HIV / AIDS - resources and information.

dr seuss

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Ok, this is intended to be a resource that will help people who are affected by HIV / AIDS, whether directly or indirectly.

*What is AIDS / HIV?*

AIDS means ‘Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome’. It is caused by a retrovirus, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which basically affects your immune system (the body’s defence mechanism). This is the transmittable aspect – you can catch HIV from other people. It does not necessarily lead to full-blown AIDS – lots of people live with HIV but do not contract AIDS for years. However, being HIV positive means that you are much more susceptible to all the minor bacteria, fungi, parasites & viruses that we encounter during life. HIV leaves your body unable to defend itself from these various threats, and thus a common cold can be life-threatening to an HIV sufferer. These are known as ‘opportunistic infections’. There is no cure for AIDS – however, various drugs can reduce the damage to your immune system that HIV causes. Early diagnosis and treatment (even though most HIV sufferers remain asymptomatic for 10 years) can help extend a person’s life.

The HIV virus lives and breeds mostly in the white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting disease. HIV infection usually manifests itself in a reduction of CD4 (or ‘T-helper’) immune cells; as the virus grows it destroys these cells & uses their energy & nutrients to reproduce. The US. Center for Disease Control classifies someone as positive for AIDS when they have had an opportunistic infection, or when the number of CD4 cells has dropped to below 200 per cubic millilitre of blood – a healthy person has from 450 – 1200 CD4 cells per cubic ml. This process is known as a T-cell count.

AIDS is fast becoming one of the most frightening pandemic diseases the human race has encountered. Although it has not yet claimed anywhere near the number of victims that the Black Plague, Typhoid or Malaria have, it is a relatively ‘new’ virus and it is spreading like wildfire. In parts of Africa two thirds of the adult population are infected with HIV. The Joint United Nations HIV/AIDS Programme (UNAIDS) estimates that there are 34 million people infected worldwide; for the benefit of the (mostly) American bluelight community, here are a few sobering facts about HIV in the USA:

- 40,000 people are infected with HIV every year in America. That’s two people every hour of every day in the states alone.
- 1 out of every 250 Americans is HIV positive. half of those carrying the virus have not been tested & do not know about it .
- 430,000 people have been killed by AIDS in the US alone – around 20 million have died worldwide, although obviously these figures are a vast understatement, as many countries lack the medical / demographic abilities to record the actual number of deaths caused by HIV.

HIV is transmitted through the direct contact between an infected party’s bodily fluids (such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk) and the bloodstream of another person. This can
occur as a result of:

- unprotected sex (anal or vaginal). This is a high-risk activity, especially anal sex. Women are more susceptible to catching HIV from vaginal sex than men.
- Unprotected oral sex. This is less of a risk than penetrative sex, but there is still a chance of transmitting / catching the disease, particularly if a) ejaculation occurs or b) the giver / receiver has poor oral hygiene.
- Sharing needles or syringes. This means all types of syringe – whether it is used for administering steroids, smack, blood tests or body piercings. infectious HIV can survive for up to a month in used syringes . I would like to paraphrase PhreeX’s words of wisdom – “there is only one type of rig, that is a clean, packaged, sterilised rig”.
- Infection during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. The American Foundation for AIDS Research recommends that any woman who is pregnant or planning to become so should be tested for HIV. If the virus is found in the mother, then preventative drugs and guidance to avoid breast-feeding can dramatically reduce the chance of HIV passing to the unborn child.

HIV is not transmitted through food or air. It is present in saliva, vomit, feces, sweat and tears – however chances of transmission via these mediums is very unlikely. The AMFAR says: “There has never been a case where a person was infected by a household member, relative, co-worker, or friend through casual or everyday contact such as sharing eating utensils and bathroom facilities or hugging and kissing”. Interestingly, having had a sexually transmitted disease does increase your chances of contracting HIV. Individuals who are HIV positive and contract another STD are 3 to 5 times more likely to transmit the virus. So overall, safe sex is really important. It’s also important to realise that AIDS does not discriminate; everyone is at risk, and your lifestyle choices are the only real steps towards prevention that you can take. Women are four times more likely to contract HIV through vaginal sex than men, so girls – ALWAYS insist on being protected. It’s not worth the risk.

Most people are aware of the various means by which AIDS can be contracted, and the methods we can use to prevent infection. Condoms, dental dams, clean needles, and if you’re going to use a lube, make it a water-based one since oil or petroleum based lubes (e.g. Vaseline) render condoms useless. Just use your head, be safe, and always think of the possible consequences of unprotected sex. Remember that people can carry HIV for decades before showing any symptoms, so just be extra careful. For IV drug users, the CDC has a relevant page on minimising the risk - http://www.cdc.gov/idu/pubs/hiv_prev.htm

*there is hope*

HIV / AIDS sufferers who live in developed countries do have access to a number of drugs that can slow the destructive effects of infection. Some drugs are intended to deal with the opportunistic infections that kill so many HIV sufferers, whilst others are designed to prevent the virus from reproducing and damaging the immune system. The latter fall under two categories:

- Reverse transcriptase inhibitors. These effectively attack an enzyme found in HIV called reverse transcriptase. Abacavir, delavirdine, didanosine (ddI), efavirenz, lamivudine (3TC), nevirapine, stavudine (d4T), zalcitabine (ddC), and zidovudine (AZT) are all reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
- Protease inhibitors are designed to specifically target the HIV enzyme protease. This group of anti-retroviral medicines include amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, and saquinavir.

Those HIV sufferers who are in rich Western countries & who can afford treatment are often prescribed a combination of several of these drugs, in a system known as HAART or highly active antiretroviral therapy. This can be successful in terms of improving the CD4 cell count and reducing the amounts of HIV in the blood. There is a lot of heavily funded scientific research in the HIV/AIDS sector, and around the world people are working on ways of treating, and perhaps most importantly, preventing the transmission of HIV.

However, HIV/AIDS remains a life-threatening illness for the majority of sufferers. Many people do not respond to the various drugs; antiretroviral drugs are often highly toxic, and most worryingly HIV mutates constantly. In 40% of people undergoing HAART the virus mutates to a highly drug-resistant strain.

*what about me?*

even if you look & feel perfectly healthy, you may be infected with HIV. Some of those infected develop mild flu-like symptoms, or persistent swollen glands. The only way to know for sure is to get tested! This is important because a) the earlier you are diagnosed, the better the chances for effective treatment, b) you will be able to take all the right steps to avoid infecting others and c) if you are pregnant, you can dramatically reduce the risk of infecting your child. Bluelighters, please take precautions and please take it seriously as HIV really can happen to you. Below are some resources – first phone lines, then a list of websites - that I found particularly useful / informative. There is a focus on UK, US and Aussie resources as the vast majority of bluelight traffic comes from these regions. Please feel free to add anything you feel might help others.

The USA Center for Disease Control’s AIDS hotline is 1-800-342-2437.

The UK national AIDS helpline is 0800 567 123, there is an ethnic languages service available on 0800 917 2227.

The definitive list of Australian AIDS organisations can be found at http://www.medicalonline.com.au/medical/professional/aids/resources.htm - there are toll-free numbers included in the list.

AID Atlanta
(404) 872-0600 www.aidatianta.org

AIDS Project Los Angeles (323) 993-1500 www.apia.org

Gay City, Seattle (206) 860-6969 www.gaycity.org

Gay Life, San Francisco AIDS Foundation
(415) 788-LIFE www.gaylife.org

Gay Men's Health Crisis New York City
(212) 367-1000 www.gmhc.org

National AIDS Hotline
English: (800) 342-2437 Spanish: (800) 344-7432

Stop AIDS Project, San Francisco
(415) 575-0150 www.stopaids.org

Australian Federation of AIDS Organizations (2) 221 2955

Eire (AIDS Helpline, Dublin) (1) 872 4277

France (AIDS Ftdtration Nationale)
(1) 53 26 26 26

Germany (Deutsche AIDS-HILFE) (30) 69 00 87-42

Dutch HIV Association (20) 685 0055

Sad-Schorer
(20) 662 4206

Terence Higgins Trust Helpline 0171 242 1010

UK National AIDS Helpline 0800 567 123

National AIDS Helpline (Northern Ireland) 0800 137 437

UK websites:
http://www.kitsch.freeserve.co.uk/support/hiv.htm - excellent list of various support organisations.

http://www.nat.org.uk/ - uk’s leading AIDS advocacy organisation.

http://www.tht.org.uk/ - the terrence Higgins trust.

By far the most comprehensive coverage of all the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS can be found at
the body.com - this site is a superb collection of resources, references & support networks and there is so much information available.

