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HIV and syphilis



Bill Weintraub

Bill Weintraub

HIV and syphilis

3-22-2007

I have many HIV articles in the hopper which don't get posted because they're so repetitious and predictable.

For example, an article about the demand by "AIDS activists" that HIV testing be by written consent only, even as both common sense and growing scientific evidence tell us that oral consent is the way to make sure that everyone's tested.

That article hooks-up, as it were, with another article telling us that half of all HIV infections are spread by people who don't know they're positive.

Which means that it's really important to get people tested -- so that they don't inadvertently spread HIV.

That's a no-brainer.

And written vs oral consent is also a no-brainer.

Because under mananged care, an MD or PA is lucky to have 15 minutes with a patient.

And obviously obtaining oral consent is a lot faster than finding a form, having the patient read it, and then getting it signed.

Particularly given that more than likely the patient didn't come in for an HIV test, he or she came in with other issues which need to be addressed.

Yet "AIDS activists" have been putting up roadblocks to oral consent because -- well, for one thing, it threatens their jobs.

One of the commonly used acronyms in "AIDS prevention" is VCT = Voluntary Counseling and Testing.

VCT is usually done at "centers" -- public health centers.

Even if they're part-time, those VCT centers have to be staffed -- by people who counsel and get consent, draw blood, give the standard analist lecture on risk-factors, etc.

Those counselors, who are usually "safer-sex educators," are paid.

As NYC health commissioner Dr Thomas R Frieden, who's been fighting for testing via oral consent, says, "There are some who term themselves AIDS advocates who are very comfortable with the current situation, and the current situation is completely unacceptable."

That's the AIDS problem in a nutshell.

The "AIDS advocates" are not just comfortable with but have a vested interest in the status quo.

Dr Frieden understands that.

He understands that these so-called advocates, who are functionaries of AIDS Inc, are now a major part of the problem.

There have been months of discussion about written vs spoken consent.

And about the urgent need for universal testing.

And still the "AIDS advocates" are throwing up roadblocks.

So that's one issue I could spend an entire post on.

Another -- and I must have five articles on this -- are the repeated demands by "AIDS advocates" that gender inequality worldwide must be addressed to stop AIDS.

As Dr. Chin has said, however, while putting an end to gender inequality is a laudable goal, gender inequality does not cause AIDS.

That's crystal clear.

There are many traditional Muslim societies, abhorrent to most in the West, in which gender inequality is a brutal fact of life.

That's deplorable.

It would be to the good of everyone in those societies were women to be liberated.

But fact is, HIV prevalence in those societies is miniscule.

The women are kept in some form of purdah, and the men are circumcised.

Faulty medical procedures aside, there are just three risk behaviors for HIV:

1. Anal penetration -- male-male or male-female.

2. Injection drug use.

3. Hetero promiscuity involving uncircumcised men and CONCURRENT networks of sexual partners.

So: it's not real complicated.

If you eliminate 1 and 2, you wipe out all the discrete epidemics everywhere in the world, and with them, the reservoirs of HIV from which the virus spreads to hetero folks.

If you then circumcise men in cultures where they're not circumcised, and make a HUGE effort, as Uganda did, to break up the CONCURRENT sex networks -- which involves EMPOWERING WOMEN -- you effectively end the hetero epidemic.

We know how to do those things TODAY.

RIGHT NOW.

Which means that calls for ending gender inequality are a diversion from what actually needs to be done.

Which means that the people making those calls will end up killing women who needn't have died.

How many women?

Well, for example, this article on CNN said that South Africa's fighting 1,500 new HIV infections a day.

That's a lot of infections.

Most of the appeals around gender inequality focus on microbicides.

But those microbicides are many years away, and are most likely to benefit women in the developed world.

MC + Fidelity can be done today.

So these are very serious issues.

And what's terrible is that the whole history of the epidemic is of people side-stepping what needs to be done in order to do things which are politically expedient and/or politically correct.

Ronald Reagan's avoidance of the word "AIDS" was politically expedient.

The gay male community's decision to protect anal and promiscuity was politically correct.

And 500,000 men died.

Which is another reason I don't do a lot of HIV articles anymore.

Because what's the point?

Dr Green told me the other day that his first published article on Fidelity appeared in 1988.

Green, E.C., "AIDS in Africa: An agenda for Behavioral Scientists." in Norman Miller and Richard Rockwell (eds.), AIDS in Africa: the Social and Policy Impact, New York: Mellen Press and the National Council for International Health, 1988, pp.175-196.

