AIDS/HIV | News | Seattle

Drug-Resistant HIV Strain Reported in Seattle

Four Seattle-area men have tested positive for similar strains of HIV that are highly resistant to antiretroviral drug classes. What's the link?

"In the current cluster, all four were men who had sex with men; all had a history of methamphetamine use, and had multiple, mostly anonymous, sexual partners. The partners who have been found to date either were not HIV-infected or their HIV infection was not related to the current drug resistant strain."

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Comments

  1. That is not good news.

    On a lighter note, when was Reichen there last?

    Posted by: Andrew | Feb 1, 2007 2:36:47 PM


  2. On another note...


    The partners who have been found to date either were not HIV-infected or their HIV infection was not related to the current drug resistant strain."

    Wha?

    So they were infected, or not infected? And/or a new strain that just 'pops' up?


    Posted by: Andrew | Feb 1, 2007 2:43:04 PM


  3. Sucks to get fucked...... in Seattle!

    Posted by: Ben | Feb 1, 2007 2:48:46 PM


  4. Sounds like the superbug stories that popped up in NY a few years ago before being disproven.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 1, 2007 3:02:07 PM


  5. Yea these super-bug stories pop up with some frequency; while it's clearly of some concern, in every case thus far, these have proven to be isolated cases, and not entire new strains.

    If you read the linked article, then follow the links there-in to other suggested articles, it's fairly clear that the authors belong to that sub-set of the gay population that is, shall we say rather sex-negative and AIDS-phobic?

    Posted by: Dan | Feb 1, 2007 3:15:25 PM


  6. How is an article giving people a 'heads-up' sex-negative or AIDS-phobic?

    It sounds to me like you belong to the sub-set of the gay population that has their head up their asses...

    Posted by: Pierre | Feb 1, 2007 3:51:05 PM


  7. big shock that they were all meth users. jesus.

    Posted by: Martin | Feb 1, 2007 4:04:09 PM


  8. meth users suck......

    Posted by: Derek | Feb 1, 2007 4:11:26 PM


  9. Men who have sex with men suck.

    Posted by: 24play | Feb 1, 2007 4:16:26 PM


  10. After all these years and all these deaths and people living with HIV, WHY AREN'T (GAY) MEN LEARNING??? Either obstane, practice safer sex, stop the CRYSTAL MADNESS, or be MONOGAMOUS (funny concept that, monogamy)...

    Posted by: Cory | Feb 1, 2007 4:49:32 PM


  11. did anyone really think PnP wouldn't lead to this ??

    Posted by: A.J. | Feb 1, 2007 5:46:10 PM


  12. Just to be clear, I didn't say the article itself was sex negative. It links to two other articles: one connecting the rise of STDs to meth usage and one about the closing of a bathhouse (club Z).

    The first of these I found somewhat problematic because, though factually correct and talking about two quite alarming trends (the increase in STD frequency and the meth epidemic), there was something very sanctimonious in the tone that I found rather problematic. I think we're in real danger of rolling right back around to the blame-the-victim mentality that was so prevalent in the early years of AIDS. Not everyone that sero-converts is a Bad Person. They aren't all barebacking pigs. And for that matter, some barebacking pigs do what they do because of an entire constellation of problems ranging from addiction to internalized homophobia. Does this free them from responsibility for what they've done? Of course not. But I think it makes them more worthy of sympathy and help than sanctimony and disdain.

    But it's the second article-- on the closing of Club Z-- that made me want to throw up in my mouth multiple times. It's chock full of a bizarre mix of lookist and ageist attitudes as the author assesses how hot the patrons of the club are, and sex negativity and AIDS phobia as the author expresses, among other things, fear of other people's genetalia and the belief that anyone young and good looking at a sex club must be HIV positive. It's a twisted piece of work.

    Posted by: Dan | Feb 1, 2007 6:54:40 PM


  13. Getting past people's attitudes toward MSM's who don't behave the way they are 'supposed to'...by having safer sex...

    I think there's a largely unexplored concept here. It's somewhere between the established view that 'HIV causes AIDS'...and the denialist view of some of the ACT-UP radicals.

    I'd like to see more testing of the theory that HIV predisposes a body to get AIDS, but that an otherwise healthy existence goes a long way toward thwarting disease progression.

    Conversely, drug use (particularly meth), lack of sleep, lack of proper nutrition, stress, and of course genetic makeup can contribute to disease progression in possibly equal measure to the virus.

    Every time we read about these so-called superstrains, the people who have them seem to have done everything they possibly can do to invite the virus and its effects. Meth isn't the only harmful drug, but it seems to encourage not eating, not sleeping, dehydration, and extreme promiscuity for long periods of time. That's a perfect immune-supression trifecta, even without the virus, which then itself acts at first like an opportunistic infection.

    Back onto attitudes: personally all you guys who are so ready to condemn others for not having safe sex....you can suck it. You have no idea what it's like to be someone else. Besides, what are you so mad about? If you're having safe sex yourself, then you aren't significantly threatened by the virus. I've always suspected the self-righteous blamer-gays are just mad because they somehow think the hiv+ community is at fault for them not being able to throw away the condoms themselves. Believe me, the vast majority of gay guys want to, and do, at least on occasion.

    Posted by: Andrew K | Feb 1, 2007 7:41:45 PM


  14. >>personally all you guys who are so ready to condemn others for not having safe sex....you can suck it. You have no idea what it's like to be someone else. Besides, what are you so mad about? If you're having safe sex yourself, then you aren't significantly threatened by the virus.


    But the cost of medical care, and my health insurance, goes up every time someone with their radical individualistic "It's my body and I'll do what I want with it" attitude makes a dumb decision to have unsafe sex and contracts HIV, and becomes another burden on the medical system, leading to increasing medical, hospital, drug, and healthcare costs.

