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Author Topic: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?  (Read 7714 times)

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Offline David_CA

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Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« on: July 18, 2006, 11:30:40 PM »
Ok, I'm not trying to start any flames or stir up any shit!  I just responded to a PM from a member about HIV/AIDS being (considered) a gay disease.  Here's part of my reply:

Those who say that HIV/AIDS isn't a gay disease might be right, technically.  But if you look at the number of gay guys here, I bet they'll easily outnumber the straight folks 3-4:1.  One of the first things that several friends parents told them when they came out as gay was to be careful and not catch AIDS.  The subject matter of most AIDS movies are gays.  Traditionally, HIV/AIDS has been a gay disease.  We all know that the public is ignorant of HIV/AIDS; do we expect them to understand that the 'new breed' of infectees are mostly straight?  Stigma takes a long time to change... if it ever does.

I don't know who remembers a member named Dino who was yelled at in a mall.  Supposedly, the remarks had to do with being gay and having HIV/AIDS.  When's the last time anybody made some rude comment to a straight person like "I hope you catch AIDS, you heterosexual".

HIV/AIDS may not be a gay disease, but people don't seem as shocked when a gay person is poz.

My reasons for posting this are not to cause trouble, step on any toes, etc.  I just keep hearing all these people saying 'it's not a gay disease'.  The problem is, most of those folks are gay.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
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You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2006, 11:35:42 PM »
From a demographic standpoint, HIV and AIDS in the western world is indeed primarily a gay male disease. IV drug users of all genders and females run a close second. Globally, of course, it is a different story, particularly in developing countries.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Mouse

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2006, 11:36:42 PM »
I think when people say it isn't a gay disease it is because it isn't a disease that just infects gay people. That's impossible.

But a lot of people are ignorant and think that's true for some warped, idiotic reason.

So, I mean, by saying it's not a gay disease doesn't mean it's not most common in gay people (which, if you take into account everybody affected with it, it really isn't, but I guess in the US and stuff, it seems that it is, or at least people that are aware that they have it. Also, I guess because of the stigma I know most gay men test more often and are more concerned about it than straight people so they'd obviously be more aware of their status). It is just bringing attention to the fact that it is a disease that absolutely everybody can get no matter who they are or what they identify as.

Offline Lis

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2006, 11:38:32 PM »
OK... i know.. i said this in another thread... but..

Hi I'm Lis, and I have AIDS..... the virus doesn't give a shit who i sleep with.. what color i am, what god if any i worship.. it just cares about killing my immune system...

be well!!!!

lisbeth
poz 1986....

Offline HIVworker

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2006, 11:41:21 PM »
There are many heterosexuals living with HIV but that doesn't stop any of the comments such as the ones you made. I have heard terms like, "That faggot probably got AIDS" indicating that people who are gay are more likely to have HIV.

HIV has been around for over two decades in the media and it has spent a lot of that time as an infection predominantly in the male gay community. Old habits of assigning stereotypes die hard.

It bothers me that the general public assign HIV and being gay in one breath. It's just an easy thing to do because it confirms the fear people have of gay people. It's a civil rights thing for me as it is similar paranoia and stereotyping that has plagued the African-American civil rights movement...and you don't have to be gay, have HIV or white to see it is wrong.

R
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 11:43:43 PM by HIVworker »
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2006, 11:42:32 PM »
Sorry, I posted without a referant. My bad:

USA (not global) stats:


Quote
Just under half of all people diagnosed with AIDS were probably infected with HIV through male-to-male sexual contact, while people exposed through heterosexual contact comprise around 17% of the total. However, since the beginning of the epidemic, the number of heterosexual infections has increased dramatically. According to CDC estimates, heterosexual contact led to about one third of new AIDS diagnoses and one third of new HIV diagnoses in 2004.

Source:

http://www.avert.org/usastatg.htm

I mean, heterosexual infection is indeed catching up. But the majority of HIV infections come through unprotected penetrative anal sex. I wonder how many of the heterosexual transmissions scrutinize whether the patient had exclusively vaginal sex, or a combination of vaginal or anal (for the males). Females, as we are well aware, are far more easily infected due to the increased vulnerable surface area.

however, demographics aside, one thing I like about this forum is that it really does not matter who you got it from, or how. What matters is that we are in this together.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2006, 12:09:17 AM by jkinatl2 »
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2006, 11:45:41 PM »
It's not a gay disease. If someone asks me that question red flags start whipping wildly in the wind then I instinctively and vigorously respond "NO, it is not a gay disease. It affects bodies and it does not care about gay, straight, man, woman, black, white."

