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Old 12-09-2003, 10:42 AM   #16
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Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
What do you think will solve the problem then? Money is needed for almost any conceivable solution to the crisis, whether it's providing drugs to treat those already suffering from HIV/AIDS, education to prevent more people becoming infected or any of the other proposed solutions.
I'm full of questions myself. The first question I have, though, is whether the statistics on HIV infection are even accurate to begin with. They are probably more accurate in the West than in Africa, where the latter is an estimate. That's right...that "44% infection rate" in South Africa is the official UN estimate. But I believe that these "estimates" are scapegoats for what is really killing Africa: poor sanitation and otherwise curable diseases like malaria. The advantage of blaming all of Africa's woes on AIDS versus poor sanitation and malaria is a matter of blame. To say the latter is killing Africans is to make the West appear guilty for neglecting the continent for so long. To say the former is killing Africans is to put the blame squarely on them. After all, we've heard about all the theories as to where HIV emanated: anywhere from Africans eating monkeys to their sexual practices--exotic reasons from an ethnocentric West.

And finally, could you clarify what you mean by "if the opportunistic infections don't kill you, the drugs will first" - do you think it's not worth trying to treat HIV/AIDS?
HIV drugs are poisons in themselves, pure and simple. The anti-retrovirals will cause liver failure, and drugs like AZT were originally chemotherapy drugs. The irony about chemotherapy, if anyone has ever picked this up, is that it destroys your immune system in itself. So was it the virus or the drug that killed people? Because once start people dying after being on these drugs for a long time, it isn't the drugs that are blamed necessarily; they'll just say that the virus mutated and rendered the drugs useless. But is that true? I'm forced to ask more questions when I read statements like this (this one written by a forum member here the last time I created an AIDS thread):

"All of my friends/acquaintances who were treated with AZT died. Every last one of them. My closest friend now has been living with HIV for 15 years, refused AZT, and is doing great, despite a history of some pretty heavy abuse to his body. Working with our friend the nutritionist, his T-cells went up 300% in 3 months which took him out of the danger zone. Now that he's clean and sober, we hope to see continued good results."

Even then, I have even more questions. When AIDS came out of the middle of nowhere in 1981, what decade were we just coming out of? The 1970s, which was known for its fairly hedonist behavior, anywhere from wild sex to substance abuse. It's the latter that's been more ignored in the debate, because it isn't just chemotherapy drugs that destroy your immune system. Before AIDS and HIV were coined, the disease was ambiguously labelled GRID--"Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Disorder." If you only knew the amount of drinking, late-night parties, and drug abuse that was rampant in this community at the time (and even now), it would certainly make you ask questions.

Kaposi's Sarcoma, the AIDS associated skin cancer, is illogical. If AIDS attacks only the immune system, then why aren't there more cases of Kaposi's Sarcoma in other immunosuppressant diseases? On the contrary, with no fanfare in 1994, it was announced that Kaposi's Sarcoma was the result of the toxicity of amyl nitrate or "poppers," a legal drug used as a muscle relaxant, used primarily by pockets of the gay community for (to put it more delicately) "recipient sex." But I emphasize the "no fanfare." Kaposi's Sarcoma is still attributed to being AIDS related.

But that leads me to my next question. What do people do when they are diagnosed with HIV and go on HIV drugs? Two scenarios: they either clean up their high-risk behavior or they just continue on with the endless party. The former will boost your immune system (at least until the drugs can set in to destroy it again), while the latter will just turn into a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I will admit that I have turned skeptical about Western medicine after I felt that the entire field of psychiatry was an overpaid guessing game, and, after going the non-traditional route, I solved my mental issues faster than anyone anticipated--including some of my friends who are still bouncing up and down and hopping from drug-to-drug once Prozac stops working and Wellbutrin gives them nervous twitches. It has made me ask the question as to how much we truly know and how much we just put blind faith in. The pharmaceuticals, after all, are not out there for our well-being. They are out there to make a profit.

Questions, questions...and if only I had answers...


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Old 12-09-2003, 10:44 AM   #17
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
Another republican coming out of the closet?
I prefer the term, "post-ideological." My desire in life has been in the search for meaning, and I've found that ideology is merely the desire to win.


