I embarked on my third course of ARVs since 1998. For ten of the sixteen years I have been HIV-positive, I was able to manage well enough without ARVs and I continue to believe there is no reason for otherwise healthy HIV-positive—let alone negative—gay men to take these drugs. To those who want to wave a recent study about the benefits of early intervention in my face, I would ask them why they put so much faith in a science that has utterly failed us to date.
I’m willing to grant that gay men are entitled to use PrEP… provided they have access to all the information they need to make an informed decision. Informed consent has been a hallmark of the HIV and AIDS research and prevention efforts for three decades, and that shouldn’t be waived for the campaign favoring PrEP.
Gay men deserve to know that all the claims for Truvada reducing the risk of acquiring HIV-positivity are based on trials—funded by Gilead—that emphasized the importance of using condoms…
What troubles me is the apparent willingness of an entire community to consider embracing Truvada as some sort of symbol of sexual freedom… evidenced by charges that those of us who are skeptical are guilty of being sex-negative and “slut-shaming”.
All of this on the basis of research that has been manipulated and twisted by Gilead to create a false reality of safety.
I’m resigned to the fact that Truvada as PrEP is here, regardless of what I or others fear. Now it’s mostly a question of time to see it PrEP meets the expectations of sexually active gay men…. and Gilead shareholders. The former is yet to be proven; the latter is a foregone conclusion.
In the simplest possible summation, Leibowitch has been treating HIV-positive patients with traditional ARV cocktails, called HAART. Where he leaves the path of traditional treatment guidelines is that once a patient is “stabilised”—meaning they have achieved respectably high CD4 counts, and their viral load is undetectable for six months—Leibowitch starts reducing the number of days per week that a patient takes these drugs, to as little as twice per week.
In nearly every conversation I’ve had with Affecteds who are experimenting with ways to reduce the toxicity of antiretroviral (ARV) regimens, questions about “AIDS drug resistance” comes up. Resistance is often raised as a boogeyman in research trials of monotherapy and intermittent treatment options. While drug resistance—especially bacterial antibiotic resistance to staphylococcus or tuberculosis, for example—is increasingly a problem in modern medicine, one is unlikely to hear drug resistance discussed quite the way it is with AIDS. No other pathogen is described as “sneaky”, “clever”, or more mutable than HIV, despite the fact that retroviruses do not even meet most definitions for being a living entity, let alone have a brain.
Rarely a day goes by that I do not scan the headlines collected from various blogs and sources by Google Reader. Smashing a recent lull in AIDS news, some pretty outrageous headlines have been breaking through lately. Last week, it was Baby AZeTa, the little girl in Mississippi who researchers claimed was cured of AIDS […more]
As I spend time this week with one of my dearest friends, a man who has been HIV-positive since at least 1987, and who has been on ARVs almost continuously since 1990, I am reminded that Affecteds have always had the option to consider alternatives to conventional pharmaceutical treatment. Last night we recalled some of […more]
Just a few days after news about Baby Rico broke among bloggers and other AIDS dissident outlets last week, AIDS researchers scrambled to find a way to push a very different story to the top of the corporate news chain this morning. “Baby Cured of AIDS” scream the headlines. No need to repeat all the […more]
I am getting sicker by the minute, after reading a story of horrific abuse of power by the medical establishment that broke early this morning. Tragedy has stricken a newborn infant, being held in the hospital affiliated with the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota. A court ordered that Rico Martinez Nagel be removed from his […more]
Today is Valentine’s Day, and I am sitting in a motel room in Wichita, Kansas, pondering: how do I dare ask friends, family and strangers to give me money so I can continue to experiment with alternative health therapies? The painful answer is: I have no choice, but to try. I left KC at 4 […more]