When I was a kid growing up in the eighties and early nineties, there were these commercials on TV telling us in no uncertain terms that HIV was the cause of AIDS
remember these commercials?
The other AIDS commercials just really wanted to scare the fuck out of you
I've never seen similar commercials in this day and age. There are no commercials on TV telling you in no uncertain terms that such and such a microbe is the cause of such and such a disease ( I mean, okay fine, there are those despicable, guilt-trip commercials about teens getting cancer from HPV, but the vast majority of people who are exposed to HPV don't get cancer, or anything at all for that matter)
And sure, there are lots of pharmaceutical commercials on TV these days ( they probably single-handedly fund what's left of traditional TV channels ) insisting you beg your doctor for this new drug like a kid needs to beg his parents for a new toy at Christmas, but none of these heavy duty mass deals where death and the grim reaper appeared imminently in your living room
( I've also caught "I want my 80's" on MTV a few times in the last few weeks and I don't remember music videos being so gritty. Even the fun and colorful ones. Commercials, music videos, so gloomy and dark, even if they didn't mean to be...)
BACK THEN, it was touted as THE epidemic of the century, ready to explode on the heterosexual population, and the casualties were to be ENORMOUS
When I was in high school ( and I don't even remember how this even came about, but I take these adventures with books, and these stepping stones all lead to each other, so IT DID), I discovered this amazing book called "Inventing the AIDS Virus" by a rogue microbiologist named Peter Duesberg. The book is thick, but I devoured it in a few days. It made so much sense, and I felt like I had nipped this problem in the bud: the worry over "contracting HIV" and "developing AIDS". There were and are still dissident voices, people like Celia Farber and Liam Scheff ( who recently died), some of the only journalists to chronicle HIV dissent. I told anyone who would listen this amazing arguments in the book for an epidemic that never truly was, and in my naivete didn't think I would be considered 1) homophobic and 2) just plain bonkers
None of this happened though
AIDS today, is treated like a chronic illness
Back in the days when you would be given straight up, uncut AZT to remedy your perceived ill, you were pretty much handed a death sentence. Even those in the AIDS industry acknowledge that AZT was a bit harsh and as Peter Duesberg, rogue scientist and HIV dissident argued and still does, it was "AIDS by prescription".
There are definitely sexually transmitted illnesses that will make you very ill, infertile, or insane. The rates of these illnesses seem to be going up, and nowadays, the antibiotics people have relied on for their treatment are becoming useless against them due to their overuse in general for things like, THE FLU
Michael Carroll in his book "Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory" suggests that Lyme Disease was created in this lab and somehow released into the environment. The island is located very close to Old Lyme, Connecticut, where the first cases were observed. It is also located in a known hurricane corridor. The US government wants to move it to Manhattan, Kansas, which is in a TORNADO corridor, and much preferable to where it is now
Now Lyme Disease, this is a totally different story!
And completely wacko jacko
Back in the 70's, young children ( as opposed to OLD children) were getting a strange kind of arthritis, or something, in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and Lyme Disease was officially discovered
Everyone said you just look for that bull's eye target behind your knee and get yourself to the doctor for an Elisa test and some antibiotics
Caught early enough, you nip it in the bud, and that was the end of the story
I didn't see and still haven't seen any commercials about Lyme disease, if left untreated, creating multi-organ havoc resulting in total debilitation and separation from your normal life's activities
Strangely enough, "chronic" Lyme disease is only taken seriously by a handful of physicians who have had the courage to develop aggressive antibiotic regimens for their suffering patients
Patients who have told physicians they have this condition have sometimes been sent for psychological evaluation
For some dang-nabbed reason it has been extremely difficult to break this illness into the medical mainstream, to get it taken seriously as a major threat. I mean, it's much easier to contract than HIV, and appears to be much more difficult to treat
Add to this the fact that quite a few celebrities have contracted the illness, and it's STILL puzzling that more attention hasn't been paid to it
"The Punk Singer" is a somewhat recent documentary about Kathleen Hanna, lead singer and brilliant poet and creator of feminist riot grrrrl bands like Bikini Kill, Julie Ruin, Le Tigre, and THE Julie Ruin ( truly the icon of a generation, and even though she reluctantly supported Hillary, I still love her). She suddenly disappeared from the musical spotlight for a few years and it was a general mystery as to why. She revealed in the film that she had been suffering Lyme for more than a decade, and was actually only able to come to the diagnoseis after viewing the documentary "Under Our Skin" (so documentary viewing isn't always bad).
These chic and wealthy celebrities, who all hang out on the Eastern seaboard, go summering in the Hamptons
I don't know if she actually went to the Hampton's, but the East Coast is the hotbed of Lyme, and she's not the only celebrity to be infected
Darryl Hall of Hall and Oates, Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, and actress Jamie Lynn Seigler have all come out with having it.
I've met a lot of people who suffer from it, or know someone who has. It makes me terrified to enter forested areas with big bad signs warning of ticks. It makes me terrified in general, because I know someone who contracted meningitis from a tick in the city...
Ticks terrify me! I don't even want to go camping! I feel much more at risk for Lyme Disease than I do HIV, but there seems to be less information and less consensus regarding this disease. Fewer scary commercials, and no vaccines or miracle drugs from the pharmaceutical companies. No commercials imploring me to ask my doctor about kukachanah wanga, proven to be effective against your "mild to moderate" Lyme disease.
Why do some illnesses get so much traction in the media and big pharma and others, just seem to fall by the wayside?
Hmmmmmm.... it's just all so weird to me...