Why do people think that HIV isn't very bad anymore?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2011 2:33 AM GMT
    I've heard some people say that HIV isn't that bad anymore, and isn't very detrimental to people's health. You just pop some pills and you'll live as long and as relatively healthy as everybody else.

    So I decided it was time to educate myself a little, because this seemed pretty odd to me. I was taught in school that HIV was a pretty damn big deal with decreased relative quality of life, although it was not necessarily a death sentence anymore.

    42,439 new diagnoses of HIV were made in the USA in 2008.

    37,991 new diagnoses of AIDS were made in the USA in 2008.

    The number of deaths of persons with an AIDS diagnosis has stabilized in recent years at around 17,000-18,000 per year.


    (Statistics taken from Avert.org, http://www.avert.org/usa-statistics.htm)

    Also, a study described in this article http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/recent/2008/072908_a.html states that

    "that the remaining life expectancy of an HIV positive person starting HAART at age 20 was about two-thirds that of the general HIV negative population in these high-income countries, where the overall average life expectancy is about 80 years (paragraph eight)."

    And this is assuming that the person starts out as a young person (which is also misleading, because the majority of new HIV infections are in people of their early thirties) and actually has access to HAART, and starts it at a decent time and complies with it.

    Plus HAART includes some medications with pretty harsh side effects, that can really impact quality of life for some people.

    THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE DISCOURAGING FOR PEOPLE WITH HIV/AIDS, just because you live a little shorter doesn't mean you can't lead an equally if not more fulfilling life than everybody else. It isn't like living longer automatically makes people more happy or satisfied.

    This IS meant to slap people in the face who apparently think HIV/AIDS is no big deal. It is a serious medical condition, and living with it isn't just a matter of "Oh I just take some pills and now I live the same length as every body else, herp derp derp."

    Not only does that attitude probably perpetuate dangerous activity, it also belittles the struggle of some people with HIV/AIDS, and is so bloody ignorant.



    Anyways, given the statistics, should the lack of concern about HIV/AIDS just be chalked up to a lack of education? Or am I missing some crucial point?

    Also I'm thinking I should probably go on a long-term internet break soon... You guys are just too much.
  • SFGeoNinja

    Posts: 510

    Mar 19, 2011 5:20 AM GMT
    A friend of mine recently dropped the bomb that "they cured AIDS already". I almost screamed at her, "WHAAAAAAAAT????" This is a big deal if it's true. If the 'news' of any so-called 'cure' emerges among the general population, HIV education may almost seem redundant.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/14/hiv-cure-berlin-patient_n_796521.html

    "Doctors believe an HIV-positive man who underwent a stem cell transplant has been cured as a result of the procedure.

    Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the "Berlin Patient," received the transplant in 2007 as part of a lengthy treatment course for leukemia. His doctors recently published a report in the journal Blood affirming that the results of extensive testing "strongly suggest that cure of HIV infection has been achieved."

    Brown's case paves a path for constructing a permanent cure for HIV through genetically-engineered stem cells."


    Remember before HIV/AIDS, there was no such thing as "safe sex." If news of a so-called "AIDS cure" gains enough momentum, I fear it will be disastrous for the millions of people in developing countries for whom the disease still is a serious death sentence because they can't get access to anti-retrovirals.
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    Mar 19, 2011 8:43 AM GMT
    davidp7 saidA friend of mine recently dropped the bomb that "they cured AIDS already". I almost screamed at her, "WHAAAAAAAAT????" This is a big deal if it's true. If the 'news' of any so-called 'cure' emerges among the general population, HIV education may almost seem redundant.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/14/hiv-cure-berlin-patient_n_796521.html

    "Doctors believe an HIV-positive man who underwent a stem cell transplant has been cured as a result of the procedure.

    Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the "Berlin Patient," received the transplant in 2007 as part of a lengthy treatment course for leukemia. His doctors recently published a report in the journal Blood affirming that the results of extensive testing "strongly suggest that cure of HIV infection has been achieved."

    Brown's case paves a path for constructing a permanent cure for HIV through genetically-engineered stem cells."


    Remember before HIV/AIDS, there was no such thing as "safe sex." If news of a so-called "AIDS cure" gains enough momentum, I fear it will be disastrous for the millions of people in developing countries for whom the disease still is a serious death sentence because they can't get access to anti-retrovirals.


