HIV “Cure” in Miracle Water

January 12, 2014

The word “cure” is getting thrown around a lot these days. There is a lot of promising research taking place and I am in hopeful place that in a decade’s time (give or take) I’ll be living a life free of HIV… or, at the very least, a life free of the daily routine of taking HIV medications.

Science will ultimately prevail.

But in the meantime, there are charlatans who claim they have the cure right now. The other night I was watching TV at the ungodly hour of 4 am, which I guess is appropriate considering the fella whom I happened upon.

Peter Popoff. Apparently he’s been at it for three decades and was exposed in the 1980s as a fraud, yet here he is today making millions of dollars offering people magical debt cures and miracle water that can cure HIV and just about any other medical condition you may have. Here’s the HIV part of the infomercial, forgive the poor quality of the video which was recorded from my phone.

It’s incredible that- for the right price- someone can run an ad like this. It preys on the gullible and the desperate and could have devastating consequences. If there is a God and there is a Hell, I think there’s a special place in the latter for people like Peter “Fuckoff” Popoff.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Paris Hilton Has AIDS (Problem)

September 23, 2012

 

paris-hilton-gay.jpg

Can you tell which quote above was secretly recorded and which one was not?

Mostly everyone has heard Paris Hilton’s controversial comments by now.  If you haven’t, here’s the scoop.  She was riding in a cab with a gay friend (his orientation matters here) talking about the hook-up site, Grindr.  That’s when Paris went on a little rant about gay men and her thoughts on their sexual appetites.  Her opinion on the matter was capped with, “Dude, most of them probably have AIDS … I would be so scared if I was a gay guy. You’ll like, die of AIDS.”

You may remember a few years ago Paris stepped in a puddle of water and said she was worried she’d gotten AIDS from it.  She wasn’t being serious, it was a brain fart but it did provide some fodder for me and countless others.  In some ways, we should thank Paris for sparking conversations that reach people who may not otherwise know that you can’t get AIDS from a puddle, or that all gay men are not at risk of dying from AIDS.  In some ways, she’s kind of an accidental Ambassador for AIDS Discourse in America.

What Paris Hilton said was wrong-headed.  Make no mistake about it.  I hope her friend attempted to correct her thinking, even at the risk of being snubbed for a while and missing out on cool parties and shopping expenditures, or whatever it is that Paris occupies her time with.  I also wish the cab driver had challenged her, if he were offended by her remarks… did he start recording her for a reason?  Had she said ridiculous things before that?  Was he offended, or just trying to make money off of her fame?

Either way, her comments brings to light a very real problem because many people feel the same way she does.  Whether or not they think gay men are disgusting, lots of folks still think AIDS is problem that is only faced by the gay community.  Lots of young men in the gay community practice unsafe sex, because they think AIDS is a problem faced only by old men- men in their 40s.  It’s all about perspective, and Paris Hilton’s skewed perspective on this isn’t a rare or novel concept.

So when you hear this story don’t focus your anger on Paris Hilton unless you expected more from her.  Also, if this really caught you off guard then- please- find new people to look up to.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Shawn’s Tool Academy Welcomes: Larry Brown

January 16, 2011

North Carolina state representative Larry Brown, in discussing his support of opposite marriage, decided he’d chime in on HIV funding issues.  He said: “I’m not opposed to helping a child born with HIV or something, but I don’t condone spending taxpayers’ money to help people living in perverted lifestyles.”

larry-brown-tool.jpgAnd with that, Larry Brown has been inducted into my Tool Academy Hall of Shame, joining other elected luminaries such as Dave Schultheis and Virginia Foxx (another North Carolina congress “person”).  I know, we’re not supposed to call people names anymore after the tragic events in Tuscon, but I do think we need to call attention to insensitivity and ignorance.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

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Facebook Group STILL Offers Cure For HIV

January 7, 2011

Last month I wrote a blog entry about the “From HIV Positive to HIV Negative” Facebook group that is claiming to cure HIV with a juice called “”Ngcolosi Magic” (UMLINGO WAMANGCOLOSI).  It must work if the name is in all caps, that’s gotta be the thinking there.

Anyway, the group is still on Facebook despite hundreds of reports of “Fraud” to Facebook over the last month.  I had a pretty humorous encounter with supporters of the juice on my own Facebook page, from a couple of people who added me immediately after The Red Ribbon Army reposted my blog entry.  I was attacked for calling the fake cure a fraud, and was told by one of them to “go fornicate” with my pharmaceutical sponsors.

What?

Since I’d been “Friended” by the two on Facebook, a term that is gradually losing it’s meaning in cyberspace, I went to one of their pages to see what was up. My blog had been reposted, along with dismissive comments about how me and my wife fly all over the world promoting ARV use- apparently I have a very cush life thanks to big daddy pharma.  One of the posters on my page posted, “I even friended him so I could write on his Wall!”

