By M. Aziz
A pulled news segment in 1998 for Channel 4 (UK) by Meditel Productions is now available to see online with accompanying correspondence detailing the cold feet from the channel, here.
For those of you who have missed recent headlines, Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen has disclosed that he is the HIV-positive person at risk of litigation from former sexual partners. Sheen’s battle with substance abuse has been well-documented which resulted in a psychological meltdown. Of course, if HIV is a pathogenic reality, is it of priority to a man who is eroding his immune system with heavy drinking and drugs? Ozzy Osbourne famously tested positive once and then negative, the first result being blamed on the lifestyle he was leaving behind.
Sheen doesn’t seem to have had the redemption of a follow-up test, but he’s alleged to have suppressed his ‘viral load’ to an undetectable level from ARV use. This is a mainstream-useful narrative for the likely scenario that very few of those who had unprotected sex with Sheen test positive. Those who do test positive will be circumstantial.
It will be interesting to see how the story plays out. Sheen evidently needs medical attention but those who want to open his wallet in the courts are highly unlikely to share his problems unless they too are indulging in substance misuse.
Vitamin D deficiency has emerged in the headlines again as useful to HIV patients on ARV, according to a study. The problem, however, is that vitamin D is an immunomodulator and its deficiency itself is acquired immunodeficiency. D deficiency illnesses are almost parallel to HIV/AIDS illnesses. Whether or not one can test HIV+ too is irrelevant but may be linked to severity and currently manifested diseases.
If vitamin D sufficiency can raise T-cell counts during ARV treatment, then it should be investigated if T-cells can be raised without ARVs too. In any case, if vitamin D can raise T-cells then a) HIV is not killing them, the person has a barrier to production from states such as drug use, malnutrition or D deficiency; b) HIV is plausibly a biomarker of decreased immunity, not a cause. Furthermore, T-cell count only actively needs to be high in states of emergency (such as taking ARVs!) and can allowed to be low when not. As an analogy, one does not need a whole fire brigade waiting in the street for a fire.