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Gay men warned ‘don’t guess your partner’s HIV status’

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  1. Sister Mary Clarence 19 Aug 2009, 5:44pm

    “The video is based on our previous ad campaign and we hope that it gets the message across in a way that’s a bit fun and a bit quirky.”

    A large part of the problem seems to be that they and THT seem to think that its a issue to can be ‘fun and a bit quirky’

  2. I have not written in before but felt compelled to do so by the discussion going on in the “Killing Us Softly” section, so I may as well drop a comment here also…

    What is Pink Paper thinking giving space to this travesty of an HIV campaign? It invited endless scorn and derision the first time around and will do so again. HIV prevention is supposed to empower us to respect ourselves not to engage in unsafe sex. These days it has been subverted by agencies like GMFA who see HIV prevention as a trivial matter and who withhold the truth about living with the disease. (See also my message on “Killing Us Softly”.)


  3. The farcical image accompanying this story would have perfectly illustrated the excellent Killing Us Softly comment piece. For the sheer, utter depths of how low HIV prevention campaigning has sunk, look no further…

  4. “”The truth is that there are HIV-positive and HIV-negative men, of all shapes and sizes, in every city and in every gay venue across the country.”

    Really Matt? You don’t say! Why is the Pink giving the oxygen of publicity to this shameful community traitor, who said of barbacking videos: “I don’t like the thought of censorship, particularly that which discriminates against gay men,” and who sanctions his GMFA henchmen to shake their charity tins at gay men having it away in underground sex clubs like Central Station on World AIDS Day each year where condoms are anathema and who, when challenged about this on another gay news forum, defiantly declared, “We are not the sex police!” Will Pink Paper also be giving publicity to GMFA’s new extreme hardcore safe sex manual (a contradiction in terms if ever there was) when it hits the streets of Soho this Saturday, or instead get its reporters on the streets and confront this odious NGO and challenge it as to why it has usurped gay men’s health education in a seemingly single-minded endeavour to make HIV-facilitating f*^k machines of us all?

  5. I am dreading the new gmfa explicit porno booklet. Last World Aids Day gmfa sponsored the extreme underground night, Filth, and was the benificiary of it’s fundraising efforts. If these are the sorts of places its staff get their kicks that’s all very well, but they are not standing up for or representing the health of the average gay man on the street with their disproportional and offensive campaign and fundraising policies. In 1984 all the government depts were given names which were the opposite of what they really stood for (ministery of peace/war, ministery of love/hate and so on.) Calling itself the Gay Mens Health Charity suggests someone at gmfa is an Orwell fan….

  6. Correction to Codex’s post: get the vernacular right, mate, it is a safer sex manual, got it? Safe sex has been air-brushed from the gmfa lexicon because it isn’t sexy enough and severely limits the desires and indulgences of those they are trying to influence, and we can’t have that now can we?

  7. Hmmm. A new thought: there is a mass of gay people out there completely unable or unlikely to read articles in Pink News or anywhere else. There are gay youngsters out there whose articulacy and literacy does not extend beyond twittering in txt spk. I think that the image of the two guys in a bedroom, with one of them attempting to evaluate the HIV status of other by the use of computerised headgear will actually AMUSE and ATTRACT the attention of SUCH people. So it has value. We have to remember that the education programmes have to be beamed at all different levels of society, using a one-size-fits-all approach would be ineffective.

    But once the target audience is attracted by the humour of this cover, they do need then to be HIT with the fear-inducing FACTS!

    And here I am going to post them again!

    All of the following quotes are indisputable PROOF of the on-going grief and anxiety that is part and parcel of living with HIV.

    “I am a 52 year old woman and have lipo really, really bad. Can you suggest a lower dose medication that I can ask my doctor to prescibe. I have begged him to just give me AZT but he is so sure it isnt enough”

    “I had bioalcamid filling in my wrinkles between mouth and nose. The esthetic outcome is terrible, too much material has been injected, and unfortunately I can’t stand the feeling that a stranger body, those nodules are in my face. Unfortunately my mimicry and smile have been also destroyed.”

    “I have gained a huge amount of weight /fat whilst on Sustiva, 3TC and Ziagen. I changed the Ziagen for AZT recently and found that the fat gain (everywhere but my face and legs has remained the same).”