The red flags say "Person is underinformed and perhaps not worldly. Not their fault. Maybe they're a teen. Whatever. Not their fault. Choose your words wisely. Proceed with patience. Remember to be nice"

Offline joemutt

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2006, 12:07:40 AM »
I dont think that s correct. The majority of cases in the world are heterosexual. The risk with labeling it a gay disease, in the us and europe mainly, is that aids will be under estimated and not tested for in the straight population.

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2006, 12:23:49 AM »
then let the straight population rot.

Bailey (who is more than a bit cantankerous)

Offline Lis

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2006, 12:28:13 AM »
bailey,

I'm decaying as we speak... LOL

lis (who can still laugh at herself)
poz 1986....

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2006, 12:29:52 AM »
Um, can we not decay until we've had some time on the forums? Seriously. The smell.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Lis

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2006, 12:34:09 AM »
it sure isn't gonna be easy... but I'll try.. perhaps a cork is in order (or oder, who the hell knows)

lis
poz 1986....

Offline Lisa

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2006, 12:56:06 AM »
            *snicker*

Too late. I'm rotten. ;D
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline bear60

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2006, 09:34:28 AM »
(Tougue In Cheek) 
The real tragedy in stigmatizing HIV as a gay disease is that there are a lot of really frustrated heterosexual men out there who would just love to get a B Job from a (more than willing) gay guy and cant or wont because they think all gays have "AIDS".
( I work construction and believe me....well enough is enough)
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

tendai

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2006, 09:41:50 AM »
here in Zimbabwe gayness is considered "evil" by our President and culturally its unacceptable so people wont come out bcoz they will definately be ostracised. AIDS is a promisciuty disease.  If one has AIDS people say " what did u expect she/he was so loose" or "of course, the spouse/partner was so loose".  its never a matter of homosexuality.

Offline rnbowpixi

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2006, 09:48:55 AM »
seems to me that no its not a gay disease, especially when one looks at the different kind of people infected world wide but in this country so many people are sued to the old stereotypes of only "queers" catching it that its been hard for the majority to let go of that perception. and also i tihnk that many heteros are not as apt to get an hiv test which is why at least in my case, a majority of the people i see at the clinic i go to, happen to be gay males. its sad really.

Offline aztecan

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2006, 10:27:27 AM »
The perception that HIV is a gay disease still pervades our society. I have a friend who usually gets what I call "the look" whenever she tells someone she is positive.
Its that look of astonishment because she is a she and in robust health.

Truth is, many people just want to ignore the issue and hope it goes away. It won't.

I call it the ostrich syndrome.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Moffie65

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2006, 10:36:34 AM »
here in Zimbabwe gayness is considered "evil" by our President and culturally its unacceptable so people wont come out bcoz they will definately be ostracised. AIDS is a promisciuty disease.  If one has AIDS people say " what did u expect she/he was so loose" or "of course, the spouse/partner was so loose".  its never a matter of homosexuality.

Well Geee David, I thought about this last night, and awoke with it in my brain this morning, but I see Tendai has more than done the honors here.  I think that in the 25 years that the Gay community of the United States and Europe have been dealing with this issue, Africa has been dealing with it since the first documented case in 1959.  How can we even dare to give a viral protein the distinction of being capable of targeting only the Gay population?  It just is not so, and to really do our country a service, we need to always keep "Gay" out of anything when discussing HIV.  It really takes us way back to a time of total ostracisation.  Can you not remember the discussions in Washington, calling for all of us to be shipped offshore to "save" the rest of society from contamination.  Does Guantanamo Bay ring a bell with you?  Really, we must never entertain this distinction, as it will only serve to harm others who are not Gay.

In Love and Thanks.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline dario

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2006, 10:55:30 AM »
The answer is obviously NO.  The virus wrecks the immune system of anybody ...gay, straight, bi ... Actually when I see such questions I get sad because they remind me of Nazi concentration camps. 

However, in Europe the overwhelming majority of new infections remains among the homosexual community even though rising number of straights are getting infected.  Ironically a good number of these straights (especially women) got infected from their bisexual partners!!  So at the end of the day, the remote link to gays remains somehow there ...

