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View Diary: My childhood best friend, David, died of AIDS (160 comments)

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  •  The first KS articles came out in 1982 (25+ / 0-)

    First cases were showing up in ERs in the late '70s but nobody knew what it was yet; the vast majority of the "first wave" of AIDS patients had no idea it was out there or how to protect themselves.

    I worked with a few of the MDs who were among the first to connect the dots -- linking the syndrome (first referred to as GRID, then AIDS/ARC, then just AIDS) to certain presenting illnesses like KS or PCP pneumonia and immunosupression, and eventually the presence of HIV (a.k.a. LAV, HTLV-III). I used to work for the guy who figured out that CD4 count was an accurate surrogate marker of disease progression in the absence of other symptoms.

    The fact that the government was deliberately mum on the subject for a VERY long time was one reason why most folks hadn't heard about it until the mid-'80s, when famous folks like Rock Hudson died as a result of it. It was being discussed in the gay community earlier on; I remember hearing people talking about it in the summer of '82 (when I was waiting tables in a gay beach resort during college) but there wasn't much concrete info about what it was or how it was transmitted. Early on, though --- and until the advent of protease inhibitors---it was considered a death sentence.

    "When did it fall apart? Sometime in the '80s / When the great and the good gave way to the greedy and the mean." - Billy Bragg

    by Vacationland on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:27:15 AM PST

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    •  I did a little research (17+ / 0-)

      The very first mention of what would become known as AIDS appeared in the CDC's Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report on June 5, 1981 and concerned a cluster of cased of PCP pneumonia in gay men in Los Angeles.

      The first mention of KS in relation to gay men was published that year, in a medical journal published by the University of Arizona.

    •  The article I saw was written before (5+ / 0-)

      any of the dots got connected. Kaposi's is a herpes virus syndrome, right? I think I read the article in 1979. I was just a kid, but it left an impression...

      Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this, and attaining enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

      by rb137 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 11:51:43 AM PST

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      •  Oh -- and unless my memory is (5+ / 0-)

        completely faulty (a real possibility), the article mentioned something about IV drug users.

        Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this, and attaining enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

        by rb137 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 11:53:30 AM PST

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      •  Kaposi's involves tumors caused by HHV8 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue jersey mom, rb137, FarWestGirl

        (a type of Herpes virus), but the strain specific to AIDS patients was first described in 1981.

        You may have read about the other types (there's one found in immunosuppressed people, like transplant patients or people with leukemia) earlier on, and there were papers linking it to the presence of CMV (cytomegalovirus, common to AIDS patients) but I couldn't find anything earlier than 1981 that linked KS with other AIDS-related illnesses. The first article I found linking KS to IV drug use is from 1983, and even then, it was not a direct causal link, merely a reference to some AIDS patients being IV drug users.

        If you do a Pubmed search on Kaposi's Sarcoma and hiv and limit the search timeframe to < 1981, you get no hits. If you search KS and herpes and limit your search to 1976-1981, you get more, but nothing in '78-'79 in any peer-reviewed journals in any country that I can find.

        LOL, funny, I don't do medical lit searches that much anymore but I used to track this stuff as part of my job and have even edited my fair share of the papers cited over the 10+ years I worked in the field. I'm not as up on recent developments but I kind of keep an eye on it.

        "When did it fall apart? Sometime in the '80s / When the great and the good gave way to the greedy and the mean." - Billy Bragg

        by Vacationland on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 01:54:24 PM PST

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        •  So clearly I didn't read it? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue jersey mom

          Because you can't turn it up on an internet search? Please.

          I'm familiar with searching peer reviewed literature, as well. What I don't understand is why you're going after me on this point.

          Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this, and attaining enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

          by rb137 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:07:12 PM PST

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          •  Not saying that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blue jersey mom, rb137

            And not "going after you," I promise! Just saying I can't find what you're describing.

            I spent a good portion of my professional life supporting research in this area (10+ of that working directly with the ACTG on NIH-funded research) so I suppose this was a knee-jerk "provide all the info I can" response to what I assumed was a query (trying to find a paper you had read during the time frame you specified). I guess I missed the mark on that. No offense intended.  

            "When did it fall apart? Sometime in the '80s / When the great and the good gave way to the greedy and the mean." - Billy Bragg

            by Vacationland on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 03:17:33 PM PST

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            •  None taken. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blue jersey mom

              It would be a weird keyword query. I don't think "AIDS" had been discovered yet, and it was just a letter about Kaposi's in some population (I think it was IV drug users, but it might have been a local gay population, I don't remember.) What I do remember is looking at photos of the lesions and the fact that it was not understood. Apparently, there was no reason to expect an "outbreak" of this kind. Not a smoldering piece of literature by any stretch.

              Anyway, I was more referring to how difficult keyword searches are for literature of a certain age. They're getting better at it, now that big data is coming of age...

              Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this, and attaining enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

              by rb137 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 04:18:04 PM PST

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