1 Dec 2013

Health : World Aids Day 2013

Category: Health

World-Aids-Day-2013

It has been 32 years since the first reported cases of HIV/AIDS in 1981 and since 1988, December 1st has been recognized as “World AIDS Day”. The intention of the day is to raise awareness, increase donations for HIV/AIDS related causes, fight prejudice and HIV/AIDS related stigma, and to simply remind people that HIV/AIDS has not gone away.

There are about 34 million people worldwide that are living with HIV with 2.7 million infected in 2010. In the United States there are around 1.2 million people living with HIV with about a fifth of them unaware of their infection, in Canada about 30% of those that are HIV positive are unaware of their infection. There are approximately 54,000 new infections each year in the United States.

This year, World AIDS Day is about “Getting to Zero.” Zero new HIV infections. Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths. Backed by the United Nations the “Getting to Zero” campaign runs until 2015 and builds on last year’s successful World AIDS Day “Light for Rights” initiative encompassing a range of vital issues identified by key affected populations.”

How can you help reduce HIV/AIDS? You can start by knowing the facts, HIV/AIDS has not gone away and although there are treatments for HIV, AIDS is still a significant health issue.

Next you can get tested! With as many as 20% – 30% of people estimated to be infection with HIV being unaware of their infection, it is possible for you to be infected and not know it. HIV infection does not always have symptoms. If you have already been tested, get tested again! The CDC recommends that Gay men be tested at least annually, with men who are more sexually active being tested every 3-6 months.

If you are HIV positive stay on course, treatment is a form of prevention. As an example of this, in 2008 a group of Swiss scientists produced the first ever consensus statement which asserted that an HIV positive person who is taking effective antiretroviral therapy, has an undetectable viral load and is free from STDs, has a negligible risk of infecting others with the virus.

One of the most impactful ways for us all to care for each other is to work together to fight HIV/AIDS Stigma. This site from Canada, on HIV Stigma provides some good information and perspectives on HIV stigma. The site also offers surprising information on the HIV incidence in Canada.

Too many people do not know they have HIV and too few people with HIV are receiving proper prevention, treatment, and care services. While science learns more, and new options for vaccines and prevention such as PrEP are explored, we must all take the initiative to get tested, and if we are HIV positive, take care of ourselves not only for ourselves but to do all we can to prevent the spread of HIV.

Dave

16 comments for Health : World Aids Day 2013

  • Since this is an incurable disease and the goal is to iradicate it then everyone man, woman, boy and girl in our country needs to be tested annually. At that point, people that test positive should only be allowed to have sex with other positive people. That will rid the disease of the population in only 8.4 years. Lst’s all make it happen.

  • Thanks for this article Dave. See, you’re not always frivolous and silly :-)

    I checked out the stigma site. Like all government sites, it’s disappointing because it beats around the bush and focusses too much on subtle things at the expense of the big and obvious.

    Here is the straight from the hip version:
    Stigma means judgment. If you are stigmatizing someone with HIV you are conveying the message that you are superior, better and more deserving and that he or she is inferior, undeserving, and guilty. Gays are good at this. We stigmatize each other for all sorts of things: small dicks, slanty eyes, kinky hair, skinny, fat, short, hairy backs, flaming queens, etc. If gays would spend half the time on their souls that they spend on their hair (or shaving it off), we’d all be fucking gurus. And more attractive too.

    Examples of stigmatizing that I have experienced:
    Job discrimination, being evicted from my apartment, being shunned by gays (but curiously, not as much by straights) people avoiding touching me or anything I’ve touched or eaten off of or drank from.

    How does stigma affect HIV infection? Simple: it is based on fear, prejudice and arrogance, none of these can lead to any good. It makes the stigmatizer stupid and lulls him into a false sense of security. It shames the stigmatized who have to resort to dishonesty and secrecy just to survive the day. It keeps people out of the testing clinics because if you don’t know, you can’t be positive, right? The best way to turn an infection into an epidemic is to spread fear and ignorance.

    On the other hand, the best way to control an epidemic is to spread factual information. If there were no stigma and people were treated as people with a disease instead of with all the hatred and scorn, poz guys would be honest and neg guys would get tested more often. I have personally seen poz guys lie to get laid and judgmental neg guys who only have sex with neg guys suddenly test positive for HIV.

    If you are hiv- and you want to stay that way, you have to assume EVERYONE you have sex with is POZ. But remember that it is a disease, not a judgment. We all have diseases. We are all carriers and vectors for something, be it the flu virus, herpes, or E. coli. Some of us got through dirty needles, some of us got it through exposure at work, some from taking semen up the ass. Putting your own self-shame on someone else doesn’t pass your own guilt on, it just makes one more victim. You’re still a cocksucker just like I am.