Can someone explain why in Europe this is the case whereas in Africa the story is so different?  (Once I heard a stupid chap arguing on TV saying that in Africa it affects straights because there promiscuity is more prevalent than in Europe and that Africans rarely use condoms).
... when I was young, I never needed anyone, making love was just for fun, those days are gone ... Eric Carmen (Raspberries)

Offline Nancy

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2006, 11:08:47 AM »
If it's a gay disease, you want it back?  I really don't have any use for it anymore!!!   ;) ;) ;)

And Bailey, I'm another one rotting as we sit here.  :P

It is a lot easier for the hetro population to put a label on it.  They don't want to face that they could possibly get it.  If it's classified as a gay disease, and if they stay 'straight', they they don't ever have to worry about it.  They (the male population) can continue to whore around and visit every strip club, hooker, pick up a new woman in the clubs every night and have no worries, because THEY are not gay.  Then the new 'catch phrase' about it's a lot harder to catch it from a woman makes it less risky.  So it must be a gay disease right?   ::)
Nancy
Diagnosed Oct 1993
Member since Sept 2002
Meds Dec 2003

Online Dachshund

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2006, 11:10:18 AM »
Well we sure as heck know it is not a Republican disease. I shudder to think if the HIV afflicted community can survive another Republican contolled government. I'm a bit off track but I hope you get my point. This week congress voted to repeal the voting rights act of 1965. Yesterday the house spent the day debating banning gay marriage. We spend nine billion a month in Iraq...the middle east implodes. There is an office of faith based initiative in the White House. We have a fake religious zealot as president who is about as pious as my left toe. We truly are living one day at a time.

So what do we do...we argue about heterosexuals getting shafted on services. An argument that can only be made by those with the luxury of having your health needs covered. Funny how it ceases to matter who the heck your doctor, nurse, or caseworker are, when you have to rely on ADAP.

Tim keep sounding the clarion call...some of us are listening. I hope it is not to late.

Peace,
Hal

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2006, 12:19:26 PM »
here in Zimbabwe gayness is considered "evil" by our President and culturally its unacceptable so people wont come out bcoz they will definately be ostracised. AIDS is a promisciuty disease.  If one has AIDS people say " what did u expect she/he was so loose" or "of course, the spouse/partner was so loose".  its never a matter of homosexuality.

What a coincedence... our President feels the same way!!!  I'll open a whole NOTHER THREAD later about his first veto!
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 Joe K

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2006, 05:43:54 PM »
You can't ask this question without distinguishing between HIV as an actual disease and how it is perceived in parts of the world.  Those are two sides of the same coin.  In America HIV remains the gay disease, because we have been demonized since the Reagan years and old hatreds die hard.  I believe that it's because of this perception that we don't have effective prevention messages for the hetero community.  Why should they listen about a disease that only gays get???

Globally HIV represents primarily a hetero disease, because they represent the greatest number of infections.  But it would appear that intolerance remains a global issue, especially when I hear from members in Africa who get the same taunts that we get here.  I don't know how we change the perceptions and maybe we should just stop trying.

We know what we lack, so rather than discussing why we are in such a sorry state, we should each get involved and make changes for the services and treatments that we all need.

HIV is a stinking virus, an equal-opportunity infection, end of story.  How anyone got it does not matter.  We are not here because of our differences, but because we share the same virus.  We know that what we call it means little, as long as we don't lose sight of the goals to improve services and treatments.

Offline Eldon

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2006, 10:40:14 PM »
HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic. It does not matter of ones sexual preferences. It matters that we are all in this together.

Don't focus on it's orgin, focus on prevention and a solution to this pandemic.

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2006, 09:16:47 PM »
I'm a straight man with HIV.

We don't know because no one WANTS to know the answer as it may be too frightening.

Only when we have mandatory testing will the answers be known. Of course it may be like Africa the world over by then.

According to the UK Health Protection Agency Heteros are ten times more likely to die of AIDS than gays in the UK.

If a gay man gets flu he is more likely to be tested than a straight man or woman because of the poster's open minded question. A gay man will answer in the affirmative deep down, while a straight will answer I bloody well hope so.

The gay man gets tested and lives, the straight goes into denial right up until only has enough strength to dial 911 or 999. In 60% of hetero cases in the UK it will be too late, they will be dead in 12 months.

Think about it? It suits the powers that be in terms of averting panic and having less patients to keep alive. I do wonder why gays don't do more to encourage heteros to get tested.

Another factor maybe that the stigma for straights remains even after death. The family doctor who has maybe known the straight man since childhood could easily be coerced into stating another cause of death to save the family the shame.

Personally I only have had unprotected sex with about 5 partners from 1987 to 1994. Never engaged in anal sex yet I'm sitting here now. When I say unprotected 3 times involved broken condoms, including the woman's period turning up unannounced once. It is a bit like Mad Cow Disease or BSE, also popular here a while back. They say that it can be a 'one hamburger shot' and that takes 10-20 years to hit.

