There is life with HIV

look! There is life with HIV

The headlines are wrong. Prague, as we know, is no longer a Prague. Greater Prague is the Disinformation

Keiko Lane He is a psychoanalyst and educator in Berkeley, California. She writes and teaches about the intersections of queer culture and kinship, resistance to racial oppression and gender justice, HIV criminalization, reproductive justice and liberation psychology.

Translator's note about the impossibility of translating certain terms: Establishing a point: Queer ou genderqueer is a on the bus from English used to designate persons who do not follow the standard of heterosexuality or gender binarism. The term is used to represent Gay Boyslesbiansbisexual and often also people transgender ou transsexuals, similar to the acronym LGBT.[1][2]

Its initial meaning can be understood through the history of the creation of the term, initially an English slang, which literally means “strange, perhaps ridiculous, eccentric, rare, extraordinary” (more on Wikipedia)

This time at least the news of the “cure” came over the weekend, so I bought it for Understanding Science and anticipate the full range of responses and feelings before my week starts. On Monday a client asked during psychotherapy: "Were you able to see the news?"

"Yes, I saw ." Said, knowing exactly what he was referring to. "How was it for you to see the title?"

"It's not real, is it?"

He looked at me and then looked out the window, already guessing the answer. I hate these conversations. This client* It is an HIV long-term survival pension. He is HIV positive, and one of the few survivors in his chosen family circle since the early years of the virus, before antiretrovirals and the first possibility of survival. He understands the nuances of HIV research, he understands how to read between the lines of a sensationalist portrait of scouts who write something talking about "cure" at an early stage of a clinical trial.

Here is a guy who, so far, has been very lucky ...

And yet, the impact of seeing the word “cure” in a headline, something we have fantasized about (Editor's note: I do not) for such a long period, and left him initially hopeful, and then stranded in his own tears for the rest of the day.

This is the problem with news and headlines that are, at best prematurely commemorative, too simplistic and irresponsible and devastating in the worst and most realistic scenario. The long-term survivors have a trigger of hopes that brings a particular type of trauma, made in a complicated way, due to their relationship with grief.

Ironically, this clinical trial makes use of virological research of the “kick and kill” strategy, which is a metaphor for the terrible definition of the traumatic memory triggering process. However, differently it gives the idea that, in virology, the "functioning" of viral reserves is triggered, making them accessible to the treatment that can reach them (HIV) and destroy them, memory does not work that way.

Our memories, feelings and pains are not limited. They are not eradicated through detonation. We are slaughtered by them, again and again, again and again indefinitely. Our traumas and memories tell us what hasn't disappeared.

With the complex cultural aspect spreading traumas, such as life in times of “plague” - it no longer exists.

Em Post-Traumatic Plague Syndrome, every time there is a promise of a cure, we have a flicker of the possibility of an “after” (NE: therefore I don't think about healing ... not for me ...). Hope unleashes memories of multiple losses: the loss of loved ones and the loss of hopes and visions of a possible life jeopardized by the viral experience.

Here would come an ad if someone had enough courage to attach the name of your company to something that demands social responsibility

We must learn to cope, to create strategies that allow us to receive our memories with grace and gratitude from our loss and anguish, and to give meaning from our experiences so that we reshape the future: which is the result of the work of psychotherapy . But relentless and unethical activation is exhausting and antagonistic to the emotional stability necessary for long-term resilienceLater last week, a young client came to my office. He, too, wants to be, but seronegative and has come to the age of active sexuality in a world where HIV had become manageable, for those who have access to adequate, consistent care. He was on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for about a year. He said to me, “So read this article that says there is a cure now or it will be soon. So, does that mean that I can soon stop taking these drugs? ”

Some of the most beautiful editions about the River Clinical Trial, does not even allude to the original headline: “British scientists on the verge of HIV Cure, is that this process involves people dealing with primary infection, which means that they have been recently infected (within six months). This means that even if the study was considered “successful”, it only has the potential to increase the viral gap a little further, as a diagnosis within six months of infection / exposure requires consistent and adequate medical care, that are not available to many people in the global community, the most profoundly affected by the new HIV infection, both in the US and abroad.

