A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘hiv/aids

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

leave a comment »

  • Crooked Timber’s Daniel Davies writes about the end of his career as a financial analyst.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper discussing the brown dwarfs of 25 Orionis.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting that Uranus’ moon system is still evolving, with the moon Cupid being doomed in a relatively short timescale. It also wonders if North Korea is exporting rare earths through China.
  • Far Outliers notes the Ainu legacy in placenames in Japanese-settled Hokkaido.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig examines the complexities surrounding language and dialect and nationality in the Serbo-Croatian speech community in the former Yugoslavia.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes the terribly high death rate among Europeans in colonial Indonesia, and how drink was used to put things off.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog examines the prevalence of sex-selective abortion in Armenia.
  • Torontoist notes Rob Ford’s many lies and/or incomprehensions about Toronto’s fiscal realities.
  • Towleroad suggests that one way to regularize HIV testing would be to integrate it with dentistry appointments.
  • Window on Eurasia notes a water dispute on the Russian-Azerbaijan border and argues that the election of a pro-Russian cleric to the head of the Ukrainian section of the Russian Orthodox Church is dooming that church to decline.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

leave a comment »

  • blogTO shares vintage postcard images of Toronto in the 1970s.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a proposed method for detecting exomoons, by detecting the disruptions that they cause in their parent worlds’ magnetic fields on the pattern of Io’s disruption of Jupiter’s magnetic fields.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes a new paper suggesting that Enceladus’ geysers are caused by its tides with Saturn.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at what sociology has to say about sibling relationships.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that some American conservstives think gays should oppose immigration because immigrants bring tuberculosis which kills HIV-positive people.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig demonstrates that there is no evidence at all that Yiddish descends from the Turkic Khazarian language, noting instead arguments for a Germanic origin.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog maps population change in Estonia over 1989-2011, noting that there has been population growth only in the metropolitan areas of three Estonian cities with Russian-majority Narva not seeing growth.
  • At Savage Minds, Uzma Z. Rizvi thinks about racism in the United States over time.
  • The Search interviews online anthropologist Robert Kozinets.
  • Spacing Toronto notes that Toronto saw the invention of the first arcade game.
  • Strange Maps shares an interactive infographic tracing the cross-border electricity trade in the European Union.
  • Towleroad notes a fatal gay-bashing in San Francisco and the near-murder of an Azerbaijani teen by parents who wanted to burn him alive.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes an American court ruling refusing to enforce a Moroccan court judgement on the grounds of the Moroccan legal system’s corruption.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that support for federalism is spreading in Russia, notes one analyst’s argument that Russia can become a beacon of reactionary conservative ideology, and suggests that Russia is trying to nudge outside powers out of the Armenia-Azerbaijan dispute.

[BLOG] Some culture-related links

leave a comment »

  • The Frailest Thing’s Michael Sacasas takes a look at the role of the Church in fostering technological and other innovation.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that ex-ex-gays are skeptical about claims of sexual orientation conversion, notes a study suggesting that Truvada does protect against HIV infection, and shares the news with Language Hat that the oldest ancient erotic graffiti has been found and turns out to be gay.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig notes how ridiculous it is to talk about “simple” languages.
  • Language Hat notes a study comparing the intelligibility of Maltese with different nearby Arabic varieties and examines the origins of the shtetl.
  • Language Log disapproves of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ depiction of emergent ape language.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the internal passports of whites living in the Confederacy and notes that farmworkers in California are suffering from the drought.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that the languages of the world are more resilient to globalization than suspected, comments on immigration in Germany, and notes the study suggesting same-sex parents do a better than average job of raising their children.
  • The New APPS Blog traces the moral depravity of some pro-Israeli commentators and wonders if underfunding of infrastructure is bringing us to the days of the end of Rome.
  • The Numerati’s Stephen Baker notes that some drivers in Los Angeles appear to really dislike his ode to jaywalking.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw draws from memories of old horse-drawn Gypsy carts in Australia to talk about the importance of animal power in history.
  • Livejournal’s pollotenchegg maps the distribution of ethnic Russians in Ukraine.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that China’s sex imbalances seem to echo historical Australian patterns.
  • The Search interviews online cuture scholar danah boyd.
  • Towleroad links to an Iranian government study of young people’s sexuality suggesting, among other things, that 17% of surveyed students are gay.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi talks about the existence of transfolk in his Old Man’s War universe.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell examines the political consequences of spam.