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Old 12-09-2003, 12:08 PM   #18
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Originally posted by melon

I prefer the term, "post-ideological." My desire in life has been in the search for meaning, and I've found that ideology is merely the desire to win.

That's classic melon. Can I steal it??
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Old 12-09-2003, 04:49 PM   #19
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Originally posted by melon

I prefer the term, "post-ideological." My desire in life has been in the search for meaning, and I've found that ideology is merely the desire to win.

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Old 12-09-2003, 06:40 PM   #20
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The republicans that are blocking this bill are the same republicans who signed the Medicare prescription bill. Not only partisan, but money talks. And more money is being spent by drug companies on ads than research. So they spend a little to bribe a politician instead of losing alot with AIDS in Africa programs.
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:58 PM   #21
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I don't know about throwing money at Africa, although I think a billion is hardly throwing money around.

As an immunologist, I can 100% guarantee you that without funding, you will never get anywhere with this disease. Labs are expensive to run, good techs are well paid and in short supply and grad students opt for the private sector instead of dealing with the bullshit of academic politics. The money is necessary for research.
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:16 AM   #22
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Dear Friend,

Thank you for taking an interest in the Edwards for President Campaign.
We greatly appreciate your support.

The number of letters and emails we have received has just been
tremendous. To see the amount of support and advice from people like you who
care and have an interest in the real issues that face our great nation
today is fantastic.

A copy of your letter has been sent to the appropriate department for
their consideration. All of us here greatly appreciate your interest and

World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on the devastation caused by HIV
and AIDS and to renew our commitment to fighting this plague. The loss
from AIDS is almost beyond understanding. Worldwide there are 40 million
people living with HIV/AIDS. In 2003, there were five million new HIV
cases --or 14,000 newly infected people each day. This year alone, three
million people will die from AIDS and related causes.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, which has been hardest hit by AIDS, almost half
of those between 15 and 49 are HIV-positive. The number of children
under 15 in Southern Africa who have lost at least one parent to AIDS will
nearly double to 20 million by 2010.

But this epidemic is not limited to Africa; it has now reached nations
such as India, Russia, and China.

Here in the United States, we have much more work to do. More than
850,000 Americans are living with HIV, more than at any point since the
epidemic began in the 1980s. From 1999 to 2002, the number of American HIV
cases grew by 5.1 percent overall. African-Americans and Hispanics
continue to suffer from AIDS in disproportionate numbers.

The fight against global AIDS is a moral imperative for the world and a
security imperative for the United States. As a senator, I have been
proud to fight for greater funding of the battle against AIDS. President
Bush has promised to fund the battle against global AIDS, but his
actions have not lived up to his words. I will make this fight one of
America's top priorities.

As president, Edwards will take action to fight AIDS:

Edwards will fully fund international AIDS programs and continue
efforts to make AIDS drugs more affordable around the world. He supports the
Presidential Pledge to Action on Global AIDS, including $30 billion by
2008 to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria.

Edwards will fully fund domestic AIDS programs. He supports efforts to
achieve health coverage for low-income individuals with HIV as well as
people with full-blown AIDS.

Edwards will promote education and outreach to stop the spread of AIDS
both in America and around the world. These efforts will be based on
sound public health policy, not ideology.

Edwards will promote greater research into vaccine development for
AIDS. This research will be based on science and the goal of curing human
suffering, not based on politics.

Edwards will support the World Health Organization, which has set a
goal of providing three million people with antiretroviral treatment by

Edwards will ensure that our international trade policy for
pharmaceutical drugs seeks to save lives, not maximize drug company profits. While
President Bush has been working with big drug companies to make it more
difficult for developing countries to get generic drugs, Edwards will
seek to make generic drugs more available. He will build on the Doha
Declaration on intellectual property and public health, freeing up access
to life-saving drugs rather than impairing their availability as
President Bush's Singapore Trade Agreement did. Edwards applauds President
Clinton's recent success at negotiating cheaper prices for AIDS drugs
around the world.

We all are looking forward to sharing a great victory with you in 2004.


Edwards for President

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