zundel

Wednesday 267

Gilead Duped Me into Being Their Mouthpiece. Here’s How. – My Fabulous Disease

Filed under: Medicine, Politics — Tags: — zundel @ am

This is the story of the insidious influence of Big Pharma on our HIV/AIDS leadership and policy-making, and how an experienced activist like me was tricked into delivering messages for the HIV pharma giant Gilead Sciences.I was bamboozled because I didn’t do my homework, and I

Source: Gilead Duped Me into Being Their Mouthpiece. Here’s How. – My Fabulous Disease

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Tuesday 245

Barebacking is Dead. Long Live Barebacking! – My Fabulous Disease

Filed under: Sex — Tags: — zundel @ pm

It is difficult to ignore the appalling homophobia, internalized and otherwise, that runs through this aspect of HIV prevention history. We held ourselves as gay men to a more grueling standard than the countless non-queers who get an STI (several of them life-threatening) or an unplanned pregnancy every year.

Frankly, behavioral change has not served us well in the grand scheme of HIV prevention.

Throughout the decades, we have all witnessed the dominant, primal pull that sexual desire has exhibited over caution, so I know which prevention strategy my money is on.

Source: Barebacking is Dead. Long Live Barebacking! – My Fabulous Disease

Wednesday 232

Repeated semen exposure promotes host resistance to infection in preclinical HIV model

Filed under: Medicine, Sex — Tags: , — zundel @ pm

Semen-exposed animals showed a 42% decrease in the risk of infection. Scientists analyzed specific markers of immune activation in the cervicovaginal microenvironment and in the bloodstream. On circulating CD4+ cells, semen conditioning was associated with lower expression of the CCR5 receptor, which acts as a binding site for HIV to enter its host cells, supporting the observation of a lower susceptibility to SIV vaginal challenge. Furthermore, semen-conditioned animals had higher levels of the CCL5 cytokine, a natural HIV-suppressive factor, in the cervicovaginal compartment in response to SIV challenge.

Additionally, repeated semen exposure resulted in elevated cervicovaginal tissue levels of antiviral factors such as MX1, which also positively correlated with levels of IFN-epsilon. IFN-epsilon, which can be induced by semen and protects human cells from bacterial and viral pathogens, has direct anti-HIV properties and was described to be induced in tissues from sex workers in association with condomless sex.

Source: Repeated semen exposure promotes host resistance to infection in preclinical HIV model

Saturday 344

The Punishment of Success

Filed under: Medicine, Politics — Tags: , , — zundel @ am

AIM, the Adult Industry Medical Foundation, the most accomplished and successful sexual health organization in the US, and a national resource, continues to get attacked by unrealistic zealots and public officials on a turf war.

AIM Office To Reopen Tomorrow During Dispute With Health Dept.

L.A. City Council: Deny Film Permits to Non-Condom Shoots

The pragmatic and successful get harassed by the bureaucratic and political.

Friday 343

The Wisdom of Whores

Filed under: Medicine, Politics, Society — Tags: , — zundel @ am

During December you can download a free ebook version of Elizabeth Pisani‘s The Wisdom of Whores.

Saturday 288

Porn, HIV, and AIM

Filed under: Medicine, Politics — Tags: , — zundel @ am

Anyone who has worked too closely with sexual health and government public health knows how political this can get — tragically.

Recently a porn actor got a positive result on an HIV test. And again a media and political storm erupts.

AIM does better testing and education than anyone in public health.

I quote from AIM‘s press release:

AIM HIV Press Release Oct. 13, 2010

The misfortune of a patient testing positive for HIV has been turned into a tragic farce by the efforts of groups to exploit the patient for their political and financial gain.

Under law, reporting to Los Angeles County HIV Epidemiology Program can only occur upon the return of a Western Blot test. That test was taken immediately upon the first indication of a potential infection, but the results take one week to return. Los Angeles County does not, and cannot under law, accept any other test results. […] AIM cannot, under the California regulations, provide any information to other state entities or private individuals.

Earlier this year, the State attempted to violate Federal HIPAA and related privacy laws by demanding personal, identifying information from a patient who tested positive for HIV in June 2009. The California judiciary, specifically Judge Winifred Smith of Alameda County, rejected those lawless efforts and issued a preliminary injunction last summer. Through the press, the State is making the same unlawful demands again, while knowing that the State is under a binding injunction barring it from demanding access to those kinds of records.

The industry is behaving responsibly and cautiously, as it always has, by placing a moratorium on filming any person one or two generations removed from sexual contact with the current patient. Upon completion of testing that cohort, in about ten days or two weeks, as well as highly sophisticated analyses of the genetic components of the infection, the nature of the exposure will be determined.

A little background:

Watch a video interview with AIM founder Sharon Mitchell. It’s worth watching the longer interview.
X-Rated Health: An Interview With Sharon Mitchell
also at http://aim-med.org/news/2010/04/28/1272486586/

Latest HIV-in-Porn-Panic: Rumor Control Central Re-Opens for Business

Unfortunately, irresponsible gossip bloggers, a sensationalistic local press and various activists with different agendas have already begun spinning the few facts thus far made public to their own ends, with potentially disastrous consequences. Before that process whirls out of control, let’s have a look at what we actually know so far.

Pfizer sued over Viagra ads

Tuesday 343

not HIV that kills us but the hospital administration

Filed under: Medicine — Tags: — zundel @ am

Read this!

No positive news” by Michael Buehler in Inside Indonesia 2008-12

However, in response to our queries and requests for action, representatives of most organisations responded by pointing to the ‘sensitivity’ of the issue or referring to obscure ‘political interests’ that would not allow their organisations to be more explicit about these obvious problems.

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Wednesday 330

Mbeki killed 365,000

Filed under: Science, Society — Tags: , , — zundel @ pm

Conspiracy theories kill. Science matters. Getting it right saves lives. Getting it wrong cost 365,000 lives, including 35,000 babies needlessly born with HIV.

Lesson learnt yet again in hindsight—too damn often. Treating Mbeki with ‘diplomacy’ may have allowed organizations to work with some South Africans that had HIV and AIDS. But at too high a cost. Mbeki’s bullshit needed fierce and persistent condemnation. Not to persuade him. But condemnation may have helped the voices of reason in South Africa and may have hastened Mbeki’s departure. The death toll becomes millions—from silence.

AIDS: a good example of why science policy matters” by Jonathan M Gitlin in Ars Technica 2008-11-26

This should serve as an abject lesson in why it’s vital for governments to receive effective science and health policy advice.

South Africa is well off compared to its regional neighbors—it had enough money for the former President, Thabo Mbeki, to splash out nearly $100 million on a new Boeing Business Jet. Mbeki claimed poverty when it came to providing his citizens with antiretroviral drugs, however.

A Johannesburg AIDS hospice in 2002 (Joao Silva for The New York Times)


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Tuesday 329

Put out your arm

Filed under: Society — Tags: , , — zundel @ pm

Indonesia may tag AIDS victims” by Niniek Karmini from AP in the Toronto Star 2008-11-25

Lawmakers in Papua, Indonesia’s largest province, have thrown their support behind a controversial HIV/AIDS bill requiring some sufferers to be implanted with a microchip to track their whereabouts.

It won’t happen, but worrying that they consider it. They attempt to stem the growing pandemic with inapt technology and draconian state invasion of privacy. Instead they need to provide education and condoms.
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