Getting a test the day after an incident of unprotected sex is pointless. It takes up to 3 months for your body to produce enough HIV anti-bodies for most modern tests to detect. Tell gay men to “get tested asap” is foolish and will lead many men to think they are negative, when in fact they are in the process of serio-conversion. Do we want to sensationalize HIV infection or do we want to share accurate useful information around the disease and its infection methods???
good point – although with the widely available P24 antigen test – you can get a pretty conclusive result – a negative result four to eight weeks after taking a risk is a very good sign that HIV infection hasn’t happened.
If we are going to share accurate information about HIV John, you might want to take on board what JD says about the Point of Care Duo-tests that provide very accurate results 4 weeks after infection. The notion that you have to wait 3 months is very out of date, although it is always advisable to test at 4 weeks & again at 12 weeks if an individual has been exposed to HIV.
The tests used in high prevalence areas such as London are very accurate at predicting infection at 4 weeks & it is important to remind MSM that it is during the initial weeks of infection that an individual is more likely to to pass HIV on to their sexual partners, if they are not consistently using condoms.
Why does it appear so difficult for MSM to regularly test, particularly if they are engaging in risk taking behaviours? Today you can go to a traditional clinic or access a test via a community based service & get an HIV result within 30 minutes – it really is that easy!
Isn’t it always you, W6, who maintains that the more you tell someone to do something, the less likely they are to listen?
Gay men are suffering HIV testing overkill and are fed up of being told – yes, told – to test by your beloved THT to the point where they just switch off.
As another commentator on this board eruditely elucidates, THT has no connection whatsoever with a vast swath of gay men who now regard it with suspicion and no longer trust its motives.
Give one good reason why they should, after all?
THT has a long way to go in restoring its image, and improving its bedside manner would be a good place to start.
It has become the little boy who cried wolf once too often:- no one is listening anymore and our eyes glaze over wherever the ubiquitous THT emblem appears.
Hardly a surprise given the old relics at the top who are still dictating policy to government and pharmaceutical lobbyists’ guidelines.
Irrelevant is not a word I use loosely.
Were it just THT that suggests that increased testing is a key measure to help reduce new HIV infections, perhaps your argument may hold up. The HPA, British HIV Assiciation, British Assiciation of Sexual Health & HIV, HIV Clinicians, NAT, GMFA, George House Trust…….I could go on, all agree that testing is a vital prevention tool.
All the evidence in dealing with any infection such as HIV clearly states that controlling the amount of virus in a population is an important method of reducing the incidence of HIV.
Whatever your views on THT, testing forms the cornerstone of any prevention programme across the world, perhaps you can provide some good quality evidence that this approach is incorrect!
Yes, I’m making a pointed jab at THT in particular, but as your parsimoniously pontificate, it’s the entire HIV sector that’s advocating testing ad nauseum.
And your selective PC-programed perception filter chooses to miss the point time and time again.
No one but no one is arguing with the concept of testing per se:- what they ARE objecting to (ARE YOU LISTENING, W6?) is that testing is being pushed at the cost of ALL OTHER HIV prevention initiatives yet we’re being lied to that testing alone will make a marked difference on HIV rates when it theoretically can’t.
And when last week’s major report that conclusively showed that dictatorial demands for gay men to test in the gay press have resulted in only modest increases, how do THT et al justify concentrating the entire HIV budget on this one, failed initiative?
No doubt you’ll side swerve and obfuscate yet again to avoid facing up to the light of truth, but be in no small doubt that gay men are waking up quickly to this betrayal.
OK, I am pointing at THT in particular, and as you parsimoniously pontificate it is indeed the entire HIV sector that’s advocating testing above all else.
But your selective perception filter chooses to miss the point time and time again.
No one but no one is arguing with the concept of testing per se.
What they ARE objecting to (ARE YOU LISTENING, W6?) is that testing is being pushed at the cost of ALL OTHER HIV prevention initiatives yet we’re being lied to that testing alone will make a significant impact on HIV rates when it theoretically can’t.
And when last week’s major report that conclusively showed that dictatorial demands for gay men to test in the gay press have resulted in only modest increases in testing, how do THT et al justify concentrating the entire HIV budget on this one, failed initiative?