Before diagnosis you think virtually no chance, after you ask where is everyone else? The answer is they are in the cemetary or in hiding. Off the radar.

I predict a logarithmic leap in 'symptomatic' HIV amongst the straight population in the next decade. A dollar spent on prevention now will save thousands in the future. I call that a good return.

Aldous 'Welcome as a fart in an astronaut's suit' Orwell



 

Offline newt

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2006, 10:24:08 PM »
Aldous, you don't get life for HIV-positive gay men, it's no that different for life for HIV-positive non-gay men a lot of the time.  There is little open discussion of HIV among gay men in the UK. Being queer and HIV= does not mean you can go down the local bar and say "Hey, I'm +ve" and get a group hug. (This is not really for debate, I am sharing my experience). Being gay and getting an HIV-positive diagnosis is an extremely lonely and isolating experience most times.

Most people, whatever box they fall into, leave clinic with a diagnosis not knowing a soul who is HIV+ other than perhaps the person they think infected them, who is unlikely, initially, to be a source of support. Regardless of their diagnostic box.   

The Health Protection Agency only records deaths by gender, so I am interested to know where you got your "10 times more likely" story.  For the record, 109 men and 46 women died of AIDS-related illnesses (including AIDS) in the UK in 2004, the last year for which there is published, verified figures. Source: UK SOPHID (Survey of Prevalent HIV Infections Diagnosed) tables..

It is completely untrue that heterosexuals in the UK mostly die in 12 months.  The SOPHID tables show, broadly speaking, a regular 2:1 distribution male:female across different clinical reporting stages.

- matt
« Last Edit: July 20, 2006, 10:54:13 PM by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline lydgate

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2006, 11:18:21 PM »
Aldous,

"while a straight will answer I bloody well hope so." Or: the straight person that you are and the straight company you keep would say that. Or: the mythical Average Straight Person in the UK would say that. Are you imputing callousness to yourself, your friends, or all people who share your sexual preferences?  

"I do wonder why gays don't do more to get heteros tested." How do you know they don't? What about the gay social worker who performs outreach work for all, regardless of sexual preference? Or the gay nurse at an STI clinic who encourages everyone to get tested? What about the gay teacher who talks about HIV in science class and the importance of using condoms and regular testing if you're sexually active? Or the openly gay and positive athelete who appears in a TV "ad" about HIV? Or the gay friend who takes his straight friend with him the next time he goes for a test? It may seem like a disproportionate amount of resources are being used to encourage safer sex activities and regular testing targeted specifically at gay men; but, as you know, in the West, the epidemic has disproportionately affected gay men. Limited resources have to be used well; and the most vulnerable group (apart from IV drug users), in terms of contracting HIV, are young gay men. Your puzzlement puzzles me; it's a bit like wondering why all people who exercise regularly and eat well (healthy choices, just like getting tested periodically if you're sexually active) don't encourage other people, all other people, to do the same. Well, they do -- by example, first and foremost; verbally, some are active proselytizers, others not so much etc.

You seem to be seeing things in stark polarities. Straight people can indeed be a marginalized community in certain places wrt HIV; point duly noted and appreciated. And I get it, I really do, your trumpeting of your straightness here (which seems to have offended quite a few). But your vision (as it's expressed anyway) of two antagonistic communities -- Straight vs. Gay, Us vs. Them -- is muddle-headed at best and uselessly incendiary at worse.

As for the conspiracy theory about "powers that be," I'll let that one pass. Your prediction about a logarithmic jump in new straight infections (in the UK) is almost certainly incorrect; I hope Matt (newt) comments on that.

It is probably true that stigmatization of HIV is a bit lower amongst urban gay people (though god knows it exists and I know what it's like to be rejected many times after revealing my status).That came after untold amounts of suffering, a grotesque death-toll, and massive efforts of education and awareness. How do you suggest ways of decreasing the stigma amongs straight people?

Recommended reading: My Own Country by Abraham Verghese.

Jay
« Last Edit: July 20, 2006, 11:20:21 PM by lydgate »
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline otherplaces

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2006, 12:59:51 AM »

I think nobody on the planet has done more to get straights tested than the gay community.

OMG, I stepped in the shit.  Well, it was breif...I'm outta' here.

brian


Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2006, 05:55:41 AM »
I was hoping to prompt an intellectual debate. I resent this snotty attitude that I'm talking shit just because I'm straight.

I'm very stoical about the situation. I see no point in saying if certain aspects of living with HIV are right or wrong but am keen to learn about the way it is in a purely scientific way. Once we strip away the moralising we might start to get somewhere. Try to pretend if you can that we are talking about an illness that only affects some other mammal without a cerebral cortex.

