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Author Topic: But He Looked So Healthy! Australian Man Charged With "Knowingly Spreading HIV"  (Read 60132 times)

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Offline john33

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Well apart from no reference link (you could have written that), that quotes 12 also!!

OK 12 too many, if these women had insisted on a condom that would have been 0.

Offline jkinatl2

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LOL i don't share the same opinion as you so now I hate myself... You just all carry on patting each other on the back. Scratched record comes to mind, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

No, I came to my conclusions based on the posting history of the majority of folks who believe in HIV criminalization - not only in this thread, but in my tenure at AM.

We are, of course, free to agree to disagree.

"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 mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
1. The stigma is spread not by the laws but by individuals who knowingly infect others. The laws are meant to stop them being a hazard to society.
2. I don't identify myself with said individuals. I am said to observe that most individuals taking the other side in this debate choose to do so. My status does not make my identity, I can still think for myself.
3. I don't think these laws are meant as a form of public policy to stem HIV spread. That can only be achieved by sex education, HAART, etc. They are rather an exception. I haven't heard of more than a handful individuals prosecuted. Please show me examples where this policy was misued and the law was misapplied.
The original story of this thread is a perfect example of why they are needed - this guy has slept with hundreds of women. He needs to be stopped.


3)  Many examples of people who are prosecuted on laws that say nondisclosure, alone, is a crime. Meaning non disclosure WITH NO TRANSMISSION.  Bad law, regretful results.  People suffer.

By the way - the MEDIA is now saying hes the Typhoid Mary of AIDS.  AKA - hundreds of "victims".  Its an hysteria.  We dont know its true.  Time will tell.  When it finally turns out 1 or 2 transmissions can be linked to him, the story will no longer be interesting to the Media because the only reason its a big story is that it an outlet for people's fears and prejudices.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Boze

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OK 12 too many, if these women had insisted on a condom that would have been 0.

Awesome logic! That's a keeper.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline john33

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By the way - the MEDIA is now saying hes the Typhoid Mary of AIDS.  AKA - hundreds of "victims".  Its an hysteria.  We dont know its true.  Time will tell.  When it finally turns out 1 or 2 transmissions can be linked to him, the story will no longer be interesting to the Media because the only reason its a big story is that it an outlet for people's fears and prejudices.

And here we have yet another tirumph of fiction from the media.
I'm starting to think if people are ever going to recieve proper education to eradicate future infections; that somehoa the media is going to have to be controlled.

I know I know it's against free speech etc.  ( edited to add: thanks Mecch now I know where the number came from)

Offline leese43

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Where are you getting these abitrary numbers from?

He himself said 12

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/25/2908964.htm

No, he'd just forgotten the names of the other 88.
Oct 04 - Neg
Aug 05 - infected
Oct 05 - cd4 780, vl 60k
Apr 08 - cd4 430, vl 243
Jul 08 - cd4 550, vl 896
Nov 08 - cd4 730, vl 1.8k
May 09 - cd4 590, vl 1.5k
Sep 09 - cd4 460 vl 34k
Dec 09 - cd4 470 vl 42k
April 10 - cd4 430 vl 88.5k
July 10 - cd4 330 vl 118k
Aug 10 - started reyataz/truvada/norvir
Aug 10 - cd4 380 vl 4k (12 days after starting meds :))
Sep 10 - cd4 520 vl 1.5k
Oct 10 - cd4 590 vl 44
Jan 11 -cd4 610 vl <40 cd4% 50
May 11 - cd4 780 vl UD

Offline john33

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Awesome logic! That's a keeper.

You can analyse this as much as you want, but it doesn't change waht I said!!

Offline Boze

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3)  Many examples of people who are prosecuted on laws that say nondisclosure, alone, is a crime. Meaning non disclosure WITH NO TRANSMISSION.  Bad law, regretful results.  People suffer.

That's a different topic. So far we've been discussing proper way to deal with a fact of transmission.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline leese43

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No, I came to my conclusions based on the posting history of the majority of folks who believe in HIV criminalization - not only in this thread, but in my tenure at AM.

We are, of course, free to agree to disagree.



Show me just one post that I've written that would make you think that.
Oct 04 - Neg
Aug 05 - infected
Oct 05 - cd4 780, vl 60k
Apr 08 - cd4 430, vl 243
Jul 08 - cd4 550, vl 896
Nov 08 - cd4 730, vl 1.8k
May 09 - cd4 590, vl 1.5k
Sep 09 - cd4 460 vl 34k
Dec 09 - cd4 470 vl 42k
April 10 - cd4 430 vl 88.5k
July 10 - cd4 330 vl 118k
Aug 10 - started reyataz/truvada/norvir
Aug 10 - cd4 380 vl 4k (12 days after starting meds :))
Sep 10 - cd4 520 vl 1.5k
Oct 10 - cd4 590 vl 44
Jan 11 -cd4 610 vl <40 cd4% 50
May 11 - cd4 780 vl UD

Offline Boze

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You can analyse this as much as you want, but it doesn't change waht I said!!