IDENTIFYING NECESSARY BEHAVIOR CHANGE, INTERVENTION POINTS AND STRATEGIES

Once the social and cultural dimensions of AIDS are better understood, it will be possible to clearly define the behavior which must be changed by a significant segment of the population, if the spread of AIDS is going to be controlled in Africa. Regarding necessary changes in behavior:

(1) Both unmarried and married men will have to become monogamous or severely restrict their number of sexual partners. Women will have to be empowered to refuse sexual intercourse to a far greater extent than they are at present;

p. 182

The first MC articles appeared in 88 and 89.

Greenblatt, R.M., Lukehart S.A., Plummer, F.A., Quinn T.C., Critchlow C.W., Ashley R.L., D'Costa L.J., Ndinya-Achola J.O., Corey L., Ronald A.R., "Genital ulceration as a risk factor for human immunodeficiency virus infection." Aids. 2(1):47-50, 1988.

The first Dutch articles on non-anal alternatives appeared in 87.

van Griensven GJP, Tielman RAP, Goudsmit J, et al. Risk Factors and Prevalence of HIV Antibodies in Homosexual Men in the Netherlands. Am J Epidemiol. 1987;125:1048-1057.

And here's another from 89:

van Griensven, GJP, Devroome, EMM., Goudsmit, J, Coutinho, RA. Changes in sexual behaviour and the fall in incidence of HIV infection among homosexual men. BMJ. 1989;298:218 - 221.

1987 -- that's twenty years.

A long time.

So: change in the area of AIDS prevention comes very slowly.

Because there are always competing constituencies.

Only rarely -- in Uganda, for example, and possibly in Holland from 84 to 91 -- do you see a society determined to do whatever it takes to stop the virus.

And the community which historically and to this day has been LEAST willing to do what it takes, is the gay male community.

Which consistently puts anal and promiscuity ahead of health and of life itself.

An article which appeared on the always estimable AIDSMap a few days ago bears very directly on these MSM issues around anal and promiscuity.

And it also supports an earlier finding about co-infection -- which is very important:

Early syphilis infection lowers CD4 count and raises viral load in HIV-positive patients

Carolyn Partrick, Sunday, March 18, 2007

A third study has found that syphilis infection in HIV-positive patients is associated with increases in viral load and decreases in CD4 cell count. The Spanish study, published in the March 1st issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, is the largest of the three and, its authors believe, the first to have analysed the factors associated with changes in viral load and CD4 cell count during syphilis infection.

The investigators found that syphilis infection was associated with CD4 count decreases and viral load increases in almost one third of the patients studied. Their results showed that the only factor associated with an increase in HIV viral load was not being on HAART, while the only factor associated with a fall in CD4 count of more than 100 cells/mm3 was the patientís pre-syphilis CD4 count (patients who had higher pre-syphilis CD4 counts experienced greater falls).

The studyís authors highlight one other finding from their study: more than two thirds of the syphilis cases were diagnosed in patients who had previously been diagnosed HIV-positive. This, they say, "highlights the risky behaviour of our patients" and their "weak preventive strategies". They call for public health efforts to prevent new syphilis infections and to identify and treat infected patients as soon as possible, in order to reduce the spread of both syphilis and HIV.

The study was a retrospective one, using data from 12 Spanish hospitals. Researchers identified all the HIV-positive patients who had been diagnosed with early (<2 years) syphilis infection between January 2004 and December 2005. Patients who began or changed HIV treatments during the analysis period were excluded.

One hundred and eighteen patients were analysed. Of these, 95.8% were men, 83.9% were gay, 50.8% were on HAART at the time their syphilis was diagnosed, and 32.2 % had received their HIV and syphilis diagnoses at the same time. Mean patient age was 38.2 years.

...

Reference

Palacios R et al. Impact of syphilis infection on HIV viral load and CD4 cell counts in HIV-infected patients. J Acq Immun Defic Synd 44: 3, 2007

[emphases mine]

Bill Weintraub:

This study tells us a lot.

It tells us that syphilis potentiates HIV.

Just as malaria potentiates HIV.

And it tells us more.

50% of the guys who were infected with syph were already on HAART.

So they knew they had HIV and were engaging in "unsafe sex" anyway.

Another 32% got their syph diagnosis and their HIV diagnosis at the same time.

Which means they'd been infecting other people with HIV.

And syph.

And the study says, "more than two thirds of the syphilis cases were diagnosed in patients who had previously been diagnosed HIV-positive."

So what you have is a large group of gay men -- who don't care if they give other gay men a venereal disease -- including HIV.

Why would people behave in this way?

Put differently, would you, dear reader, knowingly give someone HIV?

