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.
So, did Gos Blank die of AIDS? That was the original question, was it not? That is what both AIDS dissidents and the AIDS apologist trolls are waiting to hear, isn’t it?
I don’t know how it is possible to come to any conclusion that would satisfy both sides. Any answer given would only raise more questions, though not many new ones, really. Before anyone starts dancing on Gos’ grave, let’s examine some of these questions… in Gos’ own words as much as possible. (Unless noted otherwise, all blockquotes from this point on are from Gos’ book)
I am dumping a lot of summary information here, without getting into details, but I need to start somewhere. When I zoom out and look at the big picture, it is clear that I am still a long way from being a “healthy” person, and frankly, I no longer expect to become one. The goal now is to mange chronic disease and maintain as good a quality of life as I possibly can.
During our last office visit a couple of months ago, the infectious disease specialist I am now seeing repeatedly referred to “The Guidelines”, as if they were some kind of Holy Grail for treating her patients. The guidelines she was referring to are actually several documents, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human […more]
97. That’s my latest CD4+ count, less than half the count from six weeks ago.
That’s it. I have tried as many alternative treatments as I can think of to reverse the decline. I will be starting my third round of pharmaceutical ARVs as soon as I can get a prescription and fill it.
This decision has been a long time coming, and in hindsight, I probably should have restarted a few months ago. There’s nothing magical about 97, or being below 100, but it’s as good a breaking point as any. I’ve long argued that there are two things to keep in mind about CD4 counts: one is the long-term trend; the other is single- or low double-digit counts.
Enough already with the critics and detractors. I haven’t been doing a very good job lately of keeping current with documenting my personal story, which was and is one of the primary purposes of this blog.
Despite the gruesome pictures from an earlier post, I am not currently experiencing any horribly disfiguring outbreaks, lumps or other obvious manifestations of poor health. The skin on my left leg has healed nicely and is completely intact, with no breaks, scabs or sores, for the first time in more than a year. The mystery lump on the right side of my face, under my jaw, has shrunk considerably, though I can still detect it. My smile is still crooked, due to what I assume is now permanent facial nerve damage resulting from Bell’s palsy. I also have a few persistent skin sores on my shoulders and back that are resisting healing.
I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime.
Other than these minor nuisances, my body seems fine, for the most part, and people who have known me for some time, assure me that I “look good”. What is not so obvious is the extreme fatigue (the F-word),
You might not know it from reading the comments left here on my blog, but there are more than a few AIDS dissidents who really don’t like how I think or what I write about.
There’s a whole thread on a very popular Facebook page called “Rethinking AIDS”, discussing my open letter to Dora. Last I looked, that thread had nearly 100 comments, and very few of those comments were about Dora, Ruggiero or the defense of academic freedom.
No, the gist of the thread was whether or not I am in “the AIDS Zone.” It seems that because I did not use “air quotes” around the term “HIV disease”, I’m not really an AIDS dissident. Others took issue with my post for daring to publish that some AIDS Rethinkers hold a very narrow view about “HIV” and “AIDS”, while others of us are merely “questioning” the whole affair. None of them chose to comment directly to me here.
Some of the most visible and vocal Rethinkers seem intent on imposing their own “beliefs” (another loaded term that deserves quotes) on the entire movement. There has long been a tendency to try to impose a sort of litmus test to determine whether or not one is a true “AIDS dissident”.
Since I first met the AIDS dissident community via the AIDS Myth Exposed forums—since renamed Questioning AIDS—several years ago, I’ve become aware of several of the various factions, distinctive personalities and divisions within that broad group. Now I’m finding it ironic just how guilty some of these people are at their own version of “bone-pointing”.
There seems to be a natural tendency among some skeptics and questioners that when part of a theory or concept is proven to be flawed, any and all other aspects about it should be dismissed as well.
This certainly seems to be the case for some AIDS dissidents when it comes to discussions about the significance of certain laboratory markers, in particularly certain immune cells involved in fighting infections, called CD4 t-cells. CD4 counts are, arguably, considered by mainstream AIDS experts as the single most important measure of disease progression and risk for patients acquiring opportunistic infections.
Thanks to those of you who have been prodding me for an update on my experiment. A severe case of Spring Fever, along with a touch of procrastination has helped keep me from posting sooner. Now that the rain is keeping me inside, I’ll try to catch up. When I first started this blog, it […more]
Since I first mentioned on Facebook that I was going to do high dose intravenous vitamin C (IVC), friends there have been asking me to describe what the experience is like. How odd that I have had to think so hard about how to respond to such a seemingly simple request. Maybe I’m just not […more]