There is nothing to analyze - it's just a perfect example of reverse logic where victim is held responsible.

==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Not really. I thought we were discussing messy laws that don't add up to shit when it comes to morality, justice, or HIV prevention.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Boze

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Not really. I thought we were discussing messy laws that don't add up to shit when it comes to morality, justice, or HIV prevention.

I wasn't. I was only talking about the law that criminalizes transmission during unprotected sex without prior disclosure.

If anybody thinks that I was defending various messy laws that deal with HIV, I was not.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline john33

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It certainly sounds like it

Offline mecch

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Borzel, you are not the only one chatting in this thread.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Boze

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It certainly sounds like it

If I were a catty bickering person, I'd ask for proof or attack your powers of comprehension. But that would be rude, would not advance the discussion and produce ill will.


So I will just say - I am sorry if that impression came across. I was only talking about transmission.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline jkinatl2

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Quote
leese43

Show me just one post that I've written that would make you think that.


Well, for starters:

Quote
(in other words I don't need to be told that many people use it for therapautic reasons ...yada yada)

That quote leads me to believe that you have little empathy or sympathy for those who choose to use therapeutic cannabis, which entails many, many of those who have been infected for a longer time and have experienced severe OI and Med-related wasting and nausea. The idea that something SHOULD be illegal BECAUSE it is illegal is simply indicative of someone who seems unaware of the shades of grey that make up many daily decisions of those struggling with this illness.

And shades of grey is what we are talking about here, as regards the criminalization of HIV transmission.

It is absolutely fair to say that the person referenced in the original article likely lied, overtly or through omission. But it is also of note that the women who CONSENTED to unprotected intercourse with what appears to be a near-perfect stranger, now claim victim status. I dispute their claim, and am aghast that anyone who believes in the empowerment of women would insinuate that these people are somehow less able to make a conscious choice with their bodies.

HIV criminalization laws simply place those of us with the illness in the crosshairs of vindictive lovers. While it is true that many of us serosort, many others of us are involved in sero-discordant relationships. And others choose to have multiple partners, safer sex, and protect themselves from infection.

I am simply amazed that many of the same people who advocate hiding their HIV status also advocate a law that can - and does - prosecute those who do not.

"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 leese43

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Of course when you take it out of context then it would seem that way, but when you quote the whole paragraph...

why wouldn't I? I really don't get the point you're trying to make in relation to what's being discussed. (in other words I don't need to be told that many people use it for therapautic reasons ...yada yada) Yes it's illegal so the dealer gets done if caught

you might realise that I was just replying to someone that I felt thought he'd caught me out because he'd assumed I used cannabis myself. And the part you quoted was me saying that I already knew that and lets keep the discussion on track. I won't even bother with your low blow on how I don't have any empathy or sympathy for those that have severe OI's. You know nothing of me.

In much the same way as you've all been saying that no-one is saying that what he did was morally right, I am not saying that these women should not be taking responsibility for their own health, but two wrongs don't make a right.

I also have never advocated hiding my status, just went through what most people do while coming to terms with it...which was wondering who to tell and when. I don't feel it's everyone's business but I have certainly told all of my close friends, colleagues at work and my parents.

edited for typos

...
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 07:44:33 PM by leese43 »
Oct 04 - Neg
Aug 05 - infected
Oct 05 - cd4 780, vl 60k
Apr 08 - cd4 430, vl 243
Jul 08 - cd4 550, vl 896
Nov 08 - cd4 730, vl 1.8k
May 09 - cd4 590, vl 1.5k
Sep 09 - cd4 460 vl 34k
Dec 09 - cd4 470 vl 42k
April 10 - cd4 430 vl 88.5k
July 10 - cd4 330 vl 118k
Aug 10 - started reyataz/truvada/norvir
Aug 10 - cd4 380 vl 4k (12 days after starting meds :))
Sep 10 - cd4 520 vl 1.5k
Oct 10 - cd4 590 vl 44
Jan 11 -cd4 610 vl <40 cd4% 50
May 11 - cd4 780 vl UD

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Seems like some gay men are jumping on the bandwagon now, as well.

Next thing it'll be the grannies in the old folks home, seroconverting because of seductions at the local circus.

Its really hard to believe that one person can spread so much virus.  
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Boze

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It is absolutely fair to say that the person referenced in the original article likely lied, overtly or through omission. But it is also of note that the women who CONSENTED to unprotected intercourse with what appears to be a near-perfect stranger, now claim victim status. I dispute their claim, and am aghast that anyone who believes in the empowerment of women would insinuate that these people are somehow less able to make a conscious choice with their bodies.


