Scheff complains that his work has been misinterpreted. "What's the difference between an activist and a journalist?" he said in an interview. "Either you care about the kids or you don't."

Scheff met Thomas and Pascual for his story; she often says that she is very concerned about the accuracy of HIV tests.


A few weeks after the dinner in Washington Heights, Jason Thomas called from Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Days earlier, he had come down with a high fever.

"The doctors tell me I have AIDS, and I am going to die. But before I die, I might go blind," he said, crying and sounding terrified.

Later, on a visit to his hospital room, Thomas was propped up on a bed on the seventh floor. He was in better spirits, watching a tiny television hanging from the wall and eating chicken nuggets and a Wendy's Frosty.

"I lost my job today," he said. The fever had started the week before, and his boss had given him a week off work. Then a week became two, and he checked himself in to the hospital, a place he knows well.

When Pascual and his godfather, a former volunteer at Incarnation named Ed Akter, arrived with more food, the nurses had required them to wear masks, in case Thomas had tuberculosis. "Those masks make me feel even worse," he said.

One night, Akter met with the on-duty physician, who explained that Thomas had a bad case of sinusitis. Because he was HIV-positive and had a compromised immune system, the doctor explained, a common case of sinusitis could lay him up in the hospital for days.

Thomas was being encouraged to start an AIDS drug regimen, but he didn't want to.

"Please tell the doctors to stop telling me that I'm going to die. That's ridiculous. They just can't say that to a person," he said. "You people don't have to live with this. I wake up with this every day. I don't care if you are a grown man or a baby—you just don't tell people that they are going to die."

Experiencing a headache, he asked someone to close the blinds. "There's not that many people as strong as me," he said. "Some people, they die real fast. I fight to the end."

Thomas told Akter that he had asked his doctor about medications. "Why can't I be a good pill swallower?" He paused and then sat up in bed. "Look, I want to live a long life, just like anyone else. I was born with this, and I didn't ask for it."

After he was discharged, Thomas went to Akter's house in Montclair, New Jersey, to recuperate for a week. (He had lived at Akter's house for a couple of years when he was a teenager.)

The headache took a while to go away. Soon after, he went to his doctor and began taking medication.

edwoskin@villagevoice.com

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2 comments
poetx9
poetx9

Careful examination of the "dissident" (rather than "denialist") positions on HIV/AIDS shows that they are more accurate and scientifically true than the bogus garbage the public has been force-fed from the "medical" establishment since the beginning of this tragedy of errors.

"HIV causes AIDS" is simply not proven, has never been. The original claim, "HIV is the probable cause" lost the word "probable" and was pounded into public acceptance with the help of a NY Times reporter who was also an employee of the CDC which sponsored that original lie. (When the papers used to support this claim were published AFTER the news conference by Robert Gallo and Margaret Heckler, the papers show HIV presence in a mere 36% of the group being studied. Why was this never questioned and exposed?)

The unreliability of the "HIV test" is obvious when taking into consideration the dozens, as many as 100 or more, causes for a "false positive." The inherent discrimination of the test is obvious to at least one gay man, myself, whose positive test over 15 years ago was never once investigated or considered such a "false positive." The test is meant to instill fear and encourage those who may already have minor but measurable health issues to take toxic and eventually lethal drugs, pure and simple.

That our American health system is a military-modeled organization means that orders and information flow only in one direction, from the top down. This explains why respected and knowledgeable scientists such as Kary Mullis and Peter Duesberg, both of whom have clearly and scientifically shown the holes in the mainstream web of lies and misinformation, have been ridiculed and shunned for their courageous stand on this issue.

Even without the extensive research I've done, later than I wish I had, I know firsthand that HIV does not cause AIDS. I've been supposedly "positive" for at least fifteen years with zero AIDS-related illness or symptoms. Friends and acquaintances who have taken "AIDS drugs" have died, been maimed (hip replacement is certainly maiming) and are being used to shift gross amounts of money from insurance companies and charity organizations into the bank accounts of the murderous pharmaceutical industry. There is no shame on luxury vacation flights, of course. That those who benefit and profit from this think they are being helpful and benevolent is no excuse for murder-by-medicine.


ElizabethEly
ElizabethEly

"Council member Bill de Blasio tells the Voice that he isn't satisfied with the state's answer and that, within the next few months, he plans to sponsor a bill requiring the state to release the records to Vera. "If you push, there's always a way," de Blasio says."

Now that he's been elected mayor, are you going to call him up and follow up on that promise?  Where is the bill he sponsored "in the next few months"?  Nobody could find the resolution he announced he'd filed when the Vera report came out, either.  Would appreciate your looking into that, Elizabeth Dwoskin.  Because no, the AIDS Babies as Guinea Pigs Story is Not Finally Over.  It's barely begun to be told.

 
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