Saturday, Sep 21, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 25, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 47
Dr. J : Take action, Seattle
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
Dr. J : Take action, Seattle

by Dr. Joanne Stekler - Special to the SGN Joanne Stekler, M.D., MPH, is Deputy Director of Community Services for the HIV/STD Program at Public Health - Seattle & King County. She is also an internal medicine and infectious disease physician at Harborview Medical Center, and assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Washington.

This article is part of a series focusing on HIV and other STD prevention and care topics for Gay/Bisexual men and Transgender individuals in Seattle & King County.


I'm sitting here in front of my laptop, trying to figure out how to make HIV relevant in 2011. World AIDS Day is coming up on December 1. And this is the 30th anniversary of the year we first recognized the disease we now know as AIDS. Maybe you've seen the HIV@30 banners displayed on the red Sound Transit wall on Broadway?

As I sit here wondering what to write, I'm also expecting a phone call from our intensive care unit to inform me that one of my patients has died. When I reflect on HIV in 2011, in Seattle and the rest of the world, I feel like I should tell you about him.

I met Caleb (not his real name) 10 years ago, five years after he was diagnosed with HIV. Once he got infected, Caleb did all the right things. He was diagnosed early in his disease. He started taking HIV meds. But he didn't take them perfectly, and he developed drug resistance. He was on a complicated regimen of many pills a day when I met him.

The HIV meds that Caleb started in the 1990s are ones we don't use much anymore. They caused diarrhea, made the nerves tingle, and changed the shape of people's bodies. They kept people alive but made them feel sick. In 2011, our medicines are better, have fewer side effects, and are often once-a-day. Even with budget crises and the threat of waiting lists, record numbers of HIV-positive people in Seattle, the United States, and around the world have access to HIV meds.

But Caleb's biggest problem wasn't his HIV. It was the other diseases that went along with it. HIV increased the damage hepatitis C did to his liver. Maybe his HIV meds caused his diabetes and high blood pressure or maybe they just made those things worse. In the years since I met him, Caleb's liver failed. His kidneys failed. He went on dialysis. He took a LOT of pills every day.

In 30 years, there's one thing that hasn't changed: HIV causes people to age faster. And I'm not talking about premature wrinkles. Guys with HIV get heart disease at a much earlier age than guys without HIV. As they get older, they are more likely to get dementia compared to people who aren't HIV-infected. They are also more likely to get some cancers like lung cancer or anal cancer. It's concerning because taking HIV meds doesn't make these increased risks go away completely. Living with HIV is so much better than it was in the '80s and '90s, but it's still no picnic.

Despite life's challenges, Caleb worked harder than I do. He had a full time job, went to school part time, and did dialysis three days a week. He managed to keep his medical problems under control. I tried to get him to go on disability, but he wanted to keep working. He is & was & loved by everyone.

Sigh. Somewhere, smiling down upon us, there is an angel who just got his wings.

I'm pretty sure that you all have your own Calebs. You have similar stories about partners and friends and siblings and children and parents who are living with HIV or who died with it years ago. HIV hasn't gone away. But maybe you could do something about that.

For World AIDS Day, Public Health is going to have a free public showing of The HIV Story Project's Still Around. It's a compilation of 15 short films about thriving while living with HIV. Please join us at the Egyptian on December 1 as we reflect on the last 30 years of HIV and AIDS and start to make plans for the next 30. We'll start the program at 7 p.m.

If you haven't been tested recently, ask for an HIV test the next time you see a doctor. Talk to your friends and family. Ask them if they've had an HIV test. Participate in research to find a vaccine or a cure for HIV. Or support a local community-based organization. This can really make a difference. You can find a list of these organizations at 'Who Does What' on the King County website (www.kingcounty.gov/health/hiv).

Take action, Seattle.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Hotel workers win new contract with LGBT protections
------------------------------
Washington United for Marriage rides wave of enthusiasm across the state
------------------------------
Danny Vega - Seattle Gay man beaten into coma by teens
------------------------------
No death penalty for Chen
------------------------------
Seattle activist Van Cleve says proposed LGBT community center should focus on seniors
------------------------------
U.S. Supreme Court refuses to block release of Ref. 71 names
------------------------------
Glenn Allen Carlson, 1964-2011
------------------------------
California teen pleads to Larry King murder
------------------------------
Prop 8 cases consolidated
------------------------------
Gay soldier booed at GOP debate speaks out
------------------------------
No one can marry until everyone can marry, NC Baptist church says
------------------------------
National study finds LGBT seniors face harder old age
------------------------------
40,000 same-sex couples affected by U.S. immigration law
------------------------------
Dr. J : Take action, Seattle
------------------------------
Rightists win Spanish election, marriage equality in jeopardy
------------------------------
Baseball to add 'sexual orientation' protection to union contract
------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------
Top 10 myths about HIV vaccine research
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
George Michael's condition worsened overnight say doctors
------------------------------
Rep. Barney Frank won't seek reelection
------------------------------
ONE and (RED) Host Panel Discussion on 'the Beginning of the End of AIDS'

President Obama, President Bush, President Clinton, President Kikwete of Tanzania, Sen. Rubio and Rep. Barbara Lee, Bono, Alicia Keys and More Come Together for World AIDS Day Event at GW Campus

------------------------------
The Race for California's 50th Assembly District is Getting Gritty
------------------------------
George Michael's family in bedside vigil as star battles severe pneumonia
------------------------------
Gay Humanists "dismayed and outraged" at Nigerian anti-gay bill
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2011

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News