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Elton John: ‘Defunding HIV/AIDS Programs Now Will Cost The U.S. Tons More Later’

9,039 low-income Americans living with HIV/AIDS… are on waiting lists to receive medication through public AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. These are people with families and jobs — productive citizens. But they lack health insurance. And they don’t make enough to afford lifesaving drugs.

13 states have already reduced the amount of drugs offered – and increased the number of people on waiting lists… many states facing severe budget shortfalls are considering plans to drastically cut eligibility… Federal, state and local governments must understandably tighten their belts. But… these cuts will only lead to higher costs to taxpayers in the long run.

First, patients who lose their assistance and are forced off HIV medications could develop drug-resistant strains of HIV — which may well be more difficult to manage.

Second, denying treatment to low-income, HIV-positive people will most likely result in increased transmission of the disease…

Third, while HIV/AIDS medications are expensive, the emergency room and hospital care required by people who do not receive them is far more costly.

– Sir Elton John and Florida Senator Bill Nelson urging Congress to approve Obama’s $940 million increase in AIDS medication funding over the next year. They added, “This isn’t a partisan issue. As President George W. Bush noted in 2008, it’s a question of our moral interest.” The Elton John AIDS Foundation has raised over $225 million fighting HIV/AIDS since 1992 and Nelson represents one of the states worst hit by the epidemic.

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Oct 14, 2011
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 29 Comments
    • jason
      jason

      HIV medication is pointless because HIV does not cause AIDS.

      Oct 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      @jason: Been drinking that kool-aid have you.

      Oct 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      Elton John is 100% correct.

      To Daniel Villarreal, you really should think about removing Jason permanently. His remarks are incredibly irresponsible and potentially dangerous.

      Oct 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I don’t give a rat’s what you think about me. You come across as somebody who can’t countenance that there are people like me who haven’t fallen for the AIDS pity industry and its ceaseless quest for more medications and funding.

      Yes, AIDS exists, but it is the product of poor lifestyle choices including the choice to be promiscuous, the choice to take drugs, the choice to have sex with total strangers. These are poor lifestyle choices.

      Stop blaming a virus for your problems. Your problems lie within your poor choices, not a virus that is essentially harmless.

      Oct 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      As for Elton John, he hasn’t aged well, has he?

      Oct 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chester
      Chester

      jason: It’s rather ignorant of you to assume that infection occurs because of promiscuity, drug use, etc. There are still children who are born HIV+ because their mothers are positive and did not have access to anti-retrovirals when they were carrying them. By the same token there is another segment of the gay population who got infected via a cheating partner in a long term relationship.

      Furthermore HIV isn’t essentially harmless- depending on the person it can ravage the body to the point of breakdown or death or essentially do nothing at all for a long time.

      Ultimately supporting low income individuals get life saving medication isn’t even inherently a financial issue- it is a moral one.

      Before you decide to speak you might want to brush up on facts on both sides of the “debate”- you might actually remove the planks from your eyes and turn aside from your blithering idiocy.

      Oct 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      @jason: There’s no purpose for me to argue with a house plant, which is essentially, what you are.

      Oct 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mitch
      Mitch

      Honestly Daniel, in light of some of your other appalling articles against people with HIV, shouldn’t you be rejoicing in the defunding of HIV programs? Watching tens of thousands die seems exactly up your alley. At least then you wouldn’t have to be so big as to “let us know whats coming”.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 2:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle
      Tackle

      @ Mitch: Thank god someone else has noticed the negitivity of Daniel Villarreal. Not only does he write appalling articles against people with HIV, ( as you say) but he has also written over 40 negitive articles involving Blacks. Under the guise of bringing information. But underneath rejoicing at the hateful comments that will be thrown at Blacks.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 4:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle
      Tackle

      No Jason should not be removed permanently. He has a right to his opinion. There are many who believes the way he does regarding HIV not leading to AIDS.And I have spoken to some. I don’t like Daniel Villarreal’s inflammatory articles involving Blacks. 40+ now. But I’m not gonna call for him to be banned or removed permanently just because I disagree with him and don’t like what he’s writing.

