HIV is the government's fault?

Could someone translate this for me?

“I dont blame our community for the fact that MSM [men who have sex with men] still account for nearly three quarters of men living with HIV. I hold our government accountable,” said Foreman.

First, Foreman says HIV is a gay disease and then he says this. Anyone care to interpret?

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  • Hob Bope

    One would have thought that the relevant issue was the total number of people with HIV, not what proportion of them belong to what ‘community.’

  • Kevin

    Warren, did you bother going beyond the excerpted soundbyte (which seems to have been misquoted anyways) and read Foreman’s actual speech? His criticisms about the government’s response to HIV in this country were quite clear:

    Even more disgusting is the response of our government. Of the 129 interventions developed and approved by the CDC to address HIV in the African-American community, only one has been designed for gay black men. Twenty-six years into the epidemic and only one out of 129 addresses the group of people most affected by HIV. And, on top of that, funding for meaningful and honest prevention programs has been systematically excised from the federal budget. If these things don’t prove that our government considers the lives of gay black men utterly expendable, I don’t know what does.

    Foreman’s speech is available here: http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/exec_director/cc08_state_of_movement.pdf

  • Drowssap

    Time to state the obvious.

    AIDS is primarily an STD.

    It’s not the government’s fault that people get STDs.

    My advice:Take care of yourself today. Don’t wait for the public service announcement or free condom from Uncle Sam.

  • Mary

    Yeah, AIDS is an STD. It belongs to everyone. I heard alot of gays getting angry during the Reagan years. But – Hey – wake up and smell the coffee. Unless you are living in a cave or something – we all know what the risk is and how to protect ourselves.

  • jayhuck

    Drowssap and Mary –

    Wise words – thank you both – I agree. While I think some gay people had a right to be angry because the government wasn’t doing enough to fund research into the epidemic and it wasn’t adequately protecting the population, each of us do have a responsibility for our own health. Just remember that many people who were angry were those who acquired the disease before anyone knew anything about it.

  • Evan

    Warren,

    I think the syllogism – in his argument – runs like this:

    A. over the last 15 years HIV infections have moved predominantly to people of colour;

    B. the health system is racist (in general);

    therefore,

    C. the government is to blame.

    It’s a twisted logic of causation, but it’s something I got used to hear in advocating groups’ talk. You take some serious fact, put it on a background of allegedly unjust deployment of resources and blame the government. As if unprotected MSM behaviour were the result of a governmental policy or a lack of it. Suposedly, STD prevention public policies address the general sexually active public. Why would Foreman claim special focus on MSM for prevention? Is it a group with a particular vulnerability to HIV? Why is that? Very interesting story.

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    Its one thing to blame the government for your own irresponsibility, but its another thing when people are blaming the government for not doing enough when they should have. There is good reason to believe the government, by its inaction and inability to take this disease seriously from the get-go, aided in the deaths of straight and gay people alike.

  • jayhuck

    Sorry Evan – I don’t think I read your response well enough before I responded! :)

  • J. James

    Drowsap ignorantly wrote:

    “AIDS is primarily an STD.”

    I beg to differ. Have you ever heard of the Padian study? Let me re-cap for you.

    In 1997, Dr. Nancy Padian concluded a ten-year study of 175 HIV-discordant heterosexual couples. (This means that one partner was HIV positive while the other was HIV negative.) These couples had all sorts of sex: vaginal, oral, and anal, both with and without condoms.

    How many of the HIV negative partners would you guess would have become HIV positive after ten years of condomless vaginal, oral, and anal sex?

    Let me quote from the study itself:

    “We followed up 175 HIV-discordant couples over time, for a total of approximately 282 couple-years of follow up. The longest duration of follow-up was 12 visits (6 years). We observed no seroconversion [to HIV positive] after entry into the study.”

    Read it again: no seroconversion.

    Ten years of condomless anal sex, and yet no seroconversion.

    Facts are stubborn things.

  • jayhuck

    J.James,

    Regardless of this study that I would have to know more about, HIV is still considered by the CDC to be an STD. The overwhelming majority of people who get the virus DO seroconvert.