1. What does empowerment of women have to do with it? I don't understand the gender implications here. It could have been a woman infecting men, they would have the same claim to being a victim imho.
I think the biggest reason that people don't use condoms is the decrease in pleasure. So it's a gamble that people take - more pleasure vs taking a risk.

2. I do think they are victims because of the information asymmetry. Both parties agreed to engage in condomless sex - but one was lied to and actually got sick. To me they were violated (similar to) a wife whose husband cheated on her and got her HIV. In both instances one person lied and the other trusted him and didn't insist on a condom. The "should have know better because it's a one-night stand" argument does not fly with me, not in a legal sense. Of course we have more obligations to our close ones, but the law does not discriminate against doing harm to a relative or a stranger.

3. These stories are actually not such a bad thing, from the public at large perspective. They highlight the risk of transmission for heterosexuals and will make people think twice before engaging in unprotected sex with African acrobats.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline john33

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3. These stories are actually not such a bad thing, from the public at large perspective. They highlight the risk of transmission for heterosexuals and will make people think twice before engaging in unprotected sex with African acrobats.

Rubbish!! most people will read these stories, panick about the big bad man, and continue stigmatising people PLWHIV.
But it won't prevent them from fucking around raw.

John

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?

I haven't heard of more than a handful individuals prosecuted. Please show me examples where this policy was misued and the law was misapplied.


There are many more than "a handful" of poz people who have been prosecuted because of their virus. Check out the Criminal HIV Transmission blog. Read it and weep. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.


Rubbish!! most people will read these stories, panick about the big bad man, and continue stigmatising people PLWHIV.
But it won't prevent them from fucking around raw.


Absolutely. Most people think that the person(s) they are attracted to couldn't possibly be hiv positive - because after all, they think that those of us who are, are despicable beings and anyway, they'd know just by looking at us.

That's one of the reasons why we are doing ourselves a huge disservice by being secretive about our status. If more of us were out, the public at large would see, would know  that we're just like them. And most of us are pretty decent human beings.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Jeff G

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This topic is one more reason among many why I'm totally out about my HIV status . Its so much more of a simple way to live for me .

I am useally able to form an opinion quite easily but not about this topic . I'm conflicted and don't know what to think .

All hypothetical arguments aside being discussed here I am left to wonder straight up or down if all of you think a person should be prosecuted for knowingly transmitting HIV .

I'm not expecting an answer but I wonder .   

Offline Boze

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There are many more than "a handful" of poz people who have been prosecuted because of their virus. Check out the Criminal HIV Transmission blog. Read it and weep. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.



Thank you for the link - I did have a look at the site. I would make one clarification to your statement - the people are prosecuted because they had unprotected sex with a negative person. Not because of the virus.

I would agree that the laws are not perfect - and given how complicated the matter, I wouldn't expect them to be.

Some cases seem to be straightforward - like the Aus acrobat or upstate NY man. Here we have men sleeping with multiple women and infecting a few. Others are less so - when one lover reports another to the police and no transmission took place.

There clearly is a balance - protecting the public at large vs rights of the HIV+.

When I have to take a position on these issues I try and think of everybody involved, not just the subgroup to which I belong.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline GSOgymrat

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All hypothetical arguments aside being discussed here I am left to wonder straight up or down if all of you think a person should be prosecuted for knowingly transmitting HIV .

I'm not expecting an answer but I wonder .   

Apparently most people on here think knowing you are HIV+, not disclosing or lying about your status, and having unprotected sex with someone is a bad thing. The question then becomes what, if anything, do we as a society or community do about it. Some people feel that the legal system should not be used in any capacity regarding HIV transmission.

My feeling is if you have someone who is HIV+ who is not disclosing and having unprotected sex the community needs to become involved. I think each case would need to be handled individually but that the legal system should be utilized if necessary. For example, where I live we have a mental health court for people who who have legal charges stemming from mental health issues. It is a special type of court that links eligible offenders with community support and other services to help them better manage their mental illness. The court does not focus entirely on the offenders' criminal behavior but rather strives to help stabilize the individual to eliminate their future presence in the criminal justice system. I'm not saying someone who doesn't use protection is mentally ill. What I am suggesting is that for someone who is refusing to disclose and refusing to use protection, this would be an appropriate intervention. Having a judge mandate counseling, HIV education and community support seems the most appropriate method of preventing such a person from continuing to infect others.

I don't think people should be sued for HIV transmission or herpes or other form of disease. I also don't think the motivation behind using legal intervention should be punitive. However for the small percentage of people who, for whatever reason, are not being responsible with their HIV infection something needs to be done and legal intervention to mandate counseling and support should be considered.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Apparently most people on here think knowing you are HIV+, not disclosing or lying about your status, and having unprotected sex with someone is a bad thing. The question then becomes what, if anything, do we as a society or community do about it. Some people feel that the legal system should not be used in any capacity regarding HIV transmission.

