Aging with AIDS

Full story: The Santa Fe New Mexican

Photo: Dennis Golay, 60, left, and Larry Gibson, 63, tested positive for HIV in the days before antiretroviral drugs and never expected to live as long as they have.
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1 - 20 of 59 Comments Last updated Jan 16, 2011
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Donna B

Brookville, IN

#1 Jul 14, 2009
I grew up with Dennis Golay and he was like a brother to me. I am saddened to hear of his long time health issues. I still correspond with his mother at Christmas and hope she is well. If you read this Dennis, I send best wishes for continues health control and happiness.......
Larry

Cathedral City, CA

#2 Jul 14, 2009
Donna B wrote:
I grew up with Dennis Golay and he was like a brother to me. I am saddened to hear of his long time health issues. I still correspond with his mother at Christmas and hope she is well. If you read this Dennis, I send best wishes for continues health control and happiness.......
Hi Donna. This is Larry. I don't think we've met, but certainly Dennis has spoken of you often.

He's read your post and will be posting his own reply shortly.
Dennis G

AOL

#3 Jul 14, 2009
Donna, I can't tell you what a wonderful surprise to see your post here. Just a couple of weeks ago, I got out our old High School and College yearbooks and you were the first picture I looked at. Over the years, I have thought of you often and wished for you happiness and health. I hope like is good for you. I would love to be in touch. If you can drop my brother a note with your email address, I'll get in touch directly. He still lives with Mom in Florida, same address and telephone number. Mom is almost 88 and in the early stages of alzheimer's disease. She's had two hip and one knee replacement surgeries and isn't doing too well. Girl, it's been almost 35 years since I've seen you. There is a lot to tell and a lot to hear. Hope to hear from you soon. Peace, health, and happiness to you. I've missed you.

Larry

Cathedral City, CA

#4 Jul 14, 2009
Anyone who would like to hear our story, in our actual voices, can do so at the following link:

http://thestory.org/archive/the_story_528_Agi...

Copy and paste. Scroll down, when the page loads, to the "listen now" button.

Since: Jul 09

Kihei, HI

#5 Jul 14, 2009
If I may say so---

Several friends died from AIDs prior to 1981 when I first heard of this disease. Since then I've guess I've lost 50 or more perhaps over 100. Some of them women. This has been quite a shock, even though I ran around with a fast crowd.

When I first read of the strange thing killing gay folk in San Francisco and New York in 1981 I have abstained from sex with anyone. I suspected "poppers" at first, lol. I'm still here, and free from this affliction.

I suppose I have a few friends left here and there but do not know how to find them, nevertheless, there are a great many other things one can do to make ones life worthwhile. Writing is my trip and one day I hope to present something to be published.

It is an enigma to me why a cure for AIDs has not been found. I understand the problems with a cure; it still seems strange though.

Meanwhile, it is nice to see that some can find each other. You both have my best wishes.
Larry

Cathedral City, CA

#6 Jul 14, 2009
Thanks Zorgon.

We think it's a bit of magic making a connection such as that. Especially when you consider that the original interview was the February 5, 2007 issue of the LA Times. We made front page that time.

Writing is one of my coping strategies, too. In fact, I just published my first book late last week. If you wanna see it, go here:


http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/da...
The Phoenix

Tucson, AZ

#7 Jul 15, 2009
Thanks Larry and Dennis for sharing your story.

As a 45 year old, positive man of a mere four years, even with the maladies and struggles that you've had it offers hope.

Having a sense of humor about the virus seems to help and you guys seem to have an abundance of "positivity" about you. I hope to see you both still managing when when I get to be your age.

Marc
Felipe

Santa Fe, NM

#8 Jul 15, 2009
Unfortunately, the only cure for AIDS remains, whether here or in Africa, a change in behavior. Behavior changes will make AIDS go away forever. I think it will happen in my lifetime.
That

Albuquerque, NM

#9 Jul 15, 2009
Felipe wrote:
Unfortunately, the only cure for AIDS remains, whether here or in Africa, a change in behavior. Behavior changes will make AIDS go away forever. I think it will happen in my lifetime.
...is not a cure. It is a preventative measure for people who don't already have it. Except for children born to mothers with AIDS, people who have gotten it thru a transfusion or other medical procedure, anyone including men and women and especially children who have contracted it thru rape, anyone who has contracted it since the mid eighties when it was well known how it is contracted knew how to prevent it. There aren't cures for many viruses that exist. It seems AIDS has become some what chronic, i.e., manageable. Frankly I would rather see a cure for many cancers first.