Brilliant plan.

I posted that I do not, nor will I ever have a pharmaceutical sponsor.  I educate on safe sex and condom use.  Yes, I do talk about my journey with HIV medications, of which I am thankful for turning my health around in 1999. But I also talk about the side effects.  “Pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t touch me with a 10-foot penis wrapped in a condom” is how I explained it to them.  Of course, if a pharma did offer an opportunity to speak to more people about safer sex, I’d jump in bed and begin the fornication process.  But as of now?  I’ve never received a dime from pharmaceutical companies.

Regarding my new “Friends” on Facebook, eventually, due to excessive caps use (“LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”) and a misrepresentation of what I do, I had to defriend them.  One of the folks behind the magic juice is Joachim Kim Cools, not to be confused with Kim Coles who is often confused with Kim Fields of “Tootie” fame from the Facts of Life.  The first line on his “About Me” section on his profile is “We help HIV positive people become HIV negative here in South Africa…”

I think Joachim was really pissed that I’d written that, by offering a cure for HIV, that it was tantamount to manslaughter.  Meaning, someone with a compromised immune system, thinking they are cured, gets sick with something else but doesn’t seek treatment because they are “healed”.  Or thinks they can stop using condoms because they are virus free.  If they were offering their juice as a natural remedy, or some sort of supplement, then whatever… BUT THEY SAY: “From HIV Positive to HIV Negative”, over and over again.

And that is my problem.

Just before Christmas, I got a message from Joachim Kim Cools on Facebook:

to: Shawn Decker

You failed to consult with us prior to publishing your bias text.  You have spread lies about our organisation (to protect your income or in total ignorance) and as a consequence you have been added on our list of public enemies, facilitators of genocide for personal gain.

I wrote back: “Happy holidays to you as well.”

He responded:

Thanks, but my whole life is a holiday or a hobbyday.
Am not a slave, as i deal with real life and real solutions.
No need for paying debt of any kind.
Enjoy pagan day :)

That last line actually made me laugh at my computer, and the smiley face emoticon was admittedly a very nice touch.  To counter, I’m putting Joachim in my Tool Academy.  But all kidding aside, this isn’t a laughing matter.  There’s been so much talk of cures lately, but there is nothing tangible yet.  From Magic Johnson to Magic Juice (AMALANMGA NAMABJFAFALONINOMOG) to experimental and deadly bone marrow transplants, we still have nothing.  For those who have HIV and next to nothing, we can’t forget how desperate people often fail to see through the facade when they are being manipulated or duped into a false sense of security.  Because where there is desperation there is often someone there waiting to take advantage.

And those, unfortunately, are just the facts of life.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

Watch, Friend and Follow me on:
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Website: ShawnandGwenn.com Also check out the lovely Gwenn’s Fashion/Coffee Blog
My CD, Synthetic Division, A Symptom of Life, is on iTunes!

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Facebook Group Claims to Cure HIV

December 10, 2010

The Red Ribbon Army has called attention to a group on Facebook called “From HIV Positive to HIV Negative” in the hopes of having it removed from the social networking site.  In order to help do so, click on the group’s page, scroll down to the bottom left and click “Report Group”. Check the “Scam” box.

Why draw attention to this?  Why pick on a bunch of self-starters just trying to make it in the world?  Isn’t it their right in a soon-to-be capitalistic world to offer an alternative to big pharma?  Well, it’s all in the packaging.  I have no problems with alternative therapy or thinking, but when you claim to cure HIV, that is an issue.

Make no mistake- these claims are very dangerous. It’s snake oil. It’s preying on the desperate. To defend this group, as some have, is asinine. People who go for this juice and believe in it are less likely to seek out actual medical care. There’s a big difference. And telling someone who is HIV positive that there are HIV negative makes it way less likely that person will use protection when they engage in sexual activity.  HIV is preventable- not curable at this particular moment in time.  Anything that takes away our power to pursue the former is a problem with me, and I’m not open to discussion about the merits of idiots and thieves who claim they can cure HIV with a juice box. They are in it for money, not to help people.

And they can go to hell as far as I’m concerned.

To help shut down this group, re-read the beginning of this post and follow the instructions.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

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A Town Hall Meeting: The Ruckus in Ruckersville

August 11, 2009

While Senators and Congressmen are on break, they’re taking the opportunity to hold town hall meetings to discuss the healthcare reform that is being proposed.  The insurance industry is also taking advantage of the opportunity as well, mobilizing their forces and rallying folks to kill any discussions of the real life consequences/concerns about of our current profitable-for-some system.

