February 11, 2005

JUST A LIFESTYLE CHOICE:

Doctors discover new HIV strain (Marc Santora and Lawrence K. Altman, February 12, 2005, The New York Times)

A previously unknown strain of HIV that is highly resistant to virtually all known drugs and appears to lead to the rapid onset of AIDS was detected in a man last week, New York health officials said Friday.

While the extent of the spread of the disease is unknown, officials said the situation was alarming.

"We consider this a major potential problem," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The department issued an alert to all hospitals and doctors in the city to be on the lookout for the new strain.

The virus was found in a New York City man in his mid-40s who engaged in unprotected anal sex with other men on multiple occasions while he was using crystal methamphetamine.


Posted by Orrin Judd at February 11, 2005 8:03 PM
Comments

Yeah but gay sex = heterosex. I smell a hate crime.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at February 11, 2005 9:13 PM

When do they declare this to be a menace to monagmous heterosexuals and require all of us to be tested?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 11, 2005 9:25 PM

Robert,

That would be yesterday:

http://www.sltrib.com/nationworld/ci_2562233

Posted by: Mike at February 11, 2005 9:58 PM

Nothing will change among the gay community. But perhaps a few years from now, "And the Band Played On II" will come out blaming it all on Bush.

Posted by: Li'l Billy at February 11, 2005 10:52 PM

A few comments.

1. Whenever a successful vaccine is created, the disease it kills off will develop new strains. Some of the bacilli survive to reproduce. This is not surprising or particularly newsworthy.

2. When a new strain of a disease is found, and the doctors immediately demand that people get tested, I'm always reminded of the Austrian sci-fi novel I read about a planet of doctors which would manufacture illnesses and then sell the cures.

3. The AIDS crisis is overblown. Billions of people around the planet engage in 'risky' sex all the time. Does anybody South of the Border just say NO? If it's such a terrible vicious disease, why aren't we up to our earlobes in dead people? We should be having another Black Death, or at least a post-WWI type epidemic, but instead it's just a queer or a strumpet here or there who dies off. It's the comet Kohoutek of epidemics.

Posted by: Bart at February 12, 2005 6:29 AM

Bart:

No, they don't, that's the point.

Posted by: oj at February 12, 2005 8:48 AM

OJ:
You should have called it a deathstyle.

Posted by: Henry IX at February 12, 2005 10:08 AM

OJ,

Vaccines have to be updated all the time, just as fertilizers and bug killers are.

Posted by: Bart at February 12, 2005 11:14 AM

The virus was found in a New York City man in his mid-40s who engaged in unprotected anal sex with other men on multiple occasions while he was using crystal methamphetamine.

I guess Russian Roulette is too slow-paced for this guy.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at February 12, 2005 12:34 PM

No, Robert, it's all Bush's fault. Him and Fox News. And the Catholic Church's position on celibacy. Don't you ever read Maureen Dowd?

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 12, 2005 2:13 PM

While tragic for those unfortunate to catch this super-strain of AIDS, it is unlikely to infect a large number of people. When a disease kills its victims quickly, they don't have time to transmit it to so many others.

Posted by: J Baustian at February 12, 2005 10:44 PM

J. -

For Ebola or some bug like that, your statement is true. With even several weeks before becoming latent, there is enough time to infect plenty of 'partners'.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 12, 2005 11:00 PM

RE: "With even several weeks before becoming latent, there is enough time to infect plenty of 'partners'."

Then it would be possible to halt any epidemic simply by abstaining from sex for several weeks, right? Or just using a condom?

I could probably do that, if it was a matter of life or death.

Posted by: J Baustian at February 15, 2005 12:16 AM
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