      Funny that some of the posters who have called for Jason to be banned have said hateful things on here about others. If you are so covinced they have the truth regarding HIV/AIDS, then let that set you free. And don’t get so hung-up on others who may have a different opinion.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 5:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @Tackle: “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” – Harlan Ellison :)

      Oct 15, 2011 at 6:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle
      Tackle

      @ Lefty: I never used the word “entitled” in any of my post above.
      And as you put in your post: “Informed & ignorant”. Well this can be a matter of
      interpretation of formal theory. What some may consider those to be “informed,” others may think “Ill-informed.” What some may call “ignorant”, others may consider “Intelligent”.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 8:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @Tackle: It’s a good job you’re not mad. :)

      Oct 15, 2011 at 8:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      Actually, let us not judge in haste… for she may seem to the untrained eye to be quite, quite bonkers, but there is of course a hard truth to this assertion. For example, six months ago my doctors told me I had cancer and if I didn’t undergo chemotherapy I’d be dead within two months. But I said “balderdash and poppycock!” – I poo-pooed their “informed” opinion (yeah, those years of training and knowledge are worthless, my friend; it’s all relative really, which means a two year old is just as qualified to diagnose me as you, pal!) and instead I prayed to Our Lord Jesus Christ, for he hath touched me and I felt a rising within etc &c.
      Was I ultimately correct in this course of action??? Well, some said I died two months later in extreme, unrelenting agony… but that’s just a matter of opinion, isn’t it? Dead, alive, ignorant, intelligent, these are all merely matters of personal opinion.
      But then what do I know? I’m a duck.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 8:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      I don’t resile one iota from what I’ve said, and that is that HIV does not cause AIDS. If you wish to keep believing that HIV causes AIDS, go right ahead. It’s no skin off my nose. You can stew in your ignorance for all I care.

      I simply go back to the horrible paradigm that I’ve witnessed on the male-to-male sex scene, this being the paradigm of men having sex with total strangers from far-flung corners of the globe. There’s really something wrong with this. No wonder these promiscuous sorts get strange skin infections.

      If you wish to keep buying those anti-HIV medications, go right ahead. You’re basically buying a useless drug that is likely to diminish your health rather than improve it.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 9:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      I don’t resile one iota from what I’ve said, and that is that chemotherapy does not help in the fight against cancer. If you wish to keep believing that it does, go right ahead. It’s no skin off my nose. You can stew in your ignorance for all I care.

      I simply go back to the horrible paradigm that I’ve witnessed on the cancer scene, this being the paradigm of cancer sufferers listening to Bob Marley. There’s really something wrong with this. No wonder these reggae loving sorts get strange skin infections.

      If you wish to keep buying those anti-cancer medications, go right ahead. You’re basically buying a useless drug that is likely to diminish your health rather than improve it.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 9:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mitch
      Mitch

      @Tackle: I’ve seen that pointed out, but because I’m a white male I haven’t noticed it myself. What I have noticed is that Villareal inexplicably ties HIV to black people, again and again and again. Its absolutely ludicrous that every single article involving HIV involves a black person. It feeds into the notion gay white men have that it won’t happen to them. Trust me, it does. Whether Villareal is doing this kind of thing because he’s a screaming bigot or a calculating businessperson trying to drum up traffic for his site is impossible to tell, but it certainly makes me think that I should avoid this Queerty.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 11:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lefty
      Lefty

      @Mitch: Bye, then.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      AIDS denialists are entitled to their opinion. Even if it is wrong and lethal.

      Jason is very much like the late Christine Maggiore (July 25, 1956–December 27, 2008).

      She was an HIV-positive activist who promoted the view that HIV is not the cause of AIDS. and was the founder of Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives, an organization which questions the link between HIV and AIDS and encourages HIV-positive pregnant women to avoid anti-HIV medication.

