Tuesday, October 02, 2001

Yay, I've set up the archive to work form this page, all by my self. Yeah, yeah, so someone else did all the html coding, and all I did was cut and paste MY links into the approproate spaces, but I managed to do that without messing up. Pretty good for someone who's never done a thing in html before. The aim is to code my whole website myself, instead of relying on pagebuilder to do it for me, just so I can feel the achievement of it being all my work.

I had a scare this morning, my oldest friend was online and said he needed to call me. Marc's always preferred phones to online so that wasn't anything special. Then he tells me a guy he split up with recently is now HIV positive. And logs off. So I'm sitting here madly trying to remember exactly WHEN they split up, and if he's been tested since. It was a very unpleasant few minutes. Marc is in the clear, he got tested in July, and they split up last September. It's a big relief, I'm sad for his ex, and for him, because this is a rather close brush with death for him. I also know that the ex was very irresponsible about his habits, and it frankly doesn't surprise me, people think that HIV has gone away because it's not publicised nearly so much nowadays, but it's still there, still just as deadly.

This is the closest I've ever been to knowing someone who's HIV positive. It's frightening to think of it, this guy is 19 and he probably won't make it much past 30. It's not a "maybe", there's no chemotherapy that could put the disease into remission, there's only hoping you're lucky enough to delay the onset of actual AIDS as long as possible by keeping healthy. My uncle died of cancer, but most cancers are treatable to a certain extent, and many are curable. HIV is still a death sentence, signed the moment you're diagnosed, even taking the drugs as soon as you can will only increase your life expectancy by about 5% at the most.

Marc called me partly because we've been good friends for 6 years, and partly because I'm his "biomedical expert". He wanted someone who knows biology to reassure him that if he's been clear for a year, he most likely really is clear of HIV. I'm glad when I can make people feel better about the scary medical stuff, I'm glad that I can pass on the things I've learned to reassure people. There's so much mystery built up around genetics and other branches of medicine now that people really believe that we can wave a magic wand and turn them into a genetically modified frog, or even change their religion with injections. (I kid you not, K'wyn has actually been asked if her aim in life was to make everyone an atheist by feeding them genetically modified foods...)

On that note, I'm going to go eat. Before I do that I will add a link to Marc's homepage, it's very cool and he loves getting random emails from people who are friends of friends.


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