No doubt you will once again side swerve and obfuscate to avoid facing up to the light of truth, but be in no small mind that gay men are waking up quickly to this treachery.
What no reply Samuel, I wonder why that is? As you often say “the truth will out”!
Your poor understanding of the basics will always let you down, what amazes me is why you do not take the time to learn about HIV thereby enabling you to provide an informed argument!
I did submit a suitable riposte, W6 – twice! – but for some reason it has not appeared.
I will attempt to resubmit in the morning:- I wouldn’t want you to think I am shirking the issue, as if…
I may be pointing at THT, W6, but as you parsimoniously pontificate, the entire HIV sector is at it advocating testing ad nauseum yet your selectively programed perception filter chooses to miss the entire point time and time again.
Nobody at all is arguing with the concept of testing per se:- what they ARE objecting to (now listen carefully, W6) is that testing is being pushed way and beyond ALL OTHER HIV prevention initiatives yet we’re being fed the lie that testing alone will make a a significant dent on HIV rates when theoretically it can’t.
How quickly you forget last week’s major report that conclusively found that dictatorial demands for gay men to test have resulted in very few more doing so?
On that basis how can THT et al justify concentrating the entire HIV budget on this one, failed initiative?
No doubt you’ll side swerve and obfuscate as ever to avoid facing the light of truth, but be in no doubt that gay men are waking up quickly to this cynical treachery.
As you parsimoniously pontificate, the entire HIV sector – not only THT – is at it advocating testing ad nauseum. yet you once again chooses to miss the entire point as you do time and time again.
Whoever is arguing with the concept of testing per se?
Certainly not me!
What they ARE objecting to (please listen carefully for once!) is that testing is being pushed to the virtual exclusion of any other HIV prevention initiative yet we’re being lied to that testing alone will make a significant dent on HIV rates when theoretically it won’t – especially when a major new report which you conveniently ignore has just concluded that constant and monotonous demands for gay men to test have largely fallen on deaf ear resulting in very few more doing so.
On that basis on earth does THT justify concentrating the entire HIV budget on this one, failed initiative?
Please respond without swerving and obfuscating yet again.
As W6 points out, the entire HIV sector – not only THT – is busy advocating testing ad nauseum yet he once again chooses to miss the entire point.
No one is arguing with the concept of testing per se, certainly not me!
What they ARE objecting to (please listen carefully for once, W6), is that testing is being forced on us at the virtual exclusion of any other HIV prevention initiative and on the lie that testing alone will make a significant dent on HIV rates when theoretically it won’t:- especially when a major new report which W6 conveniently ignores has just concluded that constant and monotonous demands for gay men to test have largely fallen on deaf ears resulting in very few more of us doing so.
On that basis alone how on earth does THT justify concentrating the entire HIV budget on this one, failed initiative?
Please respond, W6, without swerving and obfuscating once again.
Having already normalised, glamorised, sexualised and incentivised HIV, where else has THT to go but to sensationalise the virus, John (above), as indeed they have been doing with their recent spate of hard-hitting and urgent calls for all gay men to get tested as nauseum.
The poor dears do have service user targets to hit and six-figure salaries for exec members to consider, after all, and now make no secret of the fact they are no longer committed to genuine prevention-led campaigns:- just “prevention” initiatives that are, perversely, testing and treatment-led.
Still trying to figure out how such betrayal of the HIV prevention fund can make even a dent on rates of transmission, or perhaps this approach is a self-fulfilling prophesy for a fat cat “charity”-come government-funded quango that gaveup the fight long, long ago.
Attitude’s Matthew Todd had it spot-on in last Saturday’s Guardian when he demanded that the THT needs to “get real” about HIV.
Never a truer word…
to add to that – it seems their latest ‘scheme’ is to recruit graduates as full time labour – paying only 15k for a full time job – and guess what they are also carrying out redundancies Again! – to make space for the cheaper labour no doubt – disgusting – bet none of those fifth floor directors will go…..
Why is it that EVERY HIV related story has to revolve specifically around THT & how they operate as a charity?
