Archive for Monday, June 5, 2006

The changing face of HIV

Virus affecting more women; Kansas AIDS deaths declining

June 5, 2006


Laney Allbritten suspected bad news was coming.

Her boyfriend was HIV-positive, and the two hadn't always practiced safe sex. She'd been getting tested for the virus at six-month intervals - always turning up clean. But this test, in August 2004, was different.

"They took like an hour to call me in. I thought something might be up," said Allbritten, 24, now a Kansas University senior who sports a mane of purple hair. "The woman who gave me the results (was new on the job). She was almost as upset as I was. I started to cry, and she comforted me."

Allbritten left the Douglas County Health Department, had a brief crying jag in her truck, then started driving - and pondering her future.

"I wondered about the side effects of" medications, she said. "I wondered about family, kids, how my family would react, how my friends would react. The support system I interpret as having, I wondered if it would still be around."

Twenty-five years after doctors first noticed an unusual outbreak among gay men in New York, Allbritten is, demographically, the modern face of HIV in America: A woman who contracted the virus through heterosexual contact, with a decent chance of a long and healthy life.

Laney Allbritten learned she was HIV-positive in 2004. More U.S. women are contracting the virus through heterosexual contact, but Allbritten has a good chance of a long life because of a regimen of pills that prevent the virus from turning into full-blown AIDS.

Laney Allbritten learned she was HIV-positive in 2004. More U.S. women are contracting the virus through heterosexual contact, but Allbritten has a good chance of a long life because of a regimen of pills that prevent the virus from turning into full-blown AIDS.

Nearly two years after the diagnosis, Allbritten is living her future. She has a new, HIV-free boyfriend, support from family and friends, and - thanks to a regimen of pills that have prevented the virus from blooming into full-blown AIDS - a seemingly bright future.

"I have a real busy schedule, and it's tried to slow me down, but I haven't let it," said Allbritten, who hopes to attend UCLA after finishing her psychology and anthropology degrees at KU. "It's a challenge."

Declining deaths

HIV is the virus that leads to AIDS, the disease that destroys a human's immune system and leaves them vulnerable to a host of infections.

Though originally seen as a scourge of gay men and drug users, AIDS has taken a toll in red-state Kansas. Between 1982 and 2005, 1,447 Kansans died of the disease.

"It's a risk to the healthy, productive members of our society," said Dr. Howard Rodenberg, director of the Division of Health for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. "It represents a real public health challenge to get the disease and transmission under control."

The good news: Deaths across the state have steadily declined since peaking at 134 in 1994. KDHE statistics indicate that number had dipped to 39 in 2005.

That drop has come even though the virus is prevalent as ever. In 1994, health officials diagnosed 176 new cases of HIV and AIDS across the state; they found the same number in 2004.

The difference: Medications that reduce the presence of the virus in the blood, giving HIV carriers a chance to live relatively normal lives. The disease is no longer an automatic death sentence.

In the 1980s, "the virus was devastating to people who got it," said Geri Summers, director of the Douglas County AIDS Project, which serves up to 80 HIV-positive clients in the community. "A lot of what was done was palliative care - working with people in their homes, making sure they had what they needed to be comfortable" as they prepared to die.

In recent years, Summers said, DCAP has shifted its focus to helping clients get help paying for their medications and providing other support.

"We have clients who are still very healthy, who are working, who have families, who have a social life," Summers said. "That wasn't really true back then."


But progress comes at a price.

Allbritten originally took seven different pills a day; that's down to five now. But her medications cost $1,500 a month, paid for through a mix of state and federal funds. Recent haggling in Congress over how to distribute the federal portion of those funds has frightened her.

"That's my life," she said.

In Kansas, the state spends $6.6 million on AIDS-related services, including staffing a 18-person bureau to do prevention education for sexually transmitted diseases - and to track down former sexual partners of Kansans recently diagnosed with the HIV virus.

"I think we invest a significant chunk of time and effort, at least as good as any state of similar size," Rodenberg said.

There are other costs. The medications can keep a person alive and relatively comfortable, but they do have consequences: diarrhea, nightmares, heart problems and more.

"The drugs are difficult," Summers said. "People think that if you get the virus, it's OK because there's a pill to take. There's still no cure for AIDS, and the pills that people have to take a lot of times have horrible side effects."

Rodenberg suggested the medications have made it harder to persuade people to avoid risky behaviors that lead to the virus.

"I don't think there's the sense of urgency there in at-risk populations - they're not seeing their friends, their lovers die," he said.

Indeed, Allbritten was born after AIDS appeared in America and grew up with lessons about safe sex and avoiding HIV. Even now, she says, it's hard to explain why she didn't take more precautions when she knew her partner had the virus.

"It's very difficult to explain without seeming brainless, honestly," she said, later adding, "I consider it a lapse of judgment in a lot of ways."

The future

Over the years, AIDS has killed more than 500,000 Americans and more than 25 million people worldwide. Today, according to the federal government, more than 1 million Americans have HIV or AIDS.

Even though the antiviral medications have helped slow AIDS' path through America, researchers are still searching for the Holy Grail - a vaccine that would end the disease instead of merely controlling it.

"It is a highly transmittable virus," Rodenberg said. "We know that while new drugs can extend life and relieve suffering, HIV-AIDS does kill people."

Some of that research is being done at the University of Kansas Hospital, where Dr. Bill Narayan says a vaccine is desperately needed in poorer countries that can't easily afford the costs of the drugs taken by Allbritten.

"Because of the expense of the drugs, the nausea associated with the drugs, all of those are very difficult to manage," Narayan said. "The vaccine is the answer. But it takes time."

Narayan has developed an anti-AIDS vaccine that he says tested well in monkeys. He hopes for a federal contract to begin clinical trials to see if it works in humans.

"I am optimistic as hell," he said. "We are working with a vaccine that looks good."

Determining success, he said, could take years.

In the meantime, Allbritten will take her five pills a day. They have reduced her "viral load" to the point where she could safely have a child, she says, though that isn't in her immediate plans.

But she'll have to be persistent in taking her pills and taking care of her health.

"It's something you have to constantly remember," she said of managing the disease. "Adherence to that type of regimen is absolutely critical - you have to put that first and foremost."


geekin_topekan 12 years ago

Gusty woman. I admire the way she has armed herself with facts and doesn't let the stigma of HIV deter her. The two extremes of the public HIV cases here in ljworld(Laney and typoid Richard)are amazing. Richard has decided to laydown and die and take a few b#!%ches with him and Laney has decided to live.

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years ago

Okay I've read this twice. Maybe I mis-read and if so I apologize but she knew her boyfriend was HIV positve and continued to practice unsafe sex? Or did she find out later?

bankboy119 12 years ago

I read it that she knew and continued to have unsafe sex. Anybody see the part that it's $1500 per month coming from state/federal gov't. The gov't shouldn't be responsible for idiots like this. I don't feel bad for her even if she didn't know.

Sigmund 12 years ago

Is Richardson still in jail awaiting trial or did he make bond again?

rtwngr 12 years ago

So, Laney, you see there are good choices and bad choices in life. You made some bad choices. This sympathy bank is closed.

Fatty_McButterpants 12 years ago

Marion, nobody really cares about your attempts at sleuthing. Nor do we care about the legitimacy of the email sent to you by this woman. Nor do we care about your attempts to justify your actions.

Incidentally, I don't think that Laney is a victim - she knowingly had sex with an HIV-positive partner. A victim would be someone who unknowingly had sex with one. She was just dumb.

GuardChica 12 years ago

Laney is not a victim and nowhere in my time knowing her has she ever asked for sympathy.

As far as us paying for her medications, we are paying for her to LIVE, just as we do for who knows how many Americans. Why is that so outrageous?

And Marion, why are you surprised this woman is angry at your reaction? Most of it is ignorant and heartless -- no wonder she wouldn't give you an interview!

