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Thread: New strand of HIV in NY

  1. #1
    Report on a New Form of H.I.V. Brings Alarm, Not Surprise



    By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑAand MARC SANTORA
    New York Times
    As word spread of a rare and potentially more aggressive form of H.I.V., first reported publicly in New York on Friday, communities already hit hard by the disease, professionals who combat it, and people who are infected reacted yesterday with fear and skepticism. But few were surprised, given that the sense of urgency about the disease has waned.

    Michael Justiniano, 37, who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, said he watched his father die of AIDS in 1993. "I have spoken to young kids, sometimes here, who say, 'If I get it, it's no big deal. I can just take a pill,' " he said. "I'm like, 'Are you stupid?' It is so disgusting. I find it really disturbing."

    City health officials announced on Friday that they had detected the rare strain of H.I.V. in one man whose case they described as particularly worrisome because it merged two unusual features: resistance to nearly all anti-retroviral drugs used to treat the infection, and stunningly swift progression from infection to full-fledged AIDS. Scientists say that only with more testing will they hope to determine how virulent the strain is and how specific to this one man its effects are.

    That combination drug resistance and rapid AIDS onset, the officials said, could signal a new, more menacing kind of infection, and its discovery set in motion an anxious search by city workers to find the man's sexual partners and have them tested.

    The infected man, gay and in his 40's, tested negative for H.I.V. in May 2003, then tested positive last December, health officials said. Investigators believe he may have contracted the virus in October when he engaged in unprotected anal sex with multiple partners while using crystal methamphetamine. By last month, it was clear that three of the four classes of anti-retroviral drugs used against H.I.V. were not working in this case, and the man showed signs of AIDS, including rapid weight loss, a high level of the virus in his bloodstream, and a depleted supply of crucial immune system cells.

    Even though the anti-retroviral "cocktail" has extended many lives, some infected people still deteriorate and end up with AIDS, but that process usually takes many years. Doctors say that for a patient to reach that stage in a matter of months is extremely troubling.

    AIDS experts and public health officials have long maintained that since the development of anti-retroviral drugs in the 1990's, people have developed a false sense that AIDS no longer poses a significant threat, leading to a rise in unprotected sex. Clear evidence of the trend has been seen in the growing number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, chlamydia, and lymphogranuloma.

    In 2003, a survey by New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that more than half of city residents with multiple recent sexual partners had not been tested for H.I.V. in the previous 18 months, and 40 percent said that they had not used condoms the last time they had sex. At the time, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the city health commissioner, attributed the results to "H.I.V. precaution burnout."

    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg described the failure to take precautions against H.I.V. in stark terms yesterday. "It's just a sin in our society, where we know how it's transmitted from one person to another," he said, "and we should be able to get people to conduct themselves such that they don't catch it themselves, and certainly that they don't infect anybody else."

    Unsafe sex practices combined with growing resistance to medications among people with H.I.V., has had officials warning for years about a possible resurgence of AIDS, a fear voiced yesterday by many people across the country as they struggled to make sense of the news out of New York.

    Oliver Palan, 19, a gay student at Baruch College, said that he had slept with 10 men recently, and that none of them had wanted to use a condom. "So many people are like, 'It is so much more fun without the condom,' so they prefer to take the risk," he said, noting that he insists on using condoms. Often, he said, partners will try to dissuade him by saying, "I trust you, you should trust me."

    Edsel Gonzalez, 30, a business owner in South Beach, the Miami Beach neighborhood filled with nightclubs and restaurants that is popular among gays, said he was "absolutely worried about this."

    "It seems like we're moving backwards in the fight against AIDS," Mr. Gonzalez said. "I'm scared for my son and my family - to think that a type of unknown H.I.V. can resist the effects of modern medicine is unsettling."

