Friday, July 24, 2015

Retiring French HIV researcher warns young gay men on HIV

The woman who discovered HTLV-III aka HIV in 1984 in France, that is, Francoise Barre Sinoussi, warns that there will probably never be a “cure” for HIV even though modern protease inhibitors are managing it well for many patients.  The CNN story (in “Vital Signs”) is here.   However, the tone of an IAS 2015 (Vancouver) paper seems a little more optimistic, here
The researcher expressed concern that younger gay men might fall into a pattern that repeats what happened in the 1980s.  I was living in Dallas then, and in 1985-1986 saw a large portion of well-known popular men (including a head of the Oak Lawn Counseling Center) develop full blown AIDS and often pass away within a year.  One minor league relief pitcher, perhaps with the talent to make it in MLB, told me that he had tested positive one morning at breakfast at a popular spot, but he had not developed symptoms.
Generally, after I returned to the DC area in mid 1988, I noticed that the occurrence of full-blown AIDS among people I knew became much less frequent in the 1990s.  Medications did start to work.  Today, among younger men (locally and around the country) whom I know, I do not hear about this happening.  I think behavior is much more restrained than it was in the late 1970s, despite what one might see on the dance floor or sung about in videos. 
Pictures:  Visit to Philadelphia, July 5, to visit LGBT exhibit at Constitution Center 

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