The real debate here should be why some MSM continue to take unnecessary risks with their sexual health & why they are not getting checked out on a regular basis………
No amount of bitching & whining about THT here on PN is going to change how THT operates.
It would for once be useful to have a reasoned debate about why MSM are still not getting the message & what needs to be done to change that.
It is evident that many gay men are anti THT, but that aint gonna solve the problem – where is the community response, where is the real activism?
Shouldn’t you be answering that question, W6?
As you always remind us, THT is loaded with unpaid volunteers with good intentions, and I don’t for one minute doubt that to be true.
BUT, when good people preside over woefully ill-conceived and often dubious “prevention” practises that are demonstrably proven to enable HIV’s transmission and don’t question such practises or use their positions to canvass for change from within, then they’re a part of the rot and no better than those at the top of the THT food chain who stipulate that they work to government guidelines and attend the latest PC training courses to ensure that the emphasis remains on instilling a culture of victimhood rather than empowerment in all they do.
When was the last THT campaign that actually empowered gay men to respect themselves and want to take care of their health, W6?
And when did YOU last use your foot in THT’s door to attempt to precipitate the change and activism that our community is demanding?
I think you ask a very good question. It seems to me that there is substantial resentment towards THT from ordinary gay men. I know very few gay men that have a god word to say about the charity. In particular friends with HIV who have turned to THT for help often report an unhelpful service.
In relation to HIV prevention, it seems as though THT has lost the plot, and sadly HIV is becoming more and more abstract in our lives. Many of us feel that THT talks at us rather than to us. Personally I have safer sex despite THT not because of them.
And I really don’t want anyone to read this as “I hate THT”, I don’t. I’m genuinely concerned that the main charity for HV in the UK seems so dislocated and irrelevant to the people that it should be serving. It takes up most of the money available for HIV and serves us poorly. People fund the charity, and give donations but no one asks gay men if we value the services they provide.
There is a link between this and the move away from safer sex.
You are exactly correct, JohnTen.
Tragically, THT have over time co-opted and commodified HIV into something clinical, sterile even, and have long lost sight of their roles as preventers:- more eager these days to treat you with clipboards at the ready while dispensing bureacratic jargon and clinging on to ultimately meaningess statistics ala W6 to coldly assess your service needs.
What is missing in this entire equation is heart, soul, empathy and compassion in order to treat the underlying symptoms that have enabled HIV to thrive under their watch:- and to target tailor-made HIV campaigns specifically designed to address those symptoms and empower at-risk gay men to again respect their health and the well being of those they partner with.
I hate to admit it, but at-risk gay men stand no chance with THT at the helm.
They are the proverbial turkeys waiting for Christmas.
You can become a voting member of THT JohnTen & attend the AGM’s, asking questions & holding the executive to account. THT has about 10,000 members who can in theory ask the pertinent questions & lobby for a change of direction, why is this not happening if there is real concern amongst gay men?
Like any charity, THT have a board of Trustees, I am not aware of any real interest in lobbying the Trustees to create change, perhaps gay men really are not that interested in holding THT to account?
If you don ask, you don’t get & those who shout the loudest get noticed, perhaps the majority of gay men are silent because their sexual health is not that important to them? As a community surely we have a duty to hold stakeholders to account?
Why are you asking me these questions Samuel? Why are you not taking up these questions directly with THT trustees, your MP the Pan London HIV Prevention Program Commissioners or even the Department of Health.
If you are so committed that change is necessary writing about it here really is not going to help. You have been calling for a change in THT for 3 yrs. to my knowledge, but it seems all your overblown rhetoric has not made any difference.
What do you & others want to see in place of THT or GMFA or any other HIV charity you tend to be highly critical of. You seem to want an organisation that is solely reliant on charitable giving & that the Government should not be responsible for funding HIV prevention services.
Having had the misfortune to “debate” with you over the past 3 yrs. I remain unclear about the changes you want to see & how we should be tackling HIV amongst MSM other than the dissolution of the THT board & a return to fear based campaigns.
Why am I asking you these questions, W6?
