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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


     

Significance of AIDS

http://thomasonline.com.au/content/category/5/24/47/

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Mental Illness and HIV/AIDS both share a ‘ stigma’, however the ‘stigma’ associated with HIV/AIDS is more severe than that associated with any other life-threatening condition and extends beyond the disease itself to providers, and even volunteers involved with the care of people living with HIV. I believe through my 'stigmata' theory that HIV/AIDS sufferers must also experience ‘emotional stigmata’.


Throughout the latter stages of 2001 and early 2002 when I was extremely unwell Margie my GP referred me to an ‘infectious diseases’ specialist in an effort to try and make some form of diagnosis and treatment of an illness which was exposing many and various symptoms. I had been on numerous courses of anti-biotics over an extended period of time and despite this my health was progressively worsening. Margy was not only extremely frustrated but fearful of my worsening condition and was in hope that the infectious diseases specialist could shed some light on my condition.

As time progressed and my condition worsened I believed I had every symptom consistent in those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. At one point of time in a moment of frustration and panic, and after I had been released from hospital, I phoned the specialist and stated my concerns that all my symptoms were consistent with those of HIV/AIDS, and if I didn’t have that diagnosis then AIDS as such didn’t exist!

My outrageous claims were accompanied by a level of rudeness which I will take the opportunity to apologize for now, however those claims were made in a state of pure panic and a certain level of pain. During that panicked call I stated that all my symptoms present at the time were also consistent with “Yellow Fever” and I unreasonably demanded a vaccination for this as it was readily available, I also stated my level of disgust that this disease was being associated and blamed on the ‘gay community’ whom over the years I have had the pleasure of numerous friendships.

     


People with AIDS have an increased risk of developing various cancers such as Kaposi sarcoma, cervical cancer and cancers of the immune system known as lymphomas. I had been diagnosed with CIN2 and VIN3 in early 1998 and as part of the treatment had 2 surgical procedures. Additionally, people with AIDS often have systemic symptoms of infection like fevers, sweats (particularly at night), swollen glands, chills, weakness, and weight loss. During the time of my illness in 01/02 I experienced all of these symptoms, plus a few extras and my weight at one stage went down to 47kilograms. I felt like death and looked like it too.


At this time I also experienced symptoms consistent with ‘Cryptococcal meningitis’, a neurological illness associated with HIV which can cause fevers, headache, fatigue, nausea, confusion and vomiting. I also, believed I had Toxoplasmosis and it is normally an illness often associated with HIV/AIDS.

I had also during the early stage of my illness been diagnosed by Margy with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).Patients with HIV infection have substantially increased incidence of several malignant cancers. This is primarily due to co-infection with an oncogenic DNA virus, especially Epstein-Barr virus (EPV), Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV), and human papillomavirus (HPV). The following confer a diagnosis of AIDS when they occur in an HIV infected person. Cervical cancer in HIV infected women is considered AIDS-defining. AIDS patients often develop opportunistic infections that present with non-specific symptoms, especially low-grade fevers and weight loss.


The 3 main transmission routes of HIV are sexual contact, exposure to infected body fluids or tissues and from mother to fetus or child during perinatal period. It is possible to find HIV in the saliva, tears, and urine of infected individuals, but due to low concentration of virus in these biological liquids, the risk is negligible.


Promoting condom use, however, has often proved controversial and difficult. Many religious groups, most noticeably the Catholic Church, have opposed the use of condoms on religious grounds, and have sometimes seen condom promotion as an affront to the promotion of marriage, monogamy and sexual morality. They also believe that the distribution and promotion of condoms is tantamount to promoting sex amongst the youth and sending the wrong message to uninfected individuals. However, no evidence has been produced that promotion of condom use increases sexual promiscuity.


The United States government and health organizations both endorse the
ABC Approach to lower the risk of acquiring AIDS during sex:
Abstinence or delay of sexual activity, especially for youth,
Being faithful, especially for those in committed relationships,
Condom use, for those who engage in risky behavior.


Condom use is an integral part of the
CNN Approach. This is :
Condom use, for those who engage in risky behavior,
Needles, use clean ones,
Negotiating skills, negotiating safer sex with a partner and empowering women to make smart choices.


At one stage following my marriage separation and in an act of pure defiance, rebellion and anger I participated in a ‘sexual rampage’ so to speak, with the deliberate intent of ‘use em and abuse’ em, and ‘love em and leave em’. I irresponsibly and stupidly participated in a few random acts of ‘unprotected sex’ mostly initiated by males who were persistent and dominant, and who through their actions displayed a level of negligence and disrespect on my behalf. I have since then on a couple of occasions been subject to what could only be considered as acts of ‘consensual rape’, also unprotected, with the latter of the 2 accompanied by some quite amazing coincidences.


I now enjoy living in a state of ‘abstinence’ and keep well clear of any situations that may pose a risk to not only my mental wellbeing but also my sexual health and wellbeing. I have also become extremely learned in the area of being able to say ‘no’. With the help of Margy’s (my GP) “10 commandments for reducing stress”, no 5 – ‘Thou Shalt learn to say ‘no’, most important!”


