Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Alert Issued For New Strain Of Hiv

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
The announcement came as follows: ÒNEW YORK CITY RESIDENT DIAGNOSED WITH RARE STRAIN OF MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT HIV THAT RAPIDLY PROGRESSES TO AIDS. Highly Virulent Strain Resistant to Three Types of HIV Drugs Is Rare In Patients Not Previously Treated for HIV; Strain Is Also Associated with Rapid Onset of AIDS. Health Dept. Urges At-Risk Groups To Stop Risky Sexual Behavior; Patients Who Are On Treatment For HIV/AIDS And Are Doing Well Do Not Need Susceptibility Testing Unless Advised By Their Physician.Ó The appearance of a new strain of HIV that can develop into AIDS in a matter of weeks is a timely reminder that this disease remains far from being conquered. "With all the treatments, people think that this is a treatable disease," Dr. John Blatherwick, chief medical health officer with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, told Vancouver's The Province. "It's an illness that will kill you but some people can live quite a while." Health officials in B.C. have issued an alert concerning this new AIDS strain. It first showed up in a man in New York City who is believed to have had "unprotected" sex with as many as 100 male partners while using the drug crystal methamphetamine. New York issued its own warning on Friday, February 11. The following Monday, the New York Times reported that the strain does not respond to 19 of 20 licensed anti-retroviral medications. (From various sources, including Family Facts, and New York Times)

Apparently there is an epidemic of HIV and AIDS in New York City: more than 88,000 New Yorkers are known to be living with HIV/AIDS, and an estimated 20,000 more are believed to be living with HIV/AIDS and don't know it.

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