    It is more difficult than people realize though to contract the disease – which should be even more of a wake-up call to the gay community. I think I read that only 1 in 200 risky “situations” result in contracting HIV. I know that when I was sexually active I did unknowingly sleep with two positive people and it was only blind luck that I didn’t get the disease.

  • http://www.mikeology.net Mike Airhart

    As Kevin and Evan note, Foreman was not saying HIV is a gay disease.

    As I pointed out in one of the MRSA discussions, MSM refers to married, bisexual, and sexually active ex-gay men as well as gay men. In other words, anyone who ever has sex with other men.

    Foreman is the departing leader of a progressive organization that receives much of its financial support from non-gay progressive foundations.

    Is it surprising that a socially liberal advocate would blame the government for failing to aggressively educate married, bisexual, ex-gay and down-low men about safer sex?

  • J. James

    Jayhuck,

    Regardless of this study that I would have to know more about, HIV is still considered by the CDC to be an STD.

    And they do so in spite of the evidence. If AIDS is an STD, then why didn’t any of the couples in the Padian study seroconvert?

    Padian herself claimed that the absence of “needle sharing” and “other cofactors” (like what?) were the reason why none of the couples seroconverted, which blows a hole right through the heart of HIV theory which claims that AIDS is sexually-transmitted.

    The overwhelming majority of people who get the virus DO seroconvert.

    The truth of that statement depends completely on the validity of the “HIV test”, and the “HIV test” is completely unreliable.

    I know that when I was sexually active I did unknowingly sleep with two positive people and it was only blind luck that I didn’t get the disease.

    Sorry, but I think that if you had had condomless anal sex with both of them for ten years, then you still would have had an extremely good chance of not seroconverting. My evidence for that belief? The Padian study. What is your evidence for believing otherwise? Some CDC official saying that black is white, and that his being a CDC official makes it so?

    Facts are stubborn things.

  • ken

    J. James said in post 86519:

    AIDS is primarily an STD.

    I beg to differ. Have you ever heard of the Padian study? Let me re-cap for you.

    Your “recap” was deceptively wrong. You edited out some very important information. Here is the actual quote from the study:

    “Heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in northern California: results from a ten-year study.” Padian NS, Shiboski SC, Glass SO, Vittinghoff E. Am J Epidemiol. 1997 Aug 15;146(4):350-7.

    p. 354. Prospective Results

    We followed 175 HIV-discordant couples over time for a total of approximately 282 couple-years of follow-up (table 3). Because of deaths as well as the break-up of couples, attrition was severe, only 175 couples are represented in table 3. The longest duration of follow-up was 12 visits (6 years). We observed no seroconversions after entry into the study.

    Note, the initial sample size for the study was 442 couples.

    Further from the study (p. 353)

    Table 2 shows crude odds ratios for risk factors for male-to-female transmission that were significant at p>= 0.05 in bivariate analysis in this study or previous reports (2, 6, 14). The pratice of anal sex had the greatest measure of effect (odds ratio (OR) = 2.6).

    For you to attempt to use this study to claim HIV is not an STD is just plain deceitful.

    the abstract to the study is here: “Heterosexual transmission…” there is a link to the full article in PDF format at the top of the page.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    Interpretation: He is backpedaling.

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    I say this in ref to the posting by said named “Kevin” post # 96227:

    It’s funny how gay advocates want to place the onus of AIDS, not just on one group (e.g. gays) but on many (e.g. Africans, African Americans, women, etc.). But, when the government does not extend extensiveness towards an individual group (e.g. as in his case for African American men) then they accuse the government of viewing them as “expendable”.

    And, “Kevin” by virtue of highlighting this, I assume endorsees the same?

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    It’s not surprising that we have high rates of AIDS in America. Take for example the thought patterns of blog commenters like J. James who thinks AIDS is not an STD, and that one can have unprotected anal sex for ten years, with someone postive for HIV, and still have an “extremely good chance of not seroconverting”. Thanks J. James for your words of wisdom.

  • J. James

    Ken writes:

    Your “recap” was deceptively wrong.

    I’ll take you to task on that. Why not see the study for yourself, in its entirety, right here:

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/146/4/350.pdf

    You edited out some very important information.</em<

    I had copied it from a website, my bad. So it wasn’t I who edited out the information, but someone else. It doesn’t matter now since we both have the actual study (above) so we can both view it.