Or continue to practise "unsafe sex" even though you knew your style of life made it likely that you were infected and could infect someone else?

Would you do that?

Yet these men did, and not in some "backward" third-world country, not in some place laboring under gender inequality or homophobia, but in Spain, which is very liberal, comparatively wealthy, and has endorsed gay marriage.

I've been thinking about these issues because I've been putting together an article and a page about the Spirituality of Frot -- something we discussed a fair amount in the fall -- and I've been reflecting on what secularism hath wrought among gay men and other moderns.

A couple days ago, the NYC Gay City News, which just a few months ago claimed that most increases in HIV infection were among younger gay men, said that now most increases are among guys 35 to 49.

Who knows which article is right?

The salient fact is that HIV infection continues to increase among gay men in New York City.

And in Spain -- where the mean patient age in the syph study was 38.

And the UK.

And Australia.

The problem of course is anal penetration.

But it's not just the physical fact of anal and the damage it wreaks.

It's the culture created by anal.

What's wrong with that culture?

Well, for one thing, it doesn't seem to have any moral sense whatsoever.

An article yesterday in the NY Times on the sociobiology of morality pointed out that among chimpanzees and some monkeys,

[F]our kinds of behavior -- empathy, the ability to learn and follow social rules, reciprocity and peacemaking -- are the basis of sociality.

One has to wonder whether gay men living under analism have any of those attributes:

1. Empathy -- Are you empathizing with a man when you give him HIV?

2. The ability to learn and follow social rules -- Such as it's wrong to give someone the common cold -- let alone infect him with a deadly disease.

3. Reciprocity -- Do unto others -- that idea is just not there.

4. Peacemaking -- They do make peace of a sort, but the peace they make tends to be the peace of the grave.

One of the sociobiologists quoted had a distinctly Warrior caste to his view of the origins of morality:

As Dr. de Waal sees it, human morality may be severely limited by having evolved as a way of banding together against adversaries, with moral restraints being observed only toward the in group, not toward outsiders. "The profound irony is that our noblest achievement -- morality -- has evolutionary ties to our basest behavior -- warfare," he writes. "The sense of community required by the former was provided by the latter."

What about that statement?

Well, when it comes to the origins of morality, I'm not necessarily a sociobiologist.

For example, "reciprocal altruism" -- "I'll do something for you if I have a resonable expectation that sometime in the future you'll do something for me" -- does not require warfare to explain its presence among human beings.

But while I certainly don't agree with Dr de Waal's characterization of warfare as "our basest behavior" --

I do agree with him that Warrior altruism -- which without question is the highest and truest form of altruism -- derives from the demands made by war on the Warrior band.

What does that have to do with the buttboys and anal?

I think it's clear.

The overall ethos of analism is tremendously different from any other human ethos -- although, it must be said, another recent article in the Times on the hetero hook-up culture suggested that the analist ethos is now spreading among Western heterosexuals.

Nevertheless, analism is still in many ways sui generis.

The three components of analism, as I've often observed, stand normal, natural, and time-tested human behavior completely on its head.

Because among the analists:

1. Sex is about anuses, not genitals.

2. Promiscuity is a core cultural value.

3. Effeminacy is valued over Masculinity.

To repeat, there has NEVER been in the long history and pre-history of the human race a culture like this one.

For example, when you throw out Masculinity, you throw out Masculine values.

What might they be?

Well, in A O Scott's attack on the "Manly Men" of the movie 300, he characterized them as holding values such as

  • a warrior ethic

  • valor and freedom

  • noble purpose

  • higher cause

To which I would add -- honor.

Behaving honorably.

Now of course masculine men don't always follow these values.

Particularly not masculine men who are obeying the dictates of social masculinity rather than Natural masculinity.

Nevertheless, it makes a huge difference whether these values, which are based upon the Warrior heritage of the human race, are at least in place.

Similarly, when you replace Fidelity with promiscuity, you create a culture in which sex is more important than people.

I repeat: Sex is more important than people.

Which means it's more important to obtain sex -- and lots of it -- than to be loyal to any one person.

Under such an ethos, the individual and his fate no longer matters.

Once you've had sex with a male -- or more properly, his body parts; what happens to him is totally unimportant.

That's why it's so easy for these men to so busily infect other men.

They don't care about their fate.

And we can see that really easily in the case of Michael John Neal, the Australian who's accused of infecting at least 200 men.

Now, while we've covered the Neal case before, I don't think this is a case of beating a dead horse.

Mr Neal was unusually vocal and unusually blatant about what he was doing, and that's what got him in trouble.

But his behavior is not unusual among gay men.