[LINK] “The Man Who Was Immune to AIDS”

A Mike on Facebook linked to Jesse Green‘s New York Magazine article on the life of Stephen Crohn. One of the first people discovered to be immune to HIV infection due to a specific mutation preventing the virus from infecting white blood cells, Crohn was nonetheless devastated by being a rare survivor of his group. A powerful article.

Steve Crohn seemed almost euphoric, as if relieved to be checking off items on a list that had grown overwhelmingly long. In July, he flew to London to install one of his paintings in the home of the friends who’d commissioned it. Back in New York, he caught up with emails, left messages on machines, never mentioning or exhibiting any despair. Over lunch with the dean of his alma mater, he offered to provide photos he’d taken in the ’60s for an exhibition on the civil-rights movement. To his younger sister he mailed a birthday card featuring a tabby cat, apparently knowing full well the circumstances under which it would later arrive. He made lists of his bank accounts and passwords. Check, check, check.

And he finished his maps. For his entire life as an artist—he was now 66—he’d had to support himself and give structure to his existence with various day jobs: copyediting, magazine production, interior design, social work. But proofreading for Fodor’s was his longest-running gig, and perhaps the most congenial. He could do it from home, or what now passed as home. And for a punctilious person, it could be oddly satisfying. He would carefully read the manuscripts of travel books the publisher was preparing, compare the texts to the maps, and make sure everything mentioned in one was accurately pictured in the other. This time, this last time, he saw that the restaurant 2 Fools and a Bull was missing from the Oranjestad detail. The Tropicana Aruba resort on Eagle Beach had also gone missing. He neatly noted these mistakes, then brought the completed work to the Random House building, leaving it at the lobby desk. This was last August, Thursday the 15th, 1:30 in the afternoon.

Perhaps you saw him that pleasant day: one of those friendly-looking gay New Yorkers, aging but not old, thick but not fat, six-footish, with blue eyes and a slight dusting of ginger in the white fuzz haloing his face. Beefy worker’s hands, yet with a fine gold band on the right ring finger. Busy like someone with lots of work and places to be—though this was a front. He was freelance in the largest sense: unattached, perhaps unattachable. Most of all he was a survivor, which to him meant not just being but being special. He smoked Dunhills. Brushed his teeth with Vade­mecum. Was hearty with strangers, dapper at cocktails, cultivating the air of a wealthy eccentric despite his Social Security check. He dressed just so: often a neckerchief jauntily affixed, a beanie or a bolo tie, a popped collar, interesting socks. He had the verbal flair of Oscar Wilde if Wilde had 12-stepped. “Darling!” he’d call anyone. Or, an encouragement: “Go you!”

The obituaries got a lot wrong, but this much was right: Stephen Lyon Crohn didn’t die of AIDS. Not dying of AIDS was in fact the reason he got obituaries at all. Certainly it wasn’t because of his hundreds of artworks, however beautiful; few people had seen them. Being the great-nephew of the great Burrill Crohn—the doctor who described and gave his name to the chronic inflammatory disorder—was a piquant detail but not the point. No, it was Steve’s own medical description that earned him inches in the Daily News: “ ‘The Man Who Can’t Catch AIDS’ commits suicide at age of 66.” Or, as the Los Angeles Times put it: “Immune to HIV but not its tragedy.”