      Maggiore even authored and self-published the book “What If Everything You Thought You Knew about AIDS Was Wrong?”

      Maggiore’s promotion of AIDS denialism had long been controversial, particularly since her 3-year-old daughter, Eliza Jane Scovill, died of Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, considered to be an AIDS-defining illness. Consistent with her belief that HIV was harmless, Maggiore had not taken medication to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to her daughter during pregnancy, and she did not have Eliza Jane tested for HIV during her daughter’s lifetime. Maggiore hired a veterinary toxicologist (and AIDS denialist) to review the autopsy report.

      Jason is like Maggiore and the African witch doctors like Thabo Mbeki.

      Denying HIV causes AIDS is akin to denying gravity and sunlight. Sadly, there will always be kooks and lunatics who express strange, uneducated and ignorant opinions like Elvis is really alive and well and living in Graceland and the USA didn’t really go to the moon.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      christopher di spirito,

      I don’t agree with you at all. There are actually many, many scientists – including Nobel prize winners – who do not believe that HIV causes AIDS. They are hardly witch-doctors, honey.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chester
      Chester

      @jason: Fascinating. Intelligence does not actually imply that the person has an iota of common sense or is immune to the heady fumes of conspiracy theories.

      As a side note there is ample documentation of the AIDS Denialist Movement blackballing former members who were HIV+ and developed AIDS related symptoms after their decision to pursue anti-retroviral treatment which saved their lives.

      Ultimately I think if you deny that HIV causes AIDS you might as well just infect yourself and see how you feel once your symptoms rage out of control. What better proof is there than for you explore it with your own life?

      Oct 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      @jason: Jason proclaims, “I don’t agree with you at all. There are actually many, many scientists – including Nobel prize winners – who do not believe that HIV causes AIDS. They are hardly witch-doctors, honey.”

      OK. Post their names. I want to see a list of the “many, many scientists – including Nobel prize winners – who do not believe that HIV causes AIDS.”

      And don’t fudge, honey, because you know I will check the veracity of each one.

      You’ve got 48 hours to deliver.

      Oct 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel Villarreal
      Daniel Villarreal

      @Mitch: @Tackle: I won’t bother pointing out the many articles I’ve written about blacks and HIV which are both positive and unconnected. But the black gay community spends a great deal of energy fighting the raising HIV rates among black MSM, so we cover the topic often to keep up with the numerous web articles chronicling that fight each day.

      I agree that a majority of LGBT web news tends to skew negative. Part of the reason is because there aren’t many news outlets that regularly report on black, Latino, Asian, and other racially-focused LGBT happenings. LGBT news involving people of color tends to be accessible only if you closely follow ethnically-focused inter-city organizations and their discussion boards—that’s difficult to monitor with our limited resources.

      But we do need to do a better job highlight ingpositive stories from a broader racial array of LGBTs so we can celebrate the triumphs and travails of our entire community. If you have any suggestions on how we can keep a better pulse on such stories, we’re all ears. Plus, you can always drop us a tip at holla@queerty.com

      As for HIV issues, though I am largely ignorant about the full range of side effects and symptoms that accompany seroconversion and HIV-meds, from all I’ve heard, it’s no picnic. Correct me if I’m wrong because I would love to hear it. But even so, I think it’s important to highlight the physical reality of HIV as a managed illness so we can accurately engage the issue, especially as it concerns healthcare, prevention campaigns, and community responses.

      Lastly, Queerty’s deliberate use of provocative headlines to encourage readership and discussion is no secret. You’re always invited to sound off in the comments section if you disagree. We do actually read them from time to time and sometimes take them into consideration when making editorial choices.

      Oct 16, 2011 at 12:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert in NYC
      Robert in NYC

      Jason, I don’t hear you chastizing heterosexuals who engage in promiscuous behavior, their multiple marriages and ensuing adulterous affairs while proclaiming the sanctity of marriage, as well as hetero prostitutes and their married and unmarried johns. Heterosexual women are the largest number of the world population succombing to HIV than gay man are. Would you be saying the same thing if gays weren’t ever infected?

