  Yes.  Did it make things worse?  Perhaps.  Could it have improved anything?  Probably not. 

And yes, if people had used condoms in the 60s and 70s, would we be where we are now?  No.

If I had used a condom in 2004, would I have to deal with the clutched kleenex crowd on here?  No.  Was that stupid on my part?  Yes. 

And call me crazy... but I believe an American group based with the National Cancer Institute shares the credit with the Pasteur Institute for discovering HIV itself in 1983-1984.  So... there was federal money coming in somewhere for AIDS research.  So yes, while the American government could have done more in the early 1980s to find out what was going on... there were a whole bunch of cultural, scientific, and political circumstances unique to the time that conspired to make this the pandemic that it is today.

To blame Reagan for it entirely is ludicrous. 
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Miss Philicia

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To blame Reagan for it entirely is ludicrous. 


Who has made the "entirely" claim here?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Joe K

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No matter what you might think, you were not there and so do not tell me that the support of the president did not matter, because it did.  He could have started a public discussion (accelerating tolerance) and yet he did nothing.  If we had more funding in the early 80s, at least there would have been something to help our friends as they died.  Instead, the measly money from DC hardly covered much of anything and we had to pick and choose who we could help and who had to be turned away.

I am insulted that you would make such blanket statements when you have no direct knowledge of what transpired in the early 80s.  I never have blamed Ronnie for the state of HIV, but it is insulting to the memory of my friends, to deny that he could have done more, much, much more.  Then again, we were just a bunch of fags.
Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans.

Though you may be only one person in the entire world, to one person, you may be the entire world.

I wish to become half the man, that my dog thinks I am.

Remember me with simple acts of kindness and I will live forever.

Offline aupointillimite

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Philly,


So, yes, I blame President Regan and the Republican Congress for the state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.


I don't see anyone else called to task here.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline carousel

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Sorry I don't understand Why did Reagen remain silent?

Did he miss a News Bulletin along the way?  Was he not aware that thousands/ millions Americans were dying of this?  Nobody could be stupid enough to argue that.  

At the end of the day, here was a virus affecting predominately Black people, Gay men and Drug users.  There's a vote winner.

He could have been brave and face up to what was happening to people around him.  He had a choice, stand up and acknowledge what was happening and make every effort to stop this epidemic growing or remain silent.  

You can argue that it would not have made a difference, but I go back to my first question, Why remain silent?

And if anybody mentions about me being anti-American, don't get me started on the Anti-Christ, Margaret Thatcher.

We still live with those first attitutudes of stigma, prejudice and lack of a clear undertaking to deal with HIV on a global level.

Offline aupointillimite

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I know.

We can't say anything about the culture that preached "penicillin cures all" in regards to STDs that prevailed during the 1960s and 70s as perhaps encouraging just a wee smidge of sexual irresponsibilty, could we?

Even if all the money in the government had been made available, regardless of the recession the US faced at the time, hundreds of thousands of people still would have died. 

Do you know how absolutely insane people go during biomedical crises?  Calls for calm and tolerance cannot override public panic like that which inevitably occur in the face of scientific and public ignorance of a new disease.  It wasn't until 1985 that 1) there were AIDS tests and 2) more people died of AIDS than of food poisoning... no one knew what the hell was going on... nor was it, in terms of the entire population, a lot of people who were being felled.  It's sad, but true.

And I didn't have to be there to know that.


 

Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline mjmel

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I agree with your statement Benj, when you say, "To blame Reagan for it entirely is ludicrous." True. It would be ludicrous.

Here was the one of the most powerful men of the world leading a powerful and wealthy country. Reagan was well respected and people looked up to him and listened. Yes sir, he could have got research underway, if he wished. If he would have acknowledged this dreadful disease in it's early beginnings the amount of funding would have been phenomenal, I do believe. He wouldn't even acknowledge reporter questions posed to him. I remember feeling just amazed how craftily he avoided questions that were being posed to him ON AIR.

As Boo and Killfoile accurately stated, we were only faggots and this was a perv related problem. It felt like the whole administration was saying,"Screw 'em. We will not dignify their existence with compassion." I am not quoting Reagan. I said that's how it felt.
xxx,
Mike
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 08:14:56 PM by mjmel »

Offline Boo Radley

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To blame Reagan for it entirely is ludicrous. 

