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Bridge of Djoum

Good Article on Edinburgh's Aids Epidemic

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Bridge of Djoum

I'm sure most of us are aware of the story behind this, interesting all the same.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-50473604

 

HIV/Aids affected my family in the late 80's. My cousin died after a blood transfusion, he'd suffered a pretty bad injury at work. His folks just never got over it and didn't last long after his death. His brothers also went off the rails, into fairly serious crime afterwards. 

 

The steps made since into treatment are nothing short of remarkable.

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millerjames398
1 hour ago, Bridge of Djoum said:

I'm sure most of us are aware of the story behind this, interesting all the same.

 

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-50473604

 

HIV/Aids affected my family in the late 80's. My cousin died after a blood transfusion, he'd suffered a pretty bad injury at work. His folks just never got over it and didn't last long after his death. His brothers also went off the rails, into fairly serious crime afterwards. 

 

The steps made since into treatment are nothing short of remarkable.

Read that earlier, dark days back then, im from Falkirk area and that era of the 80s was before my time, but estates like langlees, camelon and the bog in Falkirk got absolutely decimated by heroin abuse, more with od's than hiv or aids mind you,

And you right the leaps they've made in treatment of HIV are absolutely amazing.

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Helzibob

I have a friend that’s HIV positive. His viral load is non detectable which is amazing as 15 or so years ago when he was diagnosed that wasn’t even thought of. He’s fit and healthy and will likely live just as long as me.

 

Read a really interesting book about 10 years ago called 28 stories of aids in Africa. There are prostitutes in Ruwanda (I think) that are unable to catch the virus, every time their body is exposed to HIV it produces so many killer T cells it stops them becoming infected. It’s fascinating. 

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Bridge of Djoum
5 minutes ago, Helzibob said:

I have a friend that’s HIV positive. His viral load is non detectable which is amazing as 15 or so years ago when he was diagnosed that wasn’t even thought of. He’s fit and healthy and will likely live just as long as me.

 

Read a really interesting book about 10 years ago called 28 stories of aids in Africa. There are prostitutes in Ruwanda (I think) that are unable to catch the virus, every time their body is exposed to HIV it produces so many killer T cells it stops them becoming infected. It’s fascinating. 

I read something on that story, in my mind it was Uganda but you could well be right. 

 

There was also John Michael Glaser, from Starsky and Hutch. His wife contracted HIV after a transfusion giving birth to their daughter. They had a 2nd child whilst still unaware she was infected. Both her and the 2 children died but he was apparently infection free. A really sad case. That poor man. 

 

I also have a friend who is HIV. He is fit and healthy and likely to live a long life. 

Edited by Bridge of Djoum

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RobboM


I was listening to a brilliant podcast on Friday. Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History and an episode entitled The Obscure Virus Club.
http://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/40-the-obscure-virus-club

It was about a scientist, Howard Temin, who became convinced that something wasn't right in science's understanding of viruses. The conventional wisdom was that it was impossible for a virus to cause diseases like cancers because cancers were a result of DNA malformation and couldn't be caused by the RNA in a  virus. Temin set out to disprove this and eventually found an enzyme which effectively acted as a reverse translator and showed exactly how such virus work. Along with others working on the exact same issue he won a Nobel prize in 1975. This reverse transcriptase was key to understanding HIV and also in understanding how treatments could be effective. Without this work there would have been no understanding of how something such as HIV even worked and the research arrived only just in time to treat it.

Nb I'm no scientist so this is just my translation of what happened but the podcast just ahd you in awe of the genius and tenacity of a scientist like Temin and how prescient his work was.

