Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seriously worth reading: Short comment left tonight on our blog post in POZ

This was left at the bottom of the POZ blog post written by Winstone Zulu and myself (link to it is here): 

"Why is all the important research on treatments, vaccines and microbicides? What about me who is already infected?"

I think we're afraid of sounding bitter, or of sounding like we want others to get the disease, but this is an important question we need to be asking. Why are we throwing away decades of research and countless billions of dollars on preventative measures which lead nowhere when there are so many promising cure opportunities that will save EVERYONE? I think a lot of us who are poz are so ashamed of our status that we're afraid to stand up and say "I DESERVE a f***ing cure. I didn't do ANYTHING that 99% of humanity hasn't done before, and I don't deserve a life of misery for it!"

Never mind the old adage that "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results". Never mind the fact that increasingly, the consensus is a cure is more achievable than a vaccine. Never mind that the ONE cured person puts the precendent for a cure light years ahead of prophylaxis with a fraction of the resources devoted to it. I think we need to take back our dignity, and say we deserve a normal life. We deserve a cure. "Take Ownership" of your means of infection all you want, but at the end of the day, you didn't bring this on yourself any more than anyone else who has ever had sex.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Zambian Activist Talks about the Cure

Winstone Zulu. (Photo: Susan Cole/PositiveNation)

Winstone Zulu, a longtime Zambian activist, and I have been working together since 2009.
Winstone was the first publicly HIV-positive person in Zambia, and has been commended by Nelson Mandela for his work. A few days ago, when he was sick, we hatched a plan to write a blog post together for POZ. You can read the post at

It's a long post because both of us talk, but it's interesting because Winstone, who gets around on crutches (and used to use a wheelchair), paints a picture of his daily life as he struggles as a longterm survivor who is living a life a bit like someone with AIDS in the US in, say, 1990.  Winstone is a brave and brilliantly articulate person literally on the front lines of this pandemic in so many ways.  He also has a great sense of humor and he's tough and strategic. So it is fun to work with him. Check out the blog post and see what you think.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Don't Say Cure: Questions for Jay Lalezari, MD

 Jay Lalezari, MD

Jay Lalezari is a longtime AIDS researcher from San Francisco. In “We Were Here,” a new film about the early days of the AIDS epidemic, he appears in a photo of the founders of UCSF's legendary Ward 86, the AIDS hospital ward that became a model for the world. These days, he runs dozens of clinical trials on HIV and hepatitis as Director of Quest Clinical Research in San Francisco.

Yesterday morning, February 28, Dr. Lalezari presented groundbreaking data from an AIDS eradication study at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston.