Skip to comments.Rare Drug - Resistant HIV Found in N.Y.
Posted on 02/11/2005 6:07:56 PM PST by neverdem
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 8:06 p.m. ET
NEW YORK (AP) -- New York's first diagnosed case of highly drug-resistant HIV in a person never before treated for the virus is ``a wake up call'' to anyone who has unprotected sex, the city's health commissioner said Friday.
The patient, a man in his mid-40s who had unprotected sex with other men, contracted a strain of HIV that is ``difficult or impossible to treat and which appears to progress rapidly to AIDS,'' said the Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden.
The diagnosis ``is a wake up call to men who have sex with men,'' Frieden said at a news conference.
The commissioner said the city's health authorities are working with the federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to find other possible cases of the drug-resistant HIV strain that quickly turns into AIDS.
``We are not aware of another case like this in the United States, or elsewhere,'' said Dr. Ron Valdiserri, deputy director of the CDC's National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention.
New York health officials are now trying to locate the man's sex partners to offer them testing. The city has not released his name.
The man was first diagnosed in December 2004 at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center on Manhattan's East Side. He apparently had been infected recently after years of what Frieden said was the riskiest sexual behavior -- unprotected anal intercourse. The man developed AIDS as early as two or three months after diagnosis.
``To go from infection to disease in months is very unusual,'' said Frieden, noting that HIV can take as many as 10 years to develop into AIDS.
Another factor that may have contributed to the careless sexual behavior was his use of crystal methamphetamine -- or ``crystal meth,'' Frieden said. ``It's a drug that reduces inhibitions and protective impulses.''
The patient's three-class antiretroviral-resistant HIV did not respond to three of four classes of anti-retroviral medication most commonly prescribed. He is now receiving a fourth ``cocktail'' in hopes his rare HIV strain will respond, health officials said.
Drug resistance is increasingly common among HIV-positive people, including some who had never been treated before -- but not with such a fast progression to AIDS, Valdiserri said.
What makes this case important to scientists is ``the double whammy of resistance to three classes of drugs, in combination with the rapid clinical course of the HIV to AIDS,'' Valdiserri said. ``The message to the American public is that HIV remains a very formidable adversary. We can't let down our vigilance.''
Dr. James Braun, president of the Physicians Research Network, a New York-based not-for-profit organization of clinicians serving HIV patients, said the New York case comes as no surprise: ``We believe that the transmission of treatment-resistant HIV was a disaster waiting to happen, particularly in communities where safer sex is not practiced regularly and in light of people using drugs like crystal meth.''
More than 88,000 New Yorkers are known to be living with HIV/AIDS, and an estimated 20,000 more are believed to be infected and don't know it, according to the city's health department.
Frieden said the gay community successfully reduced its risk of AIDS after the first big epidemic in the 1980s. ``And it must do so again to stop the spread of drug-resistant strains.''
On the Net:
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: http://www.nyc.gov/health
It's not going to be rare for long. Not with the week-kneed liberal feel-good diversity BS that runs rampant through our society.
Now, why did this dude have unprotected sex with multiple partners?
> NYC DHMH: The diagnosis ``is a wake up call ...
No, the wake-up call was 20 years ago when HIV first
appeared, and its transmission was identified.
Anyone still snoozing about HIV has a clear death-wish.
Smelling the coffee isn't going to get their attention.
"More than 88,000 New Yorkers are known to be living with HIV/AIDS, and an estimated 20,000 more are believed to be infected and don't know it,"
New York New York, what a wonderful town.
Sounds to me like the problem will sort itself out.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Thanks for the link.
if ya play,and your gay,be prepared to pay.
You reap what you sow!!
Yep. Just another lifestyle...
What do you call mutations that confer resistance to drugs in formerly sensitive organisms?
More $$$$$$$ We need More $$$$$ for AIDS research
AIDs is the best thing ever happened to the drug companies
I'm sorry but the threat to public safety outweighs this individual's right to privacy. The spread of AIDS would drastically be curtailed if infected people had their names and faces publicized. The gay lobby will never allow this to happen though.
This is a real shocker for a guy having anal sex with multiple partners who are HIV positive.I watched a TV show the other night about young men who go out and purposely get infected with HIV.The older gay guys were trying to blame it on the feeling of being left out of the club.The other excuses were mostly on the emotional hell of watching a partner die from AIDS while you remain alive.If this type of behavior continues they will end up creating a super AIDS virus that no medication can reverse.I always knew homosexuals had mental disorders but we could now add stupid and suicidal to the list.
The gay lobby seems to be saying, "Don't worry about cancer. To hell with MS sufferers and all those other diseases that strike arbitrarily. We demand a cure for AIDS now so we can continue having unprotected gay sex with multiple partners without fear of consequence. How dare this virus take away our fun! Find a cure immediately!
WTF??? Yeah, right on, employers fire smokers for a risky lifestyle. Meanwhile thanks to gays, our health insurance rates go throught the roof. This while the feds and states pour out billions of tobacco tax monies (that was touted as earmarked for tobacco related health problems) onto the poor sweet gay innocents.