OmegaPaiN 12 years ago

"Allbritten is, demographically, the modern face of HIV in America" Uhh, no. It's still male homosexuals and drug users.

"Even though the antiviral medications have helped slow AIDS' path through America..." No they haven't.

Mercat 12 years ago

Every chance they get, the media tries to paint the face of AIDS as being a heterosexual female. This story is full of mixed information and you can't tell from the "facts" given what the real percentage of women have it.

jayhawk101 12 years ago

I like to help those individuals whom have experienced bad luck; but in this case I resent the fact that my tax dollars are going to help this indiviudal who did not have bad luck but bad judgement. Maybe we need to offer Life 101 "How to make good decisions" taught in high school (or college for that matter).

We all make mistakes, but to have unprotected sex with a person you know has HIV is not a mistake.

This is the current midset of most today -- go ahead and do what you want -- the government will take care of me.

flames_over_the_wasteland 12 years ago

And, as usual . . . the posters with the variations of "right' in their names once again espouse their usual tunnel vision, hatred and ignorance. How typical. (Of course, their tunes would change if the victims were mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, etc.) All you people in the "right" are disgusting . . . but you already know it. Have fun living with yourselves.

mom_of_three 12 years ago

I read this story and believe that Laney is trying to tell her story in hopes it will help someone else not make the same mistake she did. It doesn't matter who the boyfriend was, and she admitted she made a mistake in not taking precautions. She is a warning to other women who may think as she once did.
Good luck, Laney.

DaREEKKU 12 years ago

I literally almost threw up after reading most of your comments. Most of you make me sick and realize why I've lost faith in humanity. And I suppose those same people will repost "ooh dareeeeee you're the real pig, she's the real pig BLAH BLAH BLAH." How does it feel to act like such a bad person? How do some of you look at yourselves in the mirror every morning? You have taken a wonderful opportunity to educate the community about the change of the AIDS epidemic and perverted it into a witch trial, complete with stone throwing. When some of you have family members that come to you that were in a similar situation I hope the heartless messages you sent out come back imprinted in your mind.

Redzilla 12 years ago

As someone who spent three years doing sex education in public schools in Kansas, I just read this with the blindest, most pathetic hope: that SOMEONE has learned a lesson from this. I hope that somewhere there is a girl who is reading Laney's story who will make wiser decisions than Laney did. Plus, I confess, I hope Laney has learned the same lesson, and that she never permits her HIV- boyfriend to experience any "lapses of judgment." I still stick by what I taught all those high school kids about HIV: Be aware, be safe, be compassionate. Same goes for everyone else.

bankboy119 12 years ago

Da, I've said it before and I'll say it again. It is no one else's responsibility to take care of me or my family than just that, me and my family's. It's asinine that $18k+ of my tax dollars is going to one person because she's an idiot. And I take that back, my $18k+ of tax dollars is going to the drug companies, the idiot gets some pills to keep her alive longer so the drug companies get more of my tax money. That tax money is probably coming from your pocket too. And Marion's, and TOB, and Mom O 3, and flames and so on.

Do you realize that if 1/2 of the 1 million or more people get assistance like Laney that adds up to 9 billion dollars per year just for meds? I say let them die off so they can't infect anyone else, save 9 billion or so a year and spend it on something else, like paying down the national debt. Yes the debt is in the trillions but every little bit helps.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years ago

It is very hard to understand why she knowingly allowed herself to become infected by him. I'm guessing that Richardson, like most sociopaths, is utterly selfish and manipulative. He must have had a lot of control over her to say "I'm HIV positive, let's 'do it'", and for her to say "anything for you". OK, my dramatization may be lacking, but I think the only answer would be that the decision to do this to herself wasn't a rational one, but that she we too emotionally wrapped up with him to say no.

Richardson is a controller. He controlled her in the ultimate way: get her to kill herself. He got a major thrill from that, I'm sure. If he "got off" on illicit sex, then he probably really got off on risky sex, or in his case "super risky sex".

Good luck with your HIV, Ms. Laney. But, I also hope you can find help dealing with your "other" wounds.

neopolss 12 years ago

Isn't this hard for this to be a lesson for people if it is kept local? If the person isn't willing to spread the message, then what IS the point of this article? I have learned:

A) The infected individual is NOT a victim. B) Said "not" victim now receives federal and state aid for poor decision. C) I'm somehow supposed to feel "bad" because I shake my head at it. D) I hope the new boyfriend is fully committed before engaging in sex.

staff04 12 years ago

Yes, bankboy...let them die. Good plan. Until it is your kid.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years ago

Her case is probably very similar to others where women (and sometimes men) stay in relationships with abusive partners. Too bad she lacked the courage or confidence or just plain common sense to get out before it was too late.

flames_over_the_wasteland 12 years ago

Bankboy-- You are a disgusting excuse for a human. When someone such as your child is one day affected, remember that you want to let them "die off."

flames_over_the_wasteland 12 years ago

Bankboy, It is guranteed that your indecency and stupidity will come back to haunt you.

craigers 12 years ago

Personally, I am glad that Laney is dealing with her disease. However, the sad thing is the disease will keep on spreading cause some who get it don't care who they infect. 75, the sexually enlightened will tell you that sexual exploration is a great way to get to know yourself and others, while ignoring the fact that this "enlightenment" has lead to the further spread of these deadly STDs.

nlf78 12 years ago

Okay, I'm trying real hard not to comment or give attention to the monsters who are posting this morning with their horrible thoughts.

All I have to say, is that obviously Laney is paying the ULTIMATE price for her own mistake. She is the one who made the choices that put her in this position and I think she's brave for being honest about it. And I think alot of people who have the disease prefer to be treated as though they are victims. Laney doesn't seem to want to be a victim. And no matter what anyone says about wasting tax's costing her a LIFE.

usaschools 12 years ago

75 x 55, I don't know that I'm "enlightened", but I'll tell you how "abstinence" and "saving yourself for marriage" DOESN'T work. I won't tell you how it is for "neaderthal-fundie-freaks," as I don't believe that.

It doesn't work when you save yourself for marriage but, unbeknownst to you, your spouse does not and contracts aids. It doesn't work when you get a tainted blood transfusion. It doesn't work when you come into contact with blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person when administering emergency first aid. ALL of these scenarios are real and have happened to many, and none of them were prevenatable by abstinence or saving oneself for marriage.

Your memory is failing you if you really believe that "it was pretty much known how it was transmitted then (1983)." In 1983, the transmission was unclear. No one, least of all the military, knew the limits of how it could/could not be contracted. You make it all sound so simple, like it was clear from the start. It wasn't, and it isn't.

I've lost friends to this disease and all I can say is that NO ONE deserves to die from this disease. The lack of humanity, empathy, and compassion among several notable trolls on this board is disheartening. I would guess none of these people ever lost someone close to them to aids.

OmegaPaiN 12 years ago

Staff04, Flames - So we're supposed to make public policy and funding decisions based on the perspective of "what if it these millions of people were my children?" SPANKINGS FOR EVERYONE! Oh, wait, that's how the city officials here govern. Gimme your cigarette and cellphone and go to your room mister!

But really, there are just too many boo boos to be kissed and that could spread the disease further. I hear they kept Richardson locked up this time because he vowed to randomly bite people on the street in a last ditch attempt to spread his famous virus.
/wink @ Marion

I for one place the majority of the blame on Richardson. People who think they're in love will do ridiculous things to gain acceptance.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago

To All-

I have just read through this string of posts for the first time and was wondering why Marion had so many of his removed? Any insight to what made the staff remove them?

KsLadybug 12 years ago

Who said it was Richardson? Did I miss something?

KaraGourley 12 years ago

I was wondering how he got "blamed" for her situation.... and after reading all this. Marion claims he interviewed her. He knows all!

concerned_citizen 12 years ago

Thank you Marion for telling it like it is.