No one blames Reagan exclusively but as the President he should have acted in a way that would make us proud of him today -- he behaved with unconscionable obliviousness to a serious public health concern as more people became ill and died.  Of course those assholes in Congress and state legislatures and regional/local governments ignored the problem for ages but many acted far sooner that Reagan.  The NIH and CDC and other federal research centers asked for funding year after year and were denied and in that period, the great pre-fall of Communism, Reagan was in control of the federal budget, and he hocked this country 100 times over to fund his Star Wars delusion and numerous other military funding requests.  Hell, they didn't have to request because he kept slashing "welfare" programs and socking billions more into the DOD.   On September 17, 1985, President Reagan publicly addressed AIDS in answer to a question at a press conference.  By the end of 1985 approximately 16,000 U.S. Americans had been diagnosed with AIDS and at least half were dead..

Although the official history books state Bob Gallo and Luc Montagnier co-discovered HIV the scientific fact is HIV was discovered by Montagnier and staff at the Institut Pasteur and Gallo stole the virus from the French and claimed it as his own.  Why the Institut Pasteur allowed the falsehood to remain officially valid speaks more to the superiority of true scientists who did not want research and treatment to be held up by years of litigation over the credit or, more importantly, use of the first HIV antibody test.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 08:35:27 PM by Boo Radley »
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Offline aupointillimite

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I agree with your statement Benj, when you say, "To blame Reagan for it entirely is ludicrous." True. It would be ludicrous.

Here was the one of the most powerful men of the world leading a powerful and wealthy country. Reagan was well respected and people looked up to him and listened. Yes sir, he could have gotten research underway, if he wished. If he would have acknowledged this dreadful disease in it's early beginnings the amount of funding would have been phenominal, I do believe. He wouldn't even acknowledge reporter questions posed to him. I remember feeling just amazed how craftily he avoided questions that were being posed to him ON AIR.

As Boo and Killfoile accurately stated, we were only faggots and this was a perv related problem. It felt like the whole administration was saying,"Screw 'em. We will not dignify their existance with compassion." I am not quoting Regean. I said thats how it felt.
xxx,
Mike

Oh, I agree.  Reagan was a douche.

But do you really expect anyone in political power to view your life, existence, or death with dignity and compassion?

Do you seriously and truly expect them to do that?
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline J.R.E.

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If I had used a condom in 2004, would I have to deal with the clutched kleenex crowd on here?  No.  Was that stupid on my part?  Yes. 



First of all, nobody's stupid...

But I have to ask, Is that what we are, the "Clutched Kleenex Crowd" ?  Once again.... Respectfully, Denial is terrible thing. And the day will come, when you you won't be able to find enough Kleenex to clutch. You may not like to hear that, but you can count on it.


I am not ashamed to say I "clutched a few kleenex's." It's hard not to do, when your looking at the faces of your friends in an open box., or while attending countless memorial services with the ashes in the urn., or giving eulogies., to those that have passed on, these past 25 years.


Ray


Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline aupointillimite

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No one blames Reagan exclusively but as the President he should have acted in a way that would make us proud of him today -- he behaved with unconscionable obliviousness to a serious public health concern as more people became ill and died.  Of course those assholes in Congress and state legislatures and regional/local governments ignored the problem for ages but many acted far sooner that Reagan.  The NIH and CDC and other federal research centers asked for funding year after year and were denied and in that period, the great pre-fall of Communism, Reagan was in control of the federal budget, and he hocked this country 100 times over to fund his Star Wars delusion and numerous other military funding requests.  Hell, they didn't have to request because he kept slashing "welfare" programs and socking billions more into the DOD.

Although the official history books state Bob Gallo and Luc Montagnier co-discovered HIV the scientific fact is HIV was discovered by Montagnier and staff at the Institut Pasteur and Gallo stole the virus from the French and claimed it as his own.  Why the Institut Pasteur allowed the falsehood to remain officially valid speaks more to the superiority of true scientists who did not want research and treatment to be held up by years of litigation over the credit or, more importantly, use of the first HIV antibody test.


I didn't know that about Gallo.

Who, pray tell, passed those federal budgets for Reagan?

What political party in Congress wrote them up?

Please tell me.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Miss Philicia

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Philly,

I don't see anyone else called to task here.

I just want to make sure that blaming "the state of the epidemic" is different the blaming Reagan  for AIDS itself.