      If as you say, HIV is not the cause of AIDS, would you be the first to inject himself with the virus to prove your point? Peter Duesberg, a scientist who tried to prove it wasn’t the cause, volunteered to do just that but never did. I wonder why?

      Oct 17, 2011 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @jason: I have lost 23 friends to AIDS. Also, AIDS is not just a disease of gay men. The heterosexual population suffers from it too, as do the original chosen people, self identified lesbians. The people who deny that HIV is the virus that causes AIDS are in denial, and in a very dangerous denial at that. You are a part of the problem that is this tragic, worldwide epidemic.

      You know, I am all about people holding opinions; however, when said opinions spread potentially dangerous misinformation, something really should be done.

      Oct 17, 2011 at 10:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BubbasBack
      BubbasBack

      Let’s ask former porn star Jeff Palmer what he thinks. Where is he, btw? Burp.

      Oct 17, 2011 at 10:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher di spirito
      christopher di spirito

      @jason: Your time up, asshole.

      I gave you 48 hours to post the of the “many, many scientists – including Nobel prize winners – who do not believe that HIV causes AIDS.”

      No response. No names. Just crickets. Let this be a warning, honey. If you here to post shit and cause trouble, I’ll be waiting for ya. Call me your constant companion.

      Oct 17, 2011 at 10:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @christopher di spirito: He has no names or links because they do not exist. The world would be outraged if anyone with such outrageously dangerous ideas were to win a Nobel prize. Also, he hasn’t injected himself with HIV to prove to us that the virus is “essentially harmless.” Why? Because he knows it is not. So, prove us wrong, Jason. Go give yourself HIV and take no anti- retrovirals and see what goes down.

      Oct 17, 2011 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mitch
      Mitch

      @Daniel Villarreal: “As for HIV issues, though I am largely ignorant about the full range of side effects and symptoms that accompany seroconversion and HIV-meds, from all I’ve heard, it’s no picnic. Correct me if I’m wrong because I would love to hear it. But even so, I think it’s important to highlight the physical reality of HIV as a managed illness so we can accurately engage the issue, especially as it concerns healthcare, prevention campaigns, and community responses.”

      How exactly can you accurately or fairly “highlight the reality” of a disease that you are “largely ignorant about”? Being HIV positive sucks, but probably one of the worst things about it is the nonstop fearmongering from the media. Gay media, which purports to maintain an atmosphere of nonstop terror for “prevention”, is especially guilty of this. People are already terrified of HIV, they don’t need Queerty to illustrate every gruesome possibility. Try changing your status on adam4adam or lying about it in bar if you don’t believe me. There is more than enough fear of the virus. Unguided fear of the virus has carried prevention as far as it can go.

      HIV is embarassing, time consuming, expensive and socially maligned. The last issue is fueled by media types like yourself, who distort its reality for reasons that don’t entirely add up. No one wants HIV, but once people have it, you’re not doing them a service by telling them “what lies ahead”. At best, you’re preparing them for possibilities they are helpless to change. What good does that do? At worst, you’re robbing them of their remaining hope and contributing to a cycle of depression and disengagement which makes infection even worse than it needs to be. The resulting alienation turns people who are infected off from the gay community and public health forums, limiting input from the only people who really know why traditional prevention methods are failing. The result has been what can only be described as a total and complete failure in HIV prevention, as HIV rates seem to have climbed in the gay community.

      Meanwhile, those who are positive suffer immeasureably for our isolation. Fear and paranoia on both sides of the viral divide conspire to ghettoize us into very small, very weird, very inbred groups where normal rules of conduct cease to apply. We come to believe that our lives have no value, that we have no future, and act accordingly. The result is typically a self fulfilling prophecy. Thats an enormous price to pay in the name of “accurately engaging the issue” with prevention strategies that aren’t working.

      Oct 18, 2011 at 3:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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