    Yesterday morning at the Big Cup, a popular coffee shop in Chelsea, the customers, most of them gay men, talked about how the fear of AIDS had declined, especially among a younger generation that did not have the searing experience of watching friends die. Some said they feared that a new strain of the disease might have emerged, but none were surprised, given the prevailing attitude.

    "People got so comfortable with the drugs that they have started becoming complacent," said Will Elosei, 37, from Jersey City. Now, he said, "I think people are going to be more paranoid about everything. Hopefully, open sex will not be a common thing like it is right now."

    At an H.I.V. treatment center run by the group Housing Works, in East New York, Brooklyn, an H.I.V.-positive woman named Pat, who would not give her last name, said: "The medications gave people a false sense of security. It gave them a sense that they could do things that before were a death sentence."

    People who work in H.I.V. treatment and prevention reported a spike in calls from distraught patients Friday and yesterday, some of them with inaccurate or exaggerated information. "I got a call from someone who had heard that there was a new strain of virus that was spreading around, that resulted in an all but instant onset of AIDS and was totally untreatable," said Martin Delaney, founding director of Project Inform, an AIDS advocacy group in San Francisco.

    The true significance of Friday's announcement immediately became a topic of heated debate among scientists who study H.I.V. and AIDS. Many of them said it was too soon to say if the single infection in New York was truly something new. Some noted that they had seen the rapid progression of H.I.V. to AIDS and high drug resistance before, though not both in combination. They said that the New York case could indicate more about the vulnerability of the infected man's immune system than about the dangers of the virus in his body.

    "We need better characterization of the virus in this man," said Dr. Marcus Conant, a professor at the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. "What does it look like genetically?"

    Yet he, too, voiced a lack of surprise at the possibility that a more dangerous strain had emerged. "All of us have been expecting for some time there would be the multidrug resistance," he said. "This virus has mutated around what we've thrown at it."

    Patrick McGovern, executive director of Harlem United Community AIDS Center, said he was unsure what to think, but added, "I don't know this to be a scare-mongering administration, so I would tend to take them pretty seriously."

    Even as he announced the detection of the aggressive strain of H.I.V., Dr. Frieden, the city health commissioner, said that more testing was needed before health officials and scientists could be certain about the extent of the threat. But for now, he said, the responsible reaction was to treat it as a real menace and to alert the public.

    Yesterday, doctors and counselors who specialize in H.I.V. treatment and prevention were focused on news that the more virulent infection had appeared in a man who used methamphetamine and then had unprotected sex with multiple partners.

    For decades, methamphetamine - a powerful and sometimes addictive stimulant also called crystal meth or speed - was found mostly in states in the West. But it has made deep inroads around the country in recent years, and in much of the nation's midsection it has supplanted cocaine and heroin as the biggest drug problem. In recent years, H.I.V. counselors say, sexual marathons, fueled by methamphetamine and other drugs, have become popular among some gay men.

    "In the last 12 to 15 months, we've seen a huge increase in meth use among people that are newly tested H.I.V.-positive," Mr. McGovern said. "People become hypersexual when they're using crystal, but crystal by itself can limit your ability to function sexually. So people combine it with something like Viagra, that lets them keep going for hours."

    Doctors disagree about the role methamphetamine may play in making users more susceptible to infection, but there is widespread agreement that it lowers inhibitions and can lead to more unprotected frequent sex with multiple partners.

    Dennis DeLeon, the president of the Latino Commission on AIDS, said it was common for men using methamphetamine to have sex with 10 to 20 partners in one night. "It is a drug where they just lose count," he said.

    Most gay men do not engage in such behavior, nor is it limited to gays. But medical history has shown repeatedly that a small number of infected people can cause a serious health hazard.

    With doctors, medical researchers and public health officials now on the lookout for signs of a spreading condition, the true nature of the threat may soon become apparent. Health officials seeking to protect the infected man's privacy have said little about him except that he had been very active sexually - one person briefed on the case said he had had hundreds of sexual partners - raising the prospect that others have been infected with the same strain. If the virus is as dangerous as some health officials fear, similar cases could be expected to crop up soon.