    Hmmmm...I'm curious to know what kind of "stem cell transplant" was used. Pts with Leukemia receive bone marrow transplants! To go through this procedure one must be completely irradiated to kill all of their own immunocompetent cells so the new ones can be transplanted without eliciting an immune response. In short: THIS IS NO CAKE WALK PROCEDURE.

    Pts who receive bone marrow transplants are susceptible to a host of really bad diseases....So while this may be a cure (if they are refering to bone marrow transplant) it certainly is not easy!

    break over...burrying head back in books

    Stay fit fellas!!!!! icon_cool.gificon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2011 9:12 AM GMT
    With the advancements of our knowledge of HIV and medications, it is more manageable now and progresses less to AIDS in the US. However, the medications have numerous side effects, are expensive, and you're typically on a cocktail of 3-4 drugs.

    And yeah, even if bone marrow transplant was shown to eradicate the disease, it is not the easiest procedure and can result in a lot of complications.

    It could be lack of education mixed in with controversy surrounding sexual education classes in schools.
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    Mar 19, 2011 9:17 AM GMT
    Very painful and very expensive procedure. Think your insurance will cover that someday vs. keeping you on maintenance antivirals etc.? Keep dreaming.
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Mar 19, 2011 2:07 PM GMT
    Because Magic Johnson didn't die...







    ...sad but I think it has an effect on people's perception
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2011 2:14 PM GMT
    davidp7 saidA friend of mine recently dropped the bomb that "they cured AIDS already". I almost screamed at her, "WHAAAAAAAAT????" This is a big deal if it's true. If the 'news' of any so-called 'cure' emerges among the general population, HIV education may almost seem redundant.


    Yeah that article is way old! I don't believe it though... Most people are worried about cancer now which is the AIDS of the 2000s.

    Young folk these days don't seem to care if they're HIV+- to them it means they can whore it out freely- save on condoms- and don't have to worry about whether they're positive or not. ...it's "liberating."
    Bunch of idiots if you ask me.

    *according to Rick and Steve- Chuck to be exact- When it comes to sex always remember:
    Bring
    A
    Rubber
    Everytime
    Because
    AIDS
    Can
    Kill
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2011 2:30 PM GMT
    A1EX said
    davidp7 saidA friend of mine recently dropped the bomb that "they cured AIDS already". I almost screamed at her, "WHAAAAAAAAT????" This is a big deal if it's true. If the 'news' of any so-called 'cure' emerges among the general population, HIV education may almost seem redundant.


    Yeah that article is way old! I don't believe it though... Most people are worried about cancer now which is the AIDS of the 2000s.

    Young folk these days don't seem to care if they're HIV+- to them it means they can whore it out freely- save on condoms- and don't have to worry about whether they're positive or not. ...it's "liberating."
    Bunch of idiots if you ask me.

    *according to Rick and Steve- Chuck to be exact- When it comes to sex always remember:
    Bring
    A
    Rubber
    Everytime
    Because
    AIDS
    Can
    Kill


    Sex
    Doesn't
    Have
    To
    Need
    A
    Rubber
    Every
    Time

    Not all forms of sexual contact carry the same risk.
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    Mar 19, 2011 2:39 PM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    I heard from a friend recently that a Vancouver treasure, artist Joe Average (just a beautiful man) who has managed his disease for decades, is now struggling and won't appear in public. We've lost so many beautiful men. Enough already.

    joeaverage.jpg



    Hey I remember Joe when he was just starting out - pre AIDS. A talented guy with a penchant for a 'smart cocktail' as he so eloquently put it, in the afternoon. He's a Vancouver icon.

    -Doug
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2011 2:44 PM GMT
    Animus said
    Sex
    Doesn't
    Have
    To
    Need
    A
    Rubber
    Every
    Time

    Not all forms of sexual contact carry the same risk.


    That doesn't make any sense.

    SDHTNARET?