KsLadybug 12 years ago

I want to know if Richardson was the ex? And how do you know for sure?

staff04 12 years ago


YES! YES YES YES! That is exactly how we should make public policy decisions.

It is called compassion!

Ceallach 12 years ago

I'm just as concerned as anyone else about the toll HIV/AIDS has taken on our health care system. Laney is not offering an excuse for herself so I don't intend to either. She made a serious error in judgment, no doubt about that -- but last time I checked, errors in judgment are not punishable by death in our court systems. For the state to issue it's own death penalty by depriving her of assistance and medication would be unjustifiable.

People are disabled and/or on state assistance for a variety of reasons (many resulting from bad life choices). As a society we should not revert to the barbaric practice of putting the infirmed and unproductive out of the cave to die and thereby relieve others of having to provide for them.

Research support, realistic education of our children, mental and spiritual support for those afflicted, are some of the things we as a society should do. Casting stones at victims (she is a victim of HIV) is devisive and unproductive.

By realistic education I mean teaching children the truth, not the politically correct crap they now call sex education. Our children should not be wasting classroom time learning to put a condom on a banana!!! Anyone over the age of 40 knows that condoms were/are not 100% effective. They could never assure birth control and cannot assure that users are "safe" from STDs. Practicing "safe sex" is such an outrageous myth!! I hear comedy routines in which young women are laughingly told to remember that your mouth can't get pregnant. Well girls you better wake up, maybe it can't get pregnant but it CAN get diseases that will last a lot longer than a pregnancy!! Physically and mentally, our children are perishing from lack of knowledge.

Confrontation 12 years ago

Laney sleeping with an HIV positive man is just as stupid as sleeping with someone of an unknown status. I'll bet that 90% of those bashing her have also had unprotected sex with someone who didn't show them any negative test results. Even those who say, "I waited until marriage," rarely had a blood test or other tests to prove their partners were clean of all disease. I worked in the health field and met many men/women who believed their partners and ended up infected with something. There are a ton of married people who have never been tested, and they just assume everything is okay. I'll agree that she made a horrible decision, but so many others have also played russian roulette. I bet that even spankboy (aka bankboy119) has done this.

bankboy119 12 years ago

Confrontation, no I have not. You're welcome to ask my wife about my blood test or my previous girlfriends, whom I did not sleep with.

I love the thought that "when it's your child it will be different." Of course it will be! I will do everything in my power to take care of my kid. At the same time, I won't look for a handout from the government. It's not your responsibility to take care of my child.

USA, yes I do know more than one that has gone to this disease.

craigers 12 years ago

Last time I remember victims are defensless people that don't put themselves at risk. A victim of the disease is somebody that gets HIV from somebody who doesn't tell them. I hardly consider Laney a victim of a disease. She even said she made the choice to be exposed to it. Tough road ahead for her? Yes. But a victim? Don't think so.

Confrontation 12 years ago

bankboy: Good for you! I take back my suggestion that you had taken the chance. However, just to be sure, please e-mail me the name and phone numbers of all your past girlfriends and your wife. Plus, if you could get me a copy of that bloodtest, that'd be super! (I'm kidding on this one) If what you're saying is true, then I hope you can pass this on to your kids.

Theresa1000 12 years ago

Wow. Never in my life have I seen a lack of compassion from some of you. I hope you guys aren't claiming to be Christians!

You act as though people aren't allowed to make mistakes. We're HUMAN, not deities. No one's perfect. Except for that guy we nailed to a tree, possibly because we felt threatened.

Compassion and understanding are the only ways to heal this wounded world. I applaud Laney for sharing her mistakes with us so that someone out there who is faced with a similar situation will make wiser descisions.

xenophonschild 12 years ago

Reading these posts, it is again obvious why we can't trust public policy to conservatives. What heartless, retrograde monsters!

Yes, the girl make an error in judgement. Who hasn't? She has put herself in circumstances that emperil every other facet of her life . . . and those she is intimate with.

But she is struggling to survive, to live. Life kicks everyone in the teeth, some worse than others. People also make mistakes; again, some worse than others. The measure of what you are as a human being is how well you pick yourself up after you've been kicked, after you've made egregrious mistakes, and struggle on to make dreams come true.

I admire this girl's courage, and fervently hope she finds happiness somewhere in her life.

Ceallach 12 years ago

craigers, I must not have stated that clearly. When I said she was a victim of the disease, I meant the way some are victims of cancer, whether or not their bad life choices made them more likely to get it. As a human being, I am sorry that Laney, or anyone else, has to deal with HIV/AIDS, but nothing I said was meant to be interpreted as presenting a defense or furthering any idea of her being a victim.

Although I have not make the same bad choice she made in this case, I am none the less grateful that I do not have to dance to all the music that could have been written by some really dumb choices I made as a teenager and young adult.

I remember both the dawning of Aquarius and the dawning of HIV/AIDS. It is not the many ways we now know one can become infected -- it's the fact that I remember when there was only one! We still know so little about this killer.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago


"Wow. Never in my life have I seen a lack of compassion from some of you. I hope you guys aren't claiming to be Christians!...You act as though people aren't allowed to make mistakes...Compassion and understanding are the only ways to heal this wounded world. I applaud Laney for sharing her mistakes with us so that someone out there who is faced with a similar situation will make wiser descisions."

First, let me say that most of us probably agree that it is OK to make mistakes, learn from them and move on. But, this is one huge mistake on her part. I agree that some of these posts have been on the harsh side, but can't you understand why the majority of people don't have much sympathy? She obviously makes poor decisions (you can tell by looking at her hair color). What happens when she has her next huge lapse in judgment and starts having sex with people and not telling them she is HIV+? It's not too far of a stretch to think she might do that.

I also think that there are many churches and Christians that are effectively just enablers for people like this. I know of many churches that cater to new Christians or fledgling Christians as the "place to go when you don't know where to turn". These churches/Christians don't come down hard on people and it ends up being one big cluster of screwed up people who aren't changing their lives because they have been "accepted" by the church and their peers. Being understanding isn't always what we need to do to people. Tough love is the only way sometimes. And I don't by into the theory that her story may help others make better decisions. If anyone is dumb enough to do what she did, they won't learn from hearing this.

craigers 12 years ago

ceallach, I see what you mean. I too think it sucks that she got the disease and now she has to deal with it for the rest of her life. Maybe this will be a wake up call to some people that every decision can carry weight that lasts a lifetime.

westcoastmama 12 years ago

She has kids???? uummm why??? thank god she doesn't feel ready for more even though the medication makes it possible.

GuardChica 12 years ago

Where does it say that she has kids? Is this another one of Marion's expert reporting finds?

Theresa1000 12 years ago

I don't know what hair color has to do with anything.

I'm not saying that there was an obvious laspe of judgement.

What I'm talking about is the fact that many people would like to cut off her $1,200 per month federal funding because we pay for it in taxes. That to me is heartless, especially coming from a so-called "prolific" society.

By "tough love" do you mean that she deserves to die? Because if we cut off her funding, that's exactly what would happen. Very few hard working Americans could cough up that much extra money every month. What would "tough love" be in this case?

Diego 12 years ago

AIDS is a syndrome not a disease. (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)

AIDS does not kill you. Once you have it, the common cold does. Practice safe sex and reduce your risk of getting HIV infected. It will ruin your life. Make smart choices.