    Oh, and fyi, I had a poz boyfriend when I was negative. He was NOT the one who infected me even though we fucked as much as he could keep up. It was the boyfriend who swore up and down that he was negative. Sex with a poz guy is not unsafe sex. Sex without knowledge (and a condom) is unsafe sex.

  • Just found out I am HIV+ in September{2013}from the American Red Cross.I am on complera,and see my doctor again Thursday.I am a 50 yr. old gay male.I live in Hagerstown,Md.,and know there’s other’s out there,that don’t care,or can’t afford treatment.Thank GOD I have insurance.Kevin

  • Here’s the question I have on that study from the Swiss. What exactly defines “negligible”?

  • Stigma King: Oh am I that stupid?
    lol

  • George: Are u kidding?
    That is one of the most HIV-Phobic comment I’ve ever seen….
    FYI, guys that are positive but on medication become undetectable, and they technically cannot transmit the virus.

  • First, there will never be a cure for HIV. It’s too lucrative to treat it than to cure it, and there will be new strains of it, the most recent of which I read about in an online article on 11/28.
    HIV and other STDs will continue to spread in the gay community because many bottoms are selfish and self-centered. They’d rather experience full pleasure with no condom than to experience partial pleasure with a condom. (Can they really tell the difference?) Further, you can’t “breed someone’s mangina (or manpussy)” if you’re wearing a condom, right? Isn’t that what it’s ultimately about for bottoms, getting their mancervix fertilized by the biggest dick out there, because a bigger dick is better at fertilization than an average or small dick?
    Finally, Act Up tells us repeatedly that AIDS isn’t a gay disease, yet their motto “Silence = Death” is plastered on a pink triangle, symbol of male homosexuality in Nazi Germany. If AIDS doesn’t discriminate, wouldn’t it be better to have the phrase “Silence = Death” on an image of earth?

  • WHAT ABOUT ALL THESE GUYS THAT GO INTO RELATIONSHIPS AND SAY: “YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT WITH ME”, OR MY FAVORITE: “YOU CAN TRUST ME”, THEN GO AROUND BAREBACKING AT SEX CLUBS, OR HOOKING UP BEHIND HIS PARTNER’S BACK. HONESTLY, I CANNOT AND WILL NOT TRUST ANYONE WHO HAS THE MIND OF AN 11 YEAR OLD, BUT A SEX DRIVE OF AN ADULT MALE. I ALWAYS HAVE THIS QUOTE IN MY HEAD: “ONCE HE GIVES YOU THE AIDS, HE’S GOING TO LEAVE YOU” — THAT QUOTE SUMS UP DATING IN THE GAY COMMUNITY. TO IMAGINE THIS HAS HAPPENED TO COUNTLESS MEN. AND IT’S NOT JUST AIDS WE GAY MEN HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT, IT’S OTHER STD’S LIKE SYPHILIS (WHICH THERE HAS BEEN REPORTED OUTBREAKS OF ESPECIALLY IN L.A.), HEPATITIS C (DRUG USERS), ETC. ONCE YOU’RE “POZ” IN THE GAY COMMUNITY YOU GET THROWN IN THE PERVERBIAL TRASH BIN. THE HIV VIRUS REPLICATES 1 BILLION TIMES A DAY, I CAN’T IMAGINE THE DAMAGE IT DOES TO A PERSON BOTH PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY. WE AS GAY MEN NEED TO STEP UP AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR HEALTH, AND THAT MEANS NOT PUTTING IT IN THE HANDS OF OTHERS BECAUSE YOU’RE BLINDED BY LOVE OR YOU TRUST THAT PERSON. BECAUSE WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, THEY’LL BE OUT OF YOUR LIFE SO QUICK IT’LL MAKE YOUR HEAD SPIN.

  • Yes, it’s been 32 years since 1981. As I recall the statistics were we were supposed to be self-exterminated by the year 2000. But as the media will tell you, we have escaped such extermination because more people are being tested and being treated.

    Yet the media will also tell you that testing is down and HIV is on the rise because of it. Anyone who has had sex in the last 15 years will tell you that bareback is the norm. Promiscuity is also up from the days when having sex meant uncertain death, yet we’re not dying. It’s not because gay men are getting tested more readily and seeking treatment, it’s because less men are being tested and therefore less men taking treatment. The only people getting sick and dying appear to be those taking the HIV cocktails and drugs.

    Prisons are not the ghost towns they were supposed to turn out to be. There is less testing going on and less deaths. The continent of Africa can’t afford food, water, nor an aspirin, or an autopsy but the media would have you believe a Zee medical van is traveling the continent swabbing the population at $10 per head. AIDS, as the scientific community has portrayed it to be, isn’t really happening.

    I’m not denying that people died in the 80’s due to some unfortunate phenomena. However,I am not going to support a government sponsored myth that supports an empire that is no longer necessary.