    If experts were uncertain how concerned they should be, average citizens were even more so.

    At the Housing Works center in Brooklyn, where most of the clients are black, some said they thought a more virulent form of AIDS was old news. Others said they believed it affected only white people, and still others said the entire affair was an overreaction.

    Lissa Welchel, 32, a wine broker in Miami, said the more she learned about the strain the more worried she became. "What scares me the most is the rapid progression of this strand," she said. "AIDS is a scary disease in itself, and to think that an unknown strand with such power could be transmissible is a definite alarm for concern."

    Still, she said she was unsure how great a threat it was. "I hope that this is just a single case and we don't experience a wide-spread event of people dying from AIDS years before their time," she said.

  2. #2
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    So basically, HIV has learned to adapt to anything we've used previously to combat it. Great.

  3. #3
    My policy will continue to be:

    no needles
    no queers
    no hookers.

    So far, that's worked for me.

  4. #4
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jets&Canes[/i]@Feb 16 2005, 03:40 PM
    [b] My policy will continue to be:

    no needles
    no queers
    no hookers.

    So far, that's worked for me. [/b][/quote]
    Bingo.

    Also, did you know you can have your own blood stored when you donate?

    I recommend donating blood OFTEN, every third pint, have it stored for yourself.

  5. #5
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    I'm not a homosexual, bisexual, promiscuious heterosexual or IV drug user so I could care less.

    This isn't cancer, this isn't the plague, it can't be transmitted through the air and it doesn't just 'pop out of the blue'.

    I have zero compassion for the whore-like homosexuals and/or herterosexuals and/or IV Drug users who acquire it this far into the game because of the life style they chose for themselves. This isn't new. This isn't a suprise virus. This is 99% preventable, period.

    Does that mean they deserve to die, NO. Does that mean I hope bad things for them, NO. But I'm not going to sit here and lose sleep because some whore or drug user caught it 20+ years into the epidemic because wearing a condom and/or not screwing everything in sight is too much to ask.

    I'll save my compassion for AIDS babies and those other unforunate people who contracted it via methods beyond their control.

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    I guess the moral of the story is don't play butt dart's.

  7. #7
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Moses[/i]@Feb 17 2005, 08:47 AM
    [b] I guess the moral of the story is don't play butt dart's. [/b][/quote]
    Gee and all this Time I thought HIV was "Heavy into Vodka" which
    led to AIDS "Alcohol in Da System"!!! :P

  8. #8
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Moses[/i]@Feb 17 2005, 07:47 AM
    [b] I guess the moral of the story is don't play butt dart's. [/b][/quote]
    Yeah because we all know that's the only way to get it. :rolleyes: The guy was said to be under the influence of crystal meth at the time too. Maybe that was it.

  9. #9
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Alk+Feb 17 2005, 10:46 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Alk @ Feb 17 2005, 10:46 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Jet Moses[/i]@Feb 17 2005, 07:47 AM
    [b] I guess the moral of the story is don&#39;t play butt dart&#39;s. [/b][/quote]
    Yeah because we all know that&#39;s the only way to get it. :rolleyes: The guy was said to be under the influence of crystal meth at the time too. Maybe that was it. [/b][/quote]
    [img]http://www.poster.net/garland-judy/garland-judy-photo-judy-garland-6203730.jpg[/img]

  10. #10
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    I agree with all above.

    But another concern for me is this (which may now be africa&#39;s problem):
    If enough women get it in a particular area, and have chldren that are born with it...then those children may live long enough to begin spreading it via non-gay means: girls (via childbirth) boys (via obvious means)

    All the above is possible because the disease is latent for so many years prior to killing you. This latency is why AIDS is so bad. Things like ebola aren&#39;t a problem because they kill everyone quickly and we can detect and isolate it.

