Things a 62 Year Old Poz Gay Man Told Me About the AIDS Crisis
  • He had to start a new address book every year because he couldnt look at all the crossed out names anymore
  • There was only one funeral home in the whole city that would bury HIV+ poz people (NYC)
  • That lesbian separatists left their colonies to take care of the gay men because barely anyone outside of the community would 
  • He met the love of his life, but sabotaged the relationship because he was negative and was in the mindset that he would eventually infect him and cared about him too much to go on (even though the guy was aware of his positive status) and that if that happened today, he would never do that again

One AIDS Death Every 8 Minutes
Grand Central Station, New York City, 23 January 1991

Day of Desperation
Early morning protests took place downtown Manhattan with AIDS activists protested the Government’s involvement in the Gulf War to the exclusion of vital interests at home. That afternoon — 5:00 RUSH HOUR — Grand Central Station was filled with demonstrators protesting under the banners: “Money For AIDS, Not For War” and “One AIDS Death Every 8 Minutes.”

Because you’re more than your disease.

Chad is only 25. He is gay, and has been with his partner for 15 months. 

He was last tested for HIV a year ago, and the results were negative. 

He came to my ER last Thursday with back pain - but the back pain didn’t concern the physician. The red plaques on his body did. He reported having them for 5 months or more.

These red plaques are tell tale signs of Kaposi Sarcoma, tumors that themselves are telltale signs of AIDS and a severely throttled immune system. 

Chad admitted to knowing this, but not seeking help. 

His back pain came from meningitis. He had fungus in his blood, in his spinal cord, and in his brain. He had to be placed on extreme forms of anti-fungals. We had to medicate him for the fevers, chills, and spasms the treatment caused. He had panic attacks.

And his nurses, myself included, were angry to some extent. Who would let this happen to themselves? We said in the hallways. Who grows red scales on their bodies, has every warning sign of HIV, but doesn’t seek help?

I got my answer that day. His mother came to visit as I was calming him from a panic attack. He couldn’t stand the thought of another round of amphotericin B that night. After a small dose of ativan, I plunked him in a wheelchair, and we made a point to get out of the unit for a bit. He’d been in that room for 7 days straight, growing weaker. He hadn’t seen or heard from his partner since his diagnosis. 

His mother asked me why he was so weak and he pulled me down before I could answer. “I don’t want her to know what I have,” he whispered in my ear. 

And it hit me. He is all alone. 

He is an island in the middle of nurses and doctors who are fighting hard for him, but who do not - can not - truly understand what he is going through, or why he made the choices he did in delaying treatment. 

I told his mother he has an infection in his blood and spine. I carefully avoided words that could hint at HIV; but in truth, if she had wanted to really know, less than 5 seconds googling the rash on her son’s body would have lead her to an answer. 

After she left and we returned inside, I helped him into bed. 

“Why didn’t you find help earlier?” I asked as I helped him get his weakened legs onto the mattress. 

“I didn’t think anyone would care. I thought I’d have to beg for help, and…I don’t know. I didn’t think I’d get the help. I’d be shunned.”

I was speechless for a moment. I hate that, in 2015, someone would avoid life saving treatment because of the shame society places on diseases. 

He continued “My boyfriend is the best thing that’s happened to me in years, and I knew he’d leave. My mom knows I’m gay but doesn’t ever talk about it. My dad hasn’t talked to me in years. I saw the signs and I felt like…well, my life is over. I only came in because the pain got so bad.”

I hate to think of how many more days you will spend in that room, listening to us badger you into eating hospital food, into just one more dose of amphotericin, just one more lap around the unit. I hate to think that those days may only stop because we lose the battle against the raging infection in your immunosuppressed body.

I hate to think that you may not live to see the year 2016.

You are so much more than your disease, Chad. You are more than your sexual orientation. You are more than your mother’s opinions and your fathers silence. 

I hope you’ll see it before it’s too late. 

anonymous asked:

Can aids be transferred only between (dmab) man/man and (dmab/dfab) woman/man?

HIV/AIDS can be transferred between any two people, DMAB to DMAB, DFAB to DMAB, DFAB to DFAB, etc.  It is transferred through bodily fluids:

  • Blood
  • Semen (cum)
  • Pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum)
  • Rectal fluids
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Breastmilk

Any two people who transfer bodily fluids can transfer HIV between them. That could include:

  • A health care professional accidentally exposed to a patient’s blood
  • A child breastfeeding from its parent
  • Two people having sex in which vaginal fluid, rectal fluid, or semen is exchanged
  • Two people sharing the same needles to inject drugs
  • Someone who has received donated blood or organs from another human
  • And other situations

You CANNOT get HIV by:

  • Standing near, breathing the same air as, shaking hands with, or hugging someone with HIV
  • Mosquito or other insect bite
  • Saliva, tears, or sweat - so it’s fine to kiss someone with HIV as long as both of you do not have open, bloody sores in your mouths
  • Drinking fountains, public transportation
  • Toilet seats

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, and AIDS is the disease that virus causes.  It stands for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome, and it happens in the late stages of HIV.

I highly suggest all of you go to AIDS.gov and poke around a bit. It’s super easy to read and explains SO MUCH.  Enjoy!

HIV vaccine that transforms cell DNA brings fresh hope

Vaccines normally train the immune system to fight an infection.

Instead, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California have altered the DNA of monkeys to give their cells HIV-fighting properties.

The team describe it as “a big deal” and want to start human trials soon. Independent experts say the idea is worth “strong consideration”.

This technique uses gene therapy to introduce a new section of DNA inside healthy muscle cells.

That strip of DNA contains the instructions for manufacturing the tools to neutralise HIV, which are then constantly pumped out into the bloodstream.

Experiments, reported in the journal Nature, showed the monkeys were protected from all types of HIV for at least 34 weeks.

As there was also protection against very high doses, equivalent to the amount of new virus that would be produced in a chronically infected patient, the researchers believe the approach may be useful in people who already have HIV.

Lead researcher Prof Michael Farzan told the BBC: “We are closer than any other approach to universal protection, but we still have hurdles, primarily with safety for giving it to many, many people.

Dr Anthony Fauci, of the US National Institutes of Health, said: “This innovative research holds promise for moving us toward two important goals: achieving long-term protection from HIV infection, and putting HIV into sustained remission in chronically infected people.”

Read more »

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Researchers believe that they might have a developed a vaccine to treat HIV, but the virus continues to mutate. Will we ever find a cure?

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Your smartphone just got smarter.

A device invented by biomedical engineers at Columbia University turns a smartphone into a lab that can test human blood for the virus that causes AIDS or the bacteria that cause syphilis.

The researchers got the idea for the device when examining the costs and the logistical difficulties of getting equipment for HIV testing to rural areas or developing countries.

Learn more about the device here.

Tell the Truth

A few weeks ago I had a patient that kind of surprised me.

I was in oncology and an older patient who had presented with neurological symptoms was diagnosed with lymphoma in the brain. If you know anything about this terrible disease, you also know that it’s usually related to HIV/AIDS. But, upon taking the patients history the only disease she admitted to having was fifteen years ago when she was treated for syphilis.

So as she lay in critical care the doctors performed the routine tests including normal blood work and an ELIZA for HIV/AIDS. Her CD4+ count was 3. She had AIDS.

Two weeks later she was doing much better all things considered. But, still had not been told of her diagnosis. Some classmates and I asked the doctors why she hadn’t been told yet and they told us that they were concerned for her mental well-being and her current health state. Both genuine concerns. We were under strict instructions NOT to mention the diagnosis in front of the patient.  

Read More  —> HERE