My feeling is if you have someone who is HIV+ who is not disclosing and having unprotected sex the community needs to become involved. I think each case would need to be handled individually but that the legal system should be utilized if necessary. For example, where I live we have a mental health court for people who who have legal charges stemming from mental health issues. It is a special type of court that links eligible offenders with community support and other services to help them better manage their mental illness. The court does not focus entirely on the offenders' criminal behavior but rather strives to help stabilize the individual to eliminate their future presence in the criminal justice system. I'm not saying someone who doesn't use protection is mentally ill. What I am suggesting is that for someone who is refusing to disclose and refusing to use protection, this would be an appropriate intervention. Having a judge mandate counseling, HIV education and community support seems the most appropriate method of preventing such a person from continuing to infect others.

I don't think people should be sued for HIV transmission or herpes or other form of disease. I also don't think the motivation behind using legal intervention should be punitive. However for the small percentage of people who, for whatever reason, are not being responsible with their HIV infection something needs to be done and legal intervention to mandate counseling and support should be considered.

But such mechanisms already exist. Presumably other legal juridstictions have similar arrangements.

If protecting the community is the primary motivation in such cases, why is the criminal justice system being used?

MtD

Offline GSOgymrat

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Honestly I don't know what other procedures are in place for people who refuse to disclose and refuse to use protection. If someone knows what procedures are already in place please share them.

Offline Jeff G

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Early on after my HIV diagnoses I had unprotected sex without disclosing while intoxicated and I am still haunted by it 25 years later . I discussed it with a councilor and never repeated the behavior again .

I will not try and offer an excuse for what I did but I have thought about it often and can only say during those early years while adjusting and excepting my status I made that horrible choice .

When I read all of your thoughts on this topic I find myself in agreement with both points of view . How strange is that .

Offline GSOgymrat

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Every scenario different. Personally I don't even think disclosure is necessary in every situation. For example, I think if you are at a gay sex club you need to assume the patrons are HIV+ and take that into consideration, because even the "negatives" probably don't really know their current status.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2010, 06:42:18 PM by GSOgymrat »

Offline Boze

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 For example, where I live we have a mental health court for people who who have legal charges stemming from mental health issues. It is a special type of court that links eligible offenders with community support and other services to help them better manage their mental illness. The court does not focus entirely on the offenders' criminal behavior but rather strives to help stabilize the individual to eliminate their future presence in the criminal justice system.

I am not disagreeing with your view (if anything I think we are very close), but I have to note that with the case of mental illness the assumption is that a person "doesn't know what they are doing". Ie they do not have the capacity to apprehend the consequences of their actions or don't have the ability to control themselves.

The premise of our legal system is that people should be responsible for their actions. Someone who is mentally ill may not have the capacity to answer for themselves. Someone who is HIV+ and infects others is probably fully aware of what they are doing.

My point is not to say - lock them all up, but rather to highlight the legal difference between the two cases.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Jeff G

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Every scenario different. Personally I don't even think disclosure is necessary in every situation. For example, I think if you are at a gay sex club you need to assume the patrons are HIV+ and take that into consideration, because even the "negatives" probably don't really know their current status.

My situation was in a sex club . He didn't ask and I didn't tell until the deed was done .

It has never crossed my mind to ever blame anyone for my status but myself . I personally wouldn't want the person who infected me to have to answer to it to anyone but himself if ever .

Offline GSOgymrat

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I am not disagreeing with your view (if anything I think we are very close), but I have to note that with the case of mental illness the assumption is that a person "doesn't know what they are doing". Ie they do not have the capacity to apprehend the consequences of their actions or don't have the ability to control themselves.

The premise of our legal system is that people should be responsible for their actions. Someone who is mentally ill may not have the capacity to answer for themselves. Someone who is HIV+ and infects others is probably fully aware of what they are doing.

My point is not to say - lock them all up, but rather to highlight the legal difference between the two cases.

I just used the mental health court as an example because I am familiar with it. People are mandated to attend anger management classes, parenting classes, substance abuse classes, etc and they don't lack capacity. To me the goal is to minimize infections, not punishment. I can envision situations where someone uses HIV as a weapon, which might call for punishment.

Offline Matty the Damned

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I just used the mental health court as an example because I am familiar with it. People are mandated to attend anger management classes, parenting classes, substance abuse classes, etc and they don't lack capacity. To me the goal is to minimize infections, not punishment. I can envision situations where someone uses HIV as a weapon, which might call for punishment.

And again I think the system you envisage is based on coercive powers to control the spread of particular (often referred to as "notifiable") infectious diseases.

Almost all juridstictions have these already.

MtD

Offline Miss Philicia

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Personally I don't even think disclosure is necessary in every situation. For example, I think if you are at a gay sex club you need to assume the patrons are HIV+ and take that into consideration, because even the "negatives" probably don't really know their current status.

