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Posted on July 12 at 4:44 p.m.
No, my friend, I never felt ill. That is certainly the most insidious aspect of HIV infection. You can be absolutely feeling fine for up to two decades.
You will NEVER know if you are infected before you come down with something enabled and encouraged by HIV infection. You must take the now-ubiquitous HIV blood test. It is a long, long disease, and clearly most of us want a quick cure; there is none (yet), unlike even many cancers today (which I've also suffered, and which HIV does encourage).
There has been almost an unconscionable amount of misinformation out there about HIV since its discovery in the early 1980s, and even more about its hapless victims, which, sorry, political correctness has insisted we not call "victims."
I think this is because victimology as such implies that in some way, and especially in this case, you are a "victim" of your own "bad" behavior, and in this way people collide and collude with good old American Puritanism; that is, fear of life's increasingly fewer pleasures, especially as we inevitably age.
Ignorance of the law--however "scientific" that law--is no excuse for some, I suppose. That's why one scientist claims that the great thing about science is that it's true whether or not you "believe" it. Yet scientific "laws" do indeed "change" over time, always building on past discoveries.
I have never understood how anyone could condemn another soul for indulging in any pleasurable behavior that leads to hidden and completely unknown, unfathomable risks. But condemnation happens all the time; this is what it means to be self-righteous.
So those of us who really "didn't know about HIV" in the 80s (ignorance that in all honesty I cannot completely lay claim to) do feel like traditional victims, but it was more properly a "leap of faith" to risk HIV infection during the mid-80s, if one had any inkling of the medical science.
I think we didn't count on the extraordinary stigma that surrounds HIV to this day. I am almost 68 years old, so I was 36 when HIV surfaced and I started to find out what little there was to find out, and I was almost 45 before there was any degree of certainty about exactly which behaviors can lead to HIV infection.
Thanks for asking. I almost never speak out about this anymore.
But as an old hand at journalism myself, I say do not believe everything you read! Some of the time, maybe even most of the time, but certainly not ALL of the time, as Lincoln indicated.
On The Guns of Santa Barbara County
Posted on July 12 at 2:40 p.m.
Ken is correct. What he says is true.
I have taken antivirals and a few other anti-HIV meds for the past 20 years, but never AZT. NEVER. That particular drug was one of the worst drugs ever foisted on a helpless populace. I saw its victims. Learn AIDS history, which I know backwards, and in which I had a very small role.
Today in 2013 cynicism demands that AZT's use to treat HIV before 1996 could be considered as pure opportunism on the part of its Big Pharma maker, for it eventually killed the cancer patients it had been intended to treat, and this was known at the outset of the AIDS epidemic. A good example of "kill or cure." I never knew anyone whose survival had depended on AZT alone.
It had horrific, unimaginable side effects. But one could see in retrospect that, thanks to ACT UP and other kinds of worldwide activism from 1986-1996, AZT had been deemed "at hand" by The Powers That Be. It was a discredited cancer drug that seemed to have some effect on HIV. It came from a company now known as Glaxo/Smith/Kline.
It's easy to see that it was initially deemed "good enough" for the HIV/AIDS patients that were known about at the time, most of whom were socially despised, but as it became clear soon enough, it wasn't much good at all. It is still used, but in combination with less problematic meds.
Hence my permanent cynicism about the use of AZT, though I do not deny the good will of the scientists from many disciplines who became involved in the fight against this fiendishly complex disease, this horrendous viral infection and its endless complications.
AIDS also bequeathed to all of us the current standard approach to a "cure" for a wide range of maladies, which now consists of endless, daily medications throughout one's remaining life, and on a highly rigorous schedule. This is now the standard treatment model for almost everything, and it's obvious that is a very profitable one for Big Pharma and its minions, no matter what their degree of compassion is for those of us who suffer, sympathy that is increasingly hard-won politically. As always.
Posted on March 21 at 7:02 p.m.
O Lord where do I start? $1000/month for a studio? Exactly where is this crumbling unit? A basement, attic, or garage? The rents quoted in the piece are correct! And punishingly "too damn high," as that African-American candidate said in 2012. And he wasn't talking about our gilded, golden coast.
On What Do You Need to Earn to Live in S.B.?
Posted on March 21 at 4:29 p.m.
