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Old 02-16-2005, 11:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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pan6467's Avatar
 
Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Damned if they do damned if they don't.....

Perhaps this belongs in politics thread (mods?).

I read this article and feel sorry for the health officials because if they didn't say anything about this "super HIV bug" the Gay Community would be yelling about how the HD was ignoring the problem.

But by announcing it, they scared people and now the Gay Community is yelling about it being overhyped by the HD.

So which is it people........... is it overhype, or is it a warning and the HD is doing the best they can. My vote is for the latter.

Could it be that maybe just maybe, the Crystal Meth helped speed up the onset of AIDS and allowed this "superbug" to become more potent?
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Gay concern over hyping AIDS 'superbug'

Wed Feb 16, 5:30 AM ET Health - AFP



NEW YORK (AFP) - Gay activists fear the announcement of a rare, highly virulent strain of the AIDS virus being found in a New York man may fuel panic of an HIV "superbug" and further stigmatise their community.

New York City health officials said last week that the strain, known as 3-DCR HIV, was unresponsive to three types of anti-retroviral medications and greatly accelerated the transition from infection to full-blown AIDS.

The virus was diagnosed in a man in his late 40s who reported having unprotected sex with multiple male partners, often while using the highly potent narcotic crystal methamphetamine.

Some gay activists and AIDS specialists believe the New York Health Department jumped the gun with its announcement, arguing that a lot more research was required to determine the precise nature of the virus strain in question.

"Those who practice good science would have waited," said Martin Delaney, founder director of Project Inform, one of the oldest US non-profit AIDS organisations.

"They would have shared and discussed the date with scientific peers and then -- most importantly -- they would have gone back to the labs and followed up on the patient for another six months before drawing any hard conclusions," he said.

The onset of AIDS usually occurs more than 10 years after initial infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). But in the case diagnosed last week, the time lag appeared to be just two to three months.

However, several AIDS researchers said it remained unclear whether the swift progression of the disease was attributable to the virulence of the HIV strain or the particular physiology of the patient.

They also noted that the existence of resistant HIV strains was not new.

Calling on the city authorities to clarify the facts, the New York-based Community HIV/AIDS Mobilisation Project (CHAMP) warned of the risk of stigmatising gay men as "crazed drug addicts, carelessly or wantonly spreading a killer bug."

New York Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden had described the case was "a wake-up call" to the gay community, particularly those who may use crystal methamphetamine.

"What would be dangerous," responded CHAMP executive director Julie Davids, "is for this to be a wake up call to the gay community to feel more shame and self-hatred."

In an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, Frieden defended the decision to go public with the 3-DCR HIV case, saying that his intention was to announce not a scientific discovery but a public health phenomenon that required intervention.

"Our thought process was, first, were we convinced enough that this was a real phenomenon? Over time, yes, we were convinced," Frieden said.

"The next question was, were we convinced that we had to alert the medical community to issue a health alert? Again, over time we were convinced.

"Having decided that, it was unavoidable to do media notification as well," he said.

There is consensus, however, on the need to combat a resurgence in HIV transmission, including addressing the impact of crystal meth use on HIV risk behaviour.

"But let's not freak people out with stories of a superbug," said Delaney. "We're all freaked out enough, thank you, by HIV itself."

More than 88,000 New Yorkers are known to be living with HIV/AIDS, and an estimated 20,000 are believed to be infected without knowing it.

Gay activists, while recognising the responsibility of their own community to promote safe sex, argue that the federal government has hampered progress by favouring a message of abstinence over condom use.

Crystal meth, also known as "ice," puts users -- both gay and heterosexual -- into a highly sexualised state that lowers inhibitions. Studies have shown that people using the drug are more likely to have multiple partners and less likely to use condoms.

"In the last few years, crsytal use has really exploded," said Jason Riggs, communications director of the Califonia-based Stop Aids Project.

"It is a real cause for concern," Riggs said. "In San Francisco, if you're a gay or bisexual man using crystal you're 300 to 400 percent more likely to get HIV."
================================================

LINK: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...p/ushealthaids
__________________
I just love people who use the excuse "I use/do this because I LOVE the feeling/joy/happiness it brings me" and expect you to be ok with that as you watch them destroy their life blindly following. My response is, "I like to put forks in an eletrical socket, just LOVE that feeling, can't ever get enough of it, so will you let me put this copper fork in that electric socket?"
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Old 02-17-2005, 03:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: NYC
Only tonight I was reading that article, I work in the medical field and I must tell you that it really does scare me, I'm worried about everyone who is at risks because instead of it taking ten years to develop into AIDS, it's taking 2 months with the new strain virus. How sad is that? It's also really scary, and also, I don't think that officials would release such information without knowing for sure that people were in danger. Looking at the numbers alone that might be at risks is very scary. I only hope that this is false, but sadly,it doesn't look like it.
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
StanT's Avatar
 
Location: Colorado
Like AIDS isn't bad enough? If the threat of AIDS doesn't scare you into safe sex, I'm not sure a "SuperAIDS" will. I'm all for telling the truth, if you don't like, tough.
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