    “I had experienced lipoatrophy in my face (had it corrected with a filler) legs, butt, a bit in the arms, on the sides of abdomen, (I was on D4t back then and Combivir for a few years. I have then switched to Isentress and Truvada, but strangely I am starting to notice losing fat in my hands and feet. My feet and getting more bonier, ankles and skinnier etc. and my hands more veiny.”

    “it is common for resistant HIV to be transmitted. In this era in the United States, about 10% of people acquire a strain of HIV that carries one or more drug resistance mutations.”

    “I have been poz since 1982, hereunder the drugs i have been taking for 12 years Atripla (efavirenz + tenofovir + emtricitabine) Combivir (zidovudine + lamivudine, AZT + 3TC) Videx (didanosine, ddI) Crixivan (indinavir, IDV) Invirase (saquinavir, SQV) Norvir (ritonavir, RTV) Viracept (nelfinavir, NFV) Last CD4:180 copies Viralload: 9500 Nucleoside and Nucleotide RT Inhibitors zidovudine (AZT): Possible Resistance didanosine (ddl): Resistance lamivudine (3TC)/ emtricitabine (FTC): Resistance stavudine (d4T): Possible Resistance abacavir (ABC): Resistance tenofovir (TDF): Resistance Non Nucleoside RT Inhibitors nevirapine (NVP): Resistance efavirenz (EFV): Resistance etravirine (ETR): Possible Resistance Protease Inhibitors saquinavir + ritonavir (SQV/r): Resistance indinavir (IDV): Resistance IDV/r**: Possible Resistance nelfinavir (NFV): Resistance amprenavir (APV)/ fosamprenavir (FPV): Resistance APV/r or FPV/r**: Resistance lopinavir + ritonavir (LPV/r): No Evidence of Resistance atazanavir (ATV): Resistance atazanavir + ritonavir (ATV/r)**: Possible Resistance tipranavir +ritonavir (TPV/r): No Evidence of Resistance darunavir + ritonavir (DRV/r): No Evidence of Resistance”

    “My statement of >98% effectiveness is generous by many standards; other reputable sources put condom effectiveness at 96% or below. The average breakage rate for condoms is 2% (per CDC), i.e. 2 for every 100 condoms.”

    “My friend has take Kaletra and other HIV anti-drug. His CD4 is 246. He gets diarrhea two times per day almost everyday even [though] he tried to eat safe food.”

    “it appears that HIV infection (including untreated HIV infection) increases the risk for heart disease due to narrowing of the coronary arteries.”

    “Gaining weight also contributes to diabetes risk and is common in both the general population and perhaps more so in persons taking effective HIV drugs. Your current HIV meds have not been clearly linked to an increased risk for diabetes but data on that is still limited particularly for etravirine and raltegravir.”

    “I’m still having some issues with balance, concentration, headaches, heart palpitations, sleep issues ( I literally feel like I’m dropping in a rollercoster when I try to sleep) fuzzy vision, confusion – these symptoms are mild and intermittent but regular.”

    “How long can a person live at cd4 of only 50, despite total ART adherence, and undetectable viral load, my cd4 count has remained a flat 50 for the past 3 yrs”

    “Atripla was a pretty easy drug on me at first. Then came the cinematic, vivid and often just completely indescribable dream scenes where it at times was difficult to discern reality vs. just being asleep and on my Atripla-trip.”

    “I have started wasting 2006 , I stopped the treatment then , my doctor put me in truvada in 2007 it did help my butt was getting smaller byday, I started my personal diet trying to gain wait but still I could’nt put the weight in right places like my butt and legs , and 2 months ago I started Nandrolene deca with protein suplements and herbs, for the 1st time in 3yrs wasting battle my butt is gaining some muscle and fat I am on better shape now. ”

    “Hi, I’ve been on treatment since 97 and d4T did its bit on my face, bum, legs and arms. My face has been ‘fixed’ with New Fill. This has been done in the NHS(I live in the UK). My HIV doctor has prescribed me Steroids which has marginally helped on my arms and legs. However, my bum has gone forever!. What can I do?”

    “I recently had a 24hr creatinine collection taken. My results should creatinine at 1.4 and GFR at 63. I am 40 years old 6ft 180lbs. and have been on reyataz, truvada, and norvir for 1 year. (1st regimen) I am shocked. Am I going to be on dialysis soon? Can I bring those numbers up or change anything about my normal routine, eating/drinking pattern? My doctor recommended I take another urine collection in 3 months and then if the numbers are still around 60 he wants to change the truvada for something else. He stated that number is too low for someone my age. I am worried. What should I do?”