DaREEKKU 12 years ago

Wow, on lunch break I can see that the posts have gotten even more ignorant and heartless, with some people resorting to cheap petty mindless insults on her hair color. I'm not saying she didn't make a mistake, and I"m sure she would be the first to admit she did too. The bottom line is that people like this (not necessarily HIV+) but who are disadvantaged in some way and ostracized by society are the BACKBONE of this country. People like this, and helping people like this is what the true America is all about. I'm not saying we should wipe her butt for her, no, but provide assistance. You all think about that the next time you go see a janitor mopping up after you, a garbage man getting rid of your trash, a worker behind a counter getting your high fat greasy food, or a 70 year old grandmother giving out samples at Wal Mart. What this country has become to a certain extent digusts me in terms of how people view one another. Be more compassionate people, I mean common. You're all entitled to your opinions, but we aren't dealing with numbers here, we are dealing with actual human beings. If you were in her/ anybody elses shoes you would feel ALOT differently.

bankboy119 12 years ago

Marion, just because some one has "chica" in her name doesn't mean she can't speak English. It doesn't say until the bottom that she doesn't have kids. In the beginning it sounded like she did. Lay off.

Theresa, yes that is what it means. Like my previous post already stated, an extra 9 billion + per year could be better spent.

Theresa1000 12 years ago

And what better way to spend money than to save human life, bankboy?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years ago

I pray for the best for Laney. My past behavior could have put me right in her shoes. A friend of mine knows a minister who got it from a transfusion. It wasn't the best thing for his career. This was before the "cocktail", so I'm sure that he's now dead. While we talk about risky behaviors and such, the truth is that most any of us could be in her shoes.

God bless you, dear.

BunE 12 years ago

It is too bad that this young woman has the HIV. Bad choices...It is hard to say how things happened, what promises were made, what was discussed. IF one of us had a spouse that was HIV positive would we divorce them? Never have sex with them again? I am disappointed that she decided to have unprotected sex but it sounds like she has moved on and is using her status as a warning to others. The vast majority of HIV patients thought they were safe. millions later...

The typical she-messed-up-she-should-pay-for-her-sin is such a tiresome argument. Perhaps she should beg and we should put a big red H on her sweater? She is someone's daughter, she deserves the best healthcare America has. Don't think we can afford it? How can we not?

Perhaps we could take the nine billion dollars from the defense department that's what, 2 new aircraft carriers built to deal with coldwar threats we don't have? Maybe the bogus chinese threat?

C'mon, the argument is over, we are our brother's keeper, no matter what. Let's move on to real prevention, treatment and wiping out this disease. It took Ronald Reagan a good part of his term to quit calling HIV GRIDs. Do not let your biases get in the way of the important work that still needs to happen to treat and stop this epidemic.

BabysMomma 12 years ago

Nobody knows all the circumstances behind what happened so whatever happened to common decency and a bit of EMPATHY for somebody who has quite a hard thing to deal with here?

Maybe she didn't always make great choices but we don't know what types of abuse or brain-washing might have been going on either.

I think we should all commend the bravery it clearly required for her to discuss this so openly. Jeez folks a little empathy!

There might have been very complex psychological reasons she chose not to protect herself at all times.

If just one person is helped by her stepping up to the plate and telling her story then it's worthwhile.

And I just love it that so many people want to turn this into a monetary issue saying they don't want to pay for her meds. How ridiculously trivial you people are.

OmegaPaiN 12 years ago

If I have to read the word "compassion" one more time to keep up with this thread, I think i'm going to lose my Texas Double Whopper.

Laney will get her meds, and I'm glad she will, but we question your capacity for logic if you can't see how this specific case is equivalent to a state sponsored Russian Roulette team. I know that the contraction of AIDS is a "won't happen to me" for most people until they get it, but wouldn't the consequences, and therefore the preventative measures taken, be larger without the government safety net in place? More preventative measures taken = fewer infections = fewer deaths.

I wouldn't take away the medication provision from anyone, but at some point you have to recognize the flaw in the philosophy instead of calling everyone ignorant and not compassionate enough for your liking. Part of the message if not all of this article is, hey enjoy yourself, you won't die for a long long time these days if you get AIDS, and the government will take care of you if you can't.

Theresa1000 12 years ago

Bankboy, there is no way you can convince me that $9 billion dollars is better spent on going into that enormous black hole we call the National Debt which is currently $5.6 trillion dollars!

While we're at it, let's get rid of social security, welfare, education and heck, while we're at it, health care too. Because paying off the National Debt is SO much more important.

That's what you're saying, right? I mean, if you're saying that's more important than human life, then none of those other things should matter to you too, right?

toughangel41 12 years ago

Brave? Empathy? Would you feel the same had she messed with one of yours?

No I think not!!!


but I don't know too many people that would inflict this upon themselves let alone tell everyone about it

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

bankboy would it make a diffrence if it was a small child?

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

or maybe as they are dieing bankboy we should put them in "camps"? you are just mean hearted.

hottruckinmama 12 years ago

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xenophonschild 12 years ago

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BabysMomma 12 years ago

Well OmegaPain I'm not judging you about your Texas Double Whopper now either am I? Even if you are knowingly inflicting high cholesterol and heart disease on yourself.

You could compare what she did with driving drunk and I'm sure at least one of you judgemental conservatives did this weekend, KNOWING full well you could have killed someone or yourself.

bankboy119 12 years ago


The difference if this were a small child is that this child would not have contracted HIV by choice. This child would not have been sleeping around. I think that child deserves the basic care that all children are entitled to. If the family cannot afford more then there should not be more provided. It's not fair to the businesses to have to give out more and more because people cannot afford it. If they did that they would not make a profit and not be in business. There's a problem called scarcity.

Theresa and BunE, the money should be spent on saving human life. But as I said before, 9 billion? That's just to treat the disease they already have. The money should be poured into research. For those who can't afford it now, I'm sorry. Cancer kills more than AIDS every year. Why not increase funding for cancer?

Many people are concerned about how the earth will be when our children inherit it and they're right. Why not focus on eradicating the disease? Yes some one will have to test the treatments but after that it shouldn't be handed out free, unless the business owner decides to do it, or some one pays for many people to receive the treatment. Government money should be spent on bettering society as a whole, not on one person.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

quarantine? so should we quarntine everyone who gets sick? cancer, ms, parkinsons, and everyother illness out there?

Sigmund 12 years ago

Laney should pay for her own health care. Not really interested in taking away money from the budget for schools, day care, defense, payment on the debt, whatever, and paying for health care for people who engage in sexual russian roulette and lose.

I am also not in favor of paying for the health care people who get lung cancer after smoking all their lives. Nor am I in favor of paying for liver transplants for alcoholics, or the hospital bills of underage drinkers who fall off of roofs. If you do, please start a foundation and raise private funds to do your own good works.

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. G. Gordon Liddy

toughangel41 12 years ago

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bankboy119 12 years ago


HIV is deadly and there is no cure. It can be transmitted through bodily fluids. Therefore, if you have HIV/AIDS, stay away from me. You screwed up, you pay for it. If you have to be put away from society for the betterment of society it is your own doing. Why should we all suffer for 1 person? Answer: We shouldn't.

Ceallach 12 years ago

Would I divorce my spouse? NO! Would that mean I would never have sex with him again? YES!!! Some people seem to think that never having sex again is worse than a death sentence. That way of thinking is very skewed. If you are in love with a person and sexual activity would probably kill them, duh, you just don't. Too many people seem to be in sex with each other instead of in love with each other. If the slightest thing changes the sexual patterns they immediately cry, don't you love me anymore? Sex does not equal love -- love does not equal sex. Blessed is the couple that has them both. The medical inability to perform sexually will never diminish the feelings of someone who truly loves you. For people who are "in sex" with each other the results are quite different.

Sigmund 12 years ago

mommaeffortx2, help yourself. Just don't help yourself to my money to pay for your "compassion."

Sigmund 12 years ago

Funny how people attack the messenger when they can't attack the message. Most people see through that though.

3e8 12 years ago

The real question is whether HIV does in fact cause AIDS. Maybe she'll live a happy and healthy life if she doesn't poison herself with AZT.