It seemed that the distinction was getting muddy.  And you need not get smart with me, missy... just because you are being slapped silly by others.  Focus!
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline mjmel

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Oh, I agree.  Reagan was a douche.

But do you really expect anyone in political power to view your life, existence, or death with dignity and compassion?

Do you seriously and truly expect them to do that?

I never believed that was something politicians would consider, until Bill Clinton. And now that I've experience what it feels like for a United States President to go to bat for us gays.....well, do I have to finish this sentence.....

Offline carousel

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First of all, nobody's stupid...

I am not ashamed to say I "clutched a few kleenex's." It's hard not to do, when your looking at the faces of your friends in an open box., or while attending countless memorial services with the ashes in the urn., or giving eulogies., to those that have passed on, these past 25 years.


Ray




Isn't that it.  When you are seeing so many people suffering and dying, whether you are a politician or not, to ignore the suffering of so many is beyond the pale.

Offline Miss Philicia

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And that "Clutched Kleenex Crowd" comment was just so, so tired.

wtfbbq!!111!one!
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline aupointillimite

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I never believed that was something politicians would consider, until Bill Clinton. And now that I've experience what it feels like for a United States President to go to bat for us gays.....well, do I have to finish this sentence.....

Clinton went to bat for gay people?

How?

Was it between "don't ask, don't tell" and signing DoMA or what?

Jesus... if homos as a group are gonna be satisfied with the crumbs that Bill Clinton gave us politically... we might as well steel ourselves to never making progress ever.
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Can we not shift the goal posts to Clinton and stay on topic?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline aupointillimite

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I just want to make sure that blaming "the state of the epidemic" is different the blaming Reagan  for AIDS itself.

It seemed that the distinction was getting muddy.  And you need not get smart with me, missy... just because you are being slapped silly by others.  Focus!

I'm having fun.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline whizzer

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The Reagan administration also contributed to the considerable stigma surrounding HIV by not allowing the surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, to say the word 'semen.'  Instead, he had to use the term 'bodily fluids', which people took to mean saliva, sweat, tears, hell, practically every body fluid BUT semen, as a mode of transmission of the virus.

The Reagan administration could have increased funding to find the source of the syndrome, but chose not to.  It had cut the CDC budget from the get-go, which probably had a lot to do with the resources not being directed to find out what this thing was.  It cut the NIH budget as well.  Plus, it was only killing homos, so no one got bent out of shape about it.

Even when it became clear it was some sort of infectious disease, resources were still not allocated by the government.  The disease simply killed the wrong people.  Don't think for a minute that if HIV had been found to primarily infect white country-club Republicans, every available resource the government had would have been directed it's way.

There's plenty of blame to go around.  The doctors who weren't interested in a disease that only killed homos, the blood bank industry, including the Red Cross, the sex clubs, the queers who saw any suggestion that they shouldnt' be allowed to fuck like bunnies as an affront to their hard-earned sexual freedom, the government who didn't give a shit until what they regard as 'decent people' started to be affected by the virus - all of them.

There is plenty of blood on plenty of hands.  But, as leader of the country at the time it was happening, the Actor-in-Chief should get the lion's share of the blame, because he ignored it and let it happen, repeat, LET IT HAPPEN, on his watch.

Damn, Benj, for a guy that's up on practically everything else (except perhaps money management), you sure are in the dark about your HIV history.  There was a point in time where, with the appropriate interventions, the exponential spread of this disease could have been greatly curtailed.  Even without the existence of an HIV test.

-Whizzer
(who is passionate about this subject)

Offline mjmel

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Crumbs is what he was left with when a Congress got tired of his embarrassing behavior of trying to get Gays in the Military (with honor)! Indeed!

Offline aupointillimite

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Whizzer, I agree with you.

But I think that time to prevent the rate of infections from increasing at such a rapid rate was over before Reagan put his hand on that Bible in January 1981.

Given the average time from infection to death, tens of thousands in the United States alone were more than likely infected by that point.

I am having a hard time conceiving of a personal intervention on the part of Reagan in the early 1980s that would have been little more than a Band-Aid solution.

Could the US government as a whole done a lot more?  You bet.

That includes a Congess controlled by a party who was supposed to care about exactly these sorts of things. 