Edited by RobboM

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Bridge of Djoum
13 minutes ago, RobboM said:


I was listening to a brilliant podcast on Friday. Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History and an episode entitled The Obscure Virus Club.
http://revisionisthistory.com/episodes/40-the-obscure-virus-club

It was about a scientist, Howard Temin, who became convinced that something wasn't right in science's understanding of viruses. The conventional wisdom was that it was impossible for a virus to cause diseases like cancers because cancers were a result of DNA malformation and couldn't be caused by the RNA in a  virus. Temin set out to disprove this and eventually found an enzyme which effectively acted as a reverse translator and showed exactly how such virus work. Along with others working on the exact same issue he won a Nobel prize in 1975. This reverse transcriptase was key to understanding HIV and also in understanding how treatments could be effective. Without this work there would have been no understanding of how something such as HIV even worked and the research arrived only just in time to treat it.

Nb I'm no scientist so this is just my translation of what happened but the podcast just ahd you in awe of the genius and tenacity of a scientist like Temin and how prescient his work was.

Yes! One of the best podcasts I've listened to. 

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Locky

Sadly I lost a few relatives to this disease. Admittedly it was drug use related, but dare I say at the time, they were doing it recreationally. They were young at the time and just thought it was the done thing among their peers, which it sort of was before people really knew the repercussions. In the case of my Uncle, he actually contracted it through an unprotected one night stand with a woman who never thought to tell him she was infected.

 

My Auntie (ex of my aforementioned Uncle, not the one who gave him it though) was quite a story. She was diagnosed back in about 1988. Doctors gave her months. She was only in her mid 20's at that point. She continued to live a relatively active life still, going on holiday with my Nana and stuff up until the late 90's but she got to a point where in her mid 30's, she all but gave up and became a bit of a recluse. For about 4 years she barely left the house, and basically sat around waiting to die. Eventually though, we got through to her and found ways to get her active again. One of which was going to Tynecastle. She hadn't been for years.

 

She always seen me as the child she never had, and had money to spare when she didn't go out, so would often give my Dad money to take me to the football as he was a single parent with me, with very little income. But my Dad kept pestering her to come and eventually she did. She loved it. That was around 2002, and for the next decade or so, she continued to be a regular at Tynecastle. She was off her nut at the games, and was one of the most vocal people I've seen at a match. :lol:

 

She passed away in September 2011, 6 months before her 50th birthday. She was planning a big birthday bash, which sadly she never lived for. But, the mere fact she could even dream of a 50th was remarkable considering 23 years previous, she was given months to live.  

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GinRummy
7 hours ago, Locky said:

Sadly I lost a few relatives to this disease. Admittedly it was drug use related, but dare I say at the time, they were doing it recreationally. They were young at the time and just thought it was the done thing among their peers, which it sort of was before people really knew the repercussions. In the case of my Uncle, he actually contracted it through an unprotected one night stand with a woman who never thought to tell him she was infected.

 

My Auntie (ex of my aforementioned Uncle, not the one who gave him it though) was quite a story. She was diagnosed back in about 1988. Doctors gave her months. She was only in her mid 20's at that point. She continued to live a relatively active life still, going on holiday with my Nana and stuff up until the late 90's but she got to a point where in her mid 30's, she all but gave up and became a bit of a recluse. For about 4 years she barely left the house, and basically sat around waiting to die. Eventually though, we got through to her and found ways to get her active again. One of which was going to Tynecastle. She hadn't been for years.

 

She always seen me as the child she never had, and had money to spare when she didn't go out, so would often give my Dad money to take me to the football as he was a single parent with me, with very little income. But my Dad kept pestering her to come and eventually she did. She loved it. That was around 2002, and for the next decade or so, she continued to be a regular at Tynecastle. She was off her nut at the games, and was one of the most vocal people I've seen at a match. :lol:

 

She passed away in September 2011, 6 months before her 50th birthday. She was planning a big birthday bash, which sadly she never lived for. But, the mere fact she could even dream of a 50th was remarkable considering 23 years previous, she was given months to live.  


Thanks for sharing and sorry for your loss. Lost several friends in the early to mid 90’s. Thankfully the long term prognosis is so much better now. So sad how many young people were lost to this terrible disease back then. 
 