Think I'm crazy? Bad science is everywhere, and much of the problem is in how we choose which proposals to fund, creating bias in our scientific knowledge.

BunE 12 years ago

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i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago


People like this are the backbone of our country? Wow, I better start packing. Besides, what the hell do janitors and fast food workers have to do with this? Are you saying that you compare them to her because they are lowly in our society? God help us if our American dream and the fundamental core of country has turned into this! The last I checked, janitors get paid to do what they do, so do garbage men (quite well actually), and even the grandma's at Walmart! We all work for a living. I have nothing against janitors, so why should I take a brief pause to reflect on what they do for us? How about the fact that I went to school and have established a successful business that EMPLOYS numerous janitors, etc? Please take a moment to remember my efforts, will you?

You are forgetting the main point here - she knowingly put herself into this predicament!!! And now I am to feel sorry for her? Why is she getting her meds free? I don't get mine free. And I get sick by accident, not knowingly.

And my comment about the purple hair was for the simple fact that I have never met a person with neon hair that had a whole hell of a lot of maturity?

Hey, I'm going to go run over my own leg with my lawnmower. I know it's possible that it might chop it off, but no worries. And DaREEKU, I'll be coming by your house to grab some cash from you to pay for my pain meds afterwards. I'll have the garbage men drive me over!

Feel sorry for me yet? Get with it.

hottruckinmama 12 years ago

it looks like someone is into deleting out comments today. still i stand by my post of 7:15 this morning. it was a dumb thing to do. and thats spoken from a most of the time libreal. but dang it. at some point you have to have some sense and look out for yourself. she did neither.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years ago

Wow. I go to lunch, come back, and all hell has busted loose on the message board! Take a breather, folks.

Linda Endicott 12 years ago

I think the thing about the article that disturbed me the most was that "she now has a new, HIV free boyfriend".

What is this boy thinking? What is she thinking, hooking up with someone who doesn't have HIV, when she does? Is she trying to pass it along? Because no matter how careful you are, the possibility is there.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

so does this, lets not help ,apply to all people no matter what? do we do away with all fed and state aide to people because we do not want to help pay for everyones illnesses? because it seems like if you want to help the guy down the street pay for his meds, you are going to have to pay for everyones meds who qualify for these programs. And the purple hair well why not ?

dacs23 12 years ago

I have read several times that this could happen to any of us. Not true this statement implies that there is nobody out there that abstains, practices safe sex all the time, or requested partners to be tested before moving on to that level in a relationship. There are smart cautious people out there. Perhaps Bankboy for one.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

well good but believe it or not you still hear about hiv tainted blood making it thru the cracks. I do not know how with all the technology in the world today but.. so then what?

Theresa1000 12 years ago

Bankboy, Okay, you see what you said about more funds for curing diseases, THAT makes sense to me. Earlier you said it should go towards the national debt. THAT does not make sense to me.

However, I don't think funds should be pulled away from people who need them and I'm not going to discriminate based on what put people in their situations in the first place. People are people. Everyone screws up.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree and leave it at that.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago


The LJW thought the "purple mane" was obvious enough to make it into their article. They didn't blatently say anything much, but why do you think the writer would include that other than to make a point?

And, there are many important medical/prescription programs. But this doesn't mean we have to provide handouts to everyone. There are enough people that don't "voluntarily" acquire a disease/syndrome that we can provide help to. I don't wish harm on this girl, but this is holding the public responsible for her bad decision.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago

I'm done talking about her pruplr hair. I made a small comment in passing and now everyone wants to focus on her hair. That wasn't my point, so get past it.

dacs23 12 years ago


Failed protection perhaps, faulty test perhaps, abstinence :.don't see a flaw in that one. I still feel it has more to do with mindful caution then blind luck. I do not feel it could have happened to me and low and behold I don't take meds.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years ago

You know, Crazy, that same thought crossed my mind. But, therein lies part of the tragedy of the disease. The most profound "connection" one can experience is the sexual connection between husband and wife. Yet, she has "lost" that; or rather, she has to risk death in order to experience it.

Wow. What a toll.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

but abstinence does not stop the need for blood in an emergancy. the peurple hair looks good better than some I have seen rainbow hair not fun as fo ljw no idea other than to make her eaiser to pick out in a crowd maybe? Valid nothing towards you just a little un humor on all the comments since then. Now i have a real question, did she know during the relationship or after it was over? I did read the article but did not see where or if it stated that fact. Anyone have an answer?

staff04 12 years ago


At least you aren't in denial.

Sigmund 12 years ago

I did not say lets not help. I specifically said raise private funds and help all you want. If all the people here who claim such great compassion wish to put YOUR money where YOUR heart is and raise private funds for Laney, I'll be there with MY checkbook, she seems like a nice girl.

I have no problem helping someone who is injured by a drunk driver, someone who gets AIDS from contaminated transfusion, or someone who gets lung cancer but never smoked (actually that is quite common). Besides we need a $75,000,000 library, and help the families of New Orleans, and pay for the health care of illegal immigrants, don't we?

But I am unwilling to spend tax dollars to help people who despite knowing the risks engage in risky behavior and loose. Having sex with infected partners and taking no precautions, smoking cigarettes, and injuring yourself drunk driving all fall into that category. Do we want to become a society of taxpayer "enablers" and assume responsibility for everybodys self destructive behavior?

dacs23 12 years ago


That would fall into the faulty test as they do screen blood now days. Are you trying to argue that we have no control over getting HIV ? If thats the case I will have to sign onto the board of educations attempt to take sex ed out of the classroom. I suspect what you are saying is that there is always a random chance it could happen to anyone. Perhaps so but it could not happen to any of us. If it did it would not be a random chance. To my point please do not make blanket statements, it's a bad habit and an ever worse argument.

dacs23 12 years ago

Sorry should have read "Perhaps so but it could not happen to all of us"

AngelKing 12 years ago

OUTRAGE turns anger. Anger turns to unrest. Unrest turns to apathy. Many of us were up in arms when the Robert Richardson issue made news. If it wasn't for MARION carrying a torch for the Robert Richardson issue, how many of us would now just be saying "Yeah, there was this guy knowingly spreading HIV. I can't remember the details, but man what a schmuck..." I personally know one of the girls that Richardson nailed. Right now, and I'm talking 3:04 pm June 5 '06, this girl still thinks it's all a big mistake. She believes that everyone, the public, the media, Richardson's victims, she thinks they've all got him wrong. Even after all this, she thinks he really didn't do anything, and if they would just let him explain, he (Richardson) could straighten this all out. That's the kind of influence he had over women. Some of you are passing judgement on anyone who "made a stupid mistake and should just die out" but any of you would fall victim just as easily to any charismatic and powerful person, and probably have, but in your case you just didn't get infected with HIV, maybe you just bought something you didn't want to buy. Or went on a date with someone you didn't want to date. Or just simply accepted any circumstance someone else imposed on you that you didn't like, simply because you were charmed by them. Shame on you for not seeing the connection.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

no was not trying to say we have no control 99.99% of the time yes we have the control thru our own actions, ie, safe sex ,abstinence yes my question is what about the remaining %?

AngelKing 12 years ago

And the TAX DOLLARS we're spending on medication for these people, whether they deserve it or not, is insignificant next to the money we're spending on war. We could provide meds to the whole planet, or we could annex a giant oil field.

dacs23 12 years ago

And thats my point. There is always and exception, both in getting it and in knowing you have avoided it.

Hugs and kisses lets move on.

gaiapapaya 12 years ago

So when fat people get diabetes or get so fat they can't work any more from lifestyle choices, we just don't allow them dialysis, but to die form the kidney failure they brought about throught lifestyle choices. Same for people with cancer. You could have had eaten all organic, anyone today knows not to smoke, all that fat and alcohol consumption can lead to pancreatic cancer. Many "lifestyle choices" can lead to an early death. That doesn't mean we don't treat it. At least she can still work and contribute to the tax dollars that pay for her meds. Those who go on disability because they got so fat they can't get off the couch to work don't even do that much. But you rarely hear the religious right complaining about all the greed and gluttony in the world...