And a jackass President who decided he looked better in front of the Berlin Wall than on the inside of a free clinic.   

But it's not all him.  And it's not all Republicans.  That's where I'm taking issue with this.  It's easy to blame this all on one man or one group of people... but doing so isn't going to help anyone... because I don't think it's right... as in correct.  Not morally right.
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Offline Miss Philicia

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Every year when nothing was done is another year extended on this entire epidemic.  That's basically the bottom line.

But your right, certainly Democrats in Congress could have been much, much more vocal.  I do seem to recall though that the few voices that were being vocal in Congress at the time were, in fact (*gasp!*) some Democrats.  Were there many?  Certainly not enough.  But comparing the powers of a lone individual or even a block within one party to the bully pulpit of the Presidency is horribly disingenuous.

Anyway, like I said in the other thread that gave birth to this thread, we'll never know if a Democrat (in this case Carter would he have been re-elected) would have performed better regarding this subject.  If he'd been equally as miserable I'm sure you'd have seen the gay community somewhat, if not significantly, more Republican now.  This event was incredibly formative in gay politics and why there's still majority support of Democrats within the gay community, or at least that's the way I see it.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Boo Radley

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I didn't know that about Gallo.

Check any decent book about the history of the epidemic.  Bob Gallo is a piece of shit.

Quote
Who, pray tell, passed those federal budgets for Reagan?

What political party in Congress wrote them up?

Please tell me.

Benj, I freely stated assholes of all parties at all levels of government ignored AIDS but what you don't acknowledge is Reagan held the budget with an iron fist and he vetoed anything he didn't like and for years the bastards in Congress did nothing to override him.   That's just the way it was, and nothing was done about it because he was winning the war on communism by outspending them Ruskies by billions of dollars on military projects.  We won the Cold War but a few thousand faggots died because we couldn't spend money on anything but Caspar Weinberger's new toys.

Complacency about modern medicine as panacea certainly played a role in the history of AIDS but it didn't take long for medical professionals dealing firsthand with AIDS patients to know modern medicine was about as helpful as voodoo with this public health crisis.   

I cannot find the statistics to back me up, and if someone finds corroboration or refutation please post, but for some reason I want to claim the rate of STD transmission has been high in population segments of the USA since at least the 20th century.  The sexual revolution and condomless sex of the 60s and 70s may have changed the segments but I don't think the overall STD transmission rate was greatly different, especially if adjusted for the increase in gay sexual activities during the coinciding gay sexual revolution.  You must remember a mantra of many gay men was "sex is my right and I'll do it when and where I want."  (it still is)   Until Stonewall and long after man gay men lived closeted lives and were not as sexually active as men became in the late 70s and early 80s.  The timing could not have been worse.
String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write © 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline Dachshund

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First of all it is divisive and frankly intellectually dishonest to use the you weren't there argument. Second, I didn't think the long-term survivor thread was created to protect anyone from others honest opinions. I am a long-time survivor and I will put my horrifying experiences with "aids" up against anyone. However, I will not use it as a bully pulpit.

The spread of aids may have began as early as the fifties and was patiently waiting for the best and fastest mode of infection...and no one here can deny that it found it. I myself became infected before I had heard of the word and long before That senile ol' coot Reagan ever said the word. So to argue that Reagan was the cause of aids is ludicrous.

Since I was there I do remember many things during that time...Jesse Helms blocking legislation...homosexuals in SanFrancisco fighting tooth and nail against any regulations against the baths...including condoms. My best friend's food being left outside his door at Baptist Hospital because no hospital staff would enter his room. Poppers cause aids. You name it and I have heard it. I was there in the middle of it all and I sure as hell didn't know what to believe or what not to believe.

Did government do enough back then? Hell no, and they don't do enough now and they won't do enough in the future. Lecturing someone who is HIV+ won't change that fact.

Believe me I despise Reagan for not saying the word...or Heckler announcing a cure was two years away, and myself for being lucky and powerless and my friends dying horrible deaths. However it does no good to scold others that I know to be compassionate and without agenda.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 10:29:28 PM by Dachshund »

Offline Miss Philicia

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Obviously he's not even bothered to watch "And the Band Played On"... what kind of AIDS infected homo are we dealing with here? :)
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Miss Philicia

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So to argue that Reagan was the cause of aids is ludicrous.