 

Edited by GinRummy

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Locky
3 hours ago, GinRummy said:


Thanks for sharing and sorry for your loss. Lost several friends in the early to mid 90’s. Thankfully the long term prognosis is so much better now. So sad how many young people were lost to this terrible disease back then. 
 

 

Cheers mate. Yeah it's mad how in one of the richest cities in the world, there's this group of us who have all been affected one way or another by this disease. Especially when I look around areas where I had a lot of family, like Drylaw, Muirhouse etc. These areas have changed a lot, for the better obviously. But, I still can't help but feel a bit sad when I think about everything that's been demolished and the people who once lived there, as in these areas was probably the highest rates of infection.

 

It's almost as though a part of our city, and ultimately our lives, has been sort of washed away, forgotten about forever.

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RobboM

I was reading about Andrew Neil, just interested in his connections with Boris Johnson, and came across the following that I was unaware of.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Neil

HIV/AIDS

During Neil's time as editor, The Sunday Times backed a campaign to prove that HIV was not a cause of AIDS.[29][86][87][88] In 1990, The Sunday Times serialised a book by an American conservative who rejected the scientific consensus on the causes of AIDS and argued that AIDS could not spread to heterosexuals.[87] Articles and editorials in The Sunday Times cast doubt on the scientific consensus, described HIV as a "politically correct virus" about which there was a "conspiracy of silence," disputed that AIDS was spreading in Africa, claimed that tests for HIV were invalid, described the HIV/AIDS treatment drug azidothymidine (AZT) as harmful, and characterised the World Health Organization (WHO) as an "Empire-building AIDS [organisation]."[87]


The pseudoscientific coverage of HIV/AIDS in the Sunday Times led the scientific journal Nature to monitor the newspaper's coverage and to publish letters rebutting Sunday Times articles which the Sunday Times refused to publish.[87] In response to this, the Sunday Times published an article headlined "AIDS – why we won't be silenced", which claimed that Nature engaged in censorship and "sinister intent".[87] In his 1996 book, Full Disclosure, Neil wrote that the HIV/AIDS denialism "deserved publication to encourage debate."[87] That same year, he wrote that the Sunday Times had been vindicated in its coverage, "The Sunday Times was one of a handful of newspapers, perhaps the most prominent, which argued that heterosexual Aids was a myth. The figures are now in and this newspaper stands totally vindicated... The history of Aids is one of the great scandals of our time. I do not blame doctors and the Aids lobby for warning that everybody might be at risk in the early days, when ignorance was rife and reliable evidence scant." He criticised the "AIDS establishment" and said "Aids had become an industry, a job-creation scheme for the caring classes."[89]

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Governor Tarkin

My mum used to do volunteer work at Milestone House back in the '90's.

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GinRummy
9 hours ago, Locky said:

Cheers mate. Yeah it's mad how in one of the richest cities in the world, there's this group of us who have all been affected one way or another by this disease. Especially when I look around areas where I had a lot of family, like Drylaw, Muirhouse etc. These areas have changed a lot, for the better obviously. But, I still can't help but feel a bit sad when I think about everything that's been demolished and the people who once lived there, as in these areas was probably the highest rates of infection.

 

It's almost as though a part of our city, and ultimately our lives, has been sort of washed away, forgotten about forever.

 

Very good post. 

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EH11_2NL
11 hours ago, Governor Tarkin said:

My mum used to do volunteer work at Milestone House back in the '90's.

My wee sister was one of the original care assistants there when it opened. Unfortunately my cousin ended up there after contracting HIV from a wee schemey **** from Pilton. The medical assistance and know-how just wasn't there back then and she died from pneumonia. Amazingly her daughter didn't contract the virus though and has her own business on Skye. Pity her mum didn't live to see that. Unfortunately Edinburgh deserved that title at the time.

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Bridge of Djoum
On 02/12/2019 at 18:31, Governor Tarkin said:

My mum used to do volunteer work at Milestone House back in the '90's.