    Note, the initial sample size for the study was 442 couples.

    You are making a mountain out of a molehill. The important data is this: For 175 HIV-discordant couples, ten years of condomless anal sex yielded NO SEROCONVERSIONS. Why do you suppose that is if HIV is a highly-contagious, sexually-transmitted disease? How do you account for that?

    Table 2 shows crude odds ratios for risk factors for male-to-female transmission that were significant at p>= 0.05 in bivariate analysis in this study or previous reports (2, 6, 14). The pratice of anal sex had the greatest measure of effect (odds ratio (OR) = 2.6).

    And on what data is this analysis based? Be specific. I am aware that HIV researchers will fudge conclusions (read: lie) when the data doesn’t match the paradigm.

    For you to attempt to use this study to claim HIV is not an STD is just plain deceitful.

    You’re wrong. What is deceitful (as in, lying by omission) is to claim that HIV is a sexually-transmitted disease when 175 HIV-discordant couples can have condomless anal sex for ten years without passing the virus from one to another. I await your so-far omitted explanation.

  • J. James

    Jim Phelan wrote:

    It’s not surprising that we have high rates of AIDS in America.

    AIDS rates have been steadily on the decline since 1992 according to the CDC. My heresy must really be getting under your skin.

    Take for example the thought patterns of blog commenters like J. James who thinks AIDS is not an STD, and that one can have unprotected anal sex for ten years, with someone postive for HIV, and still have an “extremely good chance of not seroconverting”.

    That is what the data show. Facts are stubborn things.

    Even HIV advocates admit that the chance of contracting HIV is 1/1000 if you have sex with an HIV+ individual. Compare that chance to the chance of contracting gonorrhea (a real STD) if you were to have sex with someone with gonorrhea: 1/2. How can such a low, low transmission rate of HIV account for the numbers of HIV infections? The numbers do not add up. Perhaps you can explain it to me scientifically?

    Thanks J. James for your words of wisdom.

    It doesn’t take wisdom to repeat facts, but it does take wisdom for you to stop pretending like they do not exist. What does “no seroconversions” mean to you?

  • http://www.jimphelan.vox.com Jim Phelan

    J. James,

    HIV which leads to AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease. Sorry, you feel otherwise. Please give the reference to who said otherwise.

    I said we had highr rates, you said rates where on the decline. We still have high rates, regardless of the trends, which are fluid.

    Even HIV advocates admit that the chance of contracting HIV is 1/1000 if you have sex with an HIV+ individual. Compare that chance to the chance of contracting gonorrhea (a real STD) if you were to have sex with someone with gonorrhea: 1/2.

    Please give the citation for this claim.

    Please reread The Padian study you like to cite. Did you overlook the part that said: “results presented here are not necessarily reflective of trends in the population”

    Nice try, but California couples don’t represent the rest of the world!

  • ken

    J. James said in post 87267:

    The important data is this: For 175 HIV-discordant couples, ten years of condomless anal sex yielded NO SEROCONVERSIONS. Why do you suppose that is if HIV is a highly-contagious, sexually-transmitted disease? How do you account for that?

    1st, your initial claim, (10 years of condomless anal sex) isn’t correct. Take a look at table 3. (p.355) of the study. In the 175 couples you referred to: abstinence and condom use significantly increased over the 10 years, while anal intercourse significantly decreased. The paper notes (p. 354) the most significant change occurred at the beginning of the study. 2nd, I said it is an STD, not that it was highly contagious.

    And on what data (re: transmission via anal intercourse) is this analysis based? Be specific.

    It is based on the data from the other 267 couples you didn’t think were important. I suggest you actually read the study before you respond again.

    Also, in the future, when someone makes highly questionable claims, I would suggest you 1st check the facts before repeating it.

  • Marty

    AFTAH is reporting that NGLTF is giving out “Leather Leadership Awards” now, so apparently the whole crew has gone off the reservation.

