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02/21/2005 Archived Entry: "3-DCR HIV"

I have been following reports of the new strain of HIV, which has been dubbed 3-DCR HIV", which does not seem to respond to 3 of the 4 currently available anti-retroviral medications "and also appears to greatly shorten the interval between HIV infection and the onset of AIDS."

The spread of 3-DCR HIV is being blamed, in part, on the rapidly growing crystal meth epidemic...and I have no idea if the blame is well-placed or not. I know that legalizing/decriminalizing crystal meth (or any drug) for that matter) would improve the safety of its use (e.g. quality of the drug). Of course, the ultimate goal of those who address crystal meth use is not the safety of the user but the elimination of the drug use...even tho' that goal has proven over decades to be an absolute failure, the ruination of civil liberties and a tragedy for those who wish to use their own bodies as they please. Having said this...Katherine Ernst has a fascinating article entitled "AIDS, Sex, and Drugs: Gay activists are preaching the wrong message" in (NY) City Journal.

It is difficult to know how seriously to take the new strain of HIV, which now has a 3-case cluster. So little is known. It is not even clear if the strain is a recombinant; that is, has it combined "two well characterized biological properties to generate a novel virus with increased virulence and transmissibility," along with drug resistance? I am particularly concerned because several friends died as a consequence of the original AIDS epidemic. To view the website I established in memory of one friend, John Dentinger, click here.

Meanwhile, STDs are also increasing at an alarming rate. The dramatic increase in syphilis has occasioned considerable comment; it is happening largely within the gay community but such things inevitably "spill over" into the general population. But there are also reports of rarer STDs like Lymphogranuloma Venereum which seem to be spreading.

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