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

life really sucks. I see no solution to anything written here today. not trying to harp dacs23 just clarify

xxx&ooo back

BunE 12 years ago

Um, no I don't want to shoot the messenger. The point is there are many ways to deal with stopping the disease. A quarantine ala leprosy is one drastic way. So to is euthanizing. They are both equally unacceptable. I apologize if being frank offended people.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

you compare HIV which infects millions to Leprosy very treatable and only affects like 250,000 people world wide?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years ago

What Angel has described is exactly what I was imagining. Some of us are out there unwittingly "looking" for someone who will end up being bad for us. Have you ever known a person to go from one bad relationship to another (my dad's 4 ex-wives, for example)? They are "looking" for that. No, it's not rational, but it's true in many cases.

Richardson is a controller and a predator who was looking for and finding women who were "turned" toward the kind of man he was. It's very unhealthy. I hope Angel's friend gets a clue. There is another Richardson out there looking for a girl just like her...

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

but I really want to know if she was aware of his HIV status during or after the relationship?

GuardChica 12 years ago


I believe those comments have already been removed. Thank you, and have a nice day.

westcoastmama 12 years ago

I need to know where she gets the purple hair dye?? I have bright red and blue, pink and turquiose.... but I can't find a good bright purple.... Please tell me it's not a side effect of the $1500 drugs..... I want purple hair but not at the cost of having to sleep with scummy pigs...I may be immature and want rainbo hair but I'm not an idiot.

The people I have scorn for is the drug companies that keep life saving drugs so expensive.

BunE 12 years ago

Who are you ,Ronald Reagan?

If "granted it wouldn't work now" What is your point?

Leprosy is treatable. HIV is treatable. Quarantine on this scale is silly.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

how about this, we are all yelling about the bird flu and want our gov. to come up with a solution to the problem. Yet there is no problem or pandemic yet. So why do some people think we should spend millions on a pandemic that has not gotten here. But are unwilling to on one that is? And yes unprotected sex is not the smartest of things to do but HIV/AIDS is a pandemic, and should be delt with better. Westcoast has a very valid point so maybe we should all just scream and yell till the companys hear us? how much does it take to make a pill?

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

yeah I liked her hair also, westcoast no rainbow please I beg you commit to only one, ok two tops:) Yes the start of HIV and all that has came after but here we are now and no solution in sight so what shall we do?

westcoastmama 12 years ago

75x55, don' t roll your eyes at me... yes I'm sure that it does cost....LOTS to develop these drugs... but they get MILLIONS from the (evil) government to do that.... then they finangle the patents so they can continue to keep the cost up.

and then of course, someone has to make up for the medication and aid we send to other contries.... why not the American Government i.e. you and me and the other tax payers.

3e8 12 years ago

Does HIV cause AIDS? Fundamentalists say yes. Most of us should have no opinion because we haven't seen the supporting data. Those that have looked for the data have found little data supporting the HIV causes AIDS hypothesis that isn't fataly tainted with the complicating factors of toxicology resulting from frequent drug use. Why aren't the infected hemopheliacs dying of AIDS? What about Magic Johnson? What about Jim J Bullock? HIV positive people who have lived far beyond the supposed 10 year incubatory period. Does anybody have a link to a peer-reviewed paper supporting the HIV causes AIDS hypothesis that rules out toxicology factors related to recreational drug use?

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

do not yell you do not have the right. And do not talk about church unless you want to show all mankind compassion. "He without sin cast the first stone".

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

and do you not see veiled sarcasim when you see it? I guess not.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

hey now, try to explain to the many elderly who have to go with out food or meds. due to the high cost of those meds.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

how is it easy blame when our own gov. wants answers to the same question? can you tell me the cost of manufactureing these meds? how about the cost of advertising these meds. I am sure there are plenty of meds. on the market that have more than paid for the initial cost of developing them but are still high doller. What is the reason for this?

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago

Those of you who like purple hair - I'll remember not to ask you for fashion advice. Isn't that the "look" that the younger homeless population is sporting these days? I guess when you say it looks "nice" that you mean in a young homeless kind of way? Maybe she needs to compromise a little and use the money she would normally pay for her hair dye and pay towards her meds. Wouldn't make a dent in the enormous handout she is getting from the government, but at least she would be held partly responsible.

But at least she looks "nice" for now. I guess if I meet a girl with purple hair, I'll know not to sleep with her.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

and I do not remeber seeing anything about homless in there anywhere, so you know more than the rest?

dacs23 12 years ago

Three things

First: I remember as a teen I asked a HIV individual giving a speech if people with HIV could have unprotected sex with each other and he said no because there are different strains and it could make the prognosis worse. So there is as much of a health risk with her dating someone with HIV as the guy who does not.

Second: Isn't there a cure for leprosy now days if they catch it early?

Third: has anyone even read OTS today. The count there is 60, and for fun I stopped counting at 150 on this issue.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

not sure on a complete cure but is more treatable than HIV and is a bactiral(sp) infection that is extremly hard to transmit, but is possible to transmit.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago

mommaeffortx2: "do not yell you do not have the right. And do not talk about church unless you want to show all mankind compassion. "He without sin cast the first stone"."

Church, God, Jesus, Christianity, Religion, Bible...tell me where we are asked to blindly show compassion on all mankind. Tell me where we are told not to stand up for what is right and just let people get away with things (i.e. sinning in regards to premarital sex and paying the price for it now).

Say someone makes a bad decision to drink and drive and kills your kid, are you going to be compassionate? Are you going to gladly pay his legal bills? Say that same person now has to be on welfare because they were seriously injured in that crash. Are you going to gladly fork over some cash every month for him to pay rent after he ruins your life?

No one is in the wrong by saying that she screwed up and shouldn't get free meds. Where the religion topic comes in is that she is lucky that she can be forgiven and that she can make amends that way. But that doesn't mean we aren't supposed to call each other out when we see someone doing wrong. And that doesn't mean we foolishly pay for poor decisions.

westcoastmama 12 years ago

lol Ok 75x55, you used big words but I still know that you are rolling your eyes at me....

And I can't help it if you see the drug cost issue as simplistic. But.... they really don't have a vested interest in CURING a disease now do they... cuz if they fix the problem.. then they will have to mow their own lawn (not sure how landscaping got in the mix but I'll play along)

Lots and lots of people on this blog have a problem with PAYING $1500 a month for drugs, as do I ..... do the math.... I think it was done earlier in the posts... something like 9 billion a year, wasn't it? that is a nice chunk of change don't ya think??? seems like you could do quite a bit of research for that. and that is just ONE YEAR. How long have those drugs been around?

don't be p/o'd at her because of the cost of her meds.... Direct your p/o'edness at the companies keeping these drugs so expensive.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago

mommaeffortx2: "valid come on now why always so down?"

Because I have little tolerance for naive people and their reasoning when it comes to serious topics like this. I'm not a hater by any means, but sometimes people are so far from reality.

westcoastmama 12 years ago

Valid.... I"m 48 and live in a 2600 square foot home... Not young.... not homeless --- my hair -today is black... up until last week it was brown with some blue chunks and a few pink parts and for christmas I had Bright Red and Green striped Bangs.... oh i am gorgeous...a regular fasion plate!!!! FYI the pretty bright red fades really quick.

I doubt that you have to worry about sleeping with a woman with purple hair... just guessing but I doubt you'd be her type either. and.... it's only like $10 bucks so.... that's not much of a dent in the old medical bill.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

no she/he does not have have the right to yell to state yes, was I "YELLING" no. And no one is saying she did not make a bad choice or naive one, and compasion comes in many forms not just monetary. and as for the whole hater you said it not me, but you do tend to look on the negative side at least on some of the more recent blogs I have read. But that could just be the news in general is always bad. wow naive does that mean I can be a kid again??