It's more than a shame! It's criminal, in and of itself. There is something called the Compassionate Use law, passed in the last century by CA voters. I agree with the poster above, however, that this fuss is going to look as silly as, oh, Prop 8 does today—A stupid, pedantic fight over definitions; meanwhile the suffering that the voters hoped to ameliorate is even greater. I doubt live I'll live to see the inevitable vindication of my position.
On The ‘Green Rush’ Is Crushed
Posted on March 21 at 1:54 p.m.
Ethan, thanks for your excellent and truthful piece, long overdue. Sorry this is so darn long. Your story sounds very much like the start of my own journey two decades ago, during which time I've suffered many difficulties but also obtained the great relief that medical marijuana provides for my many and very serious ailments. Not anymore though, thanks to a few local sadists! You know who you are and I'm calling you out. I've written to at least one of you. If you try to argue with me, fine, but I know history, and scientific truth. And I'm NOT alone anymore.Like too many who have been directly and sadistically affected by our local authoritarians, all I want is to live out my remaining years in peace, which is why I rarely comment on this issue, or anything else. Yet I've personally known Dr. Bearman for years, as well as many others in the medical cannabis movement here and in the state itself. I have helped produce a book about Federal Cannabis research patients (yes, there are four left nationally). It is called "My Medicine," by Irwin Rosenfeld, a Florida stockbroker, available everywhere, especially online. Check it out. (I get no money or royalties, in case you're a cynic.)The crazed opposition of extreme right-wing wingnuts here in Santa Barbara County is based on politically ginned-up fear-mongering and the same old ignorant nonsense that hasn't changed at all since the racist lies of Harry Anslinger in 1937. I suppose many of our cash-strapped politicians need contributions from this fringe, or think they do. But just maybe the better angels of our nature are waking up again, as evidenced by this cover story. I simply wish a few more compassionate souls still lived here! With far more relevance to the safety of this community and its children, something else has also happened as a result of this terrible and paranoid attack on the sick and the elderly. Many of these self-satisfied locals and their political cronies are too willfully blind to see the very obvious and immense increase in alcohol consumption, especially by the young. The cruel crackdown has had serious (and, for some, highly lucrative) unintended consequences. These anti-pot monsters keep approving more liquor stores and maybe we can only hope that they will end up drinking themselves to death soon, after being responsible in no small way for the innocent victims they have perverted, or even caused the death of, with their misguided stupidity. I have seen a HUGE upsurge in binge drinking here in I.V. since this unconscionable local crackdown. No one seems to be doing much to educate these young folks and school them in the actual TRUTH about EVERY drug they come across, including alcohol. I don't blame kids who think we have been lying, because WE HAVE BEEN, for decades. Only a completely ignorant and hateful individual would equate alcohol and marijuana, just for starters.
Posted on August 18 at 9:49 a.m.
Watching KEYT is like watching local over-the-air programming in 1982. The broadcast picture still looks and feels low-def and analog; the national HD signal is weak and sloppy. Sound is uneven and pumped up for ads and is rarely surround-quality. The station's graphics are ancient. If it weren't for important local news broadcasts this affiliate would otherwise be a waste of time. But Cox has a death-grip on SB.
On Cox Cable Customers May Lose KEYT
Posted on August 7 at 3:07 p.m.
Absolutely correct, Ken. It astounds me that the current powers that be at the paper seem to have absolutely no concept these days about its remaining print readers and who they are, and exactly how they too depend on the paper every week. I'm almost embarrassed to be one of the paper's original founders. I remember Marianne telling us that, in terms of readership, The Week's complete listings were the very most important thing that they published. I've never seen any evidence that she was wrong about this. What's happened?
On List All Events in Print
Posted on July 5 at 10:02 a.m.
This is welcome news. I have just received excellent care for the past six months at both facilities. All Santa Barbara and this entire area can now truly expect the kind of world-class, co-ordinated care I that I received from both institutions.
On Sansum Clinic and Cancer Center Join Forces
Posted on June 29 at 12:26 p.m.
I think this is brilliant!
On New Website Takes the Reading Out of Reading Scripts
Posted on May 20 at 3:13 p.m.
Reportedly U.S. AG Holder once said that the American people considered the War On Drugs to actually be a War On The American People. He got that right. For a while.
On Dope Days Are Over?