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Terrence Higgins Trust to launch new HIV testing campaign

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  1. Yet more funding being apportioned by THT pleading with all gay men to be tested.

    That the onus on HIV “prevention” over the past few years appears to have almost completely shifted to testing instead of genuine HIV prevention programmes that seek to slam the stable door shut BEFORE the horse bolts, and that only a quarter of us have actually responded to THT et al’s rallying call, would indicate that we are not rising to the bait, yet still they throw money at this agenda while cutting back on much needed services.

    The fact is that most gay men – despite the sleazification of our culture that THT has played an active role in – actually do take safe sex and their sexual health seriously and simply do not need regular HIV testing, which must disappoint THT as they have openly lamented the lack of more men testing positive than they have prepared for.

    And it is a simple fact that the more of us who do test positive, the more statutory funding the THT receives while streamlining its…

    1. “The fact is that most gay men – despite the sleazification of our culture that THT has played an active role in – actually do take safe sex and their sexual health seriously and simply do not need regular HIV testing”

      Answer this question Samuel – if most gay men do take safe sex and their sexual health seriously why were there over 3000 new infections last year?

      I would suggest that many gay men use condoms for anal sex, but very few use condoms for oral sex, yet I am aware of several individuals up & down the Country who say very clearly they never had unprotected anal sex, they were not IDU’s & they did not get infected form blood products – can you explain this anecdotal evidence? (I can but I would like to hear what you think)

      Also can you explain why you think nearly 50% of all new infections can be linked to undiagnosed HIV positive individuals – do you not think this is fueling HIV transmission rates?

      1. “Answer this question Samuel – if most gay men do take safe sex and their sexual health seriously why were there over 3000 new infections last year?”

        Is that a trick question, W6?

        Let’s see, assuming 1million-plus men in the UK to be out as gay, I’d argue vigorously that the overwhelming majority do practice safe sex or are at little or no risk of infection due to remote geographical location, although 3000 new infections each year is still nothing short of a disaster.

        It’s active gay men in the melting pots of London, Manchester, etc. – particularly those active on the scene – who are at greatest risk, and we can certainly assume a fair number unwittingly do carry HIV.

        But the fact of the matter is the number of men with undiagnosed HIV who go on to develop full-blown AIDS is miniscule, and I’d wager is less than would be the number of gay men receiving false positive HIV test results were all 1+ million gay men in the UK to obediently line up for a pin prick test!

        1. “But the fact of the matter is the number of men with undiagnosed HIV who go on to develop full-blown AIDS is miniscule” in 2011 there were over 500 deaths as a result of HIV infection in the UK – over 50% of these deaths were the result of late diagnosis – 250 needless deaths because these people did not undertake an HIV test?

          Today I have read another story about a young man who was ill for 2 years; when he was diagnosed his CD4 cell count was below 100, which means his life could be very much shortened -how is this not a disaster Samuel???

          There are 25,000 undiagnosed people in the UK – that is a huge supply of virus out there unchecked – why can you not see that this fuels new infection rates? Even if 95% of those people are always safe there are 1250 people not playing safe & potentially infecting others – if each of those infects just 2 other people that amounts to a total of 3750 new infections – & so it increases with each new partner!

          1. Either you really do not get it or you refuse to believe that annual testing makes sense for all those who are sexually active & have multiple partners………………even those who are in monogamous relationships I believe should be encouraged to have an annual MOT – just in case, what harm can it do?

            If your views on testing are purely based on what you consider to be the Pharma Co influence and by default consider HIV to be big business as in HIVinc then I do not think your arguments will ever be taken seriously by the majority of individuals……………….

            I have to say you are very inventive with your arguments, but so are the AIDS denialists!

          2. I’ve always maintained that HIV testing should form a part of HIV prevention, W6.

            My argument is that virtually the entire onus is now on testing and there’s zero genuine HIV prevention strategies that measurably reduce HIV transmission rates.

            How’s it possible not to venture into the realm of conspiracy theory when THT has created the very conditions via its own neglect and indifference for which it now states mass testing is necessary to reverse epidemic HIV rates?

            Where’s the genuine deterrent in this approach?

            HIV tests aren’t 100% reliable and I dread to think how many are needlessly on a lifetime regime of toxic drugs that will gradually wear their bodies down and destroy them because they were zealously prescribed them by charity workers who receive funding from the drugs’ makers.

            250 undiagnosed men die each year because THT willfully enabled HIV rates to soar to 3000+ each year.

            If you’re looking for anyone to blame for this tragic statistic blame your beloved THT.

          3. “genuine HIV prevention strategies that measurably reduce HIV transmission rates”

            I have listed what I think have been genuine prevention strategies that have been run in the year 12 months – what do you call a genuine prevention strategy? Prevention is much more than a poster or an ad in the gay magazines. The summer loving campaign was all about condom usage & a detailed guide of how to properly use condoms – how is that not a genuine prevention strategy? My guess is it lacks a strap line that says “HIV reduces your life expectancy by 10 yrs or more or HIV dramatically increases the risk of heart attack, stoke & kidney & liver failure” Are these statements true today Samuel or are they myths & generalisations?

            When the undiagnosed fraction starts to reduce there will be a marked decline in new infections – this is why every single HIV clinician & epidemiologist in the UK & Worldwide advocates increased regular testing, not just THT et al! Are they all wrong?

      2. “I am aware of several individuals up & down the Country who say very clearly they never had unprotected anal sex, they were not IDU’s & they did not get infected form blood products – can you explain this anecdotal evidence?”

        All HIV education programmes have stressed the remote likelihood of contracting HIV from standard oral sex practices.

        But when you have THT openly promoting and glamourising sexual acts like fist-ing, sh*t eating and sucking come from the back passage of someone you just barebacked, I’d argue those are high risk routes for transmission.

        I too have a dear friend who maintains he only practised condom sex and who was put onto meds as soon as he was diagnosed positive even though his T-cell count was healthy.

        He is visiting Australia at the end of the year and I have strongly advised him to retest there without disclosing his UK HIV test, as indeed I would strongly advise anyone who’s tested positive if they have access to alternative testing methods.

        1. I happen to believe that more research is required with regard to oral sex, particularly during the first few weeks of infection where the viral load of an infected individual makes them 28 times more infectious than when antibodies have formed and the viral load dramatically reduces. The risk of transmission per exposure could be as high as 5% for the receiving partner where ejaculate enters the mouth…………….

          Your friend will be given results for both viral load & CD4 cell counts when he visits his clinician – if he is HIV negative he will not have a viral load count Samuel – both you and your friend may wish to deny he has HIV, but if he is on treatment his viral load wil have been detectable prior to starting that treatment.

          If he has a good CD4 cell count one has to ask why he agreed to start treatment in the first place & why the clinician concerned wanted him to start treatment. If he has tested +ve to Antibodies in the UK Samuel he will test +ve in Australia

        2. You are clutching at straws here Samuel regarding testing accuracy & the different tests that are used to diagnose HIV – you are now suggesting complete conspiracy theory & it sounds like you are boardering on HIV denial. Why are you encouraging your friend to deny that he is HIV positive? How can you be a good friend to him if you are suggesting he has been mis-diagnosed?

          1. I am not suggesting anything of the kind, W6.

            These days it is frankly common sense not to accept a health-related test result of any kind at face value but to get a second test done anonymously elsewhere, ideally in another country.

            Every day the newspapers are full of horror stories of people being misdiagnosed for all manner of illnesses and diseases.