The news coverage of these town hall battles has been abundant.  Here’s a clip of “Smirky” Sean Hannity praising a “concerned citizen’s” outburst at one of these meetings.


I’ve been watching some clips on The Rachel Maddow Show, so when I heard that my Congressman, Tom Perriello, was going to be holding these meetings, I had to travel 10 miles up the road to Ruckersville for… The Ruckus in Ruckersville!

The sign-holding that greeted me upon entering the Ruckersville Elementary School reminded me of the live pro wrestling events I am so fond of.  I know how hard it is to make one of those things and have them be legible from more than 100 feet away.  And there’s no spell-check with a bold tip Sharpee.  So a little of the magic of the town hall meeting was stripped away when signs were being given out to people on both sides of the debate.

Lame. 

My attitude is that, if you really think “Obamacare = Death Sentence For Grandma” is such, you should have some Sharpee ink on your hands that said you put in the time.  Actually, that sign was sloppy, and I had no questions as to whether the man holding it was the arteest.  I know, I know, “Shawn, why didn’t you get a picture of that?”  Well, I don’t have enough clotting factor to brave that photo op and, quite frankly, the sign was kind of scary.  His grandma probably does have a death sentence- the hard-earned kind.

But that, for some, is the point.  To scare the hell out of people.  One of my Tool Academy Alumni, Rep. Virginia “Crazy Like A” Foxx, got on board to ring the death tolls for the elderly.

So, what exactly happened at the Ruckus in Ruckersville? 

About 250 people gathered.  The local news said that the majority were conservative, but I’m thinking that most of the people who weren’t sneering or shouting were in favor of something being done, or getting genuine questions answered by their representative in the House.  Perriello himself said- when the one microphone they had on hand wasn’t shorting out- that as it stands now, he’d vote “No”… but wants to be a “Yes”.  He seemed open to a good plan, but not willing to just sign anything because he’s a Democratic congressman, having voted no on the Bailout and yes on the Stimulus.

He was boo’d for the Stimulus, which he thought was necessary to prevent the entire United States from falling into California’s fiscal position.

I don’t pretend to know everything about the healthcare reform, but I do know that whatever goes through will not put Sarah Palin’s child with Down Syndrome in front of a Death Panel, as she stated on her Facebook page.  The scare tactics are out of control as to what could happen if our evil government tries to encroach on Mister Roger’s Hugs & Healthcare monopoly, and irrational fears are being stoked because there’s a lot at stake.

What bothered me were people who grandstanded on the mic.  I wonder where they imagined they were as they spoke- on cable talk show?  Jerry Springer?  The mic was supposed to be used for a question before being passed to Perriello, but most times it was taken hostage.  Maybe Bill Clinton should moderate all these debates… okay, bad idea. 

But so is the idea of handing someone a microphone.  In pageants, the host always holds the microphone, and for good reason- it’s not un-American to cut some blabbermouth off.  If it’s good enough for Miss America, it’s good enough for Ruckersville Elementary School.  Plus, the event was only an hour and about 50 people lined up to ask a question.  So when one ass asked 3 questions, and didn’t even get to the first one until the five minute mark, it was quite painful.

Probably the most succinct person on the mic was a guy with Down’s Syndrome.  He had a stutter, that cheap-ass microphone didn’t help his cause.  I’m not being a dick, that’s how it went down, and I’m telling this story not to be a dick, but for a reason.  Glad you’re back with me.  He told Tom that he would like the healthcare reform to not overlook those with mental disabilities.

Everyone clapped.

When Perriello said that the VA was a federally-run health care system that has provided the best healthcare for our veterans because they deserve nothing less… everyone clapped.  My question is this- don’t we all deserve decent healthcare that doesn’t go up 20% from one year to the next? 

A self-described “conservative leaning” man in his thirties was upset that some in attendance wore blue tape on their arms to show support for reform.  He said that he’s had a couple friends who were diagnosed with cancer, and came out of treatment fine.  He was worried about the financial toll of healthcare reform affecting our nation’s ingenuity…. All I could wonder was how he would feel if those friends didn’t have decent healthcare and had to sell everything to cover their chemotherapy because their insurance “found a loophole” and decided to poke their dicks through it and subsequently screw their client into the poorhouse? 

There’s no quick fix, but something has to be done, and real concerns over what sucks about the proposed bill need to be heard, studied and rectified.  I have faith my Congressman, and wouldn’t wish his job on anyone.  I mean, really, he kept his cool.  Even when he was talking about the 6-figure expense of a woman who has a child premmaturely and how decent prenatal care could lessen the likelihood of a child being born early, only to have some idiot shout, “Abortion!”