What's the gay sex club have to do with disclosure?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline GSOgymrat

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What's the gay sex club have to do with disclosure?

Sorry, I went on a tangent.

Offline Sean Strub

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I just saw this thread and while I've read many of the posts, I did not read them all.  So I apologize in advance if what I note below is duplicative.

When referring to the phenomenon of HIV criminalization, it usually means prosecution for failure to disclose one's HIV positive status.  Transmission is relatively rarely a factor; the vast majority of the cases do not result in HIV transmission.  About a 25% of the prosecutions in the US in recent years have been for behaviors that obviously put no one at risk, like spitting, let alone transmit the virus.  The level of actual risk present in the encounter is usually not a factor.  It is just focused on whether or not the person with HIV can prove they disclosed.

About 30 states have HIV-specific statutes.  This is because the 1990 Ryan White Care Act required states demonstrate an ability to prosecute HIV exposure in order to qualify for funding under one of the titles of the Ryan White Care Act.  About half the states said they covered in this regard, as they had public health statutes and they had assault statutes.  The other half passed a bizarre patchwork of laws that often reflect the biases, ignorance and fears of that time (and which persist today).

Many have draconian penalties.  In Iowa, a person can get 25 years in prison for kissing someone without disclosing.  The Missouri statute has been construed by some as saying it could subject someone with HIV who transmits the virus to another person, and that person subsequently dies, to the death penalty.

Iowa hasn't prosecuted anyone for kissing and Missiouri hasn't executed anyone for transmitting the virus. 

But Iowa has sentenced a number of people to long sentences for failing to disclose (again, no transmission).  And the sentences are terrible.  One young man got 25 years in prison after an online hookup.  The guy he hooked up with gave him drugs.  Whether they had anal intercourse or not or whether they used condoms was not a factor in the trial.  It was a matter of the "perpetrator" not being able to prove he had disclosed (I think he says he was so high he didn't know if he disclosed or not).  Fortunately, after nine months, the judge responded to pleas from advocates and reconsidered the guy's sentence.   He was released on five year's probation, but he must register as a sex offender, wear an ankle monitoring bracelet and can't leave his home county.  Three times a year he must take a lie detector test given to all registered sex offenders on probation.  His attorney may not be present.  The test includes questions like "are you attracted to your own sex", "do you use sex toys", "do you look at porn", etc. and if he answers them honestly with answers similar to what many of us on this board might provide, he loses "points" and risks being put back in jail.

In Texas there is a man presently serving 35 years for having spit at a cop.  The copy was arresting him on a drunk and disorderly charge when this happened.  Now it looks like the guy might not have even been drunk, but was disoriented from AIDS-related dementia.  He's still sitting in jail.

In Ohio, I've been corresponding with a guy serving 40 years.  He moved out of his girlfriend's house into a new girlfriend's apartment.  Girlfriend number #1 then went to the police and claimed he never told her he had HIV.  He says everyone knew and that she was just made that he broke up with her.  Despite many instances of intercourse, she did not acquire HIV.

The moral and ethical obligation to disclose is codified in the 1983 Denver Principles.  But disclosure is also a function of one's personal safety and security and it is situational.  Some people risk violence from partners when disclosing (or when asking a partner to use a condom, for that matter).  Others risk their jobs, social standing, etc. as well as the almost certain reality that once disclosing, the person will likely decline to be intimate with you.

I think people should disclose and that we should support people in disclosing and make that easier for them.  But the biggest obstacle to disclosure is HIV-related stigma.

Perhaps the biggest contributor to stigma are these HIV criminalization statutes.  There's no more extreme manifestation of stigma than when it is perpetrated by the government (think apartheid, Jim Crow laws, internment of Japanese, etc.)  HIV criminalization is highly discriminatory and, in fact, we are creating a viral subclass that could be the very beginning of an effort to divide and manipulate society based on the viruses, or other pathogens, some of us carry.

There are other sexually transmitted diseases, including some acquired more easily than HIV, which can make a person very ill and result in death.  4,000 women in the US were killed last year by cervical cancer.  More than 99% of them got the cancer from human papilloma virus:  genital warts  A huge percentage of the anal-genital cancers are caused by HPV, including almost all of the rectal cancers gay men get.

But people with HPV aren't prosecuted and there aren't HPV-specific statutes outlawing the failure to disclose.  That's because HPV isn't associated with outlaw sexualities, injection drug users or minority groups.  HIV is.  HPV is also carried at one point by more than 65% of the sexually active adult population.

Think of it a bit like the sentencing disparity between those charged with possession of cocaine (overwhelmingly white) and those charged with possession of crack cocaine (overwhelmingly black and minority).  For one charged with possession of cocaine to get a sentence comparable to someone charged with crack cocaine, they must have 100 times as much of the powder cocaine vs. crack.  Crack is associated with minorities.