            Why should HIV be any different, particularly when it has been proven that different types of HIV tests are capable of yielding different results?

          2. You are missing the point totally Samuel – testing for antibodies is one thing, testing for the virus is completely different. A reactive finger prick test has to be confirmed by a full blood test, which looks for HIV. What you are suggesting here is that your friend had a finger prick test & on that basis was put straight onto medication without any further blood tests being taken. I am of the opinion that there is no clinic in the UK that would operate in this manner – perhaps you can confirm which clinic is involved here, because if you say this has happened then that clinic needs to be identified & questioned over its care & treatment procedures.

            Why if your friend was not sure that his test result was accurate did he me go to another clinic or to a private clinic to get a second opinion? Why did he start treatment, which is a big commitment if he felt his test result was wrong? Something does not add up in this story – either you are confused or your friend is in denial.

          3. “Every day the newspapers are full of horror stories of people being misdiagnosed for all manner of illnesses and diseases”

            Why rely on the Newspapers for information about mis-diagnosis. Why not try to understand the protocols that are used in the UK to ensure HIV testing is accurate & confirmatory blood tests are taken before a correct diagnosis is given?

            Perhaps science is not your strong point, but there are many easy to follow guides to be found on reputable web-sites that fully explain the tests that are taken to confirm an HIV diagnosis. Bloods are taken to identify the type of virus, the sub-type, tropism & resistance to drugs – I do not believe that any clinic in the UK would not run these tests as standard for a potentially newly diagnosed individual – we have the best HIV care in the world here in the UK.

            I do not understand why you are at pains to question such protocols, unless you are so wedded to your pharma co conspiracy beliefs that they distort your judgement.

  2. core services and investing its surplus funds into its multi-million pound portfolio of prime central London properties which, allegedly, must never be used even when it claims to be suffering from government cutbacks.

    Furthermore, when HIV testing is done by various methods that lead to different results depending in which country you are tested (i.e. a pos result in South Africa could be followed by a neg result in Australia), who’s to say that testing is completely reliable and that there isn’t undue haste in getting us all pill-popping with drugs that, in time, will wreak havoc with your health regardless of whether or not your really are HIV-positive?

    Notwithstanding the fact that the likes of THT deem it a good idea to offer testing at venues like bars and saunas in which the immune system is already compromised by alcohol and drug abuse.

    THT have created the problem of mass HIV infection by inversing impactful safe sex messages that genuinely deter in favour of sexed-up PC…

    1. campaigns which are known to incentivised the very practises they’re supposed to be discouraging, and now they claim to be offering the solution and won’t stop flogging HIV testing as prevention until it hits its targets.

      A treacherous, reprehensible approach to HIV “prevention”:- so blatantly self-serving to THT and beneficial to the drugs manufacturers with whom its chief exec has a long history of cosying up to and taking kickbacks from, and it’s got to stop.

      Look at the scene today:- sleaze parties are the new big club nights:- saunas and sex clubs carry THT’s “Safe Zone” code of good conduct seal and are displayed amid masses of gay men barebacking:- and to ensure we have first hand knowledge of the many thrills to be had in “filth” sex we’ve ony to turn to THT’s http://www.hardcell.org.uk

      How about THT updating its NLP-indoctrinated “prevention” ad shown here but injecting it with some truth for once:-

      THIVK YOU’RE STILL NEGATIVE?

      NOT FOR LONG IF WE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT…

      1. Eek, that rant suggests you have some big issues with THT. The bit were you say “THT have created the problem of mass HIV infection” is hysterical. And I don’t mean funny hysterical, I mean suffering from hysteria. Calm down. Do you seriously think that THT are trying to encourage people to test positive for HIV so they can continue getting funding? Really?

        1. Mark, THT’s own track record shows that most of their work has had no positive impact on HIV rates and, since 2001, has presided over a willful doubling in HIV rates.

          It’s constantly implemented policies and procedures that any sane person could foresee would achieve such results while constantly blaming external factors in order to deflect attention from its duplicity.

          THT is hand in glove with big pharma and works to government directives, and its failure and indifference is correlated to the decline of the NHS over the same, which follows the same blinkered policies and destructive PC procedures.

          Before being so quick to label someone who has done the research “hysterical”, at least have the decency to back up your missive and provide one example of how THT has made a measurably positive impact on HIV rates since the turn of the millennium.

          As it is, as if on cue you sound like an HIV sector insider robotically programmed to deny all criticism of its work.

          Say hi to W6 for me!

          1. “As it is, as if on cue you sound like an HIV sector insider robotically programmed to deny all criticism of its work.” – why would you make such a remark to another contributor? It just reinforces the view that your world view is totally off balance & is firmly defaulted to conspiracy mode.

            Why can you never take a comment as it is intended, why do you always put your own “spin” on such comments. Believe it or not Samuel other people may not agree with you – I know it must be difficult to understand that but it seems to be the case quite frequently.

      2. “so blatantly self-serving to THT and beneficial to the drugs manufacturers with whom its chief exec has a long history of cosying up to and taking kickbacks from, and it’s got to stop”

        You need to start providing proof of this claim & not just rely on a red top report some 20 years ago. Are you not comfortable that the Trustees, independent auditors, the Charity Commission & Statutory Income Auditors are not overseeing the correct financial operation of THT? If not you need to provide the evidence to support your claim.

        When I looked at the most recent THT Trustee report the amount of money donated Corporate Sponsors, which includes ViiV healthcare (GSK) was in the region of 250k – which is hardly a huge some is it? Why do you begrudge any income from the pharmaceutical industry???

        It seems to me that you have an agenda to discredit THT, discredit well documented medical evidence & deliberately mislead on matters relating to testing accuracy, treatment efficacy. Why is this???

    2. “when HIV testing is done by various methods that lead to different results depending in which country you are tested” –

      You are correct here it depends on the test used. An antibody (Ab) test is only accurate once antibodies have been formed in the body – this can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks after infection. A test that looks for antigens (Ag) can be reliable & detect the P24 antigen after 4 weeks. A duo test looks at both Ab & Ag so can identify infection from 4 weeks.

      All these indirect tests have one caveat – they do not directly look for HIV, this is completed once the initial test has shown a reaction. In the UK a +ve diagnosis is only given when the virus has been detected in the blood – this is known as a viral load test. You are wrong to assert otherwise – you need to research HIV testing in the UK fully, because you are incorrect. I have explained this many times to you, yet you choose not to take the time to understand HIV testing I have to ask why this is???

    3. “THT deem it a good idea to offer testing at venues like bars and saunas in which the immune system is already compromised by alcohol and drug abuse” – this statement is incorrect – yes outreach testing does occur in said venues, but “immunity” as you describe it does not form part of an HIV test.

      An HIV test does not look at how strong the immune system is – it looks for antibodies / antigens or both. The test that is used to identify the strength of the immune system is called a CD4 cell count – this test is never conducted as a way of determining if an individual has HIV. Again I have previously explained this to you, yet you continue to make these false statements which clearly show you do not understand HIV testing at all – how do you expect anyone to take you seriously if you are not in possession of the facts? Why do you never research these points?

      This is blatant scaremongering plain and simple!

    4. “undue haste in getting us all pill-popping with drugs” – this again is a myth that you continue to perpetuate. There is a clear guideline used in the UK that says treatment is recommended when the CD4 cell count falls below 350. There is also a guideline to say that where an individual has a partner that is HIV negative then treatment would be recommended to reduce the risk of transmission to that negative partner. In all instances the patient can always decline treatment if it is recommended – but anecdotal evidence tells me that most newly diagnosed individuals wish to start treatment sooner rather than later.

