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City Officials respond to my charges - NY Times

by Paul King Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005 at 10:29 PM

"Seems they will stop at nothing to keep the big bucks rolling in and the public in fear of sex. Shame on them. City officials reject the claim that they are trying to scare people into abstinence"

"........a contributor with the name PaulKing wrote: "Some poor NY meths addict, who has wrecked his immune system with this highly dangerous drug, is being used to try to revive the dying 'AIDS' myth. Seems they will stop at nothing to keep the big bucks rolling in and the public in fear of sex. Shame on

them. City officials reject the claim that they are trying to scare people into abstinence"

New York Times

 

... and the full article:

 

----

 

New York Times

February 14, 2005

Gay Users of Internet Play Down Concerns Over New Strain of AIDS

  By DAMIEN CAVE

Alerts popped like flashbulbs all over the Web this weekend as news of a

rare and potentially more aggressive form of H.I.V., first reported

publicly in New York on Friday, spread through gay chat rooms, Web

logs, dating sites and e-mail.

  Officials said the H.I.V. strain had been detected in an unidentified

man who, while using crystal methamphetamine, had engaged in

unprotected anal sex with multiple partners. Gay users of the Web,

especially those who initiate sexual encounters online, had ample

reason for concern: the man had apparently met some of those partners on

an unnamed Web site.

  And yet, while a touch of anger and fear could be found among the Web's

textual din, some of the most popular gay dating and discussion

sites buzzed with the usual banter of love and lust, with many of those

online advising against panic.

  Health officials said the new strain was worrisome because it had

resisted nearly all the drugs used to treat the viral infection and had

progressed swiftly to full-fledged AIDS. When a participant in a popular

gay forum at Craigslist.org, an online bulletin board, who

identified himself as armyjackson1 asked on Saturday if he was the only

one "freaked out" by the news, the responses recommended calm.

"Let's not freak out," a user with the ID jrzcty wrote. Another said:

"Use protection, steer clear of party drugs, and encourage your friends

to do the same. This is no time to freak out - it's just time to sober

up."

It was much the same at other sites. For example, the new strain of the

virus, which one Web log labeled "H.I.V. 2.0," attracted little

interest at Gay.com. The site, which maintains more than four million

dating profiles and has about 30,000 users online at any given time,

manages dozens of chat rooms. An academic study that surveyed about 3,000

of the site's users in 2002 found that 84 percent had met sex partners

online, and that these users were 6 percent more likely to

have unprotected anal sex than those who met their partners offline.

  At Gay.com, the topic of AIDS rarely came up. In one of the Brooklyn

discussions yesterday, about 50 men lurked and flirted, offering

opportunities to meet, as advertisements for gay video sites repeatedly

interrupted. In more than three hours of online conversation, the new

strain of H.I.V. was not mentioned once.

  During a private online chat with a reporter, Louis, 37, a former

publisher of a gay tabloid who was in Gay.com's Brooklyn chat room

yesterday, said the site's users were not panicking because they already

understood the danger of H.I.V. mutations.

He said that after he became infected with H.I.V. in 2004, he learned a

great deal about the various permutations of the virus as his doctor

struggled to identify his strain. Many other gay men, he said, are

equally well informed, and need more information about the current scare

before they can share health officials' concern.

  "If the guy had multiple partners, he could have picked up a bunch of

different mutations to begin with," he wrote. "There is still a lot of

scientific 'what abouts' and 'what ifs' that go along with this story."

Louis, who answered questions on the condition of anonymity because he

has not yet come out to some of his relatives, also said reaction might

be delayed because those who are infected by the unidentified man still

need to be tested. And even if they are found to be positive, it could

take weeks to know whether they are infected with exactly the same

strain. For now, he said, the new strain is "not that big a deal."

Others went even further in dismissing the warning. In the

misc.health.aids Usenet group found through Google, a contributor with

the name PaulKing wrote: "Some poor NY meths addict, who has wrecked his

immune system with this highly dangerous drug, is being used to try to

revive the dying 'AIDS' myth. Seems they will stop at nothing to

keep the big bucks rolling in and the public in fear of sex.

Shame on them."

  City officials reject the claim that they are trying to scare people

into abstinence, stressing that the public was alerted so that medical

providers would be more vigilant.

cont..



COMMENT

Will they offer me a job as an 'AIDS' writer next? Perhaps I sould wait before giving up my regular job.

On a more serious note, I found this response interesting: -

"City officials reject the claim that they are trying to scare people into abstinence, stressing that the public was alerted so that medical providers would be more vigilant."

Strange that they ("City officials") were so quick to react to an accusation from someone as unknown to the public as myself.

Touchy, touchy.

Could it be I hit a nerve?

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
I'm pretty sure you did... xispa Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005 at 2:17 PM
Madness to attribute immune suppression caused by MA to 'AIDS' Aletta Lohmeyer Thursday, Feb. 17, 2005 at 1:02 AM

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