Don't believe me?

Ck out the post titled The Metrics of Analism.

You'll see.

In the meantime, here are excerpts from two different reports about Mr Neal from two different papers:

Deadly HIV game, court told

...

Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard [Neal] trawled gay clubs and lured men on gay websites to take part in group sex parties at his Port Melbourne and Coburg homes between 2000 and April last year.

The gatherings, referred to as "conversion parties", involved HIV positive men having unprotected sex with HIV negative men, in an attempt to transmit the disease or "breed" the uninfected, the court heard.

Some of the HIV-negative men were aware they were targets and complied.

Mr Neal is said to have offered drugs, including crystal methamphetamine, before taking them to his "playroom".

Prosecutor Mark Rochford said Mr Neal had demonstrated an intention to infect other people with HIV.

"He indicated his reasons for doing that is for more people (to be) introduced to a particular group of HIV-infected persons actively participating in unprotected sex," Mr Rochford said.

One former lover, who met Mr Neal online under the username "filthpig", told the court he ended their affair after Mr Neal allegedly told him he was "going to toilet blocks to find young boys to breed".

"When he said 'breed' my interpretation was that he was trying to infect these boys with HIV," the man said.

"He said that he was deliberately infecting boys and that he was actively going out looking for boys to infect."

The court heard Mr Neal also bragged about "making 75 people pos" and referred to one lover as "Daddy's little pos boy".


Officials failed to alert police about HIV man

...

Neal faces 121 charges, including intentionally causing a very serious disease, attempting to cause a very serious disease, rape and possessing and producing child pornography.

Prosecutor Mark Rochford told the first day of Neal's committal hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday that Neal had hosted "conversion parties" where HIV-positive men deliberately tried to infect others to create a larger pool of infected people with which to have unprotected sex. Some of these men were not aware that they risked HIV infection, he said.

...

In a statement tendered to court yesterday, Dr Hall said that department staff were told by the eighth complainant in December 2005 that Neal had boasted of infecting 75 men with HIV, and had used illicit drugs and shared injections.

...

A witness who cannot be named told the court that Neal told him in 2005 that he had been targeting teenage boys in suburban toilet blocks to "breed" them -- a term used to describe intentionally infecting someone with HIV. Neal also allegedly wore a penis piercing to increase the rate of transmission when he had unprotected sex, the court was told.

The number of new HIV infections in Victoria has reached its highest level in 20 years. The department was notified of 334 new cases of HIV last year, 17 per cent higher than the 285 in 2005 and the highest number since 1987.

[emphases mine]

Bill Weintraub:

Mr Neal aka filthpig sounds like a monster.

But look at the behaviors.

How unusual are they?

  • Trawling gay clubs and websites.

    That's known as cruising.

    It's the core rite of gay male life.

    And very common.

    A huge amount of gay male life is organized around cruising.

  • Group sex parties.

    Also very common.

  • Conversion parties.

    Also common.

  • Bug-chasing.

    Also common.

  • Use of Meth and other drugs.

    Very common.

  • "Playroom" -- notice the infantilization of sex.

    Sex should not take place in a playroom.

    It should take place in a Temple.

    Because it's a holy act.

    Nevertheless, Mr Neal had a playroom.

    Which again is common -- many guys have dungeons or other such areas set up for special "sexual" events.

  • Picking up guys in toilets.

    Very common -- part of cruising.

  • Sharing injection drugs.

    Also common.

    At the very beginning of the epidemic, a gay male NYC therapist wrote an article titled "Nice Boys and Needles" -- and it still goes on.

  • Having a penis piercing.

    Also common.

The claim, by the way, is made by the state that Neal "wore a penis piercing to increase the rate of transmission when he had unprotected sex..."

I don't know if a piercing would have that effect.

But the point is that Mr Neal, as monstrous is, is not behaving significantly differently from the men profiled in the Spanish study.

He just isn't.

Basically he's spreading HIV, using practices of cruising, group sex parties, and drugs, which are common among gay men; and we can be certain that that's what many -- probably most -- of the men in the Spanish study were doing.

Statements attributed to Neal make it appear that he was spreading HIV maliciously, but that begs the question:

Is there an UN-malicious way to spread HIV?

NO.

After the most recent NYC figures were reported in Gay City News, they ran an op-ed by a couple of therapists doing the usual -- wringing their hands and saying we have to do a better job of reaching people.

It's a farce and a charade.

If they haven't been able to reach these males in 26 years -- how would they reach them now?

The entire gay sub-culture has to be restructured.