      There is also an ongoing international study called START, which is specifically looking at when is the best time to start treatment, either at levels above a CD4 cell count of 500 or to delay until the CD count is around or below 350. Again I have to ask why you appear not to be aware of these things, given that you claim to have researched HIV in depth.

      1. Guidelines may recommend procedures and protocols but this does not mean they are followed.

        Having read Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma, you more than most reading this will be aware of the extreme levels big pharma will stoop to corrupt doctors and their own drugs research to ensure their noxious drugs are pushed on the unsuspecting, regardless of their suitability or safety.

        HIV drugs are only a part of the picture:- let’s not forget diabetes, statins…the list is endless – all for conditions that did not exist 100 years ago and for which it is claimed there are no cures, only ongoing treatments that ensure multi-billion dollar profits for shareholders!

        Now big pharma’s advocating, via doctors it unconscionably bribes, drugs as prevention for everyone, including HIV drugs.

        And still you (claim) not to be aware of the very blatant conflict of interest that exists between these peddlers of disease and their annual donations to THT’s coffers?

        Oh come on, W6, you can do better than that!

        1. “Guidelines may recommend procedures and protocols but this does not mean they are followed”

          So eminent members of the British HIV Association & the British Association for Sexual Health & HIV are wrong to produce treatment guidelines are they? Interestingly in the US the CD4 guideline is higher at 500, so if I were as cynical as you I would say that the Pharma Companies are having a field day.

          We are talking specifically about HIV here – stick to the subject at least Samuel! Why don’t you just admit that your attack on HIV meds is all about your dislike for man made drugs? Why not be up front and say that, rather than make tenuous conspiracy links that you cannot substantiate. Ben Goldacre provides one view of the Pharma Industry – he makes some very good points but in my view balance is important & I do not believe for one minute that all the HIV experts in the UK & around the world have got it wrong!

          As I have said before your views on this are akin to HIV denial!

  3. I think that there’s a slight typo in the article: it says “Thivk”.

    But seriously, I love it. What an innovative way to help people.

    1. It’s called neuro-linguistic programming, Matt, designed to reinforce the inevitability of contracting HIV in today’s THT-sleazified world, as noted by many noted commentators equally appalled at this transparently deplorable use of word-play

      As it was paid for with HIV “prevention” funds, I guess innovative is one word you could use to describe it.

      I can think of many others that are far, far less flattering.

      1. “It’s called neuro-linguistic programming, Matt, designed to reinforce the inevitability of contracting HIV in today’s THT-sleazified world, as noted by many noted commentators equally appalled at this transparently deplorable use of word-play”

        Perhaps you can provide a link or reference point to these “notable commentators” as I am all for reading about how this technique is used in prevention campaigns.

        1. I would suggest you do your own research and reference the writings of the likes of Paul Burston and Karl Riley, who I clearly recall among others interpreting this campaign as blatantly enforcing the inevitability of contracting HIV.

          Can you tel me, as an insider, why the THT is confident that digging it up again is as likely now to achieve its objective than when first aired several years ago?

          Or is this how they are clawing back the shortfall in statutory funding:- digging up and regurgitating previous campaign disasters to save forking out for a new dodo?

          If they are so bereft of ideas over at THT, isn’t it time they did the decent thing and surrendered the HIV prevention budget to those who harbour a genuine desire to reduce transmission rates?

          1. Karl Riley has links to the now defunct Status Prevention organisation, so it is not surprising that he would take the view you claim he does. Also Paul Burston is a journalist, why would he be an expert in NLP for instance?

            This to me is not good evidence to substantiate the claims you have made here. You will need to do better than that I’m afraid Samuel! I think the clue is also in your own text “interpreting the campaign”! Where are the hard facts?

          2. Yes and you are a self-confessed THT insider so what does that makes your input into this discussion jaundiced by comparison…

          3. I am a volunteer Samuel, how does that make me an “insider”???? I am also an HIV positive individual so I think I very well qualified to to make relevant comments. I also volunteer for the Chelsea & Westminster NHS Trust as a peer educator & I have been provided with a great deal of training in the last few years so I think I can honestly say I know my subject area unlike your good self

            What will you be doing for World Aids Day this year……………….oh yes encouraging your positive “friend” to take a re-test because you believe the services here in the UK are incapable of correctly diagnosing & treating the +ve community. Totally unbelievable & this is my concern you are making dangerous statements relating to HIV testing & as such I believe your comments should be moderated. This is not the first time we have had these conversations about testing protocols you are just scaremongering with no understanding of what you are saying!

          4. W6, as a pos man your stated area of expertise is in dispensing heath care and meds advice to other positive man?

            Conversely as a neg man my intent is to advocate that our world is one in which safer sex is non-negotiable so as to prevent thousands more gay men being sent your way.

            Yet in recent years the THT and GMFA have customised our gay scene with sleaze and hard sex by associating themselves with hardcore club nights, the sauna scene and web sites like HardCell.org.uk which, like the new NHS web site that introduces 10 year olds to the wonderful world of porn, similarly is designed to ingratiate young gays into the world of extreme and highly dangerous sex acts.

            THT and GMFA also have a policy of NOT speaking out against bareback porn which is now proven to encourage unsafe sex, and so they’ve cultivated an environment in which it takes a lot of willpower for gay men, youngsters in particular, not to be assimilated into the sleaze scene.

            For what purpose have they done this?

          5. I really do not understand why you wish to create a clear divide between sero-discordant groups of gay men……………this will only add to the culture that we already see on many dating sites like gaydar, it just perpetuates myths around HIV, adds to stigma how is this helpful. Gay men need to fight HIV together, no apart.

            My role as a peer educator is to educate so I really do not see why this role should be limited to positive individuals – you obviously do not see the benefits that my perspective on HIV can bring to those who are negative & at serious risk of becoming infected, I have to ask why this is? (Vested interests again no doubt).

            Do you really think that the most at risk younger gay men are going to take on board non negotiable safer sex message? If you think this is the case then that is your right, but personally I don’t think you will get very far with that approach – but hey give it a go if you want to. But who is going to going you in this venture?

  4. Oh dear – yet another rant from Samuel B. Nothing new to say as always, the same tired lines that are wheeled out any time THT makes an announcement on a campaign…………

    There are many very vaild scientific reasons why gay men should have an HIV test at least annually, yet Samuel as ever does not understand how this impacts on forward transmission of HIV & therefore the important impact testing has on prevention strategies.

    Perhaps you can provide clear evidence that funding for THT is linked to the number of service users THT has? A good place to start is the Trustee’s report which I am sick of referring you to……….

    This particular campaign (which THT is co-coordinating) is funded by the recent £6.8 million funding provided by the DoH for the next 3 years specifically aimed at Gay Men, & had nothing what so ever to do with long term condition management funding that you seem to suggest

    What would you like to see in place of this particular initiative Samuel?

    1. W6, can you recall when THT launched a genuine HIV campaign with an effective deterrent factor?

      Neither can I.

      With HIV rates at record levels we can at least take solace from the fact they’re nowhere near as high as THT planned for:- a fact openly lamented by its staff.

      Furthermore despite THT (and GMFA) plugging big pharma’s noxious post-exposure drug cocktail PEP to death (pharma ads for expensive drug regimens each funded by us!!!), uptake has also fallen considerably below expectations, which must have annoyed the manufacturers somewhat.