Be safe,

-seuss-
 
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**Infinity**

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Thanks for putting the info out..
I have some personal experience with this. My father is HIV+, has been for 14+ years. My best friend, she's 27 years old is also infected, 11 years and counting now. Fortunately my father remains fairly healthy. In the entire time he's had this, he's never been hospitilized for anything. He's on the inhibitors among other cocktails, and as of now his counts are stable at around 325 t-cell count, and an undetectable viral load, although this changes way too often. His counts fluctuate quite a bit.
This is by far one of the most devastating diseases, and everyone thinks it can't happen to them. My family has been turned upside down from this. I thought there would never be anything in my life harder to deal with than hearing that news for the first time, but I was dead wrong. The longer it continues is was bothers me. The signs of this after so many years are starting to show..moreso from the drugs that he takes than the virus itself. It hurts bad to see it, and worse to know that someone you love so much may possibly die from it, and dying from AIDS is a horrible death..horrible.
Like I said, we've been very fortunate..he's healthy, strong, and hopefully has alot of years of his life left with us.
BTW, he got this from sharing needles. My father was not a bigtime user either, he smoked pot, but was far from a heavy user. IV'ing drugs was maybe something he did half a dozen times in his life, one time just happened to be the wrong time. Him and my mother are still married too, and by the grace of God she was not infected too. From what we can piece together, we believe he may have been infected for as much as 3 years before he knew, so how my mother didn't contract this is truly miraculous.
My heart and thoughts go out to anyone who has to deal with this awful disease...whether it's yourself, a family member, or a friend..no one deserves it. He's a daily reminder to me to keep myself in check...
I hope everyone out there is cautious, play safe, use protection, and don't share needles...it's not worth it. Take care...
 

dr seuss

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thanks for sharing **Infinity**.
my heart goes out to you, your father & your best friend. it seems strange that one life can be so affected.
i'm also amazed that your mother didn't catch the virus, that is an incredible story.
hopefully there will be new medical advances in the near future & the toll the antiretroviral drugs take on people will be less harsh.
*hugs*
-seuss-
 

inimical

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nice thread.
 

kandyraverchick

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Can I just suggest to people who are or know anyone who is HIV+ a book called world without AIDS. It is very hard to get a copy of, might be worth a search on the net. This book provides photographic evidence of how harmful the medications really are and when and what they were REALLY designed for and why they were shelved until AIDS was first diagnosed.

After reading this book I have Huuuuuge doubts that HIV is an STD. I live in Australia and 80% of HIV sufferers are gay men. I'd say the majority of others would be injecting drug users. What I want to know is that IF HIV is an STD why is it so uncommon amongst women. A fair few of so called 'gay' men are not only gay but bisexual! And a lot of the 'gay' men happen to be injecting drug users (Do we really believe that just because they are gay they do not share needles with people in the straight community?) plus obviously getting it up 'the other side' increases the risk of blood to blood contact. Sorry if I'm stepping out of line here but I feel this virus is a bit of a 'scam' for the goverment to cash in on. If you read world without aids, you will read that the medications were deemed as too deadly for the human body (this book has direct quotes, from the appropriate people) and were originally aimed at cancer sufferers. Basically what I am saying is that we are giving HIV sufferers something that is too deadly for cancer sufferers??? This cannot be good stuff!
The book suggests that HIV is real but AIDS is actually a reaction to the medication over time and that is where the scam lies. (I hope I got that right)

I am not trying to preach that it's all a load of crap, don't believe a word of it. What I am trying to say is that before making a decision of whether you take medication or see how you go without it. READ THE BOOK! Apparently it's very hard to get as the government wanted it off the shelves but hey, nothings impossible! If you find out you are HIV+ it's worth knowing both ends of the story, even if you are doubtful!
 

toolazy2think

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I am not knowledgeable an that theory at all, but I would like to ask, how does it address all the poor people and entire villages in africa which are devastated by the "virus". those people are not needle drug users (hell the barely afford to eat) and you can't tell me that 50% of the poeple in some of those villages are gay, and most of the people certainly havnt recieved any treatment, which would seem to dispell the whole drug causes the disease controversy.
 
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kandyraverchick

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Nah, I'd be making a complete dick of myself if I told you 50% of them were gay,

I know that the book did address this issue (i don't believe the entire book but parts of it got me convinced!) and from what I remember it claimed that there were no where near as many burial sites/ death certificates or whatever for the ammount of people the government claims had died of AIDS.

I am not 100% sure that AIDS doesn't exist. I am actually quite uncertain about that.