My source of the info about hetero death rates was from an article dated 25/5/06, in the UK Health Service Journal (HSJ). Basically a trade journal mainly read by employees looking for job ads. It was not given much prominance, being on page 6. Next to it ran an article where Prince Charles was slammed for promoting alternative medicines. That took up 80% of the page. Of course I could not give two shits about that, the real eye grabber for me was the headline under the weekly Sexual Health update, I'll type it in full so there can be no confusion. I hope you appreciate the effort...

HETEROSEXUALS MISS OUT ON HIV SCREENING

The NHS should do more to target heterosexuals at risk of contracting HIV with health promotion, screening and tests, the Health Protection Agency has said.

Straight people are far less likely to have their HIV infection detected until it's late stages, meaning that they are ten times more likely to die within a year of diagnosis, said Dr Tim Chadborn of the HPA's centre for infections.

Latest figures show that 60 per cent of deaths among heterosexually infected people occur within a year of diagnosis, meaning that earlier diagnosis could prevent deaths.

Speaking at an internal HPA conference in London on Tuesday, Dr Chadborn called for groups at high risk of late diagnosis to be targeted for appropriate health promotion activities, screening and the removal of barriers to testing.

And he suggested that when recent arrivals to the UK arrive for their first GP (General Practioner) appointments, they could be tested for HIV.


So there you have it.

Quite why such a story was not front page banner headlines is a sad indictment of both fear and apathy if you ask me.

Just think about what would happen if straight people took responsibility, bit the bullet and got tested. We are being martyred and not even given a viable alternative in terms of finding a positive partner. I find that having to pay to use dating sites is a sick joke. Most are full of spammers and immigration opportunists anyway.

Frankly I don't think the NHS is geared up for such a huge number of people being tested, although the new oral swabs as being trialed in Washington DC will be a great help.

Only a minority of those testing positive would even need the ARVs immediately but I bet my bottom dollar most would insist on them anyway. Rich folk would get them on the blackmarket just like people do with Viagra.

In my case I went five years before needing them once my CD4 dropped below 250. Doctors said it may have gone up again but after night sweats, itchy flaky skin, rashes, a uriniary tract infection and shingles, I would have bitten their hands off to get them. I started treatment in Aug 2004 after getting tested in Oct 2002.

When I asked about HIV being the underlying cause of my initial salivary gland cystic swellings in July 2000, I was fobbed off. It was almost like they want to keep the numbers down. They even offered me an operation to cut the cysts out, but that had a risk of facial nerve damage, giving me a Jack Nicholson 'Joker' smile. Once I went on the ARVs the cysts disappeared and I finally put on weight. By then I had lost my job and my gaunt appearance had caused rumours to circulate. 

Can you imagine the fear from those of us already on ARVs to a one, two or even tenfold increase in demand. Could the drug companies cope? We would be wishing we had  let the developing world's companies manufacture generic ARVs years ago. Just look at the panic to stockplie 'Bird flu' vaccines, which will probably expire before actually being used anyway. If they are truly interested in saving lives they should be stockpiling ARVs instead. They may stop sending them to Africa for a start. We need a Brazilian approach. The Kenyans have only just cottoned on with great results. The benefits would be huge in terms of reduced viral load and transmission.

I myself saw little point in getting tested prior to HAART. I did however insist on condoms.

How do you like them apples? I think the genie is already out of the bottle. I worked for the NHS I've seen the figures. Perhaps that is why I can't get a job in the NHS anymore. I'm an 'Insider', a dissenter, a loose cannon.

I hope you can maybe understand my earlier postings. The indifference to them surpirised me. I think if a shortage of ARVs occurs my 'Pecking Order' debate will be a very real one. I will be happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with ALL patients on ARVs to say those who had the guts and brains to get tested and start on ARVs should remain first in the queue. It will be like the scramble for lifeboats on the Titanic. Who got the seats then. "Women and children first" anyone?

Is HIV/AIDs a Gay Disease? HIV is but AIDS will be a mainly straight one the way things are going.

Aldous




« Last Edit: July 21, 2006, 08:07:47 AM by AldousOrwell »

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2006, 07:08:39 AM »
In Iran for example it's a Heroin Addict's disease and a straight womans disease if they are married to them.

The gay's there worry more about getting hung, fortunately rare events.

Even so the pariah government does more to stop IV drug users spreading it than the 'civiilsed' West. They get ARVs with their detox.

