AIDS: One, Two, Three (and Four)

Jim Burroway

November 13th, 2007

ONE: Four Chicago Transplant Recipients Test Positive for HIV
In a development that is likely to set back efforts to life the ban on gay men donating blood, four Chicago area transplant patients have recently tested positive for the HIV virus after receiving their transplants last January. Hospital and organ donation officials believe the virus escaped a rarely encountered flaw in the test procedures, a flaw that more sensitive tests could help fix. This is the first known case of transplant-related HIV transmission since 1985.

TWO: Failed AIDS Vaccine May Leave Recipients More Susceptible to AIDS
In a development that is likely to set back efforts to bring potential AIDS vaccines to trial, top investigators in the failed Merck HIV vaccine study said they are still trying to understand why who received the vaccine had higher rates of HIV infection than those who received the placebo. \

The vaccine is made from a common cold virus with three synthetic HIV genes tucked inside. The vaccine is designed to stimulate the immune system to kill any HIV-infected cells encountered in the future. But the preliminary investigation suggests that this stimulation didn’t take place where patients had a pre-existing immunity to that particular cold virus.

THREE: Cheer Up, And Have A Happy AIDS Day!
The deliciously offensive comedienne Sarah Silverman may or may not have penned this ditty for World AIDS day:

I’m not black
I’m not gay
And Africa is so far away
But what’s one more December holiday?
Happy AIDS Day anyway

I have no idea whether this is genuine or not. But it certainly captures the apathy surrounding AIDS in a very sardonic, ironic, Silvermanesque way. And it reminds me of this episode from the first season where Sarah decides to cheer herself up by getting an AIDS test.

(UPDATE) AND FOUR: Not Everyone’s So Apathetic After All
Someone in Dallas worked up the motivation to shoot out the AIDS Interfaith Network with a high powered rifle. The rifle was powerful enough to go through the wall of the building, tearing up furniture, a printer, a file cabinet and other office supplies. One person was in the building at the time of the overnight shooting, but no one was hurt. Two of the minivans used to take patients to their appointments were put out of service by the overnight shooting. According to the Dallas Morning News, “With much of the rest of the drab, one-story office complex vacant, the cluster of bullet holes doesn’t seem like the mark of random gunfire.”

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