It was true: Steve was one of a surpassingly small number of people on Earth whose bodies essentially ignored HIV. And he was one of an even smaller subset who had occasion to find out. Back in the early 1980s, at a time when thousands of gay men, including dozens Steve knew and loved, began dying, he kept on living. Surely he’d been multiply exposed, and yet as he waited a year, and then many, to join those he’d lost, he came to realize that his body would not give him the chance. Frantic to find out why, he went from doctor to doctor, all but begging someone to study him; when eventually someone did, a great discovery was made. Not only had he inherited a genetic mutation that spared him, but that knowledge would lead to the development of a drug that even now helps sustain the lives of people not as lucky as he. “He realized that he could provide a piece of the jigsaw,” one researcher said, “and he was right.”

Written by Randy McDonald

June 19, 2014 at 2:48 am

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • James Bow wishes he had better choices in the Ontario election than to vote for the least bad party.
  • Centauri Dreams shares an essay by Cameron Smith examining cultural evolution on long-duration interstellar missions, like generation starships.
  • Crooked Timber continues its symposium on the ethics of immigration, arguing in favour of open borders.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that streaks on Martian dune slopes might be ephemeral sheets of water.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the continuing devastation of Louisiana by the side-effects of the oil industry.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that the cap-and-trade economics of the carbon market are spreading throughout the United States.
  • The New APPS Blog wonders if the boredom plausibly associated with immortality could be dealt with by a short memory–the goldfish solution, as the blog calls it.
  • Peter Rukavina shares a lovely example of his printing, a short passage of Jack Layton’s final address to Canada.
  • The Russian Demographics blog wonders what will happen to HIV in Crimea now that it’s part of Russia.
  • Torontoist notes that the New Democratic Party promises many lovely things for Toronto if it wins the Ontario elections but doesn’t describe how it would pay for it all.
  • Towleroad notes that playing a gay man in the 1981 film Making Love destroyed his film career.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that the anti-terrorist campaign in eastern Ukraine is much less bloody than Russian campaigns in the North Caucasus, and notes that the Russian Orthodox Church isn’t quite on side (losing Ukraine would hurt it).

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes the TTC proposal to remove some streetcar stops.
  • Discover‘s D-Brief suggests that one reason humans are physically weaker than other primates is because we sacrificed physical strength to support our brain instead.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting Earth has much more carbon and water sequestered inside than expected.
  • Geocurrents notes that estimates on the size of various economies, including Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, often vary quite widely even between years.
  • The Inkfish blog notes that the Humboldt squid can apparently radically slow down its metabolism when it hangs out in oxygen-poor waters.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that continuing improvements in HIV/AIDS mortality have led a Vancouver hospital to shut down its dedicated ward for patients.
  • Language Log shares a photo explaining how an Arabic word on a sign in Iraqi Kurdistan as badly mistranslated.</li
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money discusses misogyny and gun control after the Rodger shooting.
  • The Planetary Society Blog announces that the parent organization supports the NASA proposal to capture an asteroid into lunar orbit, with qualifications (how much will it cost?).
  • Towleroad notes that in Ghana’s capital of Accra, a mob in a Muslim neighbourhood lynched a gay man and began looking for his partner.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the growing list of travel restrictions on Russian citizens imposed by the Russian government and argues anti-Semitism is a bigger threat in Russia than in Ukraine.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • blogTO shares photos of Scarborough’s motel-heavy Kingston Road.
  • Centauri Dreams features an essay by one Nick Nielsen putting forth a typology of theoretical starships.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper analyzing the albedos of hot superearths and to another paper that measured the diameter of superearth Kepler 93b to within 120 kilometers.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to one paper noting that genetic evidence seems to suggest multiple waves of migrants from Africa and another noting that the mission planners for the New Horizons Pluto probe are looking very late for a Kuiper belt object for their probe to study.
  • Eastern Approaches follows the Ukrainian elections.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen suggests that the BJP may have the credibility necessary to strike a deal with Pakistan.
  • Progressive Download’s John Farrell notes concern for egg donors as cloning technologies which make use of human ova advance.
  • The Russian Demographics blog notes that the annexation of Crimea by Russia, combined with the secessions of Donetsk and Luhansk, would see the Ukrainian population shrink.
  • Towleroad links to an essay at Out by a man talking about his choice to make use of Truvada to prevent HIV infection.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes a sad legal dispute between the parents of a deceased man over the division of his ashes.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that eastern Ukrainian separatists are trying to encourage separatism from the top down, and notes Russian tensions with the Crimean Tatar leadership.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the ideological and generational divides within UKIP.