Wasn’t it YOU who just instructed us thus:-
“No amount of bitching & whining about THT here on PN is going to change how THT operates…”
Perhaps not, but our endless “bitching” on public forums such as this at least does the job of holding THT et al to account, does it not?
As you astutely observe, W6, THT is a law unto itself and will not listen to outsiders, so why do you keep demanding the likes of us do something about it when it is all those good volunteers on the inside, such as yourself, who have the real power to force change by refusing to work to counter-productive measures and procedures and insisting the THT change its negligent and indifferent practices?
No amount of screaming and ranting from a lone THT warrior is going to force the majority of sane-minded observers from these boards, W6, so yet again I hereby declare you well and truly hoisted by your own petard!
How do your protestations here on PN hold THT et al to account, am I missing something here? The way to hold organisations or ndividuals to account is to ask th pertinent questions & make appropriate representations – you can pos here as much as you lie, but as the last 3 years are concerned you have not created the canoe you are looking for…..
As you often say follow the money, 75% of THT funding comes from the Gov. so my question to you is why this should be the case, if as you claim THT are totally ineffective, if this is the case surely you should be questioning those who provide the funding & question the contract specifications that are being drawn up by PLHIVPP as an example.
You obviously have no experience of holding organisation & Government Dept’s to account but have to ask why are you not galvanised into demanding the changes you want to see?
If you have a defeatist attitude (which seems to be the case) then nothing is going to change!
Forums like this provide the platform for the common man to hold impenetrable organisations that have lost their way and are out of touch and out of time to account, W6, as well you know.
You also know full well that THT is a closed shop, and that previous campaigns by outsiders to oust Sir Nick Partridge following adverse press coverage into THT’s financial mismanagement and Partridge’s shady brokering of under the table deals with Glaxo Wellcome back in the 1990s – whereby he pushed London service clients onto the deadly chemo drug AZT – hastening the onset of full-blown for some in the process – failed, due to his establishment standing and the protectionism such status provides.
He wasn’t knighted “Sir” Nick for nothing, after all.
So do change the record, W6, and try using your clout within the THT to enact the change that even you have conceded on here is needed to reverse HIV rates.
I think your record of creating change over the past 3 years says everything does it not? How do the comments posted here translate to meaningful actions.
How can THT be a “closed shop” if anyone can become a member with voting rights?
All you have demonstrated to me over the past 3 years is that you (and others) spend time posting comments here but are not prepared to do anything to create the change you want to see.
I must be missing something very obvious so perhaps you can explain how your postings here have had an impact on the rate of new infections amongst gay men – lets face it 3 years is a reasonable time period to demonstrate that you protestations here to show results.
As I say where is the true activism, if there was any gay men would be holding successive Governments to account on their poor record on HIV & sexual health.
All the fine words here will never translate into anything of real significance!
I wish THT would publish the data on how it intrepits the findings of “With an average gap of three years between someone being infected with HIV and being diagnosed” , more should be done also to address the symptons and notification of sero conversation, refer http://www.gmfa.org.uk/sex/hivandaids/sero-conversion or http://i-base.info/qa/284
Other issues that should be raised are http://www.nhs.uk/news/2012/04april/Pages/stonewall-gay-bisexual-men-health-report.aspx and http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_078347
This is based on the recent data produced by the study published in the Lancet recently which shows a slight reduction in the last 10 years in the period of time between initial infection & diagnosis. The study was produced by the HPA & the Medical Research Council
You make a good point identifying other areas other than the charity sector that need to be doing more to combat HIV & other problems. We need a complete review of how the various organisations are (not) delivering a cohesive approach to HIV.
I find it astonishing that commentators consistently focus on charities, but seem unaware or dis-interested in the changes that in the NHS that will result in a fragmentation of HIV services, with cash strapped Councils penny pinching & spending the ring fenced Public Health funds on their favourite Public Health projects that win votes. I don’t think HIV prevention is a vote winner somehow.
This blinkered view by some commentators really will not improve new HIV infections, we need to be holding the Public Health Directors in Councils to account in the future I beleive
Other information can be found at http://www.hivaware.org.uk/be-aware/faqs.php
Also of interest
“Approximately 70% of people with HIV infection experience symptoms during seroconversion. The incubation period is one to three weeks.”