I do however share a level of ‘emotional intimacy’ with my best friend, my soul mate who is ‘gay’ and whom I love dearly. We both share a depth of love for each other which defies and excludes any level of physical or sexual desire.


In the treatment of AIDS anti-retroviral drugs are expensive, and the majority of the world’s infected individuals do not have access to medications and treatments for HIV and AIDS.

Only a vaccine is postulated to be able to halt the pandemic however after over 20 years of research, HIV-1 remains a difficult target for a vaccine. A question I ask of the pharmaceutical companies, (who are, mind you amongst the wealthiest in the world,) is why are these drugs so expensive? (I also pose this question in relation to the costs of anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medications) and why isn’t access to medications and treatments available for these individuals?

It would be really nice if someone sitting up there in the ivory tower of pharmaceutical land, obviously enjoying a level of comfort and luxury not normally experienced by the mainstream, to put aside their desires motivated by greed, cast away their ‘fancy schmancy’ marketing and promotional tactics used to entice and influence GP’s, and utilize these funds (which would amount to a considerable sum) in a serious effort to make these treatments readily available for all individuals infected by HIV/AIDS.


At times I wish I were a doctor because I would like to understand why a vaccine to halt the pandemic is so difficult when medical science has been able to, in advance, produce effective vaccines for ‘bird flu’ in case of an epidemic, and also the recent development of a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer in women. I just don’t understand this at all;


UNAIDS and the WHO estimate that AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Globally, between 33.4 and 46 million people currently live with HIV. In 2005, between 3.4 and 6.2 million people were newly infected and between 2.4 and 3.3 million people with AIDS died, an increase from 2003 and the highest number since 1981.


Why aren’t we on a global level, working collectively to raise charity and much needed funds not unlike that of the dominant ‘pink ribbon’? Not saying that breast cancer and its effects aren’t worthy reciprocators of all of their fundraising opportunities and efforts, but surely there is room in the commercial realm for the ‘red ribbon’ to stand in unison alongside the ‘pink ribbon’ with both causes benefiting. I as an individual would like the opportunity in being able to purchase ‘red’ products knowing that a percentage of funds would assist in the ongoing research and development of a vaccine for HIV/AIDS and to provide much needed funding for the individuals already affected.

So come on some of you ‘corporate giants’ out there, start making a concentrated effort and put your money where your mouths are, put your hands in your pockets and let’s see how many of you can start distributing ‘red’ products into the marketplace. It would be a most welcome addition and I am sure one which would be shared by the majority of individuals on a Global scale.

     


AIDS
stigma exists globally in a variety of ways including ostracism, rejection, discrimination and avoidance of HIV infected people. AIDS ‘stigma’ has been further divided into three categories;
1.
Instrumental AIDS stigma – a reflection of the fear and apprehension that are likely to be associated with any deadly and transmissible illness.
2.
Symbolic AIDS stigma – the use of HIV/AIDS to express attitudes toward the social groups or lifestyles perceived to be associated with the disease.
3.
Courtesy AIDS stigma – stigmatization of people connected to the issue of HIV/AIDS or HIV – positive people.


Often AIDS stigma is expressed in conjunction with one or more other stigmas, particularly those associated with homosexuality, bisexuality, and intravenous drug use. Once again I would like to make my claims on the theory that all of these individuals exposed to ‘social stigma’ may also suffer from ‘emotional stigmata’, internal non visible wounds affecting the mind and soul, and caused through the infliction of immense suffering.


Various forms of alternative medicine have been used to try to treat symptoms or to affect the course of the disease itself, although it has been reported that none are a substitute for conventional treatment. The definition of ‘alternative therapies’ in AIDS has changed since its introduction during the first decade of the epidemic when no useful conventional treatment was available. Examples of alternative medicine that people hoped would improve their symptoms or quality of life include massage, herbal and flower remedies and acupuncture, when used with conventional treatment, many now refer to these as “complementary” approaches. None of these treatments has been proven in controlled trials to have any effect in treating HIV or AIDS directly. However some may improve feelings of well-being in people who believe in their value. Additionally, people with AIDS, like people with other illnesses such as cancer, sometimes use marijuana to treat pain, combat nausea and stimulate appetite

The pain relieving derivatives found in cannabis are substantial and effective and during the course of my illness I wrote a letter to the AMA in the support and acknowledgement of the drug being used for these purposes. This subject has always been extremely controversial however, and as such attracts heated debate from both sides.

When confronted with this issue during the course of writings you will have an accurate portrayal from the perspective of ‘the sufferer’ that may enable you to make some form of impartial judgment, and a decision based on another perspective which you may not in its entirety have previously considered.



AIDS HAS CHANGED THE WORLD.........

children

 

Over 570,000 innocent children have lost their lives to AIDS

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Without CHILDREN we have no FUTURE

HIV/AIDS cripples society

HIV/AIDS cripples economy

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