There. I hope I’ve addressed your question. I am not well. I have never been well. But I continue to function.
I still do not see the correlation between HIV and my health; only a correlation in increased medical problems when I am taking the ARVs.
I embarked on my third course of ARVs since 1998. For ten of the sixteen years I have been HIV-positive, I was able to manage well enough without ARVs and I continue to believe there is no reason for otherwise healthy HIV-positive—let alone negative—gay men to take these drugs. To those who want to wave a recent study about the benefits of early intervention in my face, I would ask them why they put so much faith in a science that has utterly failed us to date.
Who and why did someone type “jonathan barnett resistance dead?” into a Google search?
Was is it someone who had been missing my thoughtful, creative and witty writings? Someone thinking I must have died from not taking drugs for HIV? Someone wondering if I had died yet because I had started taking ARVs (at greatly reduced dosages) again?
I’m willing to grant that gay men are entitled to use PrEP… provided they have access to all the information they need to make an informed decision. Informed consent has been a hallmark of the HIV and AIDS research and prevention efforts for three decades, and that shouldn’t be waived for the campaign favoring PrEP.
Gay men deserve to know that all the claims for Truvada reducing the risk of acquiring HIV-positivity are based on trials—funded by Gilead—that emphasized the importance of using condoms…
What troubles me is the apparent willingness of an entire community to consider embracing Truvada as some sort of symbol of sexual freedom… evidenced by charges that those of us who are skeptical are guilty of being sex-negative and “slut-shaming”.
All of this on the basis of research that has been manipulated and twisted by Gilead to create a false reality of safety.
I’m resigned to the fact that Truvada as PrEP is here, regardless of what I or others fear. Now it’s mostly a question of time to see it PrEP meets the expectations of sexually active gay men…. and Gilead shareholders. The former is yet to be proven; the latter is a foregone conclusion.
John McNair, a musician and a philosopher from Perth, Australia, is something of a counter-cultural role model. McNair has created a very wide-ranging collection of podcast interviews with people who might get overlooked in the larger, mainstream media. I met John on Facebook a few years ago and we quickly established a rapport with each other. Last week […more]
Last November I wrote about the outcome of my willingness to step outside my personal comfort zone to engage with a former nemesis, J Todd DeShong. When we both lowered our personal shields and allowed civil dialogue to occur, we discovered we had far more in common than we had differences. Those differences that remain did not have to […more]
Frankly, in the end, I really, really don’t care what causes AIDS. I just want people to stop suffering and dying from whatever it is. It appalls me deeply that after all the hundreds of billions of dollars in research — possibly more than that spent on researching all other microbes combined — HIV research has ‘succeeded’ only in giving patients the horrifying choice between either dying slowly of Opportunistic Infections associated with a damaged immune system, or dying slowly of Liver Failure or having your skin peel off or maybe a Heart Attack caused by HIV drugs themselves. All the while ignoring the patients who do just fine for rather a long time when left to pursue their lives unmolested. So pick your death.
In the simplest possible summation, Leibowitch has been treating HIV-positive patients with traditional ARV cocktails, called HAART. Where he leaves the path of traditional treatment guidelines is that once a patient is “stabilised”—meaning they have achieved respectably high CD4 counts, and their viral load is undetectable for six months—Leibowitch starts reducing the number of days per week that a patient takes these drugs, to as little as twice per week.
I’m feeling… something. Older, perhaps? I fear I have so many things I want to accomplish so I can “retire” with some degree of comfort; a bathtub I can actually stretch out and soak in, for example.
I am still recovering from the sudden loss of Gos Blank and watching from a distance as other friends struggle with their own forms of bizarre and crippling health. It makes me feel I have no right or business to complain about my own symptoms and signs.