Joel E. Gallant M.D. 100 Questions. The Dummies Book of HIV/Aids.
This book gives you precise answers to the questions about HIV/Aids.
Shedding the light that with every disease there is the brutal ending of death.
The Bottom Line:
Living with this disease fot 20 years I have come to the reasoning that there is more money to make from the perscriptions than the cure.
100 Hundred Questions and Answers about HIV and AIDS
This book had no plot unless you know the molecular imbalance structure of the T-Cell that our bodies slowly build compared to regular red and white blood cells. From day one of the discovery there has been to many different theories on how to defend this chronically blood thirsty disease. Why each day in the world 5,000 people contract HIV. In 1990 in the medium size country town of Frederick Maryland, on a late day in March, I was the first person to take the Western Blot test. All those hearts dropped when I came back on April 8, 1990 and my counselor was more terrified than I was. "Do you believe in God? Do you have life insurance,?" They sat around me as if I was going to die in the next few days. Then comes in a woman that transferred from Baltimore County and puts the main perspective in my head and for her words I go by them everyday. " Live for today like there is no tomorrow, look at you past as your path for which you live for today." She looked at me with this last sentences, " you know you can walk out of this building and get hit by a car, people die everyday. You need to control this disease or it will control you !!!
This book by Dr. Gallant is so clear and precise that it is written as if this was the first time you heard about HIV or Aids. Dr. Gallant as he puts it, that he is still practicing and learning more about this disease everyday .I go to the Whitman Clinic at John Hopkins from every three months or if my blood work is shaky like it is now I go every month. I've never seen the man, but he has a team of Doctors and Doctor PA's underneath are one of the reasons John Hopkins has been voted Hospital of the Year twice in the last 3 years. This book has your every question and answer to go with it. It gives you every step in the lives of a person with HIV and narrows down to the infinitive conclusion on the disease's you might take you last breath with. Yes I put my own little narratives in this review about this book. The only reason I did that is because there are some thing you need to know from the patients view to get a better insight on the book.
My last paragraph I promise. Since my day in 1990 until this morning while I sip on my coffee, the ignorance of this disease is still very much present. Why I have to work for me and can't hold an outside job. I was a mechanic for my first 3 years of this disease after my stint with horses I was on the assembly team for making cherry picker trucks that you see in your city when a technician gets in a bucket as it raises up to a telephone poll and either works on your cable tv or your voice service. I have 4 doctors plus my case-worker I have to see from every month to every other month. You can't be gainfully employed unless you have told your boss and they are sympathetic to your health needs. With that being said, anyone who wishes to ask me a question about the book or this disease, don't be afraid to email me.
Dr. Joel Gallant is the Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology plus a vast number of titles at John Hopkins here in Baltimore Maryland.. Let me begin on how his life was turned around just by one patient in 1981 at San Francisco General Hospital on his first rotation as a doctor he encountered his first patient who had Pneumocytis Pneumonia that was the first case of Aids reported. The patient was gay which terrified Dr. Gallant because he was having promiscuous gay sex himself for which San Francisco was to the world’s capital of the gay movement back then. From his words he couldn't face his own reality of take care of young and older men dying for the same things he was doing outside the hospital. In 1985 he moved to New Haven Connecticut to start a new journey in his life in his medical internship at Yale.
( Me) In 1983 I was young and dumb 27 year old traveling the country with race horses. There is not much in a horse groomers life living on the race track except, drinking, drugging, and gambling. I chose drugs. To start my journey in the HIV world I shot any drugs that could be used with a needle and the unknown answer is this. I got busted in New Jersey and was sent to Bergen County Jail and in my section c of communal cell block there was only 5 white guys in a community of 48. Let’s just say a riot happened and all 5 of us had to go to the hospital. My jaw was broken in 7 places and I had to have surgery and two pints of blood. This was a year before the FDA and the CDC made it mandatory to check each donors blood.. So was it either the transfusions or the shootings of IV drugs into my body, I’ll let you decide on this one.
From 1985 to 1990 (the year I found out I was HIV positive) Dr. Gallant was documenting all his cases comparing them to one another and with the new drug that came out AZT how a once death sentence turn into a chronic treatable disease. He watched it spread drastically from men to women on drugs to the babies that were brought into this world.
(Me) I was clearly HIV positive to some and others I was a false positive. My blood went every where across our country University of Stanford even to the Mayo clinic. But in 1993 it came to the realization that I had it. My girlfriend at the time had her youngest son come home with Chicken Pox and I knew I had the measles when I was a kid but not this. The next morning I was rushed to the hospital and in a quarantined room and was pronounced with full blown Aids and Chicken Pox. I had one foot in a casket with a constant 105 temp which they broke by putting me in a ice cube bath. After a week there I came back to my self and from a two T-Cell count I was back to over a hundred. From that day to 2008 I’ve been a A-Symptomatic. I fought the good fight and thanked my higher power for giving me 16 years of a clean healthy HIV life.
Dr. Gallant explains his theories on how you need to be tested for your life histories, for the past lovers that you have had and for the past lovers your girlfriend or gay lover has had. If you ever put a needle in your arm and shot drugs, even once could do the trick or even getting tattoo's. That Dr. Gallant hopes you get tested and come back negative, but if not you need to get on a Antiretroviral Therapy as soon as you find out.
