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No more AIDS in America?

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  • No more AIDS in America?

    Officials say that if people would only get routinely checked for AIDS/HIV, that that by itself could drastically cut the epidemic down.
    And that a 50% effective vaccine, coupled with the testing, would result in a non-epidemic.
    So my question is:
    Why don't people get more proactive concerning this disease?


    Feb. 9, 2005 - Routine, voluntary HIV testing coupled with treatment could bring the U.S. AIDS epidemic to the brink of extinction.

    That suggestion comes from respected AIDS researcher Samuel A. Bozzette, MD, PhD in a Feb. 10 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) editorial.

    Bozzette's bold calculation is based on two independent NEJM studies showing that routine HIV testing would be far more helpful than previously thought. Using different techniques, the studies came up with nearly identical findings. They make a strong case for an aggressive attack on AIDS in the U.S., says Yale researcher A. David Paltiel, PhD, co-leader of one of the studies.

    "We wired together all those forms of data that describe what this disease can do to people in order to find out what people can do to this disease," Paltiel tells WebMD. "A third of the people with HIV in this country -- fully 280,000 Americans -- are unidentified. They are not getting care. They are not getting counseling on how to prevent transmission. And we find that we can provide those things affordably and effectively."

    Douglas K. Owens, MD, senior investigator at the VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, led the second study.

    "We found that HIV screening provides a very substantial benefit, both for the infected person and for the community, because of decreased HIV transmission," Owens tells WebMD. "The benefit is so substantial that it makes economic sense -- more sense than we previously understood -- to screen for HIV in groups where HIV prevalence is low. And we are talking about voluntary screening."

    Some 40% of the estimated 950,000 Americans with HIV get sick before they find out they're infected with the AIDS virus. By then, their bodies are crawling with infectious virus and their immune systems are badly damaged.

    It's obvious that getting earlier testing and treatment would be a big help for these people. But it would also be a big help for the country at large. People who know they are infected aren't as likely to spread the infection. That's because they tend to get counseling on safer sex and drug-use behavior. It's also because they get treatment with AIDS drugs, which dramatically reduce the amount of infectious virus in the body.

    Bozzette's calculation is that routine HIV testing and treatment can greatly slow the spread of AIDS. The effect can be great enough for a single medical advance - say, a vaccine that is only 50% effective - to wipe out AIDS in America.

    "For any epidemic to perpetuate itself, each infected person has to infect at least one other. The closer you are to driving that number below 1, the closer you are to extinguishing the epidemic," Bozzette tells WebMD. "So if you can identify people who are transmitting HIV and reduce the probability they are going to transmit, it makes it easier to move to that point. Then let's say we get a partially effective HIV vaccine that cuts transmission by half. Well, if you have already reduced transmission substantially, that may be enough."
    Last edited by rcsodak; 02-10-2005, 11:55 AM.
    "It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate,
    tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of
    men."

    -- Samuel Adams

    sigpicJacks RULE!!!!!!

  • #2
    I get a complete blood screen every year because of my job so in a way, I'm doing my part.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by rcsodak
      So my question is:
      Why don't people get more proactive concerning this disease?
      Simple...you and i both know it's the whole 'it can't happen to me' type of thing.

      Hey, i'm sexually active, i use protection most of the time, never even thought of going to get checked out.
      Not that that's a good thing, but I'm not so sexually active that i think it can happen to me. (self-fulfilling prophecy right there, it really can't happen to me! )

      "The Gagne T-shirt jersey comes with a complimentary can of gasoline and a set of matches."

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      • #4
        I'm sure a lot of other people are just to afraid to get checked out
        "Hey that's great, but who are the Chefs?" - Snickers commercial


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        • #5
          AIDS could be completed eradicated if everyone would abstain from extra-marital sex. Get married to one person and have sex only with that person. Within 1 generation AIDS would be gone until someone else decided to do it with an African monkey! Same would apply to all other STDs.

          It's a simple solution but sometimes something is easier said than done.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'll tell ya why I dont get checked for Aids.

            I am married & dont screw around & I dont use needles.

            BUT, There is always a chance, so maybe next time I go to the doctor.........

            I do get shots every once in a while.

            Comment


            • #7
              Everytime I have been with someone I havent been with before, protection or not, I get checked, plus I give blood on a regular basis but not sure if that counts, although I do know that they obviously check for it and the paper tells you that they will call you if anything is wrong with you

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              • #8
                Originally posted by orangenblue420
                Everytime I have been with someone I havent been with before, protection or not, I get checked, plus I give blood on a regular basis but not sure if that counts, although I do know that they obviously check for it and the paper tells you that they will call you if anything is wrong with you
                Last time i gave blood they asked me if i had recently had gay sex while sharing a drug syringe with anyone in africa.

                "The Gagne T-shirt jersey comes with a complimentary can of gasoline and a set of matches."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NJBRONCOSFAN
                  Simple...you and i both know it's the whole 'it can't happen to me' type of thing.

                  Hey, i'm sexually active, i use protection most of the time, never even thought of going to get checked out.
                  Not that that's a good thing, but I'm not so sexually active that i think it can happen to me. (self-fulfilling prophecy right there, it really can't happen to me! )
                  I agree.
                  I remember the first time I was asked to get tested by my soon-to-be first wife. She didn't like the gal I had been dating, so before she would get 'friendly' with me, I had to go see the doc.

                  Hell, they even have the kits you can buy at most pharmacies......albeit, they're pricey. But prolly less than a doc charges.
                  "It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate,
                  tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of
                  men."

                  -- Samuel Adams

                  sigpicJacks RULE!!!!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Why don't people get more proactive concerning this disease?
                    Well... no, I don't think it's just the "it can't happen to me" theory. I do believe that's part of it, as is the "I don't really want to know" group.

                    But ah... let's talk about this. When I was in college, I didn't have insurance (except through the school, so that if I got hurt they'd fix me), but for things like physicals and other stuff... I was uninsured.

                    Anyway, I was also flying airplanes at the time, which required a regular physical - that in itself is expensive enough. I'd throw the blood tests and such on top of it to check for diseases, and it got pretty pricey.

                    Ever try to get "just an HIV test please"?

                    Doesn't happen. The doctors will insist on doing a full physical, and they'll point out to you that there are several thousand different illnesses out there, that should also be checked for.

                    It costs money. It costs time - and it's not just an HIV test. Doctors don't do peace-meal work. That's irresponsible to most of them.

                    So... I really think that's why. Because it DOES get expensive, and it's not "just an HIV test". I have never met a doctor that would let me come into his office and "just get a blood test for HIV please."

                    Money, time, and other factors complicate the simplistic view some of us would take on the problem.

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