I think the intent to harm someone should be prosecuted.  So if someone has the objective of infecting someone, that should be against the law.  Someone lying about their status should be subject to a civil action, if the person they harmed chooses to pursue it.

But failing to disclose and even lying about one's status should not be subject to criminal prosecution.
First of all, it is horrific public health policy.  Ignorance of one's HIV status is the best defense.  The toughest demographic to get tested for HIV are young African American MSM, a large % of whom have already had an unpleasant interaction with the criminal justice system.  Perhaps one reason so many of them aren't diagnosed until they are very sick is because they don't get tested for fear of stigma and consequences like criminal prosecution for failing to disclose?  "Take the test and risk arrest" is increasingly heard, in various forms, on the streets.

There's lots of research indicating the HIV criminalization statutes don't achieve their intended purpose of reducing the spread of HIV.  I believe they contribute to its further spread because they are one of the major drivers of stigma. 

These statutes ought to be of interest to anyone interested in protecting sexual freedoms, as well.  People are getting prosecuted for sexual behavior between consenting adults.  The reason, used by the state, is to protect the public health.  That was also used as a reason to forbid homosexual sex, inter-racial marriages, etc.  "Public health" has long been an excuse for grotesque violations of human and civil rights.  When "public health" is used to prohibit consensual sexual acts, we should be very concerned.

Since few people require a partner to sign a disclosure statement or consent form prior to sex, these cases often come down to "he said/she said/he said" situations.

What about the thousands of people born with HIV?  If we're all born equal, what do we say to them?  You're equal except you carry this additional legal burden around your entire life and have to be able to prove that you disclosed your HIV status prior to engaging in the most intimate contact a human have.

What about people with other diseases--like hepatitis, or the flu--that could make me very sick, or possibly even kill me?  Why don't they get prosecuted?  (That's a rhetorical question, of course, as we all know how much less value our lives have compared to those who are, as they so often like to say, "clean").

These statutes also contribute to stigma because they send a message that people with HIV are so dangerous, it highlights us and defines us as potential infectors.  Prosecutions are also subject to influence by politically ambitious prosecutors and hysterical media coverage.

They also undercut the message about everyone being responsibility for their own sexual health by putting a disproportionate share of the burden for avoiding transmission on one partner.  They value an illusion of safety for people who think they are HIV negative over the privacy rights of people with HIV.  For those of you who advocate in favor of criminalization statutes, how do you feel about prosecuting when there is virtually no risk, like spitting or biting (I think there's been one case of transmission by biting, but the bitee had open sores or something)?  How about when the risk is minimal, like when the positive partner is undetectable?  Or how about in a situation like a sex club or park or other places people have sex and there typically is little or no conversation?

Again, I support prosecuting those who intend to harm.  I can see situations where someone's mental illness may make them such a risk to the public health that an intervention--by public health authorities--could be justified. 

But consenting sexual behavior between adults should not be prosecuted.

I think I saw a post early in the string where someone suggested there were few of these cases.  I guess it depends on how one defines "few", but there have been hundreds in the US in recent years and more than 200 convictions.  The vast majority are poor men of color. 

I've launched a project to combat HIV criminalization, in conjunction with the Center for HIV Law & Policy.  If you would like to be kept informed, email us at crim@lawandpolicy.org or contact me at SeanS@poz.com.

We have a lot of work to do, starting within our own community.  Some recent data I saw showed that about 2/3 of gay men support HIV criminalization and about 35% of people with HIV support it.  Some suggest that women with HIV support it more than men with HIV, but I'm not sure that's true.  And, in any case, women suffer the consequences of HIV-related stigma more than men so logically they would be stronger advocates for reducing stigma.

Sean

Offline Moffie65

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Thank you Sean for the post, and the update on some of your "other" work.  I thought I would include the Denver principles for the many here who have no idea what they are. 

The Denver Principles (1983)
________________________________________
There is no better way to cite the history of the PWA self-empowerment movement that to quote the principles articulated in Denver in 1983. They are as relevant and powerful today as they were then.
 
THE DENVER PRINCIPLES
(Statement from the advisory committee of the People with AIDS)
We condemn attempts to label us as "victims," a term which implies defeat, and we are only occasionally "patients," a term which implies passivity, helplessness, and dependence upon the care of others. We are "People With AIDS."

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALL PEOPLE

1. Support us in our struggle against those who would fire us from our jobs, evict us from our homes, refuse to touch us or separate us from our loved ones, our community or our peers, since available evidence does not support the view that AIDS can be spread by casual, social contact.

2. Not scapegoat people with AIDS, blame us for the epidemic or generalize about our lifestyles.


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH AIDS

1. Form caucuses to choose their own representatives, to deal with the media, to choose their own agenda and to plan their own strategies.

2. Be involved at every level of decision-making and specifically serve on the boards of directors of provider organizations.