Aldous
« Last Edit: July 21, 2006, 02:11:46 PM by AldousOrwell »

Offline Cliff

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2006, 07:32:44 AM »
Those who say that HIV/AIDS isn't a gay disease might be right, technically.  But if you look at the number of gay guys here, I bet they'll easily outnumber the straight folks 3-4:1.
I wonder how much of that is due to the fact that gay men, having been exposed to the epidemic longer, knows that there are services available and through the search for services, (over the internet in particular), find out about aidsmeds.com.  Whereas I imagine a single, heterosexual mother with two kids, thinking she wasn't at risk for HIV, (and thus probably knows little about treatment/services available), is less likely to seek out and find this website/or other HIV services available in her area.  The demographics of the forums, probably doesn't match the demographics of the disease in the US, the UK and certainly not around the world.

But yes, there is still a perceptin that HIV is gay disease.  It isn't.

Offline newt

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2006, 07:48:17 AM »
This is the key line in the report:

"And he suggested that when recent arrivals to the UK arrive for their first GP (General Practitioner) appointments, they could be tested for HIV."

For recent arrivals read black Africans. 

The real story is not one about sexuality but the UK's health policy on black Africans new to the UK. Black Africans new to the UK are at 10 times greater risk of death withint 12 month's of diagnoses than the rest of people in the UK with HIV because they are diagnosed v  late, eg on hospital admission. Dr Tim Chadborn is not in a strong position to champion the cause of better services for recently-arrived black Africans, though (and sadly) because he's head of an agency funded by a Gvmt that, er, sends sick black Africans back to countries with no/poor treatment access to die.  And, ahem, he did not say "Heteros are ten times more likely to die of AIDS than gays in the UK".

It is a good point, whether wrapped up as about heterosexuals or African refugees, about late diagnosis being a bad thing.  There's no need to set it against the experience of gay men, etc etc. 

I am not really interested in a debate on the surveillance data or UK HIV policy. It's boring.  It's my work and I come here to connect with people not debate HPA numbers. 

Behind the public policy overlay I sense a lot of frustration, isolation, anger, worry about the future etc, but also hope and enthusiasm to do something for yourself and people in your situation.  Good.  And good luck with that. 

You are using the policy window dressing to hide what you think and feel.  Maybe you ain't comfortable about sharing this.  Please post about how you feel and what you's doing, people will want to hear.

But lose the straight v gay public policy thing.  It's in the way. It's like a pair of unwashed net curtains, mr. Your experience will stand up straight by itself.  It needs no comparison.

- matt
« Last Edit: July 21, 2006, 08:06:52 AM by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline AldousOrwell

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2006, 09:00:39 AM »
Hi Newt

I do take your point and applaud you on your sterling efforts in fighting the pandemic.

You insinuate that I'm exaggerating the number of Poms (English people) presenting too late as opposed to African Immigrants.

I also question the empirical data. I'm not a mathematical modeller for the HPA although there is a temp job advertised for that role right now. What does that say?

Ok even if you take out the African (including gay ones escaping persecution by Adolf Mugabe etc) the government is being very 'on message' in all it's pronouncements. I read of vague assumptions that us white folks got it abroad thru being sex tourists or hanging out in Africa. I've done neither.

You have to admit that TEN TIMES is a huge amount. The government not only kicks Africans out but also makes it harder for them to arrive, particularly lately. Especially after the recent expansion of the EU to include Eastern states like Poland and the Czech Republic. My local shop has a huge range of their favorite foods.

I would like to meet with Dr Chadborn in Colindale here in London. The thing is the data is based on those finally getting tested in order to be saved. The GUM clinics have enormous queues typically 50 people a day at 9 am and  particularly on Monday mornings. They always seem to put them next to Finance depts for some weird reason, so I see them waiting nervously in the rain. Sure there are many black people. But London is very multicultural and many may be natives, i.e. born here. I think the public exposure causes many to turn tail and run. We had to employ extra security to control the crowds, as it's on a first come first served basis.

The only people who know are those who come in for a shot of pennicillin or crab shampoo. They are only OFFERED an HIV test as part of a full STI screening. Many don't come back for the results by the way. The other group tested are expectant mums many in longterm monogamous relationships and screened at acute hospitals. The '1 in 3 don't know they have it' comes from people brave enough to accept the offer. HOW MANY SAY "PISS OFF I'M NOT GAY" AND REFUSE?  I for one never had cause to visit a 'clap clinic'.

The rates among 16-24 year olds with the other STI's is growing rapidly. Chlamydia rates for instance are staggering. It does not take Dr Albert Schweizer to figure out how huge the HIV problem COULD be.

