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How ’bout an Update on HIV/AIDs

The subject of HIV came up in my life, just as it might in yours.  I am not HIV positive, but I was surprised that a woman thought I might be.  She is HIV positive.

So, now I am learning more about this subject and there is no reason not to share what I learned with you on this website focusing on sex work and sex trafficking. 

I think there might be a connection.  Maybe my readers can help me expand on what I have learned.  If medical experts or those with experience in this unique subject will please fill in my blanks do so with a reply to my website.

First, I will share that I am a believer in The River, a journey into the source of HIV/AIDs, written by Edward Hooper. It is a stunning book written in 1999

Get your own copy of the River – –

Meet Edward Hooper, author of the River – –

There are also websites that tell this story great detail.

Those who have HIV/AIDs or know those who do will have empathy to learn the theory in this book.  In my case, I had polio in 1952.  This is about how Polio research in the 1950s may have been the link resulting in transmission of SIV in Chimpanzees to HIV in Humans.  I believe Hooper and this theory deserves more research.  But enough.

So, what’s the current story about HIV/AIDs. There used to be front page stories about HIV/AIDs, many of them, but not anymore.  I am not in a position to do academic-style study into current research most of which I would not understand.  But I depended on the Internet to learn more about current history. 

The two most famous celebrities famous for HIV/AIDs for most of us are Magic Johnson, one of the great legions of basketball, and Freddie Mercury, one of Rocks greatest showmen as the writer / singer for Queen.

Freddie Mercury seems to be the example for us NOT to follow.  He was progressively sick while still performing to the end.  He died at age 45. 

The example we should all follow if confronted with HIV/AIDs is Magic Johnson.  He is sure he was infected by a relationship with a female fan before his marriage.  There is some controversy that he was infected by a vaccination.  He was born in 1959.  He retired at his basketball prime in 1991at age 42. Since his retirement Magic has been a successful businessman and is one of the wealthiest retired athletes. 

He gives credit to Dr Fauci who led research that eventually transformed HIV into a manageable chronic disease Due to that research Magic John, now at age 60, has been kept HIV virus to undetectable levels which has never developed into AIDs.  This is now available to many people. 

The message for us, which we wish we could share with Freddie Mercury, is not to hesitate to test and to seek the new ways to keep HIV low.  The HIV virus can be in our bodies, but it is AIDs that kills.

When my young friend brought her HIV claim to my attention, my first concern was that it might spread to many sex workers whom I consider to be my friends in the Nana Plaza area of Bangkok.  That does not seem to be happening.  Personally I never thought I had HIV virus because I am not very sexy these days. But Magic Johnson seems to have been infected for quite a while before it was discovered.  So, I got a test and several weeks later I got a second test just to be sure.  I don’t know if that made any sense but it might be right for any us all to take precaution. 

So, what can I tell you about medicines are now available.

There seems to be two distinct options.  

First, there are medicines available to protect people who do not already have HIV/AIDs from getting it if their lifestyle is risky. 

July 16, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), the first drug approved to reduce the risk of HIV infection in uninfected individuals who are at high risk of HIV infection and who may engage in sexual activity with HIV-infected partners

Since that time there are now three Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) drugs: 

·       Emtricitabine/Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada)

·       Emtricitabine/Tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy)

·       Cabotegravir extended-release injectable suspension (Apretude, Vocabria)

If you are person at high risk due to a relationship, either sexual or drug use, you can seek the assistance of specialized care in your community to put these above medicines to use to protect you. 

Second, there are options for those who do have HIV/AIDs

These drugs block a protein that infects cells needed to hold new HIV virus low.

·       Atazanavir or ATV (Reyataz)

·       Darunavir or DRV (Prezista)

·       Lopinavir + ritonavir, or LPV/r (Kaletra)

·       Ritonavir or RTV (Norvir)

The subject of medical treatment of someone who already has either HIV infectioThe

Care for those already infected is far more complicated that I am unable to even hint at, but there are excellent websites which can get you are the right path

I suggest this one which will give you good start:

Again, seek medical care.  Do not be intimidated by this process.  Save yourself. 

Get proper medical car in your area.  Make sure your medical choices include contacts with your local government that can direct you to government support if things become expensive. 

My young friend the sex worker in Bangkok, received some money from me to go to a hospital which was recommended to her.  She is in the process of taking ten vaccinations at a cost of 4,000 Thai baht each.  I paid for the first two because it took some time to start the government help which will likely allow her to live a full life like Magic Johnson.  Thailand is a pretty good place but other place who might see this talk might not be as good.  So, do not delay.  If this applies to you get the help you need. 

As I understand there still is no vaccination for, HIV/AIDs like there is for polio or corvid.  But there is a huge difference from 20 or 30 years ago.  Let’s be happy about that but let’s also continue what we have learned about safe sex. 

More on condom related fun in my last book here