      W6, it’s time to dispense with the same old defenses and reflexively awarding me 3 red arrows each time I post here.

      You’re a decent guy with his heart in the right place but your loyalties are misplaced.

      Big Pharma’s aim is to get everyone drugged up and vaccinated for anything everything, and from December its lobbying of the EU Parliament will result in a new directive outlawing health claims on food packaging.

      They do not care about us.

      1. “Big Pharma’s aim is to get everyone drugged up and vaccinated for anything everything”, This to me Samuel is the whole crux of the matter here – you are an advocate of natural remedies & dislike man made drugs.

        It seems to me that you attack HIV charities (not just THT which is your least favorite) because you wrongly believe that the Pharma Co’s somehow provide £millions for THT et al to promote their drugs. This may work in the US given their healthcare system, but it is not the case in the UK.

        You can look at any of the Charities accounts and see how much money Pharma Co’s donate. What is so wrong if a Pharma Co provides funds for treatment information as is the case with NAM? Would you prefer that people living with HIV are denied access to the most up to date information on HIV treatments (including the side effects that you are so keen to point out)?

        I would have more time for your argument if you stripped away your dislike for the Pharma Co’s & HIV Charity rhetoric

      2. “W6, can you recall when THT launched a genuine HIV campaign with an effective deterrent factor?”

        I would agree Samuel that THT or any other HIV organisation have not launched the type of campaign that has the sort of deterrent message you wish to see. I can recall at least 3 recent campaigns that have involved the promotion of correct condom use, interactive sex score surveys, interactive games, banner ads on sites like gaydar.

        Prevention is not just about having a strong message on an ad in the local gay rag – it is about a co-ordinated approach to reach a variety of target age groups. THT have rightly in my opinion engaged in the use of interactive on-line resources because most young gay men use smartphones, play games & are interested in identifying thier sexual activity risk for themselves. These are all initiatives that you have criticised & will continue to be critical of – which is your right. What I do object to is where you make claims that you cannot substantiate.

        1. If you want to have a reasoned debate about the merits of HIV testing (which is what this story is about) then I am happy to engage with you & present the facts about the clear links between undiagnosed HIV & new infection rates.

          I am not prepared to engage with your rhetoric & your emotionally driven arguments about your perceived failings of THT & other HIV charities. The fact is we will never know how effective or otherwise said charities have been because we do not know what infection rates would look like without any prevention information being made available to gay men.

          The genie is out of the bottle – HIV is not considered a life threatening illness & can be effectively treated (these are claims made the world over) & I firmly believe that in the next decade we will see great advances in new treatments & hopefully a functional cure.

          I am not prepared to go over old ground that is based on your dislike for the pharmaceutical companies.

          1. I appreciate that our opinions will continue to differ until the day the genie really and truly is, as you say, out of the bottle and the truth is out in the open for all to see, and I have a feeling such time is fast approaching.

            But thanks at least for debating this without either of us needing to resort to childish insults and providing very well researched info and data from which PN visitors can make up their own minds.

            I will not get into debating the minutiae of said data because, simply, I do not trust any data where the pharmaceutical industry is concerned or where it has been able to unduly influence such data indirectly, at arms length, or whatever of the many dark arts it employs to deceive and misinform.

            And I am surprised you are still so willing to having read Big Pharma yourself.

          2. So just admit it Samuel all this debate is really about Pharma Co’s & you have chosen HIV as your vehicle upon which to based your arguments……………………..to me something does not sit quite right with your over zealous poorly understood interest in all things HIV, even my psychologist agrees with, something is not right here!

  5. As a linguist I have to say I am unnerved by this new HIV awareness campaign. It reads to me like predictive programming and my concern is that it will implant into the subconscious minds of less strong-willed people, particularly those who occasionally take sexual risks, the inevitability of contracting HIV, and so actually catching the disease becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    I am not suggesting like Samuel B that this is by design, but I would strongly urge THT to reconsider the very dangerous precedent it could be setting in transmitting this message to sexually vulnerable gay men.

    1. Paul, this isn’t a new campaign at all but the revival of one that prompted many journalist luminaries in the gay press to criticise its oblique message for the precise reasons you eloquently state.

      Its resurfacing at this time highlights the THT’s defiance and refusal to learn from its mistakes.

      It did nothing to encourage gay men to come forward for testing then, why should it now?

      And even if it did, what makes THT and W6 believe testing will have much of a positive impact on HIV rates?

      It’s a little like p*ss*ng in the wind when not knowing which direction the wind will blow next, yet proven HIV prevention initiatives continue to be sidelined on the pretext of “We mustn’t tell the gays the truth about the real consequences of HIV infection lest we offend the sensibilities of those who already carry the disease.”

      Spare the baloney and myth-making and just be honest for once, THT, and state that from day one the agenda has always been to normalise HIV by mainstreaming the virus.

    2. Interesting that W6 has not deigned to riposte your contribution, Paul, sincehe questions the NLP techniques employed in this campaign elsewhere in this thread.

      You do not need to be a linguist to see what purpose the word HIV embedded within the word THINK serves:- a play on word association which programs the unconscious mind to, literally, “think HIV” and to, in turn, interpret and respond to the question that completes the slogan as a direct challenge to, in effect, acquire the virus.

      I am no expert in NLP techniques but I and others I have shown this to along with various gay media luminaries the first time around see clearly the “COME ON, LADS, WHY THE HELL AREN’T YOU JOINING IN? HIV’S FOR EVERYONE!” message this wording cryptically, blatantly and irresponsibly enforces.

  6. The ad is a bit rubbish. I’m not entirely sure what it means. Do I read it as “Think. You’re still negative? Thousands of gay men have HIV for years without knowing.” Which implies that I’ll be OK if I get infected as positive because thousands of gay men are OK. Or am I supposed to read this as “Think you’re still negative? Thousands of gay men have HIV for years without knowing.” which implies I’ll be OK if I don’t know that I have HIV? I don’t understand why either of those messages are good.

    1. You are spot on in your observation, John Ten.

      Like many of THT’s campaigns over the years, this campaign utilizes NLP to transmit confusing mixed messages to the conscious and sub conscious mind.

      A survey several years ago found a staggering proportion of gay men under 25 to be incentivised into having unsafe sex by HIV prevention ads which, on the surface, appeared to be advocating safer sex.

      It is scandalous that HIV “prevention” campaigns over the years have seemingly been deliberately designed to subliminally persuade gay men into risky sexual behaviours that facilitate HIV transmission in order to bolster business for THT’s more profitable and lucrative HIV services division.

      Isn’t it high time the gay media investigated and exposed this deceitful, and near-genocidal, treachery?

      1. I’m not going to get drawn into all of the above Samuel, I just don’t understand what I’m supposed to be taking from this ad. Perhaps someone from THT could make a posting to tell us what the ad means so we can all be clear.

      2. Samuel B

        Your conspiracy theory is very hard to believe. Are you seriously saying that the THT really wants more people to become infected with HIV so that their organisation can profit from increased funding?

        You have a very low view of human nature. The Gay Community has produced some institutions to be really proud of, such as Gay Switchboard, Stonewall and the THT, with people working for them who show great service, compassion and dedication to others.

        I don’t believe for a moment that the decades-long THT campaigns encouraging people to wear condoms for penetrative intercourse, were or are aimed at anything other than a service to the community, or that the advertisements encouraging the use of condoms (used by safer sex campaigns across the globe) have instead had the effect of encouraging people not to use them.

