Last year, Seed magazine and Scienceblogs noted the 25th anniversary of the recognition of AIDS. You’d think that in all that time, especially with the identification of HIV and all the public education campaigns in the 1980s, people would realize by now that HIV isn’t spread by casual contact. You can’t get it by sharing drinking glasses, by coughing and sneezing around others, by being in the same swimming pool. However, the message still hasn’t gotten out in some areas, it would seem, as a two-year old HIV+ boy was restricted from using the pool and showers at an Alabama campground. More information and video after the jump.

Last week, Dick and Silvia Glover went to the Wales West RV Park in Silver Hill, Ala., with their foster son Caleb. When the boy was banned from using the pool and showers, the Glovers said they were offered an uncomfortable and painful choice: They could either keep Caleb out of the water or leave.

“We weren’t sure if somebody could get the virus if the child upchucked on them or from blood or what,” said Ken Zadnichek, the park’s owner. “We didn’t know what the risk was. That’s why we asked for something from their doctor or the county health department.”

Dick Glover said the request for a doctor’s note made it clear Caleb was unwelcome.

An Alabama newspaper quoted Zadnichek as saying, “I’m not responsible for their feelings. I’m responsible for the well-being of everybody in the park. If their feelings got hurt, I’m sorry. That’s the way it’s got to be.”

Perhaps the most depressing part of it is that a survey question is asked with the story, asking who’s “side” you’re on: the campground owner, or the parents’. As of 2PM Eastern time, over 300,000 votes had been logged, and it was at 45% in favor of the owner, and 55% for the parents. Even after all this time, it seems we still have a giant gap in public education about HIV/AIDS.

Comments

  1. #1 apy
    July 9, 2007

    The article is a bit vague, but it doesn’t sound like he did anything particularly wrong. He didn’t know what to do so he did his best to minimize damages until he could find out. He didn’t seem to be doing this out of dislike for an HIV+ child, but how of incomplete information. It doesn’t say what happened after he determined that the boy could not infect anyone else, which is the real test I suppose.

  2. #2 James
    July 9, 2007

    I must admit, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to keep a young kid out of a potentially dangerous area when they have HIV. I can speak from experience that kids can hit their heads or scrape themselves easily enough near a pool that spilling blood is probable…

    I wonder how this would’ve played out if the kid was older?

  3. #3 Adele
    July 9, 2007

    This was an RV park, not a do-it-yourself blood transfusion camp. No one ever got HIV from being around a kid who slipped and skinned his knee on a diving board. You need prolonged blood to blood contact for transmission.

    Maybe they should make a rule, if little Billy cuts himself and starts bleeding all over the place, the other kids shouldn’t try to do a blood brothers ritual that is slit their wrists and put it on his cut, with him. Beyond that this is ridiculous.

  4. #4 SteveF
    July 9, 2007

    To some extent I agree with apy; it sounds like the guy was doing his best to minimize risk (as he saw it). It’s just a shame he is so utterly, inexcusibly, clueless.

  5. #5 Ribozyme
    July 9, 2007

    Meaning well doesn’t justify stupid discriminatory behavior. Not long ago here in México it happended that in a county managed swimming and pic nic facility at the city of Aguascalientes they had a sign at the entrance stating: “Entrance forbidden to dogs and homosexuals”. Only after a national newspaper found out about it and published several notes did they remove the sign and county officials issue an apology. And I’m sure they meant well by their own standards when they put the sign…

  6. #6 Shaun Chamberlin
    July 9, 2007

    Well here we go again. Another group of people who managed to educate themselves enough to make million dollar investments, yet lack general education on HIV or AIDS. This is not new people, this has been around for almost 30 years.

    HIV or AIDS cannot be transmitted by chlorinated water or even with regular shower water, and the owner is very aware of this. They just chose to discriminate against a small child of color with a life changing illness. I hope that everyone boycotts these bastards into bankruptcy, then they might take the time to educate themselves instead of counting their $$$$$.

  7. #7 wrpd
    July 9, 2007

    It seems to me that the owner of that sort of facility should be aware of all health and safety concerns. It sounds to me like a combination of willful ignorance and old-fashioned bigotry.

  8. #8 Michael
    July 9, 2007

    Well, I notice the kid is also black. And this happened in Alabama. How convenient! How much of this was rascism coupled as well with the paranoia of HIV?

    And the story does seem to revolve around stupidity and ignorance of the masses. Kind of exemplifies the dissidents point of the beliefs of the ignorant and brainwashed masses. And the stupidity of human beliefs, when ignorance, fear, rascism, or profits are at play.

    Even the kids foster father said “Caleb can’t help he was born with AIDS”. No he was not. He may have acquired antibodies that sprung the tests from his mother, but that does not even mean he has any infectious virus. All it means is that his body creates antibodies that spring the HIV tests. Just like 70 other proven factors:

    http://www.virusmyth.net/aids/data/cjtestfp.htm

    The saddest thing to me is that this obviously healthy kid will most likely suffer stunted growth and maiming due to the HIV drugs that are surely being given to him. Again, due to yet more ignorance, fear, racism, and profits.