Pan London HIV Prevention Programme – NHS North West London
refer http://www.northwestlondon.nhs.uk/publications/?category=1669-HIV-d and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-16533448
HIV Prevention England intend to run National HIV Testing Week annually in the run up to World Aids Day I would like to see the following campaign themes being run through out the year:
1. Spot the early symptoms of HIV infection (Rash, Sore Throat & Fever) & get tested now, promote apps from NAM etc.
2. Benefits of regular testing based on the experiences of gay men (why they test regularly, how easy it is to test, where they can get a test)
3. Graphic campaign identifying the personal experiences of late diagnosis (PCP, Bacterial Pneumonia, Kaposi’s Sarcoma) – lets talk about opportunistic infections that people still get as a result of not testing regularly.
4. Safer = Sexier, we need to sex up the condom! Promote venues where condoms / lube are always available
Run each campaign using different methods, all focusing on 1 message / campaign (small media ads / Facebook / Twitter / smartphone apps / National TV advertising a few weeks prior to National Testing Week in November.
Did I read that correctly, W6?
“Graphic” campaigning utilised as a means to encourage gay men to get tested but NOT as a deterrent for gay men to acquire HIV in the first place, for which instead you advocate yet MORE sexed up campaigns that trivialise and make a mockery of safe sex.
Your fine words truly reveal yourself to be reading from the hymn sheet of the twisted new HIV prevention agenda which puts testing and treatment ahead of genuine prevention initiatives.
Unlike yourself Samuel I am not prepared to make statements that simply are not true, indulge me, what are your suggestions?
What are “genuine prevention initiatives”? How are you going to encourage gay men use condoms consistently? How do we reduce the amount of undiagnosed HIV?
As ever obfuscate and diligently sidestep and swerve by the charges laid directly at your feet, why don’t you.
That is some nifty footwork I must say.
Your double standards and rank hypocrisy seemingly know no bounds.
At least I am always quick to fess up when someone points out a factual mistake or Freudian slip in my assessments and surmising of a given situation.
You just seem to move the goal posts to suit your own PC blinkered thinking!
Such deceitful tactics have rendered you PN’s resident lone wolf, and t’would seem people now zone out whenever your name appears.
So, W6 is yet another multi-alias/split personality Stu type, caught red-handed by virtue of the fact that he forgot to change his handle back to W6 before posting his usual riposte!!
One to be reminded off in future joustings methinks!
I can always be identified by my avatar (unlike your good self) which is linked to my email address. I do not have multiple email addresses as I do not see the point. Yes a genuine error, which has sadly allowed you to defect & divert & once again fail to answer any direct questions.
Just admit it Samuel you have no idea about HIV prevention, other than to scaremonger & treat +ve individuals like lepers & undermine our treatment & care, wishing poorer outcomes for us!
That’s rich coming from a champion obfuscator who constantly ducks, swerves and dives the issue of effective HIV prevention while diverting us into cul de sacs and side shows about the perceived wonders of modern day treatments, as if that somehow justifies the appalling failures in stemming onward transmissions.
Oh and some nimble footwork too!
W6, I am not interested in cohort this and study that:- I just want to see THT’s year pulled from out if its ars@ and to start doing the preventive work it is publicly funded to, as in genuine preventive work that is not exclusively testing/treatment led.
That’s all, yet you never give straight answers where this is concerned.
And now you are also exposed as an arch manipulator of HIV threads, attempting to engineer consensus via the deplorable use of multiple aliases.
Would that I would ever stoop so low.
W6, I am not interested in cohort this and study that:- I just want to see THT’s year pulled from out if its backside and to start doing the preventive work it is publicly funded to, as in genuine preventive work that is not exclusively testing/treatment led.
U2 should get married, you sound the perfect couple? Yin and Yang! Micky and Mini, classic
I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than have to share a space with the pompous ignoramus that is Samuel B………………sadly you are not the first individual to suggest such a preposterous idea!
W6 is not a nice, successful Jewish boy, erm, as far as I know?