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

I bet you are fun at christmas time westcoast. I am serious not joking. Do you go all out with decorations? I never can get the hang of to much or not. But naive means we get to be kids again lets go have fun. Heck not like we know anything right? so I guess we are supposed to just shut up and bow our heads in shame.

Sigmund 12 years ago

Momma, to pay for reseach on new drugs which dont work out and to defend lawsuits. I am not a huge fan of drug companies but there is a reason why many new drugs come from US firms, can you guess what it is?

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

let me guess money and technology? am I close?

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago

westcoast - not sure where the square footage of your house comes into the conversation, just saying you weren't homeless would suffice. And 48 with all of those hair colors...need I say more? You may have "fun" with your hair, but you must not work in a professional environment. I still think it's a sign that a person is in need of more attention than they are getting. USUALLY a sign of immaturity. And I bet you are gorgeous, so gorgeous that you need to disctract people's eyes from your face by making them look at your hair!?! You must be painfully gorgeous.

mommaeffortx2 - I'm not always negative. Yes, you have the nature of the news lending itself to being argumentative here, with people taking different sides. But, as I stated earlier, I have little patience when people are naive. This could mean that they are naive in the fact that they think church solves everything and we should all just play nicey-nice. Or it could mean something else. But, it's where I can voice my opinion and maybe you think that is being "negative" because it conflicts with yours. Maybe I should look at your "perfect church world" scenario as being negative since you are not in the majority about this topic? The negativity you refer to is all relative.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

what is the majority we should just ignore people because they are sick? And I did not start the church thing read higher up the blog. That goes to certain other people but hey no your not negative at all nor are you insulting in your ever so cleaver barb at west coast and I really do not think there is such a thing as "perfect church world" Hell have not been in years I am a very bad cathloic. I do believe that she should be given some sort of help It is hard enough in this world without people treating you like your are evil and should just crawl away and die.

AngelKing 12 years ago

Pharmaceutical companies are trying to make money, not save lives. People in small research groups are trying to make a difference, or get their name published. Can anyone name any kind of business that would agree to make less money than they knew they could? What kind of investors would they get? Can you imagine a meeting with the stockholders? "Well next quarter we know we can make a billion dollars, but we're going to make 500 million instead." Big time pharmaceutical companies have patents on these drugs, which means no competition, thus no incentive to lower cost.

usaschools 12 years ago

75 x

You persist in pretending you were well informed in 1983 about the causes of aids. This is simply untrue. Just today on NPR (which you could easily go listen to if you want to on their website) they interviewed the first person to ever write a paper about the possibility of AIDS (1981) and the person from the CDC who sounded the alarm within the agency. She very clearly described their LACK of a clear idea of how AIDS spread and the difficulty of getting the CDC to issue bulletins about it (which shows that your memory is faulty on this topic) and goes through a whole host of things they were investigating. In 1983, the ways in which AIDS is and is not (equally important) spread was not yet clear. All my post was saying is you claimed knowledge you did not have, and I think the facts support that. You dismissed the whole thing as something painfully obvious, which it was not.

By the way, I don't understand why your reply started by saying I should calm down. It was very patronizing.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago

majority is that it isn't a good scenario when she had sex with this guy knowing that she could get HIV from him and she did it anyways and now we are paying the bill. sure, she has to live with it physically and that is too bad, but she made her bed. she should have been mature in her decision making and she wasn't. this isn't just an "oops" it accidentally happen. people keep saying that it was like russian roulette and that describes it perfectly. would the tax payers have to foot the medical bill if someone actually did play russian roulette and shot half their face off?

i think the purple dye soaked through her scalp and did some damage! :) be careful westcoast!

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

but as I asked before, Did she know before or after? and in most cases yes we do foot the bill.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

oh well I guess in the end it does not matter, so you win.

1DJMjas7 12 years ago

I'm sorry that she has to live with HIV, but if you KNOW someone has HIV & continue to have sex with them without protection, you pay for your own medication & treatment. I shouldn't be responsible for someone being an idiot.

bugmenot 12 years ago

unfortunately 1djmjas7 we all pay for irresponsible people even though we shouldn't. I work as a pharmacist and couldn't tell you the amount of overweight obese people (along with many other health problems where the people bring problems upon themselves) who have medicaid and we pay for their diabetes and heart medications when if they lost 100 pounds they wouldn't even need them. It's unfortunate we have to pay for their stupidity.

usaschools 12 years ago


You made a sweeping statement strongly implying that what was going on was known clearly, if not obvious, especially to you. Then you go on to claim falsely that CDC information made that clear to you. Both claims were false and I have no need to have been there to clearly establish that. Now your backpedaling shows that you know you exaggerated as well, but you prefer to just qualify your previous statements instead of coming right out and saying that you exaggerated.

Fine, I accept your explanation.

Christine Pennewell Davis 12 years ago

DA** the numbers are to much to wrap your mind around.

tvlampboy 12 years ago

So when fat people get diabetes or get so fat they can't work any more from lifestyle choices, we just won't allow them dialysis, but rather let them die form the kidney failure they brought about throught lifestyle choices. Same for people with cancer. No smokers will be allowed oxygen treatments or albuterol or any pain relief at even the slightest taxpayer expense.

No hemophiliac will be allowed coagulants at even the slightest taxpayer subsidy, as his mother should have known better than to reproduce. No Jew with Tay-Sachs nor any black with sickle cell anemia will be afforded any public assistance for the same reason. No person who chose to work in a coal mine will be allowed aid while living with black lung, and no woman or man who chose to have unprotected sex (even if each thought he/she was with a monogamous partner) will be allowed even the most basic treatment for syphilis if even one penny of that money were to come from tax dollars.

Many "lifestyle choices" can lead to an early death. That doesn't mean we don't treat illnesses with compassion and assistance.

At least Laney can (and does) still work and contribute to the tax dollars that pay for her meds. Those who go on disability because they got so fat they can't get off the couch to work don't even do that much (and there are millions more of these folks out there than folks in Laney's situation). But you rarely hear the Religious Reich/American Taliban complaining about all the greed and gluttony in the world. No, they only want to punish a few "sins" and to ask the rest of us to act as though these viruses (organic beings without consciences and/or agendas, I might add) are somehow scarlet letters and medieval scourges sent to somehow purify the Earth of those who "sin." (You know, Thais and Kenyans and Cambodians and Namibians and hemophiliacs as well as them thar homer-sexshuls and drugged out hippies.)

happyone 12 years ago

Since he is being charged for spreading the virus to people that were unaware he had it doesn't her admission that she knew he had Aids and she CHOOSE not to use protection make her at fault and not a VICTIM

I think since she is at fault for contracting the virus voluntarily that she should have to pay for her own drugs!! The state should not be covering her medical bills for something that is HER FAULT!!!

westcoastmama 12 years ago

Wow, Valid you sure can make a lot of judgements based on the color of a persons hair. Can you do the same with skin color? They are wrong judgements but don't let that stop you. After all your opinion is valid! but just so you know,....

I am a professional and do sometimes actually work in a professional environment. I get plenty of attention... that is my job and I rock at it....

My attractiveness -- well they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and ... it's only skin deep. Being an hater however goes all the way to the bone i hear.

you say you have little patience with naive people, you must drive yourself nuts!!!!...

bankboy119 12 years ago

I agree with the fat people statement that we shouldn't have to pay for their choices. On another note, they would have much more money if they didn't spend so much on food. I have a belly and could stand to lose some weight as well but I don't think you all should have to pay for my meds, should I need them, because I couldn't put down the donuts/candy, whatever. The other difference, is as 75 said, fat isn't contagious, unless you're saying bc I'm eating you are too. It is also able to be cured and prevented by exercising and a correct diet.