    “Effective HIV therapy often results in 5-15 pounds of weight gain on a variety of regimens.”

    “You will want to discuss starting HIV medications as soon as you can. If you tolerate your medications for HCV, I would start your other HIV medications within about 4 to 6 weeks. Avoid zidovudine, which increases the risk of anemia while on ribavirin; also do NOT take didanosine (ddI), which can be hazardous due to a drug interaction with ribavirin.”

    “Having HIV is anything but “normal!” Being diagnosed HIV positive is always a shock and a period of adjustment is to be expected. The more you learn about HIV the less frightening it becomes and the easier it is to live with. I would suggest you begin by reviewing the information on The Body’s homepage: “HIV Basics.” There you will find chapters, such as “Just Diagnosed” and “HIV Medications.””

    “I change my medication after 6 months I started it-before I taked Kaletra and Truvada and after Truvada and Viramun… after couple months-I start feel pain in my back-kidney arria,and everyday my face and my eyes quietly swelling -heavy.. I check witch my doctor urine and kidney-he told me results normal-kidney seems work ok. but I still no understand what can be reason for pain and swimmed eyes?? I dont drunk,dont smoke-my food quietly clean..feels like if someone got really drunk-and next day you see this person-and say-oh mu god. shut I change Truvada for something else?and what can be alternative?? I no want sustiva-its cause migrane depression-and I quite sensitive to it.”

    “I’m outside my home country! and I just realized I miscalculated the amount of medication I needed while on this trip abroad. I’m on boosted telzir and truvada. The bottom line is, I will run out of Telzir 2 days before the end of my trip!!”

    “Some readers have written in and complained of profound ongoing fatigue in spite of normal blood panels. There are two possible concerns that are often not mentioned in the replies to these people. The first is sleep apnea. I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea after my docs exhausted (sic!) every other test. Second, many HIV poz people are coinfected with hepatitis C(HCV) and hep B(HBV) , but many coinfected people do not realize that they have HCV. All people with HIV should be checked for both HBV and HCV, two potentially curable infections that can lead to increasingly profound chronic fatigue and ultimately, in many cases, to death if untreated.”

    “I was diagnosed as HIV+ in 1991 and have been fairly healthy. Currently, I’m on Viramune and Combivir. My t-cells for the past several years, have slowly been decreasing, and now are in the low 200’s. My doctor is contemplating changing my medication, however since my viral load is so low, it may be impossible to detect the particular strain of the virus, I have.”

    “I was diagnosed with HIV 10yrs ago as of November of this year. I was pregnant with my daughter at the time. I have just turned 30yrs old in July and recently moved to another state just to get my head together. I have always been on and off medications sometimes Dr. recommendations then sometimes not. I have really never faced the reality of being positive however it has been very hard to get proper treatment when all it seems the Dr. would do is throw me on a pill and leave it at that. I have a hard time feeling as if that is all it takes for someone with HIV to live a longer, healthier life. I don’t have money so I don’t know how to seek more help when I am limited on the type of care is available to me. It seems that everyone in my experience has always passed the buck and all I have is just alot of prescriptions under my bed. I know that I am responsible for my own health but mentally I have not a clue how to begin taking control. I know I have a daughter to live for but I am barely living for myself. I don’t leave my house at this point, I smoke, and I am just plain depressed. I feel like I am tired of trying and picking myself up again and again. I have no support, no family , its just me and my daughter. I feel like I isolated myself because I wanted to just die in peace without all the whispers of those who instead of supporting me used me as there daily gossip when I trusted them with something so sensitive to me. I have no one to turn to. I have a doctor but he acted as if he didn’t even know how to read my Labs. I need help fast or I fear that I will not make it long. I know there is a good life for me to live I just need an angel to guide me to it. Please I need someone. I am tired and I can’t live like this anymore. I am admitting today that I am scared and don’t want to live like I am dead any longer. Thank You in advance for your advice”