“United We Stand”

Since: May 09

Los Angeles

#10 Jul 16, 2009
That wrote:
<quoted text>...is not a cure. It is a preventative measure for people who don't already have it. Except for children born to mothers with AIDS, people who have gotten it thru a transfusion or other medical procedure, anyone including men and women and especially children who have contracted it thru rape, anyone who has contracted it since the mid eighties when it was well known how it is contracted knew how to prevent it. There aren't cures for many viruses that exist. It seems AIDS has become some what chronic, i.e., manageable. Frankly I would rather see a cure for many cancers first.
No, actually he's right. If everyone were tested, practiced abstinence if they were positive or practiced only safer sex with other HIV positive people, and those healthy stayed in monogamous marriages and didn't share needles, eventually AIDS would be eradicated.

Unfortunately, that will never happen because too many people are selfish, careless, or just plain hateful and vindictive.

“United We Stand”

Since: May 09

Los Angeles

#11 Jul 16, 2009
Zorkon 756 wrote:
If I may say so---
Several friends died from AIDs prior to 1981 when I first heard of this disease. Since then I've guess I've lost 50 or more perhaps over 100. Some of them women. This has been quite a shock, even though I ran around with a fast crowd.
When I first read of the strange thing killing gay folk in San Francisco and New York in 1981 I have abstained from sex with anyone. I suspected "poppers" at first, lol. I'm still here, and free from this affliction.
I suppose I have a few friends left
Well, I not too long ago watched a documentary that studied those who are actually immune to HIV. And these were people whose ancestors survived the black plague. They were said to have inherited this immunity by their relatives who themselves experience a mutation in the way their immune system works. If there's actually any truth to what I heard on that documentary, I guess the cure lies in tricking everyone's immune system to work the same way.

Furthermore, if this disease had started with the Heterosexual community first, then we would probably be closer to a cure now. Unfortunately, it just so happened by chance that a homosexual man contracted it from abroad and it quickly spread like wild fire to the rest of the gay community.

Most of this transmission was spread through the homosexual male prostitutes who frequented the gay bars and bath houses for quick, convenient, easy money. They didn't have to hunt much for customers. And some of their Johns didn't know they were prostitutes.

Furthermore, many of these prostitutes were IV drug users who were addicted to cocaine and heroine. They had bisexual male lovers or closet homosexual Johns who spread this disease to women and men through their sexual activities and sharing needles with other male and female addicts. These men and women in turn spread it to the heterosexual community in general.

Since: Jul 09

Kihei, HI

#12 Jul 16, 2009
Oh, and here I am thinking all along it was spread by contaminated kitchen spoons. Isn't that in the bible somewhere?

IMHO, the disease was spread from the consumption of monkeys in Africa. I can't quite visualize a virus being able to decide to choose which sex it wants to infect.

There also was a station in Ethiopia where the Soviets were experimenting with viruses for their germ warfare programs. It closed down soon after AIDs made it's first appearance. I've suspected a connection here too.

There is also a mountain in the Congo which contains a cave as large as New York City or at least Central Park, I don't recall which, which has never before been explored by man until just recently and I understand it has been shut up. It is full of viruses that have never been exposed to the outside world. In theory it contains thousands of viruses as deadly as HIV, and originated the Ebola virus too.

And, it could have come on a meteor from outer space, which is where it is theorized all life on earth came from.

However I must agree that the wildfire spread of HIV is due to sharing of bodily fluids between humans one of which is already contaminated. In the gay community this apt to be greater due to a number of different partners.

Now if homosexuals could marry and settle down with one partner for most of their lives, there would be less such carrying on.(though I doubt enough to make a big difference)

In Africa, I understand it is spread mostly by female prostitutes.

Other terrible bugs are on the way that have a special liking for plastic water bottles and republicans.
And

Albuquerque, NM

#14 Jul 16, 2009
ILuvLA wrote:
<quoted text>
No, actually he's right. If everyone were tested, practiced abstinence if they were positive or practiced only safer sex with other HIV positive people, and those healthy stayed in monogamous marriages and didn't share needles, eventually AIDS would be eradicated.
Unfortunately, that will never happen because too many people are selfish, careless, or just plain hateful and vindictive.
actually you're not right. There is a difference in eradication and cure. To try to explain it to you better; if every single person in the world quit somking today, in probably 40 - 60 years or so we would see no more lung cancer cases due to smoking. It would be eradicated. For all of the former smokers, as things stand today, there would be no cure for lung cancer. Once all the smokers with lung cancer died, it would be eradicated, not cured. Big, Big difference.
Larry

AOL

#15 Jul 16, 2009
You all speak of abstinence and behavior modification. You're living in a dream world. Humans are humans. We, as a species, tend to do what we desire even if we'd have to lie about it. So, you opine in abstracts, because it's not, presumably, yourselves you're talking about. Funny it seems it never is. My Partner and I have been positive since the late 70s when nothing was known about it. Not even how to prevent acquiring it. So, we've never spread it around. That's fine, and hooray for us, but it seems we are the exception.