Tvlamp, you obviously don't go to church. Greed/gluttony is discussed and is as much of a sin as murder. There are no "heavier" sins. If people were not so greedy the world would be a better place.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago


don't even go there with the racial card. that is a powerful accusation and i don't have an ounce of racial bigotry in me. you don't know my skin color, or the various shades of color in my family, and that is not an acceptable transition from making a comment about someones hair color. talk about a stretch and an incorrect judgment!

i'm not a hater. i'm a realist. and actually, i haven't made alot of judgments based on hair color. i made a combined judgment based on the entire story, but especially on the fact that she knowingly exposed herself to this virus. i made one initial comment on the hair (and i make no apologies for that) and you all couldn't handle it. i bet if you were honest with yourself, REALLY honest, you would admit that you dye your hair various shades of bright because of the attention. in younger people that almost always translates into issues of acceptance and insecurity.

was hair color recently added to the EOE list? hmmm...

westcoastmama 12 years ago

Of course I do it for the attention, Valid .. same reason for the clothes and shoes I wear, the make-up i put on and the things that come out of my mouth. I scream LOOK AT MEEEEEE!!! and please please feel free to laugh out loud if you must!

You said you wouldn't sleep with someone with purple hair, because I guess you think everyone with purple hair has a disease. You assume i am ugly, homeless, immature, and unprofessional. That seems like a lot of judgements to me based simply on the appearance of the dead stuff coming out of someones head.

It's ok.... really judge away -- just be really REALLY honest with yourself about it.

westcoastmama 12 years ago

Oh and Valid,

you jumped pretty fast on the racial thing...??? I was talking about tattoos.... that would be considered skin color too ya know....

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago

the hair is different than the rest of the things you mention. and i'm sorry but red and green striped hair SCREAMS look at me PLEEEEEASE!!!!

i said i guess i won't be sleeping with a purple haired girl because it would be her, and yes because she has HIV+. i didn't comment on just any purple haired girl (although referring back to my "judgment" on that color of hair i wouldn't sleep with any of them). i didn't assume you are ugly or homeless unprofessional. i assumed you were in need of attention which usually goes hand in hand with immaturity. and i said there would be few if any professional positions you could wear your hair like you do. that's different than the character attack of being unprofessional. there are many unprofessional people in professional positions.

while we are accusing here, i like how you so swiftly discarded your attempts at accusing me of being a bigot. looks like i'm not the only one "quick to judge". at least i had some facts to go on knowing the color of your hair. do you really expect everyone to like your hair? you do it to get a reaction from people, so you're getting mine. it's an opinion.

so, what professional position and environment do you (sometimes) work in?

i_have_only_valid_opinions 12 years ago

westcoast: "Oh and Valid,

you jumped pretty fast on the racial thing...??? I was talking about tattoos.... that would be considered skin color too ya know....

well, don't be surprised that most people would assume you meant racial. and i won't apologize for having strong feelings on the subject. who refers to tattoos as skin color? or are you just trying to cover your tracks since you judged me?

westcoastmama 12 years ago

Well Valid I have lot of stuff to answer for don't I? so here's the deal.... you posted....

"And I bet you are gorgeous, so gorgeous that you need to disctract people's eyes from your face by making them look at your hair!?! You must be painfully gorgeous."

That sort of seems to me, a back handed way to say.... your ugly... but that is my perception so ... maybe you sincerely meant that you think i'm painfully gorgeous..which i am by the way, if you like well rounded, parrot heads ;oD.

your post --- Isn't that the "look" that the younger homeless population is sporting these days?

I sport that look and am neither.

you posted "You may have "fun" with your hair, but you must not work in a professional environment. "

I'm a motovational speaker/entertainer. i get paid to go in to stuffy professional environments and show them that fun is not a four letter word and that laughing is good. I also free lance... writing and sales and promotion... so yeah, I am a professional and I sometimes work in 'professional' environments with bankers, mortitians, teachers, accountants, doctors, anyone who needs my kind of 'therepy.

didn't SAY you were a racial bigot.... when my daughter gets her tatoos, she gets a black outline first... sometimes she gets red, which i guess is a big deal in the tat world.. any way then when she goes in to finish the tat... she gets her color... Skin color... but yeah you caught me, i probably did say skin color to see what direction you would take it... again.. my job to make people think in tangents... see how good I am.....

We, you and I have sort of lost the thread of this and I still have not gotten the answer to where she gets the purple dye that shows up that well so, lets say you and are friends who wouldn't sleep with each other also won't call each other names or judge each other based on our appearance and hope that Laney has a long and relatively happy life.

thanks valid and I look forward to future discussions with you....

westcoastmama 12 years ago

Purple hair ... got it..... thank you!!!!

Wilbur_Nether 12 years ago

Posted by 3e8 on June 5, 2006 at 4:40 p.m: "Does HIV cause AIDS? Fundamentalists say yes. Most of us should have no opinion because we haven't seen the supporting data."

OK; would you accept that HIV is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the development of AIDS?

Rebecca Valburg 12 years ago

I, for one, am quite okay with my tax dollars going to pay for Laney's medicines. Yes, she made the decision to sleep with Richardson, but here are things my money has been supporting thus far:

-knee replacements/diabetes meds/etc. for the overweight -lung cancer/emphysema treatments for smokers -heart meds, etc. for those who choose not to exercise -cancer/liver failure for those who drink -disability for those who injured themselves doing stupid things

Seems to me, there's a good chance that a great majority of the things that we seek health care for would have been preventable in one way or another if we'd just all make all the right decisions all the time. But we don't. Laney made a decision that isn't as socially acceptable as neglecting to exercise three times a week, but she's being more of an adult about it than most people three times her age would under similar circumstances. She's not asking for sympathy - the article is simply pointing out that more and more people are living lives with HIV. It's not all roses like we think of Magic Johnson's life, and they're not instantly dead, like we assumed when we heard that someone was diagnosed 20 years ago, but somewhere in between. It's something we don't consider on a daily basis, and I think it's a great article.

A lot of us don't know anyone personally with HIV, but the chances are pretty good that in time, each of us will. Stories like Ryan White (you get HIV, maybe you can make a difference, and then you die) were great years ago, but with the advances in medicine, I think stories like Laney's (that concentrate instead on how one goes about living - even if it isn't in a way you personally choose to live (if purple hair makes her happy - super - I wish I knew something so easy that would make me happy)) are very important. If all you're getting out of this story is that someone is happy with purple hair and that she made a decision that had horrible consequences that, yes, your tax dollars are funding, you're missing the most important messages. You don't have to personally know, like, agree with, and morally approve of an individual to be able to show compassion and be able to learn from that person.

3e8 12 years ago

Posted by Wilbur_Nether (anonymous) on June 6, 2006 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal) OK; would you accept that HIV is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the development of AIDS?

I haven't seen any peer-reviewed publications that report having tested that particular hypothesis. Establishing a causual relationship is extremely difficult because of the nature of the measurement (virus count, but most often using presence of antibodies as a surrogate measurement) and the time scales involved (10 year incubation?).

The vast majority of people are infected with some form of the herpes virus, it's there for life. When the immune system is compromised in some way, either destroyed through long-term toxic exposure to certain drugs or possibly through an infectuous agent, it's natural that the virus count of these latent viruses like HIV and Herpes will increase. Establishing that one of these viruses is the cause of immune system failure rather than an effect is extroadinarily difficult, especially given the time scale.

All I know, or suspect rather based on the links I've posted above, is that the methods used to selectively fund current research into AIDS are not sound. By only funding studies that accept "HIV is necessary to cause AIDS" as a fundamental assumption will produce bias in the results, the self-correcting aspect of science has been short circuited by zero-funding of studies of alternative hypotheses.

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