[LINK] “Advocating Pill, U.S. Signals Shift to Prevent AIDS”

Donald G. McNeil’s article in the New York Times about the prophylactic use of the anti-HIV drug Truvada to prevent HIV infections, as a supplement or even a replacement for condom use, got a lot of attention. Deservedly so: this could change the dynamics of HIV in queer communities substantially.

Federal health officials recommended Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk for AIDS take a daily pill that has been shown to prevent infection with the virus that causes it.

If broadly followed, the advice could transform AIDS prevention in the United States — from reliance on condoms, which are effective but unpopular with many men, to a regimen that relies on an antiretroviral drug.

It would mean a 50-fold increase in the number of prescriptions for the drug, Truvada — to 500,000 a year from fewer than 10,000. The drug costs $13,000 a year, and most insurers already cover it.

The guidelines tell doctors to consider the drug regimen, called PrEP, for pre-exposure prophylaxis, for gay men who have sex without condoms; heterosexuals with high-risk partners such as drug injectors or male bisexuals who have unprotected sex; patients who regularly have sex with anyone they know is infected; and anyone who shares needles or injects drugs.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have long been frustrated that the number of H.I.V. infections in the United States has barely changed in a decade, stubbornly holding at 50,000 a year, despite 30 years of official advice to rely on condoms to block transmission.

Although there is no guarantee that gay men will adopt the drug regimen, federal officials say something must be done because condom use is going down. In a C.D.C. survey in November, the number of gay men reporting recent unprotected sex rose nearly 20 percent from 2005 to 2011.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 20, 2014 at 8:44 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper examining the search for exomoons and links to another looking for very widely-separated exoplanets.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel shows some unusual Japanese words.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog notes, in the context of recent riots, that Vietnam is an important player in global supply chains.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the opening of a museum in New York City dedicated to the September 11th terrorist attacks. Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly can’t bear to visit.
  • Language Hat notes the new Russian laws banning profanity.
  • At his blog, Peter Watts discusses his experience speaking at a conference about the origins of revenge.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla notes that comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, target of the ESA’s Rosetta probe, is now growing a coma.
  • Towleroad notes that the Centers for Disease Control in the United States have released guidelines for the use of truvada to prevent HIV infections.
  • The Transit Toronto blog notes that there’s a TTC subway car ravaged by Godzilla down on Yonge Street.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy deals with the complex copyright case of a man who killed himself after a nasty divorce and whose ex-wife is trying to remove his writings critical of her from the Internet.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • The Dragon’s Tales links to news of remarkably thorough reconstruction of Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes.
  • Eastern Approaches visits eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis notes that Pakistan still apparently lays claim to the former Muslim-run princely state of Junagadh in Gujarat.
  • Joe. My. God. and Towleroad both note a proposed bill before the Russian parliament that would require the fingerprinting of all HIV-positive people in a national database.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes a continuing crisis in the availability of rental spaces in the American housing market, linking it to low-density zoning.
  • Torontoist notes the sad loss of a pet pigeon on Queen Street West.
  • Towleroad notes continuing controversy over the use of the HIV drug Truvada as a prophylactic against infection.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy visits controveries over affirmative action in the United States where different minorities (here, Asian-Americans) have different claims.
  • Window on Eurasia visits the increasingly problematic lot of Crimean Tatars in their Russian-occupied homeland, notes that traditionally pro-Russian Belarus is newly wary of its eastern partner, and quotes from a journalist who predicts catastrophe from a Russian pursuit of empire.

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 365 other followers