Who said he was the "cause"???  People are using the term "STATE of AIDS"

There is a difference in that line of argument, which I've already tried to point out.

I can't argue with people on web forums who move goal posts.  I just won't do it.

Life is too short.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline aupointillimite

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Benj, I freely stated assholes of all parties at all levels of government ignored AIDS but what you don't acknowledge is Reagan held the budget with an iron fist and he vetoed anything he didn't like and for years the bastards in Congress did nothing to override him.   That's just the way it was, and nothing was done about it because he was winning the war on communism by outspending them Ruskies by billions of dollars on military projects.  We won the Cold War but a few thousand faggots died because we couldn't spend money on anything but Caspar Weinberger's new toys.

Complacency about modern medicine as panacea certainly played a role in the history of AIDS but it didn't take long for medical professionals dealing firsthand with AIDS patients to know modern medicine was about as helpful as voodoo with this public health crisis.   

I cannot find the statistics to back me up, and if someone finds corroboration or refutation please post, but for some reason I want to claim the rate of STD transmission has been high in population segments of the USA since at least the 20th century.  The sexual revolution and condomless sex of the 60s and 70s may have changed the segments but I don't think the overall STD transmission rate was greatly different, especially if adjusted for the increase in gay sexual activities during the coinciding gay sexual revolution.  You must remember a mantra of many gay men was "sex is my right and I'll do it when and where I want."  (it still is)   Until Stonewall and long after man gay men lived closeted lives and were not as sexually active as men became in the late 70s and early 80s.  The timing could not have been worse.

This is what I'm talking about. 

An issue as horribly complex as this can't have blame laid solely at the feet one one man or one group.

I was watching something on the History Channel last night about engineering disasters and was struck by something one engineer said.

He said that disasters usually result from a set of circumstances that no one thinks are potentially problematic at the time... but when a bunch of little things go wrong in succession... kaboom.  That's what happened in the years leading up to this pandemic. 

Gallo has been a rather elusive figure in all of my research on the early history of HIV... it's been rather hard pinning anything down.  My understanding now is that he's included because Reagan and Mitterand seemed to have reached a compromise to have both nations officially share the credit for the discovery of HIV.

Here's something rather interesting about STD infection rates from the 1950s on.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/01/26/health/main669589.shtml

It suggests that the rising and falling rates of syphilis and gonorrhea are cyclical and related to population immunity rather than sexual behavior.  Of course, I would imagine that HIV is exempt from this... given its incurability. 

   
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Offline Dachshund

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Then don't do it and I am not trying to move anything...to say Reagan caused the state of aids is ludicrous. That better?

Offline DingoBoi

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To say he caused it?  NO.

To say he could have done a whole lot more to prevent it?  YES.

Reagan can suck my hiv-ridden cock.

Of course, then I'd be breaking at least 3 laws in my home state.

Offline Boo Radley

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This is what I'm talking about. 

An issue as horribly complex as this can't have blame laid solely at the feet one one man or one group.

Once more, no one lays blame solely at Raygun's feet but his position as the preeminent leader of the free world and prez of the best darn country in the world placed him in a truly unique position.  He fucked up big time with a PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS that a decent President would have addressed as the serious issue it was.

Quote
Gallo has been a rather elusive figure in all of my research on the early history of HIV... it's been rather hard pinning anything down.  My understanding now is that he's included because Reagan and Mitterand seemed to have reached a compromise to have both nations officially share the credit for the discovery of HIV.

Gallo was persuaded, reluctantly, to begin work when it was suggested his very own retrovirus might be the cause of AIDS.  It was this hypothesis he began work on and in an apparent fluke or lab accident discovered 2 AIDS patients with HTLVI/II (I forget and am too lazy to look it up...) so for some time he assiduously pursued his work.  Gallo and his lab were having the same problems Montagnier and his lab, and virtually all early researchers had, the inability to keep a culture viable long enough to do anything with it.  Finally the Pasteur researchers tried a new, successful approach and then real work was done and progress swiftly made.    Gallo, however, was still stymied by the inability to maintain a "live" culture.  He accomplished nothing.  After the French had isolated HIV (which they called lymphadenopathy-associated virus, or LAV) as a professional courtesy they sent isolates to Gallo.  Some time later Gallo claimed to have discovered the cause of AIDS, which he called HTLV III, and said it was not the same virus the French had discovered.  Later DNA tests showed Gallo's virus was virtually identical to LAV and such a phenomenon is impossible -- it was exactly the same virus the French had sent Gallo.  He was reprimanded and given a slap on the wrist but later the most serious charge against him was dropped and he was allowed to claim "lab error"  caused the LAV sample to contaminate HTLV III isolates, or some crap like that.  I'm sure Tim Horn or newt or Rich would be able to explain everything more scientifically than I have, but it's pretty close to the truth.  Bob Gallo is, I repeat, a piece of shit.