    Right over your head I take it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2011 5:15 PM GMT
    I don't understand it either. I was "getting to know" some dude in Vegas and things we're going well.. One day he decides to tell me he met some dude through a mutual friend from SD he's been "talking" to w HIV and he kinda liked him. I tried explaining to him that HIV is not something to mess around w but he was so brain washed by the HIV guy telling him that as long as you take this magical pill, HIV can't be spread. BULLSHIT. I see the guy w HIV on RJ and his profile says HIV-. I won't blow the guys spot up and I mean no disrespect to anyone w HIV, but if you have it, don't lie about it, it's not a joke. If the dude in Vegas wants HIV, by all means, go for it, but stay away from me... Just sayin'
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2011 5:52 PM GMT
    I was also taught in school that HIV is a big deal, but some guys nowadays are like HIV is nothing now, I'm sorry, but I'm staying negative at all costs!!
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    Mar 19, 2011 6:00 PM GMT
    Because with the latest drugs and the steroids they put POZ guys on to maintain their weight makes POZ guys look like the ideal hot, healthy man we all aspire and lust after.

    It's a bit of an illusion. That said, HIV isn't the death sentence it used to be and I was in a relationship with a POZ guy without adverse health issues. I would do it again no problem.
  • SFGeoNinja

    Posts: 510

    Mar 19, 2011 6:52 PM GMT
    sdgman saidBecause with the latest drugs and the steroids they put POZ guys on to maintain their weight makes POZ guys look like the ideal hot, healthy man we all aspire and lust after.

    It's a bit of an illusion. That said, HIV isn't the death sentence it used to be and I was in a relationship with a POZ guy without adverse health issues. I would do it again no problem.


    Wow, that's a new one. So taking anti-virals is the new creatine powder?
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    Mar 19, 2011 6:55 PM GMT
    davidp7 said
    sdgman saidBecause with the latest drugs and the steroids they put POZ guys on to maintain their weight makes POZ guys look like the ideal hot, healthy man we all aspire and lust after.

    It's a bit of an illusion. That said, HIV isn't the death sentence it used to be and I was in a relationship with a POZ guy without adverse health issues. I would do it again no problem.


    Wow, that's a new one. So taking anti-virals is the new creatine powder?


    Well, it's actually not the anti-virals that do that, it's the steroids. I mis(spoke). The anti virals are much better, more affective and less of a hassle than in the past, when they had to take a hundred pills a day.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 19, 2011 6:59 PM GMT
    They are fooled into believing that HIV is so manageable that the side effects are next to nothing.The media is largely responsible for this trend.I recently invited a young guy from Puerto Rico to a party me and my BF threw.I was trying to get some fresh faces over and he was small and very cute.I could not believe that he told me he was 22,already had 2 kids and that he and his lover were both poz!
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    Mar 19, 2011 7:02 PM GMT
    yeah there is a cure for HIV, I read, BUT you have to also have Leukemia! It is a lengthy, risky, and very expensive process.
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    Mar 19, 2011 7:20 PM GMT
    As a poz man it breaks my heart to hear that there is anyone that doesn't take this disease seriously. Since my diagnosis just 2 years ago I have been put thru so many blood tests, on so many meds, & been in the hospital 3x. Does that sound like "1 pill a day"? I dont think so.

    Now that ive stabilized, I am on 1 pill a day but even when I take that it knocks me out for 3-4 hours. This isnt including the extra medical costs of meds, blood tests taking regularly & etc. Anyone that desires this disease is ignorant & uninformed.

    Because of this reason, when I first found out I was poz, I joined a great poz site called poziam.com. I became a well known blogger for them as well as was on their radio show. It was rewarding to try to help others but due to my work schedule & other complications I stopped doing it.

    I feel now I would rather try to make a difference at a local level v.s. the internet. I am considering starting a support group where I live & have formed a social group of poz guys as well that we can all talk freely about our disease & just hang out with no worries.

    Anyone that says this disease is nothing to worry about obviously knows nothing about the disease. As ive told so many people so far....the meds have advanced so much but the ignorance & social stigma of this disease is still stuck in the 80s.

    It has to change somehow or we are going to lose a whole other generation of beautiful talented people like we did in the 80s.
  • WVHilltopguy

    Posts: 5

    Mar 20, 2011 1:40 PM GMT
    Some things on the hiv subject I have learned and observed and come to believe over the years:

    Please do not kid yourself. Not all viruses are "wild type" viruses that may be treated with a one pill a day dosage. You could be infected with one of those multi-drug resistant boogers that either have to be treated by a large amount of different hiv meds with their different side effects that leave you tired, nauseated and depressed all the time.

    I think as a community, we need to get everyone to the mindset that the virus is nothing to be messed around with, while still getting to the point that everyone is educated with what actually happens when you live with HIV to where most are not so horrified about the virus and social stigma that they are not afraid to get tested on a regular basis.