        Heaven help us all if the conspiracy theorists had been running our country’s foremost HIV prevention organisation since the early 1980s.

        1. Think what you like Gazza but my view is shared by many and there are highly referenced works that show what the likes of THT stand for.

          Do your own research!

          1. Paranoia.

          2. Provide the proof of your allegations Samuel!

    2. John Ten

      This poster is informing or reminding people of that fact that many people with HIV and not taking medication can remain symptom-free for years (at least a decade, it seems) before developing symptoms of AIDS.

      Some people who have not informed themselves about HIV may still believe that, if they contract HIV, they will progress fairly quickly to symptoms of AIDS. After all, for most germs, people fall ill fairly rapidly after contracting them.

      This poster seems to be aimed at those people who think they are probably not HIV positive because it is years since their last risky encounter, and they are still symptom-free. They are being encouraged to “THINK” about “HIV”, take a test, and live a much longer life if they test positive and take meds when appropriate. They will also be less likely to have unsafe sex that endangers their partner if they know they are HIV+..

    3. What sort of ad would you like to see John Ten to encourage gay men to test regularly & at least on an annual basis? What are your views on regular testing? I would be interested to find out your views as to what would be an alternative that would engage you in a National HIV testing initiative.

      1. I think all gay men should test on an annual basis. It’s easy to think that if you are in a monogamous relationship or you always use condoms then you don’t need to test. But this isn’t true. I thought I was in a monogamous relationship until my partner tested positive. I also know that there are slight risks with sucking cock.
        I just didn’t get that this ad was asking me to test. It doesn’t say that anywhere. Why not? I’m not on an anti THT rant but how the hell are we to guess that this ad is about testing?
        If I was promoting testing nationally I would explain why all gay men should test annually, give the truth about what being HIV is like these days so that people aren’t scared to test, and (and this is another problem with this campaign – which I think is even more rubbish now if it is about testing) I would not link testing to just being positive. I get tested to confirm that I’m negative.

        1. As I have suggested elsewhere we have not seen the full campaign details yet – so perhaps the week long campaign will become clearer then. I agree that on the face of it the poster featured in the PN story does not say much, so I am with you on that point. I also agree with your views on annual testing & for those in monogamous relationships to get a regular MOT, together where possible.

          I also agree that we should be education gay men about HIV as it is today, not how it has been portrayed in the past. Individuals who are diagnosed early & start treatment when recommended have very good outcomes & many clinicians now believe life expectancy is similar to the HIV negative population. You are also correct to say that we need to encourage people to test & not be put off from testing – that said some contributors have suggested that “stigma (towards HIV) is a price worth paying” as a deterrent is needed. I think we need to educate not deter!

  7. It has been depressing to read the thread above.

    The THT has done sterling work to prevent HIV infection and to provide information and support, and continues to do so.

    No matter how much good a person or an entity does, you will always find people – and sometimes very intelligent and articulate people – trying to put the boot into it, for reasons best known to themselves.

    The conspiracy theories surrounding HIV, and it seems, incredibly, trying to implicate THT as well, don’t feel to me as any more credible than the conspiracy theories regarding the moon landing.

    Well done to the THT for its outstanding work in the community.

    Let’s all keep committing to safer sex and to the dissemination of information.

    What I would like to know is why we are still not seeing a proper media advertising campaign to inform people about the importance of safer sex.

  8. We do not yet know what the complete campaign is going to look like as there are other partners working with THT up & down the country – one poster slogan does not make a total campaign……

    Surely any campaign that encourages gay men to take care of thier sexual health is a good thing.

    Ok there will be a variety of views on poster slogans – but with interactive online resources being ever more popular & local outreach services further developing, I think it is right for HIV charities to have a National Campaign week ahead of World Aids Day………

  9. So to be clear here Samuel your view is that HIV testing in the UK is inaccurate & results in negative individuals taking HIV treatment. The Pharma Co’s are the HIV charity paymasters, so they out of their way to prevent campaigns being effective, because in this way more people will become +ve & therefore the Pharma Co’s reap the rewards because more & more people have to take treatment.

    Are you really sure that this has nothing to do with safeguarding Public Health, reducing the cost to the NHS & ultimately preventing people dying a very slow painful death from AIDS?

    As I have said before your ideology is bordering on HIV denial, which is a dangerous game to play. To use such words as ” near-genocidal, treachery” beggars belief!

    I note that have failed to answer many of the questions I have posed to you about HIV knowledge & your “friend” – I am beginning to wonder if you are the individual you characterise as your friend as you seem to be in denial & may explain your ramblings!

    1. W6_bloke

      I share your criticisms of Samuel B’s accusations on this blog.

      No matter how much good a person or entity does, there will always be people who, for reasons best known to themselves, find or invent some angle to attack it.

      So long as people keep presenting the correct information and advice, and challenging false and unfair accusations, that’s the best we can do.

      But …. I would just like to say I’m not sure whether you writing about “preventing people dying a very slow painful death from AIDS” is helpful. There are a lot of people who live in a heightened state of anxiety about HIV and AIDS – whether they are infected or not – and phrases like that will compound their anxiety. Medical and palliative care for people with symptomatic HIV is excellent in our country, and there is no need for anyone to have any morbid or distressing thoughts of the kind you described.

      1. I totally agree with you Gazza – the particular phrase you have highlighted is not helpful. Sadly I have found that one had to use extreme words to try to get a particular point across to Samuel B. but I note your views which are akin to my own. We have the best HIV care in the world I believe, yet there are those (like Samuel B.) that seem set on discrediting the care & treatment that is available in the UK.

    2. When your argument resorts to the lowest form of slur by inferring I am an HIV denialist, W6, with no evidence whatsoever to back this up, you have already lost the argument.

      My friend I refer to was diagnosed several years ago during a period in which we had lost touch.

      When we met up quite a bit later I was staggered to hear of his diagnosis as he was just about the least likely person to have contracted HIV.

      He maintains he never put himself at risk but accepted the diagnosis and the drugs without question.

      It is only recently, having read reports that no HIV test is infallible and that different results are possible utilising different testing methods that I have discussed with him the possibility of seeking another test.

      I can’t force him to, but I’d equally urge anyone diagnosed with any chronic, life-threatening disease to seek out a second anonymous diagnose and not to put your entire trust into a medical profession that no longer allies itself to the Hippocratic Oath.

      1. “When your argument resorts to the lowest form of slur by inferring I am an HIV denialist, W6, with no evidence whatsoever to back this up, you have already lost the argument”

        Your conspiracy theories & rhetoric are those that I often come across on HIV denialist sites, so I think I am entitled to form that opinion given all the evidence I have witnessed form you over the last 2 years. You have often dubbed me an HIV / Pharma schill, why is my charge that you are an HIV denialist any different?

        If you are going to dish it out………………….

      2. “When we met up quite a bit later I was staggered to hear of his diagnosis as he was just about the least likely person to have contracted HIV.” This is exactly my point about regular testing Samuel, but I do have to ask what sort of individual is likely to contract HIV – as I have said many times HIV does not discriminate.

        Even the most careful individuals can get a shock – I read many stories on the MyHIV forums where guys & girls have found it difficult to identify by which means they became infected. This is not me trying to scaremonger (as you have suggested in the past) this to me just underpins the view that regular HIV testing really does need to become second nature particularly amongst gay men.