Even if you discount the 'Health Immigrants' desperate for care, TEN TIMES more likely (than who? Gays and IV Drug users presumably)  is a frightening statistic.

I must also state kids grow up faster these days. When I was 15 a playboy magazine was considered hardcore. These days 15 year olds are having 'Daisy Chain Sex' after school due to a rise in working single mums etc etc etc. The internet makes anal sex seem 'de riguer' for straights as well these days. Hence the rises. Just look at how many teens bow to peer group pressure and gett tattoos and piercings. Another thread topic surely.

I guess we will have to wait and see for another 25 years.

In my support group we have a wide ethnic mix, but still mainly white people. Interestingly only about 4 black guys (Including one American) out of 40 members last meeting. Yet we had about 10 African women. Perhaps our group represents a 'Responsible minority' no longer in denial. What of the African men, who were they with last Wednesday night ? Is immigration only letting in African women? I doubt it.

Aldous   

Offline newt

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2006, 09:38:59 AM »
I refer readers to my previous post for clarification of the public presentation of the increased risk of death for people who are diagnosed with a CD4 count of under 200 and who this is most likely to be in the UK at present.

 - matt "now off camping with the kids" the newt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Trish

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2006, 02:32:06 PM »
As HIV-positive people we know that this is a farce.  Anyone can be infected.

As far as the general public (HIV-negs) and those who haven't been affected by HIV in anyway, shape or form, there are many people who are misinformed and still perceive HIV/AIDS as a gay disease.  And it is my firm belief that until our government (mainly our bumbling boob for a President) brings awareness and education to the general public that HIV can infect anyone without using the proper precautions (abstinence only education will not cut it), HIV/AIDS will continue to be misconceptualized and spread like wildfire.  We see it happening now.  Education and awareness are key.  And I also believe that as long as HIV is stigmatized, HIV/AIDS will continue to fester unnecessarily.

I know many men (heterosexuals) who died unnecessarily of AIDS over the years for the simple fact that they did not want to be labled as gay.  They viewed AIDS as a gay disease because it was most prevalent in the gay community in the beginning, and as such they chose to clam up, roll over and die.  Sad, but true.

We here know the real deal... when will we be able to teach the rest of the public that this is a farce?  I do my best to teach others, and I have opened the eyes of some.  And there are those who simply don't want to talk about it or face the facts.  AIDS is still a subject people don't want to know about, at least that's been my experience.  But for those who are willing to listen and learn, I'm more than willing to share my story and life with them.  Took a long time to get to this point, but nonetheless I did get here and I will do my best to change the views of society and kill the stigma.  Tough road ahead, but hey, what the hell...
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is buit."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline CApronda

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2006, 03:16:10 AM »
HIV/AIDS ...  a Gay Disease?  NO WAY!!! 

Do you see anyone Gay (Happy) living with this illness?  I think that the stats quoted re ratio do not apply in my location Calgary Alberta Canada.  In 2000-2001, only 1% attributed to the alternative lifestyle group.  Whereas Females took the 80% leader board.

I am a person Affected By and Living With HIV/AIDS ~ HEP C and BI POLAR for 6 years.  CD4 ~ 217 and VL 28,000 Not on Medication.  At 53 years old, I am an empty nested mother of 4 grown children.  I experienced 3 monogamist marriages (at least on my side of the relationships) and a successful professional career in Finance for 23 years.  My professional designations obtained career success however my most rewarding educational growth and life skill knowledge by my advocacy and activism in equal rights and eradication of discrimination within industry and government.

What does this mean ????  I changed policy within my jurisdiction. 

From equal rights of the Father to Childcare (Paternity) Leave ~ Credit Adjudication Equality of Same Sex Partnerships ~ Single Mothers ~ Pregnant Women ~ Widower(s) Commercial Credit Adjudication Policy for Females and Alternative Lifestyle Businesses ... Policy Amendments for Insurance Company Leaders for Children ~ Same Sex Benefits ~ Infants Death Payouts ~ Inclusion of Illness which were disqualified due to their Mental ~ Depression ~ Post Partum Depression or Female association i.e. PMS ~ MS ~ Agoraphobia (Panic Attack) ~  Corpul Tunnel ~ Fibromyalgia

Lobbied Government Amendment Maintenance Enforcement.  Facilitator and Advocate of Children Rights First including benefit of Two Parents (irrevalant to Sex).  Disseminator and Educator of Research into Family Group through NEADS.MET and P4CSE.