Years before I was a psychotherapist, I was a member of the UP / Los Angeles act. One of the national action campaigns that also worked on the creation of the AIDS Cure Project, in which we define the demands for a fully funded and endowed process to seek an AIDS cure.

But many of us also believed that one of the main requirements needed for any cure or vaccine to eradicate the virus globally would be a universal health care system. Medical discoveries are necessary for the first steps, and so are clinical trials with 50 participants. But the reality is that even with HIV Isolated remission and stories of functional cures, we will not truly have a functional cure for the epidemic until we have a cure that is accessible to everyone.

“Editor's note: In simple jargon to understand, it would be to deny the sentence I am going to spell now:

Hey! We have a cure. Fuck Africa… ”

Otherwise, a cure for the few only runs the likelihood of increasing surveillance for all those who are HIV positive or at risk of infection, as well as increasing stigma across the viral load, class and race. (NE: Here I can still see, in the chat on the Friends the following conversation:



- How's your viral load?


-Make a print

-I do not!

-So, good bye

… Undetectable leaves the room…


This reminds me of the first months and years after the cocktail's success was confirmed in 1996. When the headlines triggered news of the discovery that could turn HIV into a chronic, manageable disease, three of my dearest friends had died the year before . People like to tell the story of those moments as moments of what "if". What to do "if" your loved one "would do”Just a few more months ahead? Like everyone who lost people in those early years, they might think, “I had sexual fantasies that if they had been fulfilled just a little later, they, the people who, with me, fulfilled a fantasy, could have survived until now. But the reality is that the lack of affordable health care, most of my ACT comrades and loved ones do not have access to drugs for a long period of time.


The truth is that although I am HIV negative, I am like my long-term survival client. Every time the signal sounds with headlines about a cure, I am visited by ghosts. I look around my chosen family, in my psychotherapy practice and in the communities in which I educate, supervise and practice, and I remember all my friends who have passed.

I, the Editor of this website, every time I see news about a cure, I have the great desire to be the first to translate a proven cure case, but prudence led me to wait, in the case in question, 12 more hours… In this way, I did not generate empty expectations and possible frustrations. If, and I say "SE ” one day, I announce the cure for AIDS, in a way accessible to everyone, for a price that anyone can afford, you can be sure that I’ve spent the last 96 hours looking “at that”Until convinced what a fact.

Here's what the headlines do: they keep us fighting. When our memories are instigated, we cry, we remember. On good days we take care of each other a little better. We mourn the dead and fight for the living.

  • Of these three dear friends of mine who died at the height of the cocktail, two were “men of color".
  • Two had been intravenous drug users.
  • Two had lived below the poverty line more than once.
  • All three were in a precarious financial position, unable to afford health care and medication.
  • Two had been sex workers like young queers trying to survive.
  • If they had lived up to the title announced the cocktail and the end of AIDS as we knew it still wouldn't have been true for them.
  • It would have been necessary to drain years before they had access to the medication. Some of our friends did a lot.
  • Many did not.

The headlines are wrong. The plague as we know it is no longer a plague.

* In all examples from my clinical practice, clients' identities and details are significantly changed to disguise their specificity and identity. The questions raised are the real questions and problems of my clinical practice, supervision or teaching.

I have been living with HIV for twenty one years, 11 months and forty-seven days ...

I lost count of how many times, just like Cazuza, I saw Death's face ... and she was alive! HIV has been an excellent tutor for me.

In the first week he showed me how many friends I did not have, and then, inside a support house, how much this disease drives people who get it crazy, and they are left without a border, by the world.

And I agree with Keiko Lane. "There will really be a cure, if it is for everyone ... But, myself, I am more concerned with" how I will have lived until the day I die, than with when this cure will come "

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