Thursday, March 4, 2010

Inspiration

Grad school is a strange beast. Nothing can be more exciting and rewarding while at the same time so defeating as John pointed out. I chose to study virology because I wanted to make a difference. I thought that there was no better way to impact as many lives as possible than working on infectious diseases, especially viruses which lag behind bacteria in treatments. I was young bright eyed and optimistic, probably a little too young, too bright eyed and too optimistic. Many seasoned grad students and PhDs who talked to me would agree. I respected the fact that science moved at a time scale only slightly faster than a geologic one, but I was not prepared for the rollercoaster that is grad school. I have to say through classes and rotations I felt like anther cog in a massive machine. I never saw how anything I worked on could ever make a slight impact on the world or be of the slightest interest to anyone aside from 10 other people in the world. It is really a quite humbling and depressing realization. Scientists are born asking question, so it comes at no surprise that we usually question ourselves, our motives, our skill, our qualifications and our goals and ambitions. If I had a quarter for every time I questioned myself I could fund my lab. The most important and frequent question I ask myself is “is it worth it?” On my worst days when my western blot has failed every day for the second week in a row, I almost say no. Caught in a moment of hopelessness I question how much more failure I can take, how on earth can I continue in a career of failure, and most critically how can I fulfill those wild dreams of making a difference in the world. I refuse to let grad school take that goal away from me. Its on days like that when seeing something like this (see below), makes me proud of what I am doing, strengthens my will, and motivates me to step outside the confines of my lab and actually try to make a difference.

Letter From JW. Tested HIV Positive. What do you suggest I do from here regarding further testing? I don't know what to beli...

Today at 12:01pm

Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2010 07:01:08 -0800
To:
Subject: House of Numbers: Tested Positive - Film Availability

I am a 34 y/o gay male who recently tested positive in December. I had three tests - two rapid (oral and blood) and one Western Blot and they all (shockingly) came back positive. I don't understand how this is possible because I've only had oral sex and never let anyone intentionally cum in my mouth. However, it has happened a couple times. That's the only "exposure" I can assume in my case. However, even then it's very rare according to what I've researched.

I'm supposed to have a viral load test to confirm this is in fact HIV. I just don't trust the process anymore and the "meds" have always been a fear of mine years before testing positive. I just knew in my spirit that they're poison and I believe your film (like the others) confirms that.

I recently watched AIDS, Inc and another similar documentary. They're both dated films but very informative and have led me to question HIV/AIDS diagnosis. More specifically the testing process.

I'm really looking forward to viewing House Of Numbers but unfortunately I discovered your documentary after it already screened in Los Angeles. Is it possible to purchase an advanced copy or screener? Is it available to view (PPV) online?

What do you suggest I do from here regarding further testing? I don't know what to believe anymore and it's very uncomfortable not knowing what to do.

Thank you for your time and your courage in creating this film.

Respectfully,
JW

Updated 9 hours ago · View Original Post · Report Note

Sheila Dvorak If you can send this message to JW - PLease contact the organization Alive and Well. They will be able to help you from here. http://www.aliveandwell.org/

2 hours ago · Report

Andres Marroquin Hi Dear JW, my suggestion for you, is not to rely on beliefs, this is mostly a matter of educating your self about real facts, behind HIV=AIDS hypothesis, I would strongly recommend if you study the scientific literature from great and highly credible people, who spent years, making research on this matter, read Inventig the Aids Virus from Dr. ... See MorePeter Duesberg, also Origins, Failures and persistence from HIV=Aids hypothesis from Dr. Henry Bauer, Goodbye Aids From Aids trap surviver Maria Papagiannidou, go and visit the following websites, rethinkingaids.com, aliveandwell.org. I am sure that you will get a conclsuion after reading this material, stick with that, forget about your test result, there are many conditions well documented that can produce those results, the manufacturers from these kits, recognize that there is no standard to determine based in a serological result the presence or abscence of HIV, and please, do not take ARV therapy, a lot of people die from complications associated with it, specially liver failure. Change your beliefs and fears and make a transition in knowing facts from responsible and well condiucted science, mind is very important on this issue, take care and God bless you, you are fine!

2 hours ago · Report

Lishui K Springford

check out www.newmedicine.ca

about an hour ago · Report

Now, I seriously hope that the letter is from someone trolling instead of someone looking for help during the worst time of their life. Sadly, to think that this is not happening (if not here then elsewhere) would be like denying HIV exists. My work on HIV in lab may never result in a cure, or even amount to a drug that can extend lives. However, all those papers and seminars I attended were not a waste. Knowledge is the currency of science and I have a lot in the bank to fight these dangerous people who call themselves HIV dissidents. I can’t change the minds of hard-core dissidents, but maybe I can prevent needless suffering for people like JW by taking on their campaign of misinformation with real facts. Although, seeing things like this makes my blood boil I will try not to let my emotions get the best of me. That is what these people thrive off of, they want to make scientists throw their hands up in frustration. That is what they get when they argue with a famous and often busy PI. What they forget is that I am a grad student, I have an iron will, and I am not afraid to bash my head against a wall for years to get a result if need be. The internet has given people unparalleled access to information and dissident groups of all types have taken full advantage of it, its time to remind them that the internet works both ways.

3 comments:

  1. I thought your response to the "Perth Group" on the film's facebook page was a really sober and smart dissection of their duplicitousness and sophistry. Denialism is a grim thing to tackle, but it really does hurt people. I'm trying to find out who is responsible for letting that film be put on Cable On Demand so maybe people can write to them and point out that it is propaganda of the worst imaginable kind. The trail of spam being left around the internet by the producer David Syner claiming "nutrition is the answer" may be helpful in that regard (google "dsinla").

    ReplyDelete
  2. NM thanks for all the support and coming to this blog!

    It it does suck that this will be out there, but we cannot repress them. They do have their rights, just like we do to voice our opinions. If we begin a campaign to ban this documentary, they will use it as evidence that there is some kind of coverup or that scientists are afraid that people will "find out the truth." From their point of view the more controversy they can cause the better. Unfortunately, if people take that advice it could be disastrous. I would be the first one to petition to put a declaimer on the video stating that the content is to stir up scientific discussion and is in no way intended to constitute medical advice. I would see that as a minor victory while we sort out the scientific debate. I challenge the film group to accept such an advisory in the best interest of their viewers. Maybe we can agree on something since it appears we both want to end suffering. It would be a good gesture on their part. I have some other ideas of things the scientific community can do, but i want to think them out before posting. Keep coming back here for updates. Thanks again.

    Kevin

    ReplyDelete
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