String up every aristocrat!
Out with the priests and let them live on their fat!





Everything I do, say, think, excrete, secrete, exude, ooze, or write © 2007 Sweet Old Boo, Inc.

Offline aupointillimite

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Once more, no one lays blame solely at Raygun's feet but his position as the preeminent leader of the free world and prez of the best darn country in the world placed him in a truly unique position.  He fucked up big time with a PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS that a decent President would have addressed as the serious issue it was.

He did.

But ignoring embryonic crises until they reach the breaking point is a proud tradition of American presidents.

See:

"Eisenhower and Civil Rights movement."

"Hoover and Great Depression."

"FDR and Holocaust."

"Buchanan and South Carolina Secession."

"Clinton and Osama B."
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline edfu

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I'm having fun.

Well, good for you.

I, for one, did not clutch Kleenexes; I grabbed at boxes of Kleenexes.  How dare you mock and ridicule the terror, despair, and hopelessness I and so many others experienced for over a decade.  Your cruelty is beyond disgusting.  Your youthful (adolescent) cynicism and black humor, which you continuously exhibit on this board so often, as now, are  completely inappropriate and vile.   As you oh, so wittily pointed out in another thread here, you were not even born when I was infected with a virus that no one knew even existed. 

Your ignorance is appalling.  Anyone who finds Robert Gallo to be "elusive" in the history of this epidemic does not know the history of this epidemic.  Anyone who does not know how scientists (the ones you so blithely blame) such as James Curran and Don  Francis at the national C.D.C. went begging for money for research from Ronald Reagan's government, beginning in 1982, does not know the history of this epidemic.  Anyone who suggests that condoms should have been used in the 1960s and 1970s is a complete naif. 

I do not attempt to change your opinions.  You are young and know it all.  I do try to have pity on you, and I do fear for you.  I sincerely hope your one act of virus-infecting "stupidity," when it was known how the virus was transmitted, does not cause you intolerable suffering.  You are extremely lucky to have been born when you were, you know, and to have come of sexual age when you did.  To ask you for a soupcon (I know a little French, too, mon ami) of human compassion and care would be fruitless at this stage of your psychological development.  Love or what you will....
"No one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences."--Albert Camus, "The Plague"

"Mankind can never be free until the last brick in the last church falls on the head of the last priest."--Voltaire

Offline bimazek

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Not just reagan was and is a monster, bush jr. sr. but all republicans everywhere and ones back then and now,
it was all the republicans as a great ugly movement over the country, of greed, and profit at others expense, and tax cuts for themselves and corp. welfare for their giant corps., that have created the now

the lack of any kind of co-heirent health care system ... or even sane system...

Not just reagan  bush jr. sr. but all republicans everywhere, that helped him get elected, I know one gay republican who worked to get him into gov. office and what a disaster of a human he is, hiding and having only sex with marines cause he is so paranoid of disease, that he knows they are clean

it is the mindset of these self serving evil men, insiders, inside deals and trades, and lies...

denying others their sexuality

creating mortgage bubbles and housing bubbles that ignores the real housing needs of living human beings

the war like mania and paranoia that afflicts the republicans

always war profits always war

money for their uncreative cronies to make war

today i thought

yes the difference between iraq and vietnam is

the vietnamese were buddists and forgave and let go and moved on...
the iraqis are islamists and we have created an enemy that will be with us for 100 years

and

we could have cured aids and 5 other diseases with the money

but it had to go into cheneys friends pockets

into texas millionaire's pockets

today on a gay website i saw a cute young x-military guy with a picture with machine gun taken in iraq (this is a meeting site)

and in the work he listed

war profiteer

i am sure it feels like that

they paid $3 billion in bonuses to the troups

u should see the car lots in military towns full of new used cars

for them to buy

and these people will become the police of every city in usa


 


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