Friday, February 25, 2005

HIV Positive--A Rant

This is going to be a quick rant about a couple of issues. I have lately heard in common parlance that many people refer to those who are infected with HIV as a person who is "HIV". I want to state clearly and plainly that I am not a virus, but I am infected by a virus. I would like to ask people who read my postings to please use the terms "infected with HIV", "HIV positive" "person with HIV", or "POZ" when discussing people living with HIV and to please ask others not to refer to their friends or acquaintances as "HIV". No one would say that a victim of melanoma is "cancer".

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we need to change the public perception that there is a single virus that causes AIDS. There are, in fact, multiple "wild" strains of the virus, and now there are multiple drug-resistant "man-made" strains that have developed in the populations of people who are taking medication for HIV. When someone has unprotected sex with a person who is infected with multiple strains of these viruses, they are at risk of multiple infections. Some strains are resistant to some drugs, some to others, some not at all. Now the most frightening one, the new strain found in New York, is resistant to all known drugs and sufficiently virulent to cause progression from infection to AIDS in three months rather than the usual ten years it takes wild strains to manifest as AIDS.

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2 Comments:

Blogger coturnix said...

Hey Ron, sorry for OT, just responding to you comment. I did not get your message/e-mail. I don't know why, as I checked even spam-folders on both of my accounts just before I posted. Sorry about that. I believe it is better to send it Melinama for next week, as many Carolinians have already visited the Tavern and will not come back again and will not see your post if I include it now. What do you think?

2/27/2005 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Decelles said...

I have never heard of referring to some with HIV as being HIV. The only thing I can figure is that it is linguistic laziness(I am being charitable here). Your comment about the inappropriateness of this construction is on target.

7/05/2006 11:27:00 PM  

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