But what I do feel sure about is that we are not being told the truth
 

shal

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Another excellent source of information for HIV/Aids Discussion and Prevention is AidMeds.com

shals :D
 

StagnantReaction

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The CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting #2

This zine explains the history of US chemical biological testing and development, how the HIV virus cannot scientifically be related to AIDS, CIA and military documents requesting the creation of a virus with the clinical description of AIDS, and how AIDS death statistics have been inflated for the last 20 years when the supposed "miracle cure" drugs kill the patients even faster than AIDS. Photocopyable version available as well at request; Anti-Copyright. Read it online.

A very good read. It changed how I look at hospitals and angered me even more about our Government(tm)..
 

glitterbizkit

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kandyraverchick said:
from what I remember it claimed that there were no where near as many burial sites/ death certificates or whatever for the ammount of people the government claims had died of AIDS.
I remember reading somewhere on this website about AIDS in South Africa that many times when a person died because of TB or the other diseases which usually go hand in hand with AIDS, it was assumed that the person had been infected with HIV without doing any tests. I can't remember exactly what else the website said, but it was implying that not as many people die of AIDS in Africa as is thought.

I've read about few of these 'conspiracy theory' arguments and how the medicine does more harm than good. It always sounds pretty convincing, but then I'm a pretty easy person to convince. And easy to un-convince as well. :\
 

CuPRiuS

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I agree with glitterbizkit, besides....when the spanish arrived in south america our european flue resulted to be fatal like a plague for the natives of the new world...AIDS is also a virus (retrovirus) and it might be endemic among african tribes...so many africans are carriers of HIV but AIDS manifests better among non-african people...
 

Absolute-Raver

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I agree with glitterbizkit, besides....when the spanish arrived in south america our european flue resulted to be fatal like a plague for the natives of the new world...AIDS is also a virus (retrovirus) and it might be endemic among african tribes...so many africans are carriers of HIV but AIDS manifests better among non-african people...
The great problem with HIV in Africa is because of their poor health care practices. when giving shots to kids and adults they almost always use the same syringe to apply it to all of them, because they simply dont have more, and they prefer to vaccinate people risking HIV than not vaccinating at all. Also the lack of regular bathing habbits play a big role too. The other great problem is that anal intercourse in africa is viewed normal between men and kids. And Anal intercourse is the greatest risk of aquiring HIV. You may have normal penile-vaginal intercouse with someone that has HIV and if they are well lubricated and no ulcerations or cuts happen during intercourse you have a 1 in 100 chance of aquiring the disease. As the first poster said, it was a miracle my mom did not get HIV from my dad, well its not a miracle its a based on probablility. IN india there are women with HIV and have 3 kids which are HIV negative and their husbands too. I know HIV is a very scary and sad disease, but it is being played by government and other people that benefit from scaring people and keeping us in fear. HIV has been in decline since 1980 when it first appeared. There are great articles that i need to find to post here for more info to people,. OK all take care bye
 

glitterbizkit

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Absolute-Raver said:
The other great problem is that anal intercourse in africa is viewed normal between men and kids.
Um. It is? I've lived in Africa for 18 years and I've never heard anything about that. I mean, rape happens a lot, I'm sure. But 'normal'?
 

glitterbizkit

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That's pretty terrible stuff, in that article. And I've heard about things like that happening before, particularly in South Africa. I don't know if things like that happen as much in Zambia (where I lived) to the full extent that it does in SA (the most shocking examples always seem to come from SA, but then it could just be that journalists and such have more of an opportunity to uncover things like this there) but the 'virgin myth' obviously exists in Zambia too and it's a big problem there as well, as the article mentioned.

I guess I just reacted to the part about anal sex being seen as 'normal' since there is a huge taboo against homosexuality in most African countries (I assumed Absolute-Raver meant anal sex between men and young boys, though now that I think of it obviously it's just as likely to be young girls as well). But yes, I'm aware it happens...
 

banksy

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With Nelson mandella's son Makgatho dying of AIDS related illnesses, I think Africa moved a little closer to the thruth that approximately 150.000 African people die a month from this virus.
All those terrible myths of virgins being saught as a cure for the illness and the cover up of saying the virus doesnt exits need to be challenged and i only hope Nelsons move to reveal the truth behind his sons death could hopefully give people greater intervention and not just hope.
 

dr seuss

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there is a lot of misinformation in this thread.

What I want to know is that IF HIV is an STD why is it so uncommon amongst women.
it is not uncommon amongst women. this is patently untrue.

An estimated 25 million adults and children were living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa at the end of 2003, and an estimated twelve million children have been orphaned by AIDS.

