Last November I wrote about the outcome of my willingness to step outside my personal comfort zone to engage with a former nemesis, J Todd DeShong. When we both lowered our personal shields and allowed civil dialogue to occur, we discovered we had far more in common than we had differences. Those differences that remain did not have to […more]
Frankly, in the end, I really, really don’t care what causes AIDS. I just want people to stop suffering and dying from whatever it is. It appalls me deeply that after all the hundreds of billions of dollars in research — possibly more than that spent on researching all other microbes combined — HIV research has ‘succeeded’ only in giving patients the horrifying choice between either dying slowly of Opportunistic Infections associated with a damaged immune system, or dying slowly of Liver Failure or having your skin peel off or maybe a Heart Attack caused by HIV drugs themselves. All the while ignoring the patients who do just fine for rather a long time when left to pursue their lives unmolested. So pick your death.
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.
I’m feeling… something. Older, perhaps? I fear I have so many things I want to accomplish so I can “retire” with some degree of comfort; a bathtub I can actually stretch out and soak in, for example.
I am still recovering from the sudden loss of Gos Blank and watching from a distance as other friends struggle with their own forms of bizarre and crippling health. It makes me feel I have no right or business to complain about my own symptoms and signs.
I could not help but feel a dark cloud lift when the news broke that Fred Phelps had finally died. I’m not particularly proud of that first reaction: one of relief and even something akin to happiness. I didn’t dance around the house right away, but after the news sank in, I admit I did pull up “Ding Dong, the wicked witch is dead,” by the munchkins.
Why would my reaction be considered hateful or negative? I think it was extremely human and natural, if not a bit disrespectful. Like I care if Fred knows I have zero respect for him?
I never imagined that Fred would die like this: alone in a hospice, rejected by much of his family, excommunicated from the cult/church he founded. I expected one of two different stories when his obituary was published.
I have noticed a shift in the kinds of traffic being sent to this blog from Google since moving to a new domain. More than five years of data being displayed on Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools has been reset and is gradually being replaced with new information since the first of the year. This is probably of more interest to me than it is to readers, but who am I to assume that?
The most popular search terms offer no real surprises. They mostly relate to stories that have not been covered elsewhere. There are dozens of variations, and I’ve taken the liberty of consolidating them here.
Each patient fell into one of three groups: <350 CD4 cells/muL; 351-499; and >500. This last group would be considered “normal” according to AIDS.gov, which lists the range for CD4 counts as 500-1000. Yet, according to this study, this group of so-called “healthy” patients were almost one and a half times more likely to experience a drug-related adverse effect.
The report reinforces another point that I find I must continue to drive home over and over again, and that is the definition of “low CD4 counts”.
Nearly four months after his death, and a couple of months after the “final” autopsy report was released, Gos Blank’s wife, Lisa, receive additional information in the form of a letter with the subject: “Supplemental Final Diagnoses”. According to this update, dated February 11, 2014, a stain revealed the “presence of multiple cup and/or boat shaped fungal cysts located within foamy amorphous matériai within the alveolar spaces which were characteristic of Pneumocystis jirovecii microorganisms.