Was that the hospice? I think Waverley were involved. 

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Bridge of Djoum
14 hours ago, EH11_2NL said:

My wee sister was one of the original care assistants there when it opened. Unfortunately my cousin ended up there after contracting HIV from a wee schemey **** from Pilton. The medical assistance and know-how just wasn't there back then and she died from pneumonia. Amazingly her daughter didn't contract the virus though and has her own business on Skye. Pity her mum didn't live to see that. Unfortunately Edinburgh deserved that title at the time.

I tend to think that unofficial title was something of a misnomer at the time. Edinburgh just recognized and acknowledged it had a problem at the time and took to steps to investigate it whereas other major cities tended to write it off as some other issue. 

 

Not arguing with your post BTW. 

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Tazio

A friend I had at this time contracted HIV from drug use which then developed into full blown AIDS. The saddest thing was he went back to his home town of Portsmouth to die and visit his mum and spend his last time with her. We discovered later that she was a heroin addict who’d actively got him into it when he was a teenager and gave him smack and needles. He died and the old bag was still alive and infection free when he eventually went. 
heroin just seems to make people lose any decency or morals they have as it takes over their life. He was a lovely lad who was clean for a long time before he was diagnosed. 

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Angry Haggis

Born mid 70’s sand growing up as a kid during the 80’s in Edinburgh in estate close to problem areas I was very aware of HIV/Aids problem. To me it was a bit like a shadow that was hanging over the community and I can recall the sheer misunderstanding of the disease and facts. I suppose looking back it was part of the wider issues faced by trying to get to grips with the facts. 

 

Reading the the links above that Dr Robertson should get a medal for his work at the time. 

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GinRummy
8 hours ago, Bridge of Djoum said:

Was that the hospice? I think Waverley were involved. 


It’s still there, in Oxgangs. It is Waverley Care.

 

A lot of people with HIV who have other issues use it as a sort of retreat. Retreat probably the wrong word but somewhere to go for a break or some respite from their day to day problems.

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EH11_2NL
3 hours ago, GinRummy said:


It’s still there, in Oxgangs. It is Waverley Care.

 

A lot of people with HIV who have other issues use it as a sort of retreat. Retreat probably the wrong word but somewhere to go for a break or some respite from their day to day problems.

They did (and still do I would imagine) great work there. First of it's kind in Scotland. Nobody really knew how it would go or what direction they were headed but I was so proud of my wee sister being one of the first nurses there. The patients also had no real idea of what to expect and it was a real groundbreaking moment for Scotland and Edinburgh.

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GinRummy
28 minutes ago, EH11_2NL said:

They did (and still do I would imagine) great work there. First of it's kind in Scotland. Nobody really knew how it would go or what direction they were headed but I was so proud of my wee sister being one of the first nurses there. The patients also had no real idea of what to expect and it was a real groundbreaking moment for Scotland and Edinburgh.

👍 good on her. 

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JamesM48

I came out around the same time AIDS was at its height ( around 1985) and I was terrified.  It is incredible how things have changed for people with HIV and now they can live just as long as non HIV people.  I followed the safe sex advice , ( an effective campaign) therefore managed to side step it.  Although the prognosis is great now I would still hate to be taking  drugs which are very powerful and i wonder about the impact on a persons liver and the side effects. A Couple of  my friends are HIV and one has terrible side effects from the meds but it keeps him alive. Ironically i probably know more people who died from AiDS due to drug use than sexual activity. 

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Dusk_Till_Dawn

The policing sounds ridiculous now but it’s easy to be clever with hindsight. I was probably too young in the 80s to be properly aware of the AIDS epidemic but it’s a scary read. That bit about punters offering prostitutes extra not to use condoms is unbelievably cruel.

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Salad Fingers

I know the link was at the bottom of the BBC article but the programme is on tomorrow night, 9pm on BBC 1.

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