(Me) The first years were okay just being on the AZT but after my Chicken Pox out-break they put me on a Three Drug Combination (two regular drugs and a protease inhibitor ). As to Cancer patients the first 6 months to a year your body adjusts to it like Chemotherapy .
Throughout the book Dr. Gallant has two patients giving their aspects, dreams and desires of how their lives have changed since being HIV/Aids. The book brings realistic questions and answers that every patient goes through and ones that read the book that are too scared to be tested. A few of the questions I’ve already gone through in my earlier stages of my progression of my disease, the first one is becoming toxic to the prescriptions that you take. I ended up back in the hospital because of my toxicity of the protease inhibitor Indiviar. I had a nice 2 day visit getting blood transfusions again as they cleaned out my body and changed my medications through a Genotype Blood test which is a test seeing what drugs my body would resist too and what drugs could be used to help me keep living.
The book is full of questions including “ who do I tell” and with the new laws out because of this disease ( the Hippa Privacy Act) “why should I have to tell you”. He helps answer the questions,” when is a good time to claim Social Security Disability Insurance. How you can take time off work from the Family Medical Leave Act. The second chapter on is the basic fundamentals on how the progression of the disease takes control over your body and how good T-Cells and manipulated by bad HIV cells and mutate into more bad cells. It also explains the testing for it mainly in the “Western Blot” test for which I took many of them between 1990 to 1993.
The next few chapters are about fining a great Oncologist, that has experience in Internal Medicine. Dr. Gallant also suggests that you need to go for blood work pertaining Hepatitis C..This is mainly for ex-drug users like me, those who drink and if you had any tattoos. It is documented that 39 percent of HIV/Aids patient get Hepatitis C. I found out in 2001 that I have it. I have the weakest strain of the Aids Virus, but the worse strain of the Hep C virus. Try taking Interferon along with your Aids medications. It really sucks big time. The worse part about this case was, I’ve failed 5 protocol clinics with this Interferon medicine. My liver is at stage 3 fibrosis/cirrhosis.
The next 3 chapters are about you and your medicines making sure you don’t miss any treatments. I’ve made it easy on me. I take mine before I go to bed with a light snack. Dr. Gallant answers questions about side effects and that until there’s a cure, plan on taking them the rest of your life. Now your in the middle of the book and he begins to tell you the signs of progression that your body can get Opportunistic Infections and Other Complications. From Genital Herpes to more frequent Pneumocytis Pneumonia and these are just the starter reactions.
(Me) I have bouted 4 cases of Pneumonia in my 20 years. I was home quarantined in 2006 and 2008 with the latter bring me back to A-Symptomatic (Full Blown Aids). I recovered somewhat. I can do most things but I have to watch who I am out with making sure nobody has a cold or the flu or I risk my life.
The next to last chapter explains women’s and children’s issues . I have visited John Hopkins and the Kennedy Krieger Section with children that have Aids from birth. It is so sad to look them in the face and lie to them that they will be alright and the next time you go see them, the Good Lord has taken them from this world, took them from the pain they didn’t deserved from a Crack Addicted mother. Your heart goes out to them. Dr. Gallant explains how a couple can have children if the one parent is totally clean from HIV and if it’s the male who is HIV, there are services out there like sperm washing. He finalizes never to give up hope, because hope of another day is all we can dream of.
Dr. Joel Gallant dedicates this book to his best friend and gay husband.
I’ve been going through this since 1990 and even though they have medications for your survival, they are medications that also wear out your organs such as your liver, spleen, kidneys and reek havoc in your lymph nodes. I work and play but before I go to bed I have 13 medications staring at me to choose between life or death and I take them with a promise and a prayer that tomorrow this will all end. For my 3 Aids medications alone is $4,700.00 a month. Thank God for medical insurance. It gives me that promise.
In my closing statement. This book covers A-Z what you need to know about HIV/Aids. It provides you the information from being tested and coming up Positive until you get the infections that might take your life. I have been told that my Aids might not kill me, but my cigarette smoking will. My only two vices that I won’t give up are smoking and once a month having a 1.5 inch New York Strip Steak with a fat bake potato and covered with buttered onions and mushrooms. I’ve been able to work through all the progression, but I’ve told my people, I just take one day at a time now. Even if you don’t have HIV or Aids, you need to put the quality of your life in check, specially if you are single and on the dating scene. This disease is or never was a “Gay Men’s” disease.
I've been a lucky one so far. I've gone through some muscle wasting in my arms and upper back, but I still lift weights. I work out with fertilizer bags anything I can get my hands on. I don't know what I missed about the book. It was just as hard for him to write as it was to watch his lover go. He see's the pain everyday when he goes to the hospital and see's his Aids patients everyday. He asked himself the 100 questions that society would want you to know.It's not "I'm gonna scare the bejesus out of you" It's truly informative and passionate about his work.Ignorance is always bliss when it's not in your back yard. I describe it as being in jail without bars. I tried to refrain from the "wasting sydrome, Kaposi's Sarcoma, your nervous system frailing" just the word AIDS should have you scared enough.
Thanks for reading !!!
First print 2009
Jones and Bartlett Publishers