HIV(+) status and sports is a big deal.
Any time there is a non-negligible risk of a bloody nose (golf or swimming vs soccer or basketball), there is a risk someone is going to get a blood droplet in the eye. Another player, a ref, a coach, a spectator, a beer vendor– yes, the odds might be fantastic, but whatever the risks are, they arent worth it for entertainment.
Kudos to *most* state boxing commissions for recognizing that HIV status is a very, very big deal in their sport, thus require HIV tests before fights. And, if a boxer fails a test, they dont go all “DUDES GOT AIDS!”, they just ‘fail’ the physical (could be anything, from steroids to weight to too many concussions or something) and move on. Its such a relief when regulatory bodies actually do things right.
Turns out back in the 1990s, a boxer failed his HIV test, and had to back out of a high-profile fight– Tommy Morrison. It looks like for a while, he was a pretty good guy, a la Magic Johnson. Went on antiretrovirals, came out as a spokesman for HIV awareness (its not just a disease druggies or coloreds have to worry about):
“This is a disease that does not discriminate,” he said, misting up. “It doesn’t matter if you live in a drug-infested ghetto in New York City or on a ranch in Jay, Okla. [where Morrison then resided]. It can jump up and bite you, no matter where you’re at. It doesn’t matter what color you are. It doesn’t have a favorite color.”
It appears he is done with all that, and is now an HIV Denier.
“I’m living proof that HIV is a myth,” Morrison said recently. “All the things that were going to happen, didn’t. Medical mistakes happen all the time and people are misdiagnosed.”
Wait, wat? No.
I mean, yes, there are false positives all the time. Medical mistakes happen all the time. Thats why there are numerous layers to HIV-testing (1. fast test for antibodies, 2. Western + ELISA, 3. RT-PCR numerous times over the course of infection). But that doesnt appear to be the case with Morrison. He appears to be evading testing (either refusing, fighting places that do not require testing, or substituting others samples as his). And I dont think he understands that if you are tested with RT-PCR, and your physician tells you that there are ‘undetectable levels of viral RNA’– that does not mean you are not/never were infected.
It means the antiretrovirals you are taking are working.
It does not mean “HIV is a myth”. It does not mean “All the things that were going to happen, didnt”.
It also means that if he now thinks “HIV is a myth”, he has stopped taking that medication, and his viral load will go back up. That in turns mean that when he is fighting (not ‘if’, ‘when’– he is boxing, and fighting MMA), he is putting other people at risk (not just the other fighter, everyone within blood-shot) of contracting HIV. Other people who might have no idea who he is or know about his HIV-1 diagnosis, and assume that all the fighters are tested.
Hell, I didnt know about him until a few days ago, and Im a damn HIV researcher who loves boxing and MMA and thought everyone was tested.
Its also not criminal to be a Wormtongue in the ear of HIV(+) individuals, convincing HIV(+) people that “HIV is a myth”, “their dreams were shattered” for nothing, psychologically ‘allowing’ them to put others at risk. People like Terry Michael, the epic douche who first brought this issue to my attention with this idiotic article:
“What if most everything you think you know about HIV and AIDS is wrong?”
That’s the message U.S. boxer Tommy Morrison is sending to Canadian sports fans -and the world-in a confrontation with the Regie des alcools, des courses et des jeux. The gaming board is asking the 42-year-old fighter to take an HIV blood test to qualify for meeting Eric Barrak in a main event Feb. 25 at Pierre Charbonneau Centre.
… The HIV-AIDS story is complex. Many of us have devoted years of study to it, and have concluded there is not now and there never was a human immunodeficiency virus. We ask the world to reassess 27-year-old politicized junk science. Canadians can contribute to that fight for truth by opposing injustice being visited on an American athlete who should be allowed to enter a ring Feb. 25 without taking a test about nothing.
Who is Terry Michael? The guy who runs this HIV Denial website.
The Quebec boxing commission better not drop the ball on this one. Allowing a boxer to fight after one demonstrably false positive HIV test is one thing. Encouraging an HIV(+) fighter to ‘oppose’ testing (or blatantly forge test results or mix testing samples), go off antiretrovirals, and put others at risk of contracting a deadly disease is something else entirely.