Happy to be proven wrong (flutters eye lashes)…
As always, W6/…westie… you deliberately sidestep your own double standards and hypocrisy in refusing to point out your eagerness to use fear as a shock factor to encourage men to trust but NOT as an effective measure to unfluence gay men to practise safe sex.
The agenda to create a wider market for your beloved treatments is now all too transparent, and one that it seems all now see for what it is.
As always there is never any attempt to answer my questions – just deflection & conspiracy theory. Untreated / late diagnosed HIV has a very high mortality rate & we know that CD4 cell counts below 200 upon diagnosis are directly associated with poorer outcomes, again this is a well studied fact!
Head in the sand will not help you Samuel! What are your suggestions to reduce new HIV infections, lets hear it from the oracle!
Oops, blasted spellchecker:- for “trust” of course read “test”.
Still no answers…………….nothing new there me thinks!
As always, you have not been paying attention, W6.
Er, methinks! :)
I have asked you 3 simple question, yet you have replied 3 times & have not even attempted to provide an answer – how difficult can it be?
As W6 parsimoniously pontificates, the entire HIV sector – not only THT – is advocating testing ad nauseum yet be once again chooses to miss the entire point.
As I have always suspected Samuel B. has an agenda to clearly stymie any meaningful debate about HIV, preferring to focus such debates on his conspiracy theories about Pharma Co’s.
He claims to have the interests of gay men at the heart of his arguments, (often waging war against HIV charities, & in particular THT), yet he has proven time & again to be a scaremongering troll.
He makes overblown statements that defy all sound scientific & clinical evidence, with his own knowledge on HIV to be extremely wanting.
As demonstrated here, he is unable to answer any questions put to him, preferring to use his deflection & off topic tactics to avoid any questioning – truly shameful!
I have following your spats with SamB. and you constantly seem to avoid the issue by turning everything on him by asking him what he would do and why he hasn’t volunteered etc etc. That is not the point. The point is that those who are paid to do the prevention work are not doing their job. Throw a few million at me and I will gladly have a go as I am sure would Sam. No wonder he does not respond to your many questions that just seek to divert the issue and throw it back at him. They are of course diversionary tactics as always used by people who have lost the debate. Look around you W6_bloke; nobody is agreeing with you. That isn’t to say I agree with everything Sam says but he makes obvious points that are undeniable and makes them well. Are you so obstinate and arrogant to still belief you are right and everyone else is wrong? Please grow up!
All too familiar Im afraid………….like him you have nothing to say on the subject!
W6 demonstrates his nifty footwork – and In particular his left foot swerve – yet again by evading the issue entirely.
As a spokesperson for the HIV sector, his trolling of these boards is manna from heaven for those of us calling for change, as his demonstration in this thread alone shows there are no answers to explain the new and failing agenda-at-all-costs drive that is only resulting in ever more HIV victims arising from an entire new generation of gay men arriving on a sexualised scene devoid of any condom and safer sex campaigns.
W6, like te appallingly negligent sector you represent, you are utterly redundant.
Story – UKIP leader Nigel Farage blames European Commission report for David Cameron’s same-sex marriage bill
Poor Samuel B. (who allegedly speaks for the ordinary gay man) got a complete kicking on the comments page to the above story 33 red arrows……..33! That has to be a record me thinks!
Totally out of touch with reality, even suggesting there is conspiracy theory involved with Cameron’s view on equal marriage.
Conspiracy is everywhere in Samuel B’s world – he probably doesn’t even trust his own shadow! No wonder he has gone to ground on this & other stories – a shameful defeat -33.
Time to retire Samuel – the people have voted!
W6 dear, haven’t you noticed?
No one’s listening to your bullsh@t anymore.
Move along, there’s a good troll…
Haven’t you noticed that in two different comments threads you have received overwhelming negative votes (it must be devastating for you – I know how much you rely on the reds & greens to validate you as an individual) which shows how out of touch your views are.
In reading your latest rants it only demonstrates to me that you are all hot air with no substance. You are old before your time with your posh boy speak & your Daly Wail view of the world…………as has been suggested here by another commentator you are as thick a pig $hit & twice as offensive!