Ongoing Supporter and Facilitator in the Alternative Lifestyle Community.  Mentor and Supporter to Street Kids and Homeless Population in Calgary. Active Support in Aids Calgary ~ Mustard Seed ~ Alternative Lifestyle Events ~ AIDS Walk.

Best Friend To My Fallen Buddies

Mourner of All Those Taken By HIV/AIDS

And You Begin To Accept Your Defeats, With Your Head Up And Your Eyes Open,
           With A Grace Of A Woman, Not The Grief Of A Child

Offline lydgate

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2006, 03:23:56 AM »
CApronda,

I extend my support for all that you've been doing, all you have achieved, in extremely difficult conditions. I'm wondering, however: at a relatively low CD4 count, have you deliberately chosen not to go on meds? If so, could you tell us why? And also, are you taking any medication for your bipolar illness?

In mourning (as always) and hope (as almost always),

Jay
Her finely-touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

George Eliot, Middlemarch, final paragraph

Offline water duck

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2006, 04:38:01 AM »
Hello CApronda,

Welcome to the AM , here is hoping that you will extend your friendship to us;
and also that we can mourn by your side for all taken by HIV/AIDS.

Siang

Offline CApronda

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2006, 07:02:54 AM »
Thank you Siang

It is with my greatest pleasure and honour to extend sincere friendship to all those in AM (a great team).

There is strength in numbers starting with ~ the Power of One ~ plus One More ~ Plus ~ Plus


April
Hello CApronda,

Welcome to the AM , here is hoping that you will extend your friendship to us;
and also that we can mourn by your side for all taken by HIV/AIDS.

Siang
And You Begin To Accept Your Defeats, With Your Head Up And Your Eyes Open,
           With A Grace Of A Woman, Not The Grief Of A Child

Offline CApronda

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Re: Is HIV/AIDS a Gay Disease?
« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2006, 08:51:59 AM »
Thank You Jay For Your Comments And Interest.


~ The Best Portion Of A Good Man's Life,  His Little, Nameless, Unremembered Acts, Of Kindness And Of Love. ~
      ~ William Wordsworth

Yes I am very concerned about the level of my CD4 although my VL is quite low I do have HEPC and am Bi-Polar.  My Specialist theory is Wait and Hit It Hard ~

They are concerned about my Mental State in as far as dealing with the ongoing Family crisis which to them may inhibit my ability to follow strict Med routine?

Apparently they feel that my stresses have to be deal with before anything.  Insofar that these ~struggles~ are interpreted as excessive and potentially disabling any human function at a normal level (according to DR.) they are the norm throughout my 53 years.  Water off a Duck's Back. ~ If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it~

I am very emotionally stable and strong and disagree with my Specialist's assessment that "my life should be falling apart and I should be emotionally distraught and a dysfunctional person" ~  However the fact is that THEY DECIDE WHEN AND WHAT AND IF and hold my future in their hands ~ even if they are wrong ~ they are right ????

Bi-Polar Meds
~ Sertraline  (Zoloft) 100MG 1 X Bedtime
~ Seroquel (Quetia pine Fumarate) 200 MG X 2 at Bedtime
~ Gabapentin 400MG 1 X 3 Daily ~ Gabapentin 100MG 1 X 3 Daily
~ Diazepam Vi vol Valium 5MG 1 X 3 Daily
~ Flexiril (Cyclobenzaprine) 10MG As Required 2 Daily
~ Immovane (Zopiclone) 7.5MG 1 X Bedtime

(and have through the years taken ever medication reported on the Depression Forum Threads) and can provide expert first hand review of each and every medication as it relates or helps true ~Bi-Polar Depression~ 

FINALLY MY ABOVE NOTED MEDS In THAT COMBINATION really WORK

Non Pharmaceutical
~ Efflex Focus 5 Per Day
~ Mega Immune Oil 3 Droppers Daily AM
~ Omega Combo 2 Tbsp Daily AM
~ Multi Mega Vitamins 3 X Daily
~  Ongoing Love and Affection from my Chow Chow and Presa Canario
~ Unwavering Support, Grocery Shopper Extraordinaire, Born Again Chef and Unlimited Protein Supplier from
~ my Partner
~ New Friends AM

April

CApronda,

I extend my support for all that you've been doing, all you have achieved, in extremely difficult conditions. I'm wondering, however: at a relatively low CD4 count, have you deliberately chosen not to go on meds? If so, could you tell us why? And also, are you taking any medication for your bipolar illness?

In mourning (as always) and hope (as almost always),

Jay
And You Begin To Accept Your Defeats, With Your Head Up And Your Eyes Open,
           With A Grace Of A Woman, Not The Grief Of A Child

 


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