    So long as I have to pay taxes, and for Medicare and Medicare, and for health insurance, you can bet your ass I'll tell you what I think about your poor sexual health decisions.

    Posted by: LightningLad | Feb 1, 2007 9:44:58 PM


  15. Actually, the cost to treat an HIV+ person is less than a cardiac patient.

    Posted by: John | Feb 1, 2007 9:52:21 PM


  16. Hopefully this will be disproven like the NYC story.

    I feel sad for the four men infected. You don't go on meth without some bad history. It's ashame that they couldn't be helped sooner.

    To the people that brush them off. Do you think they wanted to be on the streets doing meth? These are gay men. You know how difficult it is being gay in this society. Seattle is a place where many run away kids go because of the liberal culture and end up never regaining a footing in society. I really hope this stuff decreases rapidly.

    Posted by: Jack! | Feb 1, 2007 10:10:41 PM


  17. I made the mistake of trying meth years ago, and there is no doubt in my mind that that is how I became HIV positive. Prior to making this stupid mistake - I was trying to keep up with my more energetic partner, and I was immature and impressionable - I never had unprotected sex, and I was scared to death of HIV. That evaporated instantly on meth. Now, years later, I don't do meth, I am monogamous, and I am the same person I always was. Except that I have HIV. My point here is that I don't think anyone has the right to judge anyone else on this. Being HIV positive does not make a berson bad or immoral. Just human.

    Posted by: seattlesam | Feb 1, 2007 11:59:24 PM


  18. I just found this on the web today, maybe someones seen it. It just struck me deeply.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfGicAEAH2A

    Posted by: Toto | Feb 2, 2007 12:55:39 AM


  19. >>So long as I have to pay taxes, and for Medicare and Medicare, and for health insurance, you can bet your ass I'll tell you what I think about your poor sexual health decisions.

    Great... next, you'll be telling us we better brush our teeth, or you'll raise your blood pressure more over it.

    So long as *I* have to pay taxes, for Medicare, and for health insurance, you can bet YOUR ass that I'll tell you to calm it down--after all, stress is one of the top factors leading to any illness.

    Watch out, lest your control issues cost the rest of us when you become one of those (expensive, according to a previous comment) cardiac patients.

    Posted by: Josh | Feb 2, 2007 12:58:03 AM


  20. As much as I disagree with Lightenglad's tone and even safer sex logic I still think he has a point. I keep meeting a lot of men who spout ultra-individualist non-sense about controlling their own body and getting pozzed or even pozzing other guys or simply making a rule out of not protecting themselves but at the same time they think society should take care of their medical costs. Its total bullshit.

    Seriously. We wouldn't have to even worry about condoms if many of us would just fucking grow up and actually look and work toward healthy relationships instead of waiting for Jake or some other straight, white,jocky, Adonis to come along and sweep them off their feet while fucking 2 guys or more a month.

    Posted by: Damon2 | Feb 2, 2007 5:35:09 AM


  21. LIGHNINGLAD nailed it insofar as the majority of barebackers are concerned -- fuck you and your socially erosive actions. You hit me in the pocketbook, you hit me in my "community" by perpetuating a behavior that wrecks lives and our collective reputation.

    However, when it comes to meth users I have much more sympathy. Yes, they make a conscious and personal decision to begin using, but these people are often burdened with low self-esteem or are impressionable enough to believe "I can just try this once or twice."

    I've had a few friends invite that monkey on their back, and melt before my eyes. Their friends experience them as cruelly semi-dead because we see them walking down the street and want to say hello and hug them and laugh with them but we cannot talk to them or hug them or laugh with them -- because they are no longer really there. Dead to us once with meth, and often eventually dead to us again, permanently, once they pass away.

    This experience with people I have loved so much is recent, and I can honestly say it depresses me so much I want to hide in my house for the rest of time. But I fight that sense of resignation and try to do some volunteer work and definitely contribute to anti-meth programs -- not looking for a hero medal, but I am asking for anyone who has it in their heart to make a difference fighting meth to do whatever makes sense.

    Thanks for listening -- I didn't know this would turn into a confessional LOL

    By the way, I live in Seattle.

    Posted by: Becks07 | Feb 2, 2007 11:23:52 AM


  22. Nice comments, Becks07. I completely agree. Meth is nasty shit. It is insidious and persistent. As I said above, I am convinced that had I never tried it, I would be HIV negative today.

    Keep up the good work. I hope you don't hide in your house too much.

    Posted by: seattlesam | Feb 2, 2007 1:34:41 PM


  23. uh, many people have low self-esteem and don't start smoking meth. especially if we don't work out 7 days a week, eat food, and don't have six-pack abs. and are over 30. LOL. I know, I sound like a bitter jerk, and I do have some sympathy for addicts. but don't peg it all on low self-esteem....

    Posted by: Martin | Feb 2, 2007 2:13:29 PM


  24. I don't think anyone said meth addicts/users have a lock on the low self-esteem market. There is plenty of that to go around.

    Posted by: seattlesam | Feb 2, 2007 2:29:27 PM


  25. "You hit me in the pocketbook, you hit me in my "community" by perpetuating a behavior that wrecks lives and our collective reputation."

    I think it's good when we focus on how this behavior destroys lives, rather than how it affects our pocketbook. After all, obesity, smoking and lack of nutrition account for FAR more serious health care costs in this country.

    If it truly is just about the money, then HIV infection rates should be a bit lower on your priority list.

    I understand the tendency to identify with this since we're all gay, but that's why we should focus on how it is destroying lives within our community than how much Mula it is costing us.

    Posted by: mark m | Feb 2, 2007 2:47:35 PM


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