3. Be included in all AIDS forums with equal credibility as other participants, to share their own experiences and knowledge.

4. Substitute low-risk sexual behaviors for those which could endanger themselves or their partners; we feel people with AIDS have an ethical responsibility to inform their potential sexual partners of their health status.


RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH AIDS

1. To as full and satisfying sexual and emotional lives as anyone else.

2. To quality medical treatment and quality social service provision without discrimination of any form including sexual orientation, gender, diagnosis, economic status or race.

3. To full explanations of all medical procedures and risks, to choose or refuse their treatment modalities, to refuse to participate in research without jeopardizing their treatment and to make informed decisions about their lives.

4. To privacy, to confidentiality of medical records, to human respect and to choose who their significant others are.

5. To die--and to LIVE--in dignity.

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 GSOgymrat

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Thanks, Sean, for all the information. You make a lot of good points.

Offline Boze

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Thank you, Sean. Your familiarity with the subject certainly illuminated how many poor laws are out there in the good old US of A. And it does sound like a whole lot of folks are being charged with things that have nothing to do with actual risk of transmission. That does promulgate fear and must stop.

However, I still think that we as a community have an obligation to the public at large. And that individuals who actually caused a transmission due to unprotected sex without disclosure must be held accountable.
==========
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Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
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Offline Miss Philicia

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However, I still think that we as a community have an obligation to the public at large. And that individuals who actually caused a transmission due to unprotected sex without disclosure must be held accountable.

Sean's post really flew over your head then.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Boze

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Of course, difference of opinion can only be ascribed to stupidity.
==========
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Offline Miss Philicia

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It's amazing that someone two months into their HIV diagnosis can have such firm, unmalleable opinions.  Color me impressed.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Matty the Damned

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Of course, difference of opinion can only be ascribed to stupidity.

But you don't really differ with him. You just can't admit that your opinion has changed during this course of this thread. And in saying that I allow you more legitimacy than you arguably warrant.

You're clinging to "accountability" in a vain attempt to save face.

Moreover, Sean's post clearly establishes that those who willfully or recklessly infect others should be held to account, just not via bone-headed and savagely ineffective ways you've been defending.

MtD

Offline Boze

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The tone of your remark was mostly personal and I will omit that part. I aim to discuss in good faith under the assumption that exchange of ideas benefits everybody.

However, I think it's worth highlighting where we agree and disagree, just for the sake of clarity. I think most of the law examples cited by Sean should definitely be amended as they promulgate fear and stigma. I wasn't aware of their existence and it saddens to learn about such cases.
However, I still think that if an individual (as per OP) causes willful transmission he or she should be accountable.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
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Offline newt

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For the sake of clarity, Mr Zaburoni is not charged with intentionally using HIV as a weapon but causing serious injury (see original post). The press nearly always make it a matter of intention (ie adding "knowingly"). Even the BBC do it, tho, luckily, tis easy to put them right on this important matter of fact with a few emails. It is important because it ascribe malice and forethought as a state of mind, when more likely, on both parties, lust and stardust were more to the forebrain on the night in question.
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Moffie65

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However, I still think that we as a community have an obligation to the public at large. And that individuals who actually caused a transmission due to unprotected sex without disclosure must be held accountable.

I am really shocked that you didn't comment on the Denver Principles, that were written by people who haven't survived the 27 years I have had the outright luck to survive, and they did it not only for the puplic at large but if you read it, for us too.  Sheesh, if you don't know where you've been, you'll never see where you are going.  Time for you to do some major homework and then get back to all of us.  

For your information, Sean Strubb, has more patience, focus, history and dedication than any 10 of us activists who are currently a part of the population of this forum.  He really was touched by this thread personally, or he wouldn't have ever wasted his time.  

NOw Borzel, go do your homework, you are in the company of some very remarkable people here, and they know so very much more than you from personal experience, that you cannot and will not keep up.  

(EXCEPT for those who were raped and got their bug that way)......WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN INFECTIONS.  EVEN YOU, WHO DIDN'T PAY ATTENTION FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS!!
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 Boze

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I don't see what there is to say about the Denver Principles - they make sense. If everybody on both sides of the hiv fence followed them, the current discussion would not occur, would it?

As far as my personal opinion on the matter - I am entitled to one. I am respectful of others and appreciate that a lot of work has been done before my time by many dedicated individuals to advance the HIV cause. That, however, does not mean that I (or anybody else who may share this sentiment) should one throw away personal convictions because they don't coincide with the popular view.




==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Rev. Moon

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As far as my personal opinion on the matter - I am entitled to one. I am respectful of others and appreciate that a lot of work has been done before my time by many dedicated individuals to advance the HIV cause. That, however, does not mean that I (or anybody else who may share this sentiment) should one throw away personal convictions because they don't coincide with the popular view.