    The above scenario still doesn&#39;t threaten CURRENT non-gay people. But if WE don&#39;t reproduce faster than THEIR children, they will REPLACE us with generations of condemded people.

    If the planet saturates with people like Africa, by simply outBREEDING the rest of us, Humanity will survive but with a life expectancy of about 20.

  11. #11
    dude i heard the new strain of AIDS can be traced to that lovely gay whore that Bush hired to lob softball questions at press conferences&#33; :lol:

    "exschuse me&#33; whoo-hoo I have a questhion misther president"

    "yes - the man in the tu-tu"

    "um- yeah - my questhion is how come you are so buff?" :lol:

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Moses+Feb 18 2005, 07:55 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Jet Moses @ Feb 18 2005, 07:55 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> [quote]Originally posted by Alk@Feb 17 2005, 10:46 PM
    [b] <!--QuoteBegin-Jet Moses[/i]@Feb 17 2005, 07:47 AM
    [b] I guess the moral of the story is don&#39;t play butt dart&#39;s. [/b][/quote]
    Yeah because we all know that&#39;s the only way to get it. :rolleyes: The guy was said to be under the influence of crystal meth at the time too. Maybe that was it. [/b][/quote]
    [img]http://www.poster.net/garland-judy/garland-judy-photo-judy-garland-6203730.jpg[/img] [/b][/quote]
    When you&#39;re proven wrong and don&#39;t have a leg to stand on, just post a funny picture. Good strategy. :lol:

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Alk[/i]@Feb 18 2005, 07:07 PM
    [b] When you&#39;re proven wrong and don&#39;t have a leg to stand on, just post a funny picture. Good strategy. :lol: [/b][/quote]
    So Alk, you&#39;re ruling that out? A guy takes in the butt 100 times by 100 different men, in the space of a few weeks but that&#39;s not why he got HIV which rapidly deteriorated into full blown AIDS which killed him shortly thereafter?

    Really?

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Moses+Feb 18 2005, 08:23 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Jet Moses @ Feb 18 2005, 08:23 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Alk[/i]@Feb 18 2005, 07:07 PM
    [b] When you&#39;re proven wrong and don&#39;t have a leg to stand on, just post a funny picture. Good strategy. :lol: [/b][/quote]
    So Alk, you&#39;re ruling that out? A guy takes in the butt 100 times by 100 different men, in the space of a few weeks but that&#39;s not why he got HIV which rapidly deteriorated into full blown AIDS which killed him shortly thereafter?

    Really? [/b][/quote]
    No, I&#39;m sure that&#39;s how he got it but the way you talk, that&#39;s the ONLY way you can contract it. " I guess the moral of the story is don&#39;t play butt dart&#39;s."

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Alk[/i]@Feb 18 2005, 11:32 PM
    [b]
    No, I&#39;m sure that&#39;s how he got it but the way you talk, that&#39;s the ONLY way you can contract it. " I guess the moral of the story is don&#39;t play butt dart&#39;s." [/b][/quote]
    Dude, you are such a wet blanket.

    OK, doctor Alk, give me the ways you can catch HIV and their percentages. I bet anal sex, particularly among homosexuals, has a plurality, if not a majority. :lol:

    And leave Africa out of this, it&#39;s an anomaly altogether. Don&#39;t tell me a sexually active heterosexual high school senior in Belthlehem PA has just as much chance of catching HIV as a 35 year old sexually active gay man in the East Village, because 18 year old hetoro&#39;s in the Congo are catching AIDS at the same rate as gay men in Frisco.

    Should we take precautions not to catch Ebola, too?