  • Terence

    I’m with duesberg on this one even though the once exalted molecular biologist is now shunned by the rest of the scientific community. HIV hasn’t been proven to do anything and just by the behavior of the virus it doesn’t make any sense that it would cause the multitudes of diseases associated with aids. The virus couldn’t survive if it killed off more t blood cells than what your body could reproduce and it behaves exactly like passenger virus. The 5-10 year waiting period of aids from contraction follows more closely the patterns of other lifestyle cancers and diseases such as lung cancer from smoking. The medicines that are prescribed to the hiv positive people (the test is to see if you have antibodies against hiv not for the actual virus itself which at no point in time exceeds approximately 1/500 t cells) have the side effects that are associated with aids. Every study done by hiv/aids supporters have been horribly biased and are counted as science because the cdc made it impossible to have evidence contrary to that with thier 1993 definition of aids as being someone who has the symptoms and tests postive for hiv. Also, the cases of perfectly healthy people who tested positive for hiv and then refused the message only to live healthily from that point on for up to a recorded 23 years only show further proof that even though hiv is sexually transmitted rarely and is a virus, that it is probably not the cause of aids.

  • Terence

    *message is a typo I meant medicine

  • mary

    I am amazed at how willing a person is to put themselves at risk for hiv/aids. Let’s see, I do not engage in any risky behavior and lo and behold do not have any std’s or for those who think otherwise – I do not have hiv nor aids. Hmmmm. Seems like even if all the scientific evidence is not in that some things would hold water like – say being gay and sharing bodily fluids increases your risk for contracting hiv/aids (no matter the odds!) That being a hemopheliac or coming into contact with blood that has tested positive for HIV (and now that person has aids) is pretty convincing to me.

    Conspiracy theories, hidden agendas and unprotected (or broken condom) gay anal sex are on two different levels. One you cannot prove – the other is a pretty sure fire way to get sick – no matter what you call it, or what the odds, or who started it. I don’t care and neither should anyone else. We have the knowledge to stop HIV/AIDS today. And yet, someone believes that it is not their problem or their concern and that the odds are in their favor – so go ahead an do what you want to do with whomever (you don’t need to tell anyone you have tested postive for HIV because of the odds and the conspiracy theories) and you have taken a huge step towards helping others (socially.) Yeah, I’m getting pretty tired of the victim mentality of AIDS carriers and their groups.

  • Terence

    You can’t sit there and say that hiv/aids is a fact. It is as of yet a still unproven theory as to the cause of aids. There are other theories such as the chemical/aids theory which states that repeated drug use, the medicines they give you, and malnutrition are the cause of aids. You’re still treating the hiv/aids theory as a proven fact.

  • Ann

    Yeah, I’m getting pretty tired of the victim mentality of AIDS carriers and their groups.

    Mary,

    I agree. I also think the only victims are innocent children and the unknowing spouses who trusts their husband.

  • Rachel

    AIDS and HIV are nobody’s fault. Governments do what they can but lets face it, it’s all down to the human race. No matter how many policies and initiatives a government puts out there.

    People seem to be forgetting in this the numbers of infected people from mother to child groups, IV drug users with second hand needles, needle stick injury and rape/sexual assaults.

    MSM is not the ONLY transmission route!

    Reply to Terrance: Unfortunately for your argument, i can sit and type here that HIV/AIDS is fact. AIDS is basically the terminal stage of HIV infection. The cells that HIV attacks in the blood are the CD4 T helper lymphocytes. These are white blood cells that protect the immune system from attack. HIV effectively kills these cells meaning that the person becomes immuno-suppressed. This is the point of AIDS. When the CD4 count drops below 200 per cubic millilitre (bearing in mind it should be between 600 and 1200) the person is diagnoses as having acquired immune deficiency syndrome because he is DEFICIENT IN IMMUNE SYSTEM CELLS!

    Thanks

  • aaron

    Its only in the std catagory because scientists developed it that way! But it can be aquired (get infected) in other ways besides sex, which tells me its not just a sexually transmitted disease, HIV itself is a very smart disease, yes i said smart! HIV thinks, it grows and adapts to its environment. It mutates over a million times a second to counter attack red blood cells like an army counter attacks its enemy! It screams military just in its characteristics, its too smart of a disease to have not been created by man. So everyone affected by HIV is and always has been a victim of government manipulation and control!