The sad part about your response to what Sean had to say is that it proves one of his points: we have a good percentage of poz people who'd be willing to send others to jail even if there was no risk of transmission.  Hanging on to this idea of disclosure and the criminalisation of HIV is quite appalling and does not help us progress in any way,  Sometimes a person's self hatred and anger expresses itself by becoming an enemy to its own kind (and yes, unfortunately, you are one of us now).

My feeling however is that your opinion is actually shifting; you simply don't want admit it 'cause you apparently think that it would obliterate every other entry that you made in this thread.  There's nothing wrong in opening one's mind and/or modifying an opinion.

Acting so stubbornly (and in clear opposition to a large number of the forum members --who have more knowledge and experience than you) makes you look like a bozo, borzel.  It's not a bout a "popular" view; it's about having a point that is valid and that can be respected.  Your is not, dear sir.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline leatherman

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(see original post). The press nearly always make it a matter of intention (ie adding "knowingly"). ... It is important because it ascribe malice and forethought as a state of mind, when more likely, on both parties, lust and stardust were more to the forebrain on the night in question.
Acting Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Col McCallum says Zaburoni, who has been HIV positive since 1997, has given authorities the names of 12 women with whom he has had unprotected sex.
I don't quite see how you can ascribe nothing more than "lust and stardust" (that's the same excuse for unintended pregnancies too) and can conclude that it was not a "matter of intention" or "knowing" when the this person has had 13 yrs. to know of his status, and understand his role how his unprotected sex could further spread HIV.

I might, possibly, sorta could see giving the guy a pass if his actions of having unprotected sex were happening in the first few months after diagnosis; but not over a decade later. He surely understood his actions were very likely to spread HIV. By not having safe sex, and in lesser degree by not disclosing, he, quite knowingly, was very likely to have been spreading HIV.

Oh I am not advocating criminalizing his actions at all; but neither can I just excuse his behavior as if he didn't know his status, didn't think about the consequences of unprotected sex, or was just too horny to care about whether he spread HIV or not.

it would be interesting to know if he was on medications. On one hand, that would just increase his "knowing" of his status; but on the other hand, it could exonerate him though his decreased ability to transmit the infection. However if he's not on meds, then perhaps he has just not faced up to his status and "denial" would better explain his actions, rather than "lust and stardust"
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Boze

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"The sad part about your response to what Sean had to say is that it proves one of his points: we have a good percentage of poz people who'd be willing to send others to jail even if there was no risk of transmission.  Hanging on to this idea of disclosure and the criminalisation of HIV is quite appalling and does not help us progress in any way,  Sometimes a person's self hatred and anger expresses itself by becoming an enemy to its own kind (and yes, unfortunately, you are one of us now)."

Unfortunately appears to be mostly a function of your inability to read and comprehend what I've said. I've made it very clear that it's reckless transmission that I feel can not be left unaccounted. All the stupid laws that result in someone gets 35yrs for spitting are unequivocally wrong.

"My feeling however is that your opinion is actually shifting; you simply don't want admit it 'cause you apparently think that it would obliterate every other entry that you made in this thread.  There's nothing wrong in opening one's mind and/or modifying an opinion. "

I will fully agree that my position has shifted. I've started out with a very strong sense that infected women were victimized, full stop. I've come to accept the position held by many here that they share some responsibility since they agreed to have unprotected sex which carries a certain risk of acquiring STD.

However, I still don't think that the guy should walk free (if the allegations are proven in court). Just because he and I share a virus doesn't mean I'm supposed to automatically take his side (and we also have a pozzie woman now). Moreover, I think that quite a few people agree with my view, but (correctly I would add) see no point in arguing. It's easier to just go with the flow.


« Last Edit: May 30, 2010, 09:31:12 PM by borzel »
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Assurbanipal

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However, I still think that if an individual (as per OP) causes willful transmission he or she should be accountable.

Borael

Cases of willful transmission are very very very rare.  Are there any outside of fiction? 

This guy willfully had sex.  He recklessly transmitted HIV.


________________


I'm troubled by all the people in this thread who keep saying that each person is 100% responsible for their infection.  That would only be true if the risk of transmission were 100%.  There's a virus here too.

Do you go around saying you are 100% responsible for every cold you catch?  That's nonsense.  Few people can arrange their lives to have zero risk of catching a cold.  You can take steps to make it less likely, but for most the only way to avoid ever catching a cold is early death.

People are responsible for the risks they took.  So, sure, they should not palm off responsibility on other humans.  But they shouldn't be assuming 100% responsibility for being infected -- part of that is luck of the draw.  Other people who took the same risks escaped infection.  Those people are not magically less responsible just because they weren't infected -- just luckier.

For some of the posters this is clearly just semantics, but sometimes there seems to be real confusion.
And if people are to learn and grow from their experience it doesn't help to continually misstate what that experience really was.
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

 


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