        You have accused me of “willing you to contract HIV” – all I have done is outlines my views on oral sex, because I believe that where certain circumstances conspire together the risk can be higher for some people.

  10. The crux of the problem is that the HIV industry is run by technocrats, not heart-centred people with a genuine desire to safeguard people’s health.

    It’s all about the bottom line:- how many new clients can be signed up to services and a zealousness to get HIV-infected people drugged up as soon as possible.

    I admire the likes of W6 for showing loyalty to an org he volunteers in, but they can hardly be expected to be objective when they are always on the defensive.

    I’m just an ordinary member of the public who works in retail and who is, frankly, appalled by THT’s track record as gleaned from gay media over the years and various exposes of its practises.

    I frequent the scene and witness its neglect and indifference close up and wonder why nobody speaks out.

    Jimmy Savile syndrome, perhaps, and a fear of being sued?

    We need more fearless people to speak out instead of looking the other way because this abuse and corruption of “prevention” resources concerns us all.

    1. Samuel B

      Do you go through life trying your hardest to find fault in other people or in organisations, and to ascribe to them the most cynical motives possible on the basis of evidentially selective interpretations that fit in with your preferred presuppositions?

      If there was some Big Pharma conspiracy, in collusion with THT and who knows whom or what, to get people on anti-HIV meds as soon as possible, then these expensive drugs would surely be given immediately, rather than when cell counts reach a certain level, usually many years down the line.

      I find it hard to believe the NHS is so keen to spend as much money as possible on HIV meds that it uses the THT as an organ to promote unnecessary HIV infection, with Big Pharma rubbing its hands in glee in the background.

      Your slur of the THT is disgraceful. If people took you seriously, which they won’t, it would lead to a fall in volunteers and worse provision for people with, or worried about, or at risk of contacting HIV.

      1. Gazza, you accuse me of conspiracy theory even when the elephant’s standing 12ft tall in the living room!

        I won’t draw the obvious conclusion that you are an HIV sector colleague of W6 called in to back him up, but your idealistic view of the NHS is rather rose-tinted when various trusts are currently in hot water for killing off elderly patients in return for backhanders to free up hospital beds.

        And lo and behold the front page of my Guardian today splashes with the damning revelation that 4000 women a year are administered needless cancer therapy.

        With this in mind the inference that THT’s confusing HIV campaigns are deliberately designed to facilitate HIV transmission would appear to stack up, aided and abetted by a health service that compliantly hands out endless expensive meds without holding THT’s “prevention” methods to account.

        How many more have to post here saying they don’t understand THT’s latest campaign before you get the message that THT pushes HIV, not prevention?

        1. From the last count I can only see two commentators who are not sure about the THIVK poster. As I have said elsewhere we do not know what the complete campaign will look like, do we actually know that the poster featured will be used in the up and coming campaign – I see no confirmation of that, perhaps PN have just used this particular poster.

          Even if the poster in question is used then the campaign should be evaluated by the DoH as this is part of the 3 year contact that has recently been awarded. I will reserve my judgement until I see how the week long campaign pans out.

        2. Samuel B

          I do not know W6 and I do not work in the “HIV sector.” An “obvious conclusion” you “won’t draw”? Why mention it then?

          What other incorrect “obvious conclusions” are you drawing when you have no substantive evidence for them, I wonder?

          Although I realise there are always a few “flat earthers” around, it rankles to hear you attacking THT with such absurdities, as they have consistently done so much sterling work. Many countries don’t have the good fortune of institutions like THT, and we should be grateful for what they do.

          My take: Wear condoms for penetrative sex, and (in my view) be cautious with oral sex too. If a condom breaks, immediately to hospital for PEP. Testing if there has been a risky encounter. Keep ourselves and others safe. And don’t put sex above intimacy with and respect for others, or use it as a means of blotting out personal problems.

    2. “as gleaned from gay media over the years and various exposes of its practises” This is the crux of the matter, Samuel you have not taken the time to become educated about HIV, instead relying on the press for your information. As a result we see comments that have no bearing on the good clinical practice that takes place up & down the country.

      Your slurs on HIV charities are borne out of your conspiracy theories, which you have never been able to substantiate in the two years that I have been “debating” with you. I am all for people expressing their views, but often your comments are wildly inaccurate, particularly around testing, treatment & care. You also make comments about the finances of THT that you have never substantiated – such as the myth that newly diagnosed individuals become the next year “buisness plan” for THT! THT are not paid by the number of service users it attracts – funding is not that straight forward. You really need to get up to speed in the basics!

      1. You call it conspiracy theory, W6, I call it critical thinking.

        Conspiracy theorist is the attack of last resort when the denier of truth is faced with the facts because PC religionists such as yoursef have synonymised the term with tin-foil hat wearing loonies.

        The fact of the matter is, W6, the deceit and treachery surrounding a provable conspiracy within the HIV sector to keep gay men ignorant and ill-informed of the real consequences of HIV infection goes far beyond being a theory anymore when, as I said, the elephant in the living room now stands 12ft tall…

      2. W6:-

        “THT has been attacked in the past for edgy campaigns”

        This is a perfect example of the myth-making doublespeak and downright bluster that the likes of W6 aim at all opposition to skew and misinform the debate.

        Attacked by whom, exactly?

        Hand-wringing leftie luvvies weaned on a PC ideology that preaches you must not use truth in your campaigns because truth is the ultimate deterrent factor?

        Compare to the onslaught of attack the likes of THT have come under from all sections of gay society for NOT running the kind of edgier campaigns that are so badly needed as a counter to the HIV -facilitating policies and procedures followed obligingly and unquestioningly day in and day out by “all [THT's] fantastic staff and volunteers” (copyright Gazza).

        But then, what’d you expect when this “charity” is headed by Sir Nick “Gong” Partridge, whose OBEs and MBEs firmly entrench him into the British establishment and all of the unbridled greed, corruption and cover-up that alone implies?

      3. “THT has been attacked in the past for edgy campaigns”

        A perfect example of the myth-making doublespeak and downright bluster that the likes of W6 aim at all opposition to skew and misinform the debate.

        Attacked by whom, exactly?

        Hand-wringing leftie luvvies weaned on a PC ideology that preaches you must not use truth in your campaigns because truth is the ultimate deterrent factor?

        Compare to the onslaught of attack the likes of THT have come under from all sections of gay society for NOT running the kind of edgier campaigns that are so badly needed as a counter to the HIV -facilitating policies and procedures followed obligingly and unquestioningly day in and day out by “all [THT's] fantastic staff and volunteers” (copyright Gazza).

        But what would you really expect when this “charity” is headed by Sir Nick “Gong” Partridge, whose ritualistic knighthoods firmly entrench him into the British establishment and all of the unbridled greed, corruption and cover-up that goes with it?

        1. Sorry, duplicate comment.

          I note once again that I have the final word in anothet section of this debate wherein the truth shines too blindingly for the likes of W6 and HIV sector stooges to respond to…

          1. To be honest Samuel these two postings do not warrent a reply…………………I have posed many questions to you in this particualr thread, the majority of which you have not responded to. But if you want to continue “baiting” me, I will construct a response when I have the time, not at your behest.

            In the mean time I suggest you swat up on HIV basics, as we are fast approaching “silly season” where HIV charities will be doing great work on the run up to WAD, so there will be plenty of debating time I’m very sure on the news stories PN runs.

            You may also wish to join forces with Mr Alan Strong (aka Caped Crusader, ACT UP London, or what ever else he is calling himself) as I note he has made comments singing your praises in this thread. Perhaps both of you would be better working together on your conspiracy theories & then presenting hard evidence so that PN readers may make a judgement on both your ridiculous claims.