  9. #9 apy
    July 9, 2007

    I don’t know the owner at all, but I think it is important to remember that there are a lot of people who are very ignorant about modern medicine. I shortly visited Alabama and from my experience I am not sirprised to hear someone there does not know anything about AIDS.

  10. #10 Richard Jefferys
    July 9, 2007

    All it means is that his body creates antibodies that spring the HIV tests. Just like 70 other proven factors:

    http://www.virusmyth.net/aids/data/cjtestfp.htm

    The first reference in this list (“Factors Known to Cause False-Positive HIV Antibody Test Results”) is this paper:

    52. Snyder H, Fleissner E. 1980. Specificity of human antibodies to oncovirus glycoproteins; Recognition of antigen by natural antibodies directed against carbohydrate structures. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 77:1622-1626.

    – They just knew already, even in 1980!

    Michael, can you come up with a list of factors that are known to cause false positive ELISPOT results for HIV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell responses targeting all nine HIV proteins (Env, Gag, Pol, Nef, Tat, Rev, Vif, Vpr, Vpu)?

    See for example this ELISPOT analysis.

  11. #11 Michael
    July 9, 2007

    Mr. Jefferies.

    You may be able to yet baffle an awful lot of people with your bullshit, but I am not one of them.

    And lets pretend for a moment that the any test including ELISPOT were accurate, Jefferies.

    Does it even matter, considering HIV certainly does not cause AIDS, as the 1000 enrolled in the Boston long term nonprogressor studies can verify.

    But many of the drugs you have recommended and trumpetted have caused many deaths and maimings.

    By the way, how is the pharma funding of your TAG group doing these days??? I hear its dropping substantially! Poor baby. And as soon as Gates wake up…. ohhhh boyyyyy….

    Oh well. You can always get a future job shovelling manure. You do have more experience at it than most!

  12. #12 Sonny Lester
    July 9, 2007

    …all nine HIV proteins (Env, Gag, Pol, Nef, Tat, Rev, Vif, Vpr, Vpu)?

    Those are genes, not proteins.

  13. #13 Richard Jefferys
    July 9, 2007

    I realized after posting that prior message that it would drag this off topic into another dreadful denial thread. Apologies.

    T cells don’t target genes, Sonny, they target proteins (more specifically, slices of those proteins called epitopes).

    If he’d actually bothered to look up information on the elite controller study, Michael would know TAG is a collaborator:

    http://www.massgeneral.org/aids/hiv_elite_controllers.asp

    LTNPs don’t verify that HIV does not cause AIDS; the fact that their HIV-specific immune responses are functionally superior to progressors, along with the massive overrepresentation of HLA B*57 among LTNPs (a gene which encodes a CD8 T cell receptor particularly adept at responding to HIV epitopes) shows just the opposite.

  14. #14 Sonny Lester
    July 9, 2007

    Of course, T-cells don’t target genes (How could they?)

    But Env, Gag, Pol, Nef, Tat, Rev, Vif, Vpr, Vpu are the genes (not proteins) of HIV.

    The proteins include p24, p160, etc, etc, etc.

  15. #15 Michael
    July 9, 2007

    Mr. Jefferies, please do share how much TAG (Treatment Action Group) has collaborated with the LTNP study, since the LTNP’s do not want any of your treatments?

    Jefferies, Isn’t it just a wee bit premature to claim all of the LTNP’s show “massive overrepresentation of HLA B*57″ when no data exist in supposedly infected subjects to suggest that favorable alleles are associated with different HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell responses when compared to individuals with unfavorable alleles?

    But most important, is there some reason why you, and the rest of AID$ Inc. are not advocating for ALL HIV poz people to be checked for HLA B57 so they could be removed from the risks of taking HIV drugs?

  16. #16 Richard Jefferys
    July 9, 2007

    Env, Gag, Pol, Nef, Tat, Rev, Vif, Vpr, Vpu are the genes (not proteins) of HIV.

    You wouldn’t be willing to tell us your real name would you, Sonny?

  17. #17 Chris Noble
    July 10, 2007

    But Env, Gag, Pol, Nef, Tat, Rev, Vif, Vpr, Vpu are the genes (not proteins) of HIV.

    Env, Gag, Pol, Nef, Tat, Rev, Vif, Vpr, Vpu are all proteins. Env Gag and Pol are later cleaved into smaller proteins.

    The genes are env, gag, pol, nef, tat, rev, vif, vpr, vpu.

    Capital letter – protein
    Small letter – gene

  18. #18 Michael
    July 10, 2007

    Capital letter – protein
    Small letter – gene

    Got that Jefferies?

    Now please do answer my questions regarding your lame excuse for the differences between LTNP’s and everyone else and what you presume this does or does not prove, Mr. all knowing Protein and gene expert!

  19. #19 Michael
    July 10, 2007

    Jefferies, are you going to answer or not?

    Is there some reason why you, and the rest of AID$ Inc. are not advocating for ALL HIV poz people to be checked for high counts of HLA B57 so they could be removed from the risks of taking HIV drugs?…………….

    I didn’t think you would answer Jefferies. Fear not Richard. I will therefore need to continue to ask you this every time you pop into the threads!