    Interesting thing, 25+ years into all this, I talk to too many in their late 20's and 30's that say they never knew anyone with HIV. I'm sure this is due to the gay communities treatment of those that are HIV+.

    I am sure that most think HIV prevention is to find out who has it, tell everyone, so they wont be infected by these persons and then never worry about safe sex with the others. This, Im sure is why so many are still getting infected. They are scared to death of the social ramifications of a HIV postive diagnosis, so they avoid the whole ordeal by not getting tested.

    For those that say they require documentation that those they have sex with are not infected, do you not understand that when first infected, there are no antibodies to detect on standard HIV tests? Also, being no HIV antibodies in a newly infected person, the virus runs rampant. Yes, you can get infected by a HIV negative person. Negative/positive refers to detection of antibodies and not the virus itself. This is never discussed.

    I admire those that get tested regularly, have their safer sex standards they abide by, while still enjoying physical relation with others. Their standards they have lived and loved by during their lifetime have enabled them to have fun and still not burden themselves with a lifetime infection. Many, I have seen helped those sick and dying back when hiv was a certain death sentence. Those I admire know much about hiv and have many friends that are infected, while never rejecting the infected ones as friends and lovers. They, I feel these people are our community heroes. I respect them much.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2011 3:34 PM GMT
    redbull saidAs a poz man it breaks my heart to hear that there is anyone that doesn't take this disease seriously. Since my diagnosis just 2 years ago I have been put thru so many blood tests, on so many meds, & been in the hospital 3x. Does that sound like "1 pill a day"? I dont think so.

    Now that ive stabilized, I am on 1 pill a day but even when I take that it knocks me out for 3-4 hours. This isnt including the extra medical costs of meds, blood tests taking regularly & etc. Anyone that desires this disease is ignorant & uninformed.

    Because of this reason, when I first found out I was poz, I joined a great poz site called poziam.com. I became a well known blogger for them as well as was on their radio show. It was rewarding to try to help others but due to my work schedule & other complications I stopped doing it.

    I feel now I would rather try to make a difference at a local level v.s. the internet. I am considering starting a support group where I live & have formed a social group of poz guys as well that we can all talk freely about our disease & just hang out with no worries.

    Anyone that says this disease is nothing to worry about obviously knows nothing about the disease. As ive told so many people so far....the meds have advanced so much but the ignorance & social stigma of this disease is still stuck in the 80s.

    It has to change somehow or we are going to lose a whole other generation of beautiful talented people like we did in the 80s.


    Thanks its nice to hear the opinion of someone who actually lives with HIV and is undergoing treatment for it.

    Its great to hear that you sound very positive and involved despite the stigma and difficulties with HIV, I think it's quite inspiring.
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    Mar 20, 2011 3:46 PM GMT
    ddt8665 saidyeah there is a cure for HIV, I read, BUT you have to also have Leukemia! It is a lengthy, risky, and very expensive process.


    That was an accident!
    The next person they tried it on, died.
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    Mar 20, 2011 3:57 PM GMT
    davidp7 saidA friend of mine recently dropped the bomb that "they cured AIDS already". I almost screamed at her, "WHAAAAAAAAT????" This is a big deal if it's true. If the 'news' of any so-called 'cure' emerges among the general population, HIV education may almost seem redundant.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/14/hiv-cure-berlin-patient_n_796521.html

    "Doctors believe an HIV-positive man who underwent a stem cell transplant has been cured as a result of the procedure.

    Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the "Berlin Patient," received the transplant in 2007 as part of a lengthy treatment course for leukemia. His doctors recently published a report in the journal Blood affirming that the results of extensive testing "strongly suggest that cure of HIV infection has been achieved."

    Brown's case paves a path for constructing a permanent cure for HIV through genetically-engineered stem cells."


    Remember before HIV/AIDS, there was no such thing as "safe sex." If news of a so-called "AIDS cure" gains enough momentum, I fear it will be disastrous for the millions of people in developing countries for whom the disease still is a serious death sentence because they can't get access to anti-retrovirals.


    Hey, no offense meant towards you at all, because obviously you totally mean well... However this is really close to the attitude I'm talking about.

    I'm certainly no infectious disease doctorate, but I could link you to dozens of articles (some way back 20 years ago) where reporters claim to have found a very convincing, cutting-edge tech cure for HIV.