Maybe it was as bad as the clips on TV warned me.  But still, overall, aside from the morons, I was glad I went.   The people who spoke, whose minds were already made up one way or the other, seemed transparent.  Perriello did a good job of explaining the reality of the health care system, both already in place and what is being proposed.  If I can think of a cool sign to make I just might go again tonight, when he does it all over again here in Charlottesville. 

Maybe I’ll make an “I’M HERE TO SAVE TRIG PALIN!” sign.  Or maybe I’ll just go to listen and learn, and hope something happens because I fear the position that other positoids- who are walking “pre-existing conditions”- face with our current health insurance industry.  Doing nothing is great if you got it made- and I think that’s why so many resources are being put into spreading fear and lies among people for whom not a whole lot would actually change.

As for Palin’s comments, in my America, “Death Panel” should only be used when referring to the panel of judges on American Idol.  And I’m talking about the classic panel of Simon, “Dawg” Jackson and Paula Abdul.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

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Shawn’s Tool Academy: The Pope

March 20, 2009

Last month I debuted a new feature on my blog, Shawn’s Tool Academy, in which I honor those I deem tools.  Who could forget the first dishonoree, Mr. I-Want-Babies-To-Get-AIDS, Dave Schultheis (T)?

There was mild concern that the term “tool” was too light for Schultheis’ (T) vile comments.  But when people say something so profoundly wrong or asinine, I think it’s best to label them a tool and move on with life.  That written, I know my second pick could cause more controversy, but I gotta call ‘em the way I see ‘em. 

On his current trip to Africa, the Pope discussed condoms and AIDS.  Here’s the damning quote that has earned him his rightful spot in the Tool Academy:  “(AIDS) a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be
overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the
problems.”

This is Pope Benedict XVI (T)’s first trip to Africa since 1987, the year I found out that I had HIV.  That condoms would be a part of my life if I ever wanted to get some.  Or have a sexual relationship with a loving partner.  Needless to say, the condom is my friend.  And I really hate when people talk trash on condoms.  It’s very toolish behaviour. 

It was tool-like of my former president Bush- a suspected poonhound throughout his 20′s and 30′s- when he ignored his own sexual history and buried sexual health education for teens under federally funded abstinence-only education.  Or when he took a successful HIV prevention model that used abstinence, faithfulness (Be Faithful) and condom (ABC) use in Uganda and removed that troubling little “C”, causing Uganda’s infection rates to increase for the first time in years.

popetool.jpg

The Pope can have his opinion on condoms and sex.  But to say that jimmyhats aggravate the AIDS epidemic?  That is reckless.  It aggravates me when those who wield power and influence choose to talk trash on condoms.  From my viewpoint, they are sacrificing lives by doing so.   

HIV is deadly, particularly in Africa where access to decent healthcare is harder to come by.  It is also preventable- unlike toolish comments, which inevitably pour forth from the mouths of tools.

But what do I know?  The highest chosen/elected position I’ve ever held was Homecoming King.

Positively Yours,
Shawn

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Shawn’s Tool Academy Welcomes…

February 27, 2009

I love VH1′s reality show, Tool Academy, which began with a great swerve. A group of guys thought they were competing on a TV show to discover “America’s Top Alpha Male- AKA- Mr. Awesome”, but they’d really been nominated by their girlfriends for the Tool Academy.


Ouch.


toolacademy.jpg

Gwenn and I can’t stop watching. The guys get little tool badges when they pass tests and make the inevitable cut at the inevitable “ceremony” at the end of each show. Formulaic? Sure, but it’s must-see TV… speaking of tools, did you hear about the senator from Colorado, Dave Schultheis?


He voted against a bill that would require pregnant women to be tested for HIV. See, mother-to-child transmission of the virus can be reduced dramatically if a woman knows she has HIV, and can take HIV medications during her last trimester.


Here was his reasoning: “This (HIV) stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part and I just can’t go there. We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior, unacceptable behavior, quite frankly. I’m not convinced that part of the role of government should be to protect individuals from the negative consequences of their actions.”


Ouch.


The Bill is about the safety of the unborn child- that’s supposed to be kind of a big deal in the Republican party. When someone brought this to Dave’s attention, he saved his most shocking words for what should have been his apology.


schultheis.jpg

“What I’m hoping is that yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that. The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years… begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior.” – Senator Dave Schultheis


So wrong, on so many levels. I’m a silver lining kind-of-guy, though, and I find inspiration in this man. Which is why I am proud to announce the senator as the first inductee of Shawn’s Tool Academy, a recurring feature on this blog to honor those who solidify themselves as tools beyond a shadow of any doubt. Anytime Dave is referred to on here, there will be a (T) after his name: his tool badge of dishonor.


So take a bow, Dave Schultheis (T), for you are a complete and utter tool.


Positively Yours,
Shawn

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