Lacking of moral courage, this PC speak no truth society of ours is one sicko bunch of puppies.
they quarantine those most likeky to not continue a tuberculosis regimen. may be time to rethink drug resistant aids policy?
How about we ask Fidel to quarantine our HIV/AIDS cases, and we'll resume diplomatic relations with Cuba? /sarcasm
So this little twist occurs, as it will in the world of mutating viruses. Additional $Billions will be requested and no one will dare question the possible behavioral controls that could put the brakes on this disease. Ugh!
In 1986 I attended a series of lectures by Dr. Howard Temin, Nobel Prize winning retro virologist, on the AIDS epidemic. At that time they projected a cost per patient of about $100K from diagnosis to death. In those days there was not a great life expectancy and there were few of the complex and expensive drug combinations. So the HIV+ are living longer and consuming resources at a much faster clip. Does anyone out there have authoritative estimates of the cost of this behavioral tragedy?
IIRC, all these drugs for AIDS eventually encounter a mutation in the virus that confers resistance. This patient probably had sex with someone who was taking AIDS drugs for a long enough period of time that a resistant strain developed. There's a chance for a new mutation every time the virus replicates , more so with a retrovirus that needs an extra step to make DNA from its RNA before it can insert the DNA into the chromosomes of lymphocytes for replication.
Why don't these mutations ever render the virus harmless? :-P You'd think a virus that was in such a constant state of mutaton would eventually become less of a threat instead of more of a threat, just on the law of averages. But what do I know?
This was bound to happen sooner or later.
There are many different strains of AIDS which can be cross-infected. (This means that someone who has AIDS can catch another form of it.)
Someone who has multiple strains may develop a mutation like this.
There is a real danger of a deadly disease like this mutating from being infectious to highly-infectious to even contagious (possibly).
Why are we to believe that education can change "risky behavior" but not homosexuality itself. If we just throw more money at the problem, homosexuals will stop engaging in unprotected anal intercourse, right? But trying to educate not to engage in homosexual intercourse at all will not work, right?
This is not a privacy issue. It is both a moral issue and a public health issue.
Unfortunately, men who have sex with men are only responsible for about half the new cases of HIV/AIDS in the last year that I saw CDC numbers. There are bisexuals, heterosexuals, intravenous drug users and medical mishaps that account for the rest in this country.
In most cases, Natural Selection.
In the case of HIV, its Unnatural Selection.
I haven't touched anyone intimately since I first heard the term GRID, which soon became a politically correct AIDS. I am not married, so this seemed the gentlemanly way to do things. I have a few worries, but blood borne illness is not one of them.
Excellent reading comprehension. Here's another detail. In the opening line of the story, the hack writes ...is ``a wake up call'' to anyone who has unprotected sex, the city's health commissioner said Friday. Then in the next paragraph, there is a direct quote from that very commissioner that reads ...diagnosis ``is a wake up call to men who have sex with men,'' Frieden said at a news conference. So "everyone"="men who have sex with men"? Hmmm.
I do give the hack or hackette credit for giving the direct quote and the crystal meth reference. Perhaps at AP that is the equivalent of subversion.
The key item in this story is the reference to this dude using meth. There are alot of things about meth we know...but just as many that we don't know. I'm guessing meth helped to alter the AIDS strain. When you consider how many folks out there are using Meth (across the heartland)...this 3-month speedy AIDS strain ought to filter across the US very quickly. We ought to see 10,000 cases by the end of this year...and these meth AIDS members...will quickly meet their end.
At least a Darwin Award!
Well, some of the things I know about meth is that it is sometimes injected, and people who are on it usually look pretty scabby and scuzzy. I think it is simpler than the meth causing "mutations." I think you do a lot of drugs, you're going to get sick.
I'm not inclined to think so. Meth works very much like adrenaline(epinephrine). I'm more inclined to think it stressed the immune system besides lose the inhibition about doing stupid acts.
And lesbians, a group least likely to get AIDS, but who can get breast cancer, are at the front lines campaigning for AIDS money.
Hat's off to you, Ash, yer doin' it right! Trust me when I tell ya, you'll be glad you did.
Thanks - that very good information. Looks like it costs $12-15K for keeping a patient on the antiviral "cocktail" of drugs for one year. I don't know what the lifetime costs for an AIDS patient are, but this is good to know.
I find this to be the classic bureaucrat's view of a government program "saving" money. They are taking general revenue dollars to keep a patient's private insurance going (paying the private insurance premium already in place with tax dollars, rather than letting the patient drop the insurance and go 100% on the back of the taxpayer) - and they celebrate the savings that this represents over direct state Medicaid payment for the treatment. It can only be regarded as savings if you assume that the seropositivity of some number of people in FL is a given. It's as if we need to declare victory and celebrate Florida's use of private insurance - when in fact all they are doing in is spreading the cost over a larger pool (the universe of the insured in a given patient's private insurance). So - Florida taxpayers win and all private insurance carrier insured lose. You have spread losses to some undefined group outside the jurisdiction of FL. But of course all other states are doing the same to other states, including FL.
The prospect of saving money by eliminating the behaviors that contribute to seropositivity in the first place - not considered. This is the insanity of AIDS policy.