    Often they jump the gun, forgetting that a cure in theory and then actual real world application and materialization of it are two very different beasts. What works on computer simulations and on mice is usually not acceptable for the general human populace for a plethora of reasons.

    And please, please, please people... Stop it with the bone marrow story. That happened one, not very well documented time, in one person.

    They don't understand the CCR5 delta 32 thing completely. Even with people who have 2 copies of it, they sometimes still contract HIV. It is far from a cure that is actually available to people.
  • charlieviiper...

    Posts: 328

    Mar 20, 2011 7:03 PM GMT
    What i find annoying is the pharmaceutical companies and their HIV drug ads that are a bit distorting. Ads of people that may be unrealistically rock climbing and skydiving. Yeah, there are people that can live normal fit happy and healthy lives, but these marketing campaigns are a little desensitizing.
  • SFGeoNinja

    Posts: 510

    Mar 21, 2011 4:04 AM GMT
    narwhalbacon said
    davidp7 saidA friend of mine recently dropped the bomb that "they cured AIDS already". I almost screamed at her, "WHAAAAAAAAT????" This is a big deal if it's true. If the 'news' of any so-called 'cure' emerges among the general population, HIV education may almost seem redundant.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/14/hiv-cure-berlin-patient_n_796521.html

    "Doctors believe an HIV-positive man who underwent a stem cell transplant has been cured as a result of the procedure.

    Timothy Ray Brown, also known as the "Berlin Patient," received the transplant in 2007 as part of a lengthy treatment course for leukemia. His doctors recently published a report in the journal Blood affirming that the results of extensive testing "strongly suggest that cure of HIV infection has been achieved."

    Brown's case paves a path for constructing a permanent cure for HIV through genetically-engineered stem cells."


    Remember before HIV/AIDS, there was no such thing as "safe sex." If news of a so-called "AIDS cure" gains enough momentum, I fear it will be disastrous for the millions of people in developing countries for whom the disease still is a serious death sentence because they can't get access to anti-retrovirals.


    Hey, no offense meant towards you at all, because obviously you totally mean well... However this is really close to the attitude I'm talking about.

    I'm certainly no infectious disease doctorate, but I could link you to dozens of articles (some way back 20 years ago) where reporters claim to have found a very convincing, cutting-edge tech cure for HIV.

    Often they jump the gun, forgetting that a cure in theory and then actual real world application and materialization of it are two very different beasts. What works on computer simulations and on mice is usually not acceptable for the general human populace for a plethora of reasons.

    And please, please, please people... Stop it with the bone marrow story. That happened one, not very well documented time, in one person.

    They don't understand the CCR5 delta 32 thing completely. Even with people who have 2 copies of it, they sometimes still contract HIV. It is far from a cure that is actually available to people.


    I totally agree with you, the gap between scientific discoveries like this and their general application is a huge one. The reason I mentioned that is because I found it so shocking that my friend could even let the words "they cured HIV" leave her lips, so I was curious. In the long run, it will probably take decades before a mass cure like a vaccine is actual affordable and available.
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    Mar 21, 2011 5:10 AM GMT
    davidp7 said
    narwhalbacon said
    davidp7 said.... They don't understand the CCR5 delta 32 thing completely. Even with people who have 2 copies of it, they sometimes still contract HIV. It is far from a cure that is actually available to people.


    I totally agree with you, the gap between scientific discoveries like this and their general application is a huge one. The reason I mentioned that is because I found it so shocking that my friend could even let the words "they cured HIV" leave her lips, so I was curious. In the long run, it will probably take decades before a mass cure like a vaccine is actual affordable and available.


    Yes, the reality of time it takes from initial discovery to practical therapy was also discussed on a previous thread titled "Calif. Doctor Develops HIV Smart Bomb".

    OP question: "Why do people think that HIV isn't very bad anymore?"

    To be blunt: It's because the time from HIV infection to full-blown AIDS has been extended with the help of HAART, thereby increasing average longevity in those infected with HIV. Of course, once the viral load skyrockets and the CD4 count declines, HIV+ patients will die of the same opportunistic infections as before. Those who have honestly shared their personal stories above give testament to the fact that it's a complicated daily battle for health maintenance, and ultimately survival. Living with HIV isn't just for shits and giggles.