As for it being a manageable disease like diabetes. Once again, you're living in a dream world. The complications and co-conditions that arise along the way, make it just itsy bitsy manageable. All our time together as HIV+ men, we've counseled safety in it's best form since sex is gonna happen anyway. The best way to treat HIV is to not get infected in the first place, because once you do - it's for life and it ain't a bit fun!

The guy who said there are few, if any, viruses that've been cured hit the truth spot on. But, AIDS research has already benefitted viral management, and contributed to many other breakthrus - Gardisil being one of them. If a cure should come, it'll be one of the greatest breakthroughs in medical history, and maybe, just maybe we'll get a knowlegeable handle on all viruses.
That

Albuquerque, NM

#16 Jul 16, 2009
"The guy who said there are few, if any, viruses that've been cured hit the truth spot on.", is a girl. Thank you.

“United We Stand”

Since: May 09

Los Angeles

#17 Jul 16, 2009
Zorkon 756 wrote:
Oh, and here I am thinking all along it was spread by contaminated kitchen spoons. Isn't that in the bible somewhere?
IMHO, the disease was spread from the consumption of monkeys in Africa. I can't quite visualize a virus being able to decide to choose which sex it wants to infect.
There also was a station in Ethiopia where the Soviets were experimenting with viruses for their germ warfare programs. It closed down soon after AIDs made it's first appearance. I've suspected a connection here too.
There is also a mountain in the Congo which contains a cave as large as New York City or at least Central Park, I don't recall which, which has never before been explored by man until just recently and I understand it has been shut up. It is full of viruses that have never been exposed to the outside world. In theory it contains thousands of viruses as deadly as HIV, and originated the Ebola virus too.
And, it could have come on a meteor from outer space, which is where it is theorized all life on earth came from.
However I must agree that the wildfire spread of HIV is due to sharing of bodily fluids between humans one of which is already contaminated. In the gay community this apt to be greater due to a number of different partners.
Now if homosexuals could marry and settle down with one partner for most of their lives, there would be less such carrying on.(though I doubt enough to make a big difference)
In Africa, I understand it is spread mostly by female prostitutes.
Other terrible bugs are on the way that have a special liking for plastic water bottles and republicans.
Well, you have no arguments with me when it comes to the origins of this disease. I'm only stating that a gay man happened to contract it abroad and spread it to the rest of the gay community. It was originally NEVER a homosexual disease to begin with. It's just that in this country, it started with the homosexuals first.

“United We Stand”

Since: May 09

Los Angeles

#18 Jul 16, 2009
That wrote:
"The guy who said there are few, if any, viruses that've been cured hit the truth spot on.", is a girl. Thank you.
Everyone knows that about viruses. They are much harder to fight off than bacteria. That's common knowledge. No argument there.

“United We Stand”

Since: May 09

Los Angeles

#19 Jul 16, 2009
And wrote:
<quoted text>actually you're not right. There is a difference in eradication and cure. To try to explain it to you better; if every single person in the world quit somking today, in probably 40 - 60 years or so we would see no more lung cancer cases due to smoking. It would be eradicated. For all of the former smokers, as things stand today, there would be no cure for lung cancer. Once all the smokers with lung cancer died, it would be eradicated, not cured. Big, Big difference.
When me and Felipe talked about behavior modification to eradicate the disease as being the only cure, we didn't really mean that that was a cure in the most technical medical definition.

Of course there's a difference between eradication and actually finding a cure for something. No arguments there either.
Larry

AOL

#20 Jul 17, 2009
That wrote:
"The guy who said there are few, if any, viruses that've been cured hit the truth spot on.", is a girl. Thank you.
Huh? You have quite an imagination.
You referred

Albuquerque, NM

#21 Jul 17, 2009
Larry wrote:
<quoted text>
Huh? You have quite an imagination.
...to the "guy", who made the comment that not many viruses have cures. It is not a guy who made the comment. It's a girl. Nobody is calling YOU a girl.

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