    Sorry to see you finding yourself with your foot in your mouth again Jefferies. Really, I really am. Because it simply stretches your big mouth even bigger.

  20. #20 Jane Shevtsov
    July 10, 2007

    I didn’t watch the video, but there’s one thing I don’t understand. How did the campground owner find out the kid was HIV+? Did the foster parents tell him?

  21. #21 Richard Jefferys
    July 10, 2007

    LTNPs don’t need treatment. For people that do, the ideal treatment would be one that used knowledge gained from LTNPs and turned every HIV infected person into an LTNP, without the need for drug therapy. LTNPs also contribute significantly to vaccine research, their immune responses have already informed the design of most of the candidates that are in trials.

    no data exist in supposedly infected subjects to suggest that favorable alleles are associated with different HIV-specific CD8+ T-cell responses when compared to individuals with unfavorable alleles

    I guess at least you read a paper, although I’m not sure what you mean. HLA B*57 is associated with “different” responses, e.g. CD8 T cells that can recognize more epitope variants. So I don’t know where you get “no data exist” from. It isn’t directly linked to CD8 T cell function though. Google “HLA B57 + HIV” to get an idea of how much data there is on the subject.

    The surrogate markers currently used for making decisions about initiating treatment are far better than a single test for the presence of HLA B*57.

  22. #22 Michael
    July 10, 2007

    Jane,

    The foster mother brought up the subject of the child being diagnosed as HIV positive with one of the employees in the office.

  23. #23 Richard Jefferys
    July 10, 2007

    checked for high counts of HLA B57

    Sorry to see you finding yourself with your foot in your mouth again.

    I’m off to check my HLA counts. Goodnight.

  24. #24 Michael
    July 10, 2007

    Jefferies, you said:

    “The surrogate markers currently used for making decisions about initiating treatment are far better than a single test for the presence of HLA B*57″.

    That is not what the recent Rodriguez paper showed.

    Dr. Benigno Rodríguez of Case Western Reserve University and colleagues conducted a study to estimate the extent to which presenting blood levels of HIV can account for the rate at which CD4 cells are depleted among an untreated HIV-infected population of patients.
    The researchers found only a small proportion of the rate at which CD4 cells are lost could be explained by plasma HIV RNA level, suggesting more than 90 percent of the determinants of CD4 cell decline are not reflected in the amount of virus in blood.

  25. #25 Chris Noble
    July 10, 2007

    I didn’t think you would answer Jefferies. Fear not Richard. I will therefore need to continue to ask you this every time you pop into the threads!

    This would also be a good time to remind you of your promise to stop spamming this blog.

  26. #26 Dr. PS Duke
    July 10, 2007

    The AIDS denialists like to claim that the small percentage of HIV-infected people who become long-term non-progressors are some sort of proof that HIV does not cause AIDS. This is one of the boldest lies they tell. Most viruses do not kill or maim 100% of the host individuals they infect. Even Ebola and Marburg filoviruses seem to infect many people without causing any symptoms.

    In South Africa, a clinical trial of treatment of infants with antiretroviral therapy has just been completed, which clearly showed that early treatment was better than waiting for symptoms to occur.
    http://www.aidsmap.org/en/news/89CA2C4D-D598-45C1-91C8-28CFA08ACD32.asp

  27. #27 SLC
    July 10, 2007

    It never fails. Prof. Smith need only mention HIV and the whackjobs, in this case Mr. Michael, come out of the woodwork.

  28. #28 Renee
    July 10, 2007

    I think the owner can do whatever they like, because they own the pool- and might lose their livelihood or get sued if they aren’t cautious.

    That they asked for more information (a doctor’s note) indicates that were at least reasonable.

  29. #29 entlord
    July 11, 2007

    Judging from the comments, this blog seems to be representative of the readers of the general article. I have to wonder if the owners happen to test all their campers for various STDs? Or if they make them submit notes from their doctors that they do not suffer from various infectious diseases?
    Particularly saddening was the results of the poll with so many thinking the owners actually had a valid point in their behavior. Maybe they should start testing all their campers for leprosy; I note Lou Dobbs claims illegal immigrants are flooding the country with leprosy which is highly contagious. To be sure Lou is as reasonable as these campground owners or maybe Americans are just very ignorant when it comes to issues of public health.
    BTW, what would the campground owner be sued for? This makes no sense either medically or legally.

  30. #30 Paul Schofield
    July 27, 2007

    entlord

    As a legal case, I have no idea if it would work, but frankly the pool was just horrifically badly managed.

    From my time as a lifeguard, I can definitely say that you had to have risk assessments and protocols/plans for virtually every possible eventuality. Every disease that could come into the pool, every injury that is possible (minimising the risk that they could occur), every kid taking a dump in the shallow end, you had to know how they could happen, how to stop them and what to do if they did happen.

    If these protocols failed, or if they didn’t cover a situation which they should have (say, you didn’t have a risk assessment for what may well become a common situation), the pool was liable. If the lifeguards failed to follow a working protocol, then the lifeguard was liable.

  31. #31 Güzel Sözler
    February 17, 2008

    thanks…

Current ye@r *