In episode 50 of “The Infectious Myth”, David Crowe talks about long-term non-progressors, people who have lived with a positive HIV diagnosis, for many years, without taking drugs, or with taking them only for a short time. As well as people who stopped the drugs after several years, and whose health never completely recovered.
The episode includes two interviews that were recorded for a recent AIDS special co-hosted by David and Gary Null. The first interview is with a man David calls Peter. He was diagnosed in a major American city in 1986, along with many other hemophiliacs. He was unusual in that his mother refused to give him AZT when first offered in 1987, and when he came of age, he continued this refusal. And he’s happy today. But mad as hell, because he feel his life has been taken from him. What if people knew he was HIV-positive? Would he be shunned, or worse? His voice has been disguised.
Following this interview David gives some scientific information indicating that hemophiliacs were being diagnosed with HIV and with low CD4 cell counts from the immunosuppressive effects of lower-purity clotting factor, something that disappeared with higher purity factor, not with the elimination of HIV from the blood supply, although that took credit.
The second interview is with German Film Maker Anne Sono who documented the lives of 6 women who were all, at the time of filming, HIV-positive and healthy. This didn’t last, unfortunately. Tragedy dogs HIV+ people. One of them couldn’t get treatment for non-AIDS conditions without going on AIDS drugs. One was murdered under mysterious circumstances. One had a healthy child without HIV, and then had a child taken from her. One of them was savagely attacked by the judicial system.
David ends with some information on the drug AZT, which was given to all HIV positive people in the 1980s and to most in the 1990s, but that is forced on HIV-positive pregnant women and their children. This is one of the big, but little known, tragedies of the HIV era.