HIV/AIDS

Australia Introduces $53 Million Plan To End HIV

It seems Australia’s on a role concerning LGBTQ issues.

Just last week, the country officially legalized gay marriage and started the motion for actual weddings to happen first thing next year.

Now, the country is turning its attention to ending HIV.

Bill Shorten, the Federal Opposition and labor Party Leader, has introduced a plan to end HIV in Australia (conveniently, before trying to get his party in office in the next election).

This plan, which will amount to about AU$53 Million (or US$39.8 Million), is multi-faceted and includes steps like expanding PrEP trials to the Northern Territory of the country.

The plan ultimately has the goal of improving prevention, testing, and treatment for all groups in Australia, like those who have HIV but aren’t diagnosed yet and the increasingly at-risk Asian Pacific group.

Shorten just announced and started the plan this past Monday with the help of Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King. During that time, he also restored $10 Million (US$7,516,187) to peak HIV national organizations.

Man Accused Of Purposefully Spreading HIV Says He Wanted To Cure Himself By Drinking His Urine

Daryll Rowe is in the news again and this time its because he thought urine was the cure to HIV.

Daryll Rowe, from Edinburgh, is currently on trial for allegedly infecting several male partners that he met on Grindr with HIV on purpose.

While the current court case is focused on whether or not Rowe purposefully infected five men, who’ve chosen to remain anonymous, with the virus between October 2015 and December 2016, the conversation took a weird turn.

Prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC spoke to the jury that Daryll Rowe was skipping on prescribed treatment for his HIV. He was refusing antiretroviral drugs that would have made him less contagious.

“He was warned he could be prosecuted for passing [HIV] on or even putting someone at risk of contracting HIV from him,” Carberry told the court, according to The Guardian.

Rowe then told the jurors that he doesn’t remember ever being told his disease was highly infectious or that he could later be charged for spreading it.

On top of that, he also added that he believed if he stayed a vegan and drank his own urine, he would be able to cure his HIV.

Of course, the prosecutor had to press further on that statement. She said that the idea that drinking urine would cure him was “nonsense” in explaining why he went out of his way to infect other men.

Rowe then said, “Why would I do it every single day if I thought it was nonsense?”

“Because you didn’t want to treat this infection, for whatever reason,” Carberry replied.

“I wanted to cure it,” Rowe struck back, “I thought I was curing it.”

This is just the latest development in the trial over Daryll Rowe who is charged with purposefully tampering with condoms in order to infect five of his fromer male parters with HIV.

The trial is ongoing and is expected to continue well into November.

New Survey Says Two Thirds of People Living With HIV Are Afraid Of Telling Dates Their Status

A new survey found that two thirds of UK people living with HIV (or PLWHIV) are too scared to tell dates about their statuses.

The survey run by biopharmaceutical company Gilead, titled “HIV is: Expectations from Life” interviewed 3,245 adults living with and without HIV.

The results found that 69% of PLWHIV have that fear.

In addition, the results found there is a significantly higher stigma towards PLWHIV in the UK compared to other countries in Europe.

44% of UK respondents say there’s a stigma towards long-term relationships/marriage. Meanwhile, only 25% thought so in Germany, 28% in France, 17% in Spain, and 12% in Italy.

That said, the survey did not explore why these numbers exists.

Perhaps, the change in access to knowledge about HIV and PLWHIV has caused this difference. Maybe a lack of contact with PLWHIV can cause an increase or drop in stigma. Without more research, it’s hard to know.

In addition, the survey found that 31% of people living with HIV expect to be single. The fear to commit or admit status is probably a big factor in this statistic. (But again, no attempt at making connects were made in the actual survey).

The survey also found that people living with HIV also expect to live shorter than people without.

The point of the survey was to gather data and not so much to find connections in that data. That said, the data clearly shows a more negative outlook on life for people living with HIV.