    Alk, tell me what the odds are to catch HIV for people who don&#39;t engage in anal sex with multiple partners and/or share used needles? If you don&#39;t skewer the data with African statistics-

    It&#39;s like, .0001% :lol:

  16. #16
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Moses+Feb 19 2005, 08:20 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Jet Moses @ Feb 19 2005, 08:20 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Alk[/i]@Feb 18 2005, 11:32 PM
    [b]
    No, I&#39;m sure that&#39;s how he got it but the way you talk, that&#39;s the ONLY way you can contract it. " I guess the moral of the story is don&#39;t play butt dart&#39;s." [/b][/quote]
    Dude, you are such a wet blanket.

    OK, doctor Alk, give me the ways you can catch HIV and their percentages. I bet anal sex, particularly among homosexuals, has a plurality, if not a majority. :lol:

    And leave Africa out of this, it&#39;s an anomaly altogether. Don&#39;t tell me a sexually active heterosexual high school senior in Belthlehem PA has just as much chance of catching HIV as a 35 year old sexually active gay man in the East Village, because 18 year old hetoro&#39;s in the Congo are catching AIDS at the same rate as gay men in Frisco.

    Should we take precautions not to catch Ebola, too?

    Alk, tell me what the odds are to catch HIV for people who don&#39;t engage in anal sex with multiple partners and/or share used needles? If you don&#39;t skewer the data with African statistics-

    It&#39;s like, .0001% :lol: [/b][/quote]
    I don&#39;t give a s**t what the percentages are. Are you telling me that since your a straight male (I think) that there is absolutely no chance that you could contract HIV?

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Alk[/i]@Feb 19 2005, 10:23 AM
    [b] Are you telling me that since your a straight male (I think) that there is absolutely no chance that you could contract HIV? [/b][/quote]
    HIV primarily afflicts an exclusive demographic who account for about 6% of the total population.

    I&#39;m not a member of that group, nor do I associate with, fraternize with, or engage in any sexual contact with said group. I am confident I have never had sex with any woman who does.

    This group is primarily homosexuals, convicts, ex-convicts, junkies, prostitutes (both male and female) and otherwise unhygienic, sexually promiscuous people (both male and female, both gay and straight) who have less than one degree of seperation from the primary carriers and spreaders of HIV/AIDS.

    For someone to contract HIV, they either engaged in unprotected sex with a primary carrier, or they had sex with a partner who just did.

    The same holds true with sharing used needles.


    So to answer your question, I have about as much chance of catching HIV as I do getting struck by lightning.

    I have come to this conclusion by studying the data provided here:

    [url=http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/dhap.htm]http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/dhap.htm[/url]

  18. #18
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Alk[/i]@Feb 18 2005, 11:32 PM
    [b] No, I&#39;m sure that&#39;s how he got it but the way you talk, that&#39;s the ONLY way you can contract it. " I guess the moral of the story is don&#39;t play butt dart&#39;s." [/b][/quote]


    So you agree with me; the guy got it from playing butt darts. The rest of your statement is conjecture.

    Good day, sir I SAID GOOD DAY SIR&#33;&#33;&#33;

    "The CDC reports at least one half of all new HIV infections occur in people under 25; the largest subset of that group is gay men." -Adam B. Vary/The Advocate

  19. #19
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jets&Canes[/i]@Feb 16 2005, 02:40 PM
    [b] My policy will continue to be:

    no needles
    no queers
    no hookers.

    So far, that&#39;s worked for me. [/b][/quote]
    Yes, because only gay people get AIDS right? :blink: Haven&#39;t we abandoned that myth, for about 15 years now?

  20. #20
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by curtisthegreat+Feb 20 2005, 02:38 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (curtisthegreat @ Feb 20 2005, 02:38 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Jets&Canes[/i]@Feb 16 2005, 02:40 PM
    [b] My policy will continue to be:

    no needles
    no queers
    no hookers.

    So far, that&#39;s worked for me. [/b][/quote]
    Yes, because only gay people get AIDS right? :blink: Haven&#39;t we abandoned that myth, for about 15 years now? [/b][/quote]
    Myth?

    [url=http://www.actupny.org/]http://www.actupny.org/[/url]

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