  11. I applaud THTs ongoing attempt to reduce undiagnosed HIV but this is hardly a ‘new’ campaign. TheTHIVK campaign was developed as part of the national CHAPS programme made up of a variety of national and local agencies, of which THT was one. When launched in 2008 it was a valid attempt to raise awareness and reignite the long neglected conversation about testing. However the campaign is almost 4 years old and been bought and paid for and no doubt reached saturation point where many gay men just switch off and when they see it. More than happy to see my taxes (going into the national programme) going to THT to lead and develop work to serve me as a gay man, but its time to understand the complexities of HIV prevention and that whilst testing is an important strategy it is not the only one. We could learn some useful lessons from down under http://knowtherisk.org.au/over-18/

    1. Hear hear, Brix, oh hear hear!!

      HIV prevention must be balanced in its approach:- by focusing all its prevention resources on pleading with gay men to test does us all a disservice.

      The call to testing should be balanced with impactful campaigns that serve as a genuine deterrent to exposing oneself to HIV.

      But as I have explained till I am blue in the face, such a common sense approach does not compute with the PC box ticking technocrats who, in their verve to reduce HIV stigma, see the mainstreaming of the virus as the solution – a policy that also serves to keep their corporate paymasters happy.

      We live in an age of corruption and deceit and this sort of self-serving behaviour is par for the course for most institutions that claim to act for the good of the public.

      But truth will be their downfall, probably very soon, as their mendacity and duplicity becomes too in-your-face for us all to ignore any longer…

      1. What are your views on the comment that brix mentions regarding PEP, Safer Venues & Drug Works Samuel – I am very interested in what you make of this as the commentator seems to suggest that these were world leading ideas & campaigns…………………….in the past you have been very highly critical of such interventions!

        Interesting debate to be had me thinks

      2. “genuine deterrent to exposing oneself to HIV.” what does this look like for you Samuel – I think it would be useful for other contributors to understand what you mean by this, as I note you are being uncharacteristically coy and choosing your words very carefully in your reply to brix. Don’t be shy why not use some of those slogans you think should be used in campaigns!

    2. Thanks for the link – it is a great site I think! THT do also have a “risk calculator” which is called the “sex score” – this campaign was run last year as “Clever Dick”. It was a very successfull campaign As many of the site visitors undertook the sex score survey, which also provides detailed information on how to minimise risk.

      As I mention earlier we do not have the full campaign details as yet, but I take your point that the poster as shown has been used before – I guess we will have to wait and see what the whole campaign looks like before we pass judgement.

      http://www.tht.org.uk/sexual-health/HIV-STIs/Sex-and-risk/Reduce-your-risk/Sex-score

      1. Sadly the Clever Dick campaign is also about 10 years old, so no innovation there. Was a time when THT led the world in HIV prevention & developed work that changed the way we approach this (PEP, Safer Venues, Drugs work). Now sadly its all about ‘test and treat’ & a repeat of old work. Nobody can really argue that’s a good spend of government money can they. Sadly W6_bloke I’ve seen behind the Wizards curtain (THT) & I’d lay my ruby slippers on the take home message being ‘get tested and use a condom’. Any gay man who is sexually active in 2012 knows its more complicated than that. This is not simply an anti-THT rant. I really believe in the charity’s leadership role and have supported them for years. But I feel they’ve a responsibility to serve me as a gay man and give me information regardless of my HIV status that enables me to have the best sex with the least harm.

        1. “THT led the world in HIV prevention & developed work that changed the way we approach this (PEP, Safer Venues, Drugs work)” I totally agree with your comments here – sadly I think in some respects THT are taking a more cautious line now with innovative campaigns simply because of some of the comments we see posted here.

          THT has been attacked in the past for edgy campaigns & for developing websites such as drugfu**ed & hardcell. It seems THT no longer have the appetite to engage in harm reduction stratgies purely because they have in the past been highly criticised by individuals with the mind set that we see from Samuel B & are therefore playing it safe with very simple messages.

          I also agree “get tested & use a condom message” is far too simple; we need more individual & group work aimed at those most at risk of HIV & we also need to provide more information for those who engage in the harder sex scene. Clinics such as the CODE based at 56 Dean Street are to be applauded I think

          1. Seems like we’re on the same page (which is a relief on this site) However I think that the agency that shouts at every opportunity that they are leaders in their field should have the balls to stand up the green ink brigade. The ‘edgy’ campaigns were based on evidence and responded to a real need. If it can be done by ACON in Australia and SFAF & GMHC in the US surely THT can stand up, be counted and not worry about the responses on here and the impact it will have on future funding. As I said I know what goes on behind the wizards curtain and this bland campaign is as much about reducing HIV infections as it is not upsetting the ‘sensitive’ nature of people on here and Daily Mail readers. All im asking for is innovation and honesty. After all with £6.5million in your pocket you can afford to take some risks.

          2. Totally agree brix with your comments – being a mere volunteer (who is often derided on here) I am not party to the inner sanctum of THT, but I can see where you are coming from in wanting to see more innovation & perhaps more risk taking to deliver campaigns that acknowledge the complexities of effective prevention for all!

          3. W6_bloke

            Thanks for the work you do as a volunteer with the THT, and I hope you will not feel discouraged or demoralised by the small minority of conspiracy theorists and nay-sayers in the LGBT community.

            Many LGBT people (myself included) have personal stuff that can come to the surface as a result of a lifetime of discrimination, and sometimes it finds expression in seeing things in other people and institutions that are not actually there.

            A big cyberkiss from me to the THT and all its fantastic staff and volunteers :) x

          4. Gazza, there is nothing more irritating than a sycophant who blindly praises something while providing no reasons or evidence to back up what they claim to hold in such high regard.

            How about putting your money where your mouth is and presenting a list of the many successes and evidence of any success THT has had in the onward fight against the spread of HIV before jumping on the “all charities are working for the greater good” bandwagon?

            It may surprise you to know that many of our respected charities are fronts for corporate and public sector organisations and do not work for the greater good of those they profess to serve but are motivated, for example, by customising and controlling the lives of their clients in ways that yield the greatest returns.

            And it is always about the bottom line.

            I would suggest you start doing some research and open your third eye a bit, because our community’s willingness to turn a blind eye in the face of rampant greed and corruption shames us all.

          5. Samuel B.

            I have never come across opinions similar to yours about the THT before: and you are the only person on this thread expressing them.

            I have been on this Earth long enough to know when a person is so wedded to his views that he is impervious to reason, argument or evidence of any description. I can’t see anyone else on this thread I would need to persuade. It is just your good self.

            I am more willing for you to retain your strange beliefs than I am to go to the trouble that W6 obviously has in trying to change your mind. I have posted on here for the sake of casual readers.

            People will make up their own mind based on their instincts, intelligence and available evidence, as to whether there is some big, sinister THT conspiracy.

          6. Gazza

            Thanks for your kind comments – I enjoy what I do with THT & I wanted to be able to contribute, as THT provided me with a great deal of support when I was first diagnosed. I agree that we all have “personal stuff” to deal with but I have always tried to turn that potential negativity into a more positive approach.

            There is always room for improvement in any organisation & I know that THT have many very committed, enthusiastic people working for them both as paid staff & volunteers who are making a big difference to the organisation. I have developed a tough skin since I stated commenting here on PN – my very first encounter was of Samuel B. making his usual attacks on THT Volunteers. I will always continue to make sure there is balance to any argument he puts forward, particularly when he makes totally incorrect statements on the science of testing, treatment & care as often his comments are dangerous.