The males of that culture have to be restored to lives that are Manly, Masculine, and based on the very Warrior values which fashionable critics like A O Scott are so quick to deride.

Scott is wrong.

Warrior values are not just "Manly" values, they're SPIRITUAL values.

Remember what Frances said about Amer Indians: their lives were completely imbued with spirit.

That's true of every authentic Warrior culture the world has known.

Only by returning to the authentic Warrior values of Masculinity, Aggression, Fidelity, and Phallus, can males be rescued from both analism and heterosexism.

Men left to twist and turn in the winds of secularism, pansexualism, and analism will die -- physically, psychologically, and spiritually.

And the spiritual death will come first.

In another post, Frances referred to "spiritual castration."

She's right.

Contrast that with:

Masculinity

Aggression

Fidelity

Phallus

Those were the values of the agoge, of boys, youths, and men, taught to fight and die for their fellow Warriors.

Not to make them sick, not to stab them in the back, not to desert them at their posts --

But to stand and fight loyally beside them with no surrender and no retreat.

Those are the values we offer.

Those are spiritual values.

Because Masculinity, Spirituality, and Sexuality are intertwined.

Intertwined.

Not capable of being separated.

From Phallic Battle to Phallic Bond.

The Battle is Masculine, the Battle is Spiritual, the Battle is Aggressive.

The Bond is Masculine, the Bond is Spiritual, the Bond is Faithful.

Masculinity -- Spirit -- Aggession.

Masculinity -- Spirit -- Fidelity.

Motivated and mediated by Phallus:

Masculinity the Divine Principle.

Manhood the Divine Gift.

The Phallic Bond brought forth by the passage through sacred rage to sacred Love is, as Bill S says, the epiphany of maleness.

It reveals Masculinity in its sacred and spiritual aspect.

Guys:

Buttfucking is not the answer and will never be the answer.

Bill Weintraub

© All material Copyright 2007 by Bill Weintraub. All rights reserved.


Michael

Re: HIV and syphilis

3-22-3007

I won't pretend to know a lot about the AIDS organizations aside from what I've read on here, but to clearly side-step proven methods of preventing HIV truly shows how much these people don't care about the people and are only concerned with their own profit. They're like the ten Eunuchs of the latter Han period who, since they were able to see the Emperor before his other advisors managed to gain a lot of power by advising the Emperor to approve ideas that they themselves liked and effectivly blocked ideas that would take away their power (even if the advice was for the good of the people) As Liu Tao put it, "Robbers swarm on all sides and plunder the cities. And all is the fault of the Ten Eunuchs who sell offices and injure the people, oppress loyal officials and deceive their superiors. All virtuous ones have left the services and returned to their places. Misfortune is before our very eyes!"(Three Kingdoms, Ch. 2, para. 64). That sounds like the AIDS organizations, while men are infecting men with HIV all over the world they keep filling their ranks with their supporters in order to keep out any idea that could hurt their profits.

As for Mr. Neal, he and others like him remind me of Dong Zhuo who was truly a monsterous man who held the Emperor hostage, killed men, rapped women, and set up rape camps all for the sake of satisfying his lust for power, wealth and women. in fact he was so hated that when he was killed and his followers tried to entomb him "a terrific thunder storm came on at the time of inhumation, and the ground was flooded. The coffin was rived asunder, and the poor remains knocked out by thunders. A second time they buried the coffin, but a similar thing happened in the night. And yet a third time in another place but the earth rejected the remains. Meanwhile the thunder-fire had entirely consumed them. So it may be said justly that Heaven was exceedingly angry with Dong Zhuo." (Three Kingdoms, Ch. 10, Para. 15). While Mr. Neal hasn't held an Emperor hostage, or set up rape camps, or rapped women (as far as I know) he did kill men by infecting them with HIV and all for the sake of appeasing his lust. Of course, as you said, what he had done is rather typical of most gay men these days. Mr. Neal may have been singled out for what he has done, but there are still others in the world far worse than him.

As for whether I would willingly infect someone with HIV, my answer is NEVER!!! Knowingly infecting someone with HIV is akin to murder as far as I'm concerned and should be treated as so by our courts. I don't believe our justice department is really cracking down on this as hard as they should. If one has willingly infected another person with HIV then they should be punished accordingly. As for infecting someone with HIV without knowing your weither you are positive or not, I'd rate it as man slaughter. I may sound a bit harsh, but if I have to get tough in order to force these people to wake up and see what they are really doing, then so be it!

You are right, Mr. Weintraub, that we, as warriors and men, need to reclaim the warrior altruism of old and bring it back to its formal glory. Until that day comes we warriors shall not rest!!!

Michael


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