In 2003, 2.2 million people died from AIDS.
for a full overview of the HIV/AIDS situation in sub-saharan africa, please visit the first link: the others are also relevant.

http://www.avert.org/subaadults.htm
http://www.unaids.org/en/geographical+area/by+country/south+africa.asp
http://www.onusida-aoc.org/

you will note that female infection rates are inevitably higher than male infection rates. HIV/AIDS has nothing to do with homosexuality; it's to do with the exchange of bodily fluid.

there are plenty of valid conspiracy theories out there to explore. let me put it into perspective; in some african countries up to 30% of the adult population is positive. it can be difficult to find enough healthy workers to bury the dead.

please, do not use this thread to explore alternate theories about HIV/AIDS.


next:

The great problem with HIV in Africa is because of their poor health care practices. when giving shots to kids and adults they almost always use the same syringe to apply it to all of them, because they simply dont have more, and they prefer to vaccinate people risking HIV than not vaccinating at all.
this is true in some places. you correctly identify the problem - resources. obviously this does not apply throughout africa as a whole, however; there are some success stories, such as zambia - which has halved the number of mother-fetus transmission cases and saw a 'levelling off' of infection rates among young women for the first time since records began.

Also the lack of regular bathing habbits play a big role too.
how? why? where?

The other great problem is that anal intercourse in africa is viewed normal between men and kids.
i can assure you it is NOT.

have you ever spent any time in africa?

after reading your post i can only assume you have not. please do not post inflammatory / prejudiced / untruthful comments in this thread.

And Anal intercourse is the greatest risk of aquiring HIV. You may have normal penile-vaginal intercouse with someone that has HIV and if they are well lubricated and no ulcerations or cuts happen during intercourse you have a 1 in 100 chance of aquiring the disease. As the first poster said, it was a miracle my mom did not get HIV from my dad, well its not a miracle its a based on probablility. IN india there are women with HIV and have 3 kids which are HIV negative and their husbands too. I know HIV is a very scary and sad disease, but it is being played by government and other people that benefit from scaring people and keeping us in fear. HIV has been in decline since 1980 when it first appeared. There are great articles that i need to find to post here for more info to people,. OK all take care bye
different types of sexual contact expose people to different elements of risk. i do not think anyone in this thread - or this forum - would willingly have unprotected sex with someone who is positive.

just be safe. aside from HIV, clean needles and protected sex are basic precautions that can save you from all sorts of horrific illnesses.
 

glitterbizkit

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Dug up this thread by chance and found I still had more to say on the subject of this statement:


Absolute-Raver said:
The other great problem is that anal intercourse in africa is viewed normal between men and kids.
First of all- homosexuality is taboo in most African countries, as I mentioned. In Zambia, where I lived, it's illegal. So it's not like there's an age-old tribal custom for older men to have anal sex with younger boys (or even girls for that matter). Now that we've cleared that up, re the link to the article posted- yes, the 'virgin myth' is a bitch. The raping of young children occurs daily in Africa. But just because it happens it DOES NOT mean that it is considered to be 'normal'. If you walked up to any random African person and asked them if it was normal to have anal sex with children, the majority would truthfully give the answer no, it isn't normal. The US has a high homicide rate, at least compared to other countries. But that doesn't mean that murder is considered to be 'normal' in the US, does it? I believe rape happens pretty often there too. Is it 'normal'?

Sorry, just a bit of a rant because I'm sick of everybody painting this bleak fucking picture of Africa as if it's nothing but misery over there. Yes, Africa does have major problems- poverty, corruption, AIDS and the like, and hopefully that is changing. Zambia- which is the part of Africa I know the best(lived there 18 years)- has an AIDS rate at about 20% (may well be more now). It's a poor country, with a corrupt government. But it is also an extremely beautiful country,with extremely beautiful, optimistic, warm, generally peaceful and friendly people. A country with a lot of potential that unfortunately isn't being used. The majority of Zambians I know would NOT agree to the fact that child rape is something normal. Those who openly admitted their child-raping inclinations would be viewed as sick fucks. Just because Africa is in a position where all the immoral and misguided people(eg hiv+ child rapists) are encouraged by other immoral and misguided people (eg the witch doctors who encourage the virgin myth- and may I add that not *all* witch doctors are evil 'quacks') to act out their immoral and misguided activities because of the general hopelessness of their situation (AIDS, poverty, etc), does not mean that all African people are like this.

So- no, it is not considered 'normal' to have anal sex with kids in Africa.
 
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