New Documentary focuses on Risky life of AIDS afflicted Howard Grad

About 5 years ago, I had the misfortune of learning about this awful truth via a website. On the heels of World AIDS Day yesterday, since it’s being shared damn near everywhere else by my fellow Howard University alum who are just finding out about this, it only makes sense that I post this as well.

This is the story of William “Reds” Brawner, a dude I distinctly remember being prominent on campus during my time there. As fate would have it, he’s been HIV positive most of his life and has even taken some active role in spreading awareness. The dramatic and shocking side to this tale is that he kept it concealed until those 5 years ago and he was having all kinds of sex while in college. Sometimes unprotected.

Now as scary as the thought is of knowing that the probability that we have (in the words of Nas) ‘bumped the same bunnies’ is high(fear not, I’m fine), there is something about this story that needs to be told. Perhaps if for no other reason then for the scores of young people out there who are probably running around living their lives in secrecy and shame at the expense of other’s health. Regardless of our thoughts on Brawner personally, we should all tune into this documentary. Maybe even help see it come to light.

For a more detailed look check this article.

For more info on the film check this site.


The HIV breakthrough – Did you catch it??

So while you guys were busy trippin’ off of Mothers finding their teen son on Facebook and having consentual sexual relations (Talk about that kid’s definition of MILF), and Texas Mayors killing their daughter and themselves, America quietly crept upon a scientific breakthrough last week.

July 8th;

I’m getting ready to shut down my computer and my Yahoo news feed reads that there’s been some kind of big development in the fight against HIV. I happen to have my homegirl Indigo and her sister over, along with my evil twin, and fellow member of the Have-Knotz, Bobby. I’m reading off a line about how antibodies have been isolated that can block the spread of HIV and this recitation is immediately met with teeth sucks and emphatic doubt by my room of guests. Bobby says ‘yeah right’ and Indigo asks me what site is at the source. At my response being, she says she definitely doesn’t buy it, claiming if it ain’t from the BBC or some world -reknown and reliable news source, it’s sketchy. And even still she says she has her doubts because she is a self-proclaimed conspiracy theorists when it comes to Western medicine in general and AIDS talk in particular.

Don’t get me wrong, I have hella eyebrow raising thoughts surrounding the AIDS epidemic, and my very first thought was ‘watch this not make the major news and just get lost in the sauce and be forgotten’. Still and all, the fact that this is such positive news that does not make false promises is something that one shouldn’t scoff at.

And I must say, for as many technical sites that have given this development coverage, from Sciencemag to The Scientist, AOLnews holds it’s own, giving the layman a very digestable yet wonderfully detailed insight into what has taken place. Even The Huffington Post doesn’t play itself by attempting to explain the nuances and complexities of the medical jargon and just refers to the AOL article with a link. You can check it out here…

I’ve found the most balanced article to be the one provided by the Wall Street Journal online.

The backstory is basically that using one man as a specimen, an unidentified gay Black Man referred to as Donor 45, scientists at the Vaccine Research Center of  The National Institute of Health fished out the helpful antibodies that occur in his anatomy naturally.  25 Million of the Donor’s cells were screened before 12 were discovered which contained 3 antibodies that can neutralize 91% of the infection’s 190 strains, proving to be especially effective in the HIV-1 strain.  The HIV-1 type is the most prevalent and it’s most prominent form has at least 10 subtypes. The antibodies were named after the research center as VRC01,02 and 03 respectively.

The big find of this isolation of the donor’s cells was that there was a discovery that these antibodies block a certain segment of the HIV virus that latches on to white blood immunity cells. Usually, the HIV Spikes latching on allows them to go undetected. Imagine how bugged out I was to learn that HIV Spikes have sugars on them that cause them to register among the immunity cells as a non-threat. How fucking deliberate and specific does that sound??!! Here’s an illustration that was provided in the WSJ article

What the antibodies do is set up the ultimate pic-and-roll and allow the immunity cells to do what they’re naturally designed to do. The challenge now that is faced is to stimulate a mass production of these antibodies in all humans, both infected (in attempts to supress) and not infected (in attempts to prevent) . There was a vaccine presented last year, which failed miserably, but came with plenty of strides towards isolating other antibodies that work in more general ways. The hope is that these new antibodies can be used in combination with those others to be effective as a new vaccine once tons of more research is done.

Of course, what I initially thought kind of came true, and this has not seen half as much publicity on the news as sayMel Gibson‘s rants?? You would think in a society where the numbers of those afflicted with this disease are steadily climbing and it’s every celebrity’s favorite cause, that any news that leans anywhere close to the direction of a cure would be headline bulletin material. But alas…

Maybe “they” really don’t want us to know. There’s so much more money in keeping people sick, and having Blacks and Browns at the forefront of those afflicted – though we make up less than half of the nation, is certainly a great means of population control.

And then comes the question of should you trust this information? Why would you not? What else do you have to trust IN when it comes to AIDS?? What you know is damn near equivalent to what you DON’T know concerning this disease. And Gorilla sex ain’t convincing me as a cause. For now, we have no choice but to look at any forward motion towards eradication as an indicator that maybe the greenlight has finally been turned on, and one day we may all be finally able to rid ourselves of our biggest social fear, even if that just means that the cure has BEEN here for years and we’re just finally being allowed access. 35 million lives later…

I’m holding up the banner for a Cancer cure.