            Thanks for your support in this particular thread, virtual hugs back!

          7. Samuel

            There is nothing more irritating than your ridiculous assertions about THT et al that we have come to expect from you – I note that the your tone & ramblings within this thread have become more & more agitated & personal as it has gone on. Is this how you react when you don’t get your own way??? You are like a petulant child , spitting out his dummy.

            I have news for you sunshine – this thread more than any other has proved to me that your fine words & oratory skills mean nothing when the substance of the argument is missing – go read up & then come back when you can at least grasp the basics about HIV testing, prevention & treatment as it is in the UK today!

            Oh yes, leave your friend alone – he is on stable treatment & does not need the likes of you making him doubt his diagnosis – this is blatant scaremongering & proof that you are an HIV denialist of sorts!

  12. Why thank you Trick or Treat.

    A pity the HIV sector apologists on this thread can’t be more forthcoming with some actual facts and figures as to exactly what THT has achieved in its 30 long, long years as to be held in such (cough, splutter) high regard…

    All the best to you, oh, and happy Trick or Treating :)

    1. PS: I would avoid knocking on doors in the W6 area for, ahem, obvious reasons…

      1. What obvious reasons might those be Samuel – because I am HIV Positive per chance? You can’t get HIV from social contact Samuel. Also as I do not live in the W6 area you can knock on as many doors as you like!

        What a fool you are Samuel to encourage the likes of Alan Strong to SPAM these and other comments pages, but this is the level you stoop to to stymie good debate!

        1. I would point out that were it not for our regular jousts, W6, the word “stymie” would not likely have entered your vocabulary!

          I would also point out that seeing your occasional comments in other PN discussions, it is likely we agree on for more issues than we disagree upon so I am glad we have resisted, by and large, the usual mudslinging our dueling usually results in on this particular topic…

        2. As I have said before fine words that are devoid of substance mean nothing. I will admit that my vocabulary has improved in the past 2 years – but why it this important to you? Seems to me you wish to portray yourself as the more intelligent, superior being, which I find very interesting.

          I do not usually make references to age, because generally I believe many younger individuals can have a wealth of experiences, but in your case I will say that I am 15 years older than you & I have a great deal more experience than you have ever demonstrated here on these comments pages – yes you may be more intelligent, but I am a practical person – I live in the real world not utopia as you seem to. Perhaps this is your coping mechanism but I confront reality every day of my life, & sometimes it is not a pretty picture, but I get on with it.

  13. I note Samuel B. has time to reply to the likes Alan Strong (Aka Caped Crusader et al) but cannot find the time to answer the many questions I have posed to him on some very basic HIV facts………why is this??

    Perhaps if I try a different approach we may get a response!

    http://knowtherisk.org.au/

    Any views you would like to share Samuel,?

  14. “Why rely on the Newspapers for information about mis-diagnosis. Why not try to understand the protocols that are used in the UK…”

    This just about sums everything up in W6′s world.

    As a “repeater” he merely repeats what he’s programmed to believe without ever questioning or checking what he is absorbing.

    So long as it is coming from official scientific channels it must be right, ignoring the fact that most research today is funded with strings attached and invariably to a pre-determined agenda.

    Thank God we DO still have a free press willing to question scientists who these days are willing to sell their souls to the highest bidder.

    That’s why the scam that was global warming is now called climate change, why a moratorium has been called on the installation of further wind farms, why scientists today can no longer be trusted to conduct research that is not contaminated by corporate interests…

    You are a product of the system, W6, someone programed to repeat the official…

    1. line that suits a pre-determined agenda, devoid of critical thinking.

      And we all know how the system loves “repeaters”, those who seize on all information they are programmed with and repeat it and repeat it without question or critical analysis.

      Lest we forget it was the wonderful AIDS activist and empowerment coach Michael Ellner who reminded us thus:-

      “Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality….”

      How so very true, and which rather puts your programmed bleatings into some perspective, W6.

      Where is your humanity for heaven’s sake?

      1. You make a very interesting point about “the repeater” Samuel. I recognise much of the text you regularly use – rather like the quote listed above, & whole chunks more or less copied & pasted from AIDSinc, indeed even some entries lifted directly from the blog of Paul Burston – if there is one thing I always do is investigate & I have a very good memory.

        I will provide you with 2 good examples of where I have formed opinions form a variety of sources & further investigated “proof of concept” & then made my own conclusions.

        Oral sex as a very good example – you “repeat” the well documented advice that oral sex is described as low risk; I personally do not believe oral sex is as low risk as some may think. There are many variables that can make oral sex a much higher level of risk than is generally accepted & over the past year I am more inclined to think that many more cases of HIV transmission related to oral sex than we care to admit to at the moment.

        1. …….I cannot prove this but I would say that more research is required to with regrd to oral sex. I am aware of increasing anecdotal evidence that says unprotected oral sex could be resulting in forward transmission of HIV. Now many would say that I am scaremongering here, but in my opinion (and that of another contributor in this very thread) more caution needs to be taken with oral sex, where the individual is the individual giving oral sex. I believe this clearly demonstrates that I do not just repeat the “party line”.

          1. Take HIV treatment – the overwhelming view is that 3 drugs are required to control HIV – I am of the view that when an individual has maintained an undetectable viral load for a good period of time then one drug from the protease inhibitor class will keep that person virologically suppressed. Yes there have been trials on this approach with very mixed results. I have recently chosen to use this one drug approach rather than the conventional standard – I made that decision based on my assimilation of the evidence available to me, discussed it with my Consultant & made an informed choice. It may work it may not, but I have not wanted to accept the status quo of taking 3 drugs for the foreseeable future – one because I am not convinced that Tenofovir is a great drug due to the known potential for kidney toxicity, 2 less drugs means less stress on my body & 3 it saves the NHS money!

          2. I can provide many other examples of where I do not accept what has gone before. I make many freedom of information requests to various Government Dept’s, particualrly in relation to housing allocation – I constantly challenge the establishment where I consider there is not a common sense approach taken. Those who know me well would strongly refute the way you characterise me on these comments threads.

            The real difference between you & I is that you take the high profile “look at this scandal” approach & have no regard for how that may be interpreted by others – I on the other hand seek out evidence, I moderate that evidence based on my experience, anecdotal evidence & a strong understanding of science, I then form an opinion, often I may not express that opinion because I understand that it vould be damaging to others – I more than anyone knows how anxious people can be about HIV, so is it really responsible to shout from the rooftops that I think oral sex is not always that safe?

          3. Freedom of thought & expression have to be tempered with a degree of responsibility; a loose tongue is not always the best way to get people on side & garner support. I see this in many of your postings, but still you continue with your crusade, which you have admitted you sometimes find stressful. To me this approach is not effective, case in point Mr Alan Strong, who you seem to want to encourage. He is an individual who was made redundant from Crusade & I beleive UKC. This can be gleaned from the emails he reproduces on various sites & with a bit of investigation. He has an obvious axe to grind, but one should ask why is he complaining now, if he had a case for unfair dismissal why did he not pursue it?

            I would ahve much more regard for you if you took a more responsible approach to your postings & took time to make decisions for yourself & not be so easily persuaded by a handful of individuals who you have cherry picked to suit your argument – if anyone is the repeater it is you!

  15. ….

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