    There are quite a few of us who think this way, but have remained quiet not to rock the boat. Well the time has come to kill this epidemic before it wells up again.

  • Fyi undetectable doesn’t not mean they cannot transmit the virus…. This means the viral count (in the bloodstream) is so low it is almost immeasurable, Not nonexistant. Also the virus is in higher concentration in semen and vaginal fluids so although someone who is “undetectable” may have a low viral load it doesn’t mean they are cured and they can in fact still transmit the virus though the chances are very low

  • This latest blog is “World AIDS Day”. The one just before it, “Cage’s First Time,” is about a guy’s first time as a bottom and shows that happening through unsafe sex. AIDS among gays isn’t ging to become a thing of the past anytime soon.

  • Dear anonymous, I called a HIV clinic near my house, and they told me that the virus is so low in concentration that the virus cannot be contracted at 96%.
    Dave

  • George, that has to be the most rediculous think I’ve ever heard. It is people like you that make HIV the stigma that it is today. I’m 24 yrs old and just finished 5 yrs in the army. I was not promiscuous. I was with my boyfriend of a year and a half who didn’t know he had it, now I have it. Our relationship didn’t work out and it wasn’t because of us having HIV but because I got orders to be stationed back in the states. Now I have a fiancé who is negative and we’ve been together since our last deployment together 3 1/2 yrs ago. I’m on antivirals and have been undetectable for 2 yrs. My fiancé gets tested every 6 months just to be sure an accident didn’t happen. We have come to an agreement that if he did accidentally contract the virus we would remain together. We have a 1y/o son and we will not let HIV come between our love and our family.

  • Paul,

    That is the biggest load of HIV denialist crap I have read in ages. Less people are dying PRECISELY because the medications work. The ones on medication who are dying likely have treatment failure. However that ignore the number of non-diagnosed who just up and die never knowing their status or finding it out too late.

    Until you have seen your t-cells jump after starting treatment.
    Until you have ran scientific assays wherein you see how HIV causes cells to fuse and pop…
    Until you have had friends die precisely because they wouldn’t take meds due to side effects…
    Until you are willing to test and prove your hypothesis by infecting yourself…
    And until you realize your ignorance is how this epidemic spreads,
    You have nothing to contribute to this conversation.

    May you one day NOT have to deal with the real life consequences of your voluntary ignorance.

  • Dave it only takes one virion to become infected.
    I’m not sure what you are referring to as 96%. If that means 96% of the time is not contracted or if you are 96% free from the virus?
    If you are referring to the 96% from this article taken from the hiv dot gov website :
    [Q: If taking anti-HIV drugs has made your viral load undetectable (meaning that the virus isn’t showing up on blood tests), can you still pass the virus to another person through sex?

    Taking anti-HIV drugs (ARVs) is very important for both your health and for reducing your risk of passing HIV to sex partners, but it is not 100% effective at preventing HIV transmission. A large international study looked at heterosexual couples in which one partner was HIV positive and the other was HIV negative. The researchers found that if the positive partners took HIV medications to suppress their viral load, their risk of infecting their partners was enormously reduced. In fact, the rate of HIV infection for the HIV negative partners was 96% lower if the positive partner was on ARVs. While we don’t know for sure whether HIV medications will have this huge benefit in preventing HIV transmission between men who have sex with men, or between other types of partners, we think it will.]
    then you must be talking about the risk being reduced by 96% which is still not very good. If we translate this to people. Out of every 1000 couples one pos one neg 40 of them are going to transmit the virus to their partner. or if you want to think of it in terms of just one couple how often does the average couple have sex annually? Probably at least 100 times right? (We all know we are horn dogs) that means that out of that 100 times it is possible that 4 times the virus could have been transmitted. idk about you but I don’t like those odds
    I have nothing against men with hiv and they can live just as normal a life as someone who is negative no doubt. But these are just the facts it is still transmittable as long as that person has even one virion in their body
    Not trying to be rude or disrespectful just informative. (I work in the medical field and I’m a premed student plus I also research things on my own frequently)

  • I am now 75. I have seen so many friends die over the years. They blamed Calif. governor Pete Wilson and President Reagan for their aids because neither of these politicians would say anything about this disease.
    Nobody seems to accept responsibility especially gay men. My pal Albert had 3 tricks a weekend. He bragged about 150 men a year. We teased him that he was a slow learner and a slow doer. My ex had a dick a day habit. When both got aids they blamed everybody else. I see now we are elevating ourselves to modern family status. Everybody forgets about fisting and golden showers(not an aids cause) but its amazing that guys who would bitch about a hair in a restaurant salad would go home with somebody and rim them by the hour.
    “Lifes a bitch and then you die” was printed on T shirts sold in the Castro. so if one is promiscuous and wants to be a whore and trick with almost anybody that comes along, this is the price you pay. Accept responsibility for your own actions and quit playing the blame game.

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