    “An editorial in my local paper bemoaned that the writer was saddened that his friend died of AIDS in 1994 just before the advent of drugs that would have allowed him to lead a long and healthy life. The editorial advocated that the readers should take advantage of free HIV screening so they could begin treatment early.
    I wrote in a letter to the editor that while the new meds allow people with HIV/AIDS to live longer, that life is by no means healthy and that avoiding HIV infection was the best course. That editorial is indicative of what I see as a glossing over of the serious nature of having HIV and taking anti-HIV meds for long periods of time that is practiced by the medical profession.
    I am 54, have been HIV positive for 25 years, and have taken anti-HIV meds for 15 years. During my time with HIV, I have been hospitalized three times, once with PCP, another time with an allergic reaction to Bactrim, and once with Viread related pancreatitis. I have taken AZT, epivir, zerit, DDC, DDI, sustiva, videx, viread, truvada, norvir, atazanavir, prezista, and issentress. Many of those meds had very unpleasant side effects – AZT made me nauseous and caused me to feel as if I was full of ants and sustiva gave me horrible nightmares and daytime delusions. All of the meds made me seriously nauseous and led to chronic acid reflux disorder.
    I read over the years that doctors were concerned that the HIV meds would lead to disorders of the pancreatic mitochondria causing early onset diabetes and dementia. I watched as my blood tests reported that I was anemic and had liver dysfunction; due I was told by my doctor as a result of the HIV meds.
    I am angry that my doctors never impressed upon me that an undetectable viral load does not mean that you do not have significant levels of HIV in you system, particularly in non-blood sources such as lymphatic and spinal fluid. The result of this low level infection is that year on year your brain and nervous system are exposed to the toxic effects of HIV. This low level infection in my case led over 25 years to debilitating cognitive and behavior disorders such that I cannot work. I am unable to follow conversations, multi-task, drive a car, control my anger and I am chronically depressed.
    HIV has also caused painful neuropathy in my hands, feet and legs which has caused me to need a wheelchair to get around. I also have early onset osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. I take pain relievers for the osteoarthritis which further exacerbates my nausea.
    As I told the writer of the editorial, HIV is not for sissies.”

  8. A dumb looking ass with a kitchen utensil on his head is supposed to constitute a well-strategized HIV prevention campaign? Pink News considers it merits coverage? It’s not even funny. It’s abonimable! Who is this Mr. Hodson and more to the point what is he doing in gay men’s health? He should have a health warning branded across his forehead!!!!!

  9. The video is ridiculous. They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. This vid never worked first time round why spend more money on a dud? This is not news, it’s a PR release, badly written and once again exploiting the intelligence of gay men. Living with an HIV related condition long-term when combos fail is not quirky or fun, nor is the current AIDS mafia peddling the message that RESPECT for oneself and others has very low priority compared to arse classes and not upsetting the applecart of PC. Arse Classes? These so called ” expert ” agencies all need a good kick up the arse for collusion, corruption of values and constant denial.

  10. If anyone sees these postcards in a bar, I think we all have a social and moral duty to protect impressionable minds and to pick them up and file them in the nearest garbage dispenser. I am being deadly serious here…

  11. Better to launch a campaign which apprises people of THE FACTS, the horror and burden of living the rest of one’s life with HIV, the endless blood-testing, the side-effects, the anxiety, the worry, the impact of life-long chemotherapy upon the body.

  12. Douglas McBean 26 Aug 2009, 4:56pm

    How lucky you guys are to have GMFA in London (and elsewhere in England) who are sensitive, informed, knowledgeable and who actually understand the realities of what goes on on the gay scene.
    The time they have been in the business is surely testment to the good work they do.

    When I lived in London on several occasions in a personal capacity I followed their advice – I consider myself lucky to be HIV- in no short measure due to them: many friends, and many of those in Scotland particularly, were not privvy to GMFAs campaigning and have not had my “luck”. I am not over confident – whilst now in Edinburgh I am a constant visitor to the GMFA website.

    Seems to me in reading the comments on here that most points are mischeavious and perhaps “politically” aimed at GMFA and maybe there are some personal gruges here which I am not privvy to 400 miles away – if that is the case shame on you for hijacking a forum for genuinely interested contributors.

    I could go on and on and on but suffice to say – thank you thank thank you GMFA! (not finished see below!!!)

    As for the guy who says hardcore sex is incompatible with condom use – I don’t mean to be rude (yes I do) your sex life must I sugest be a wee bit dull – certainly for me – and I use “hardcore” in it’s proper sense unlike you!

    It seems to me to be futile to rant against GMFA – looks to me like they are in it for the long haul. I actually don’t understand what the nae-sayers point is? Can they set it out for me a simple lad in plain English devoid of emotion and dare I again say it, hysteria.

    This is too important a fight for gay men’s sexual health to be relegated to bitching. Who exactly does that help?

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