HIV Anomalies #3

Sometime this year, Hollywood will ensure that you hear the probably moving tale of Ron Woodroof.

Take a look at Ron and the actor portraying him, who has lost weight for the role, and tell me what’s a little off when you read this paragraph:

“He was a drug user and had many girlfriends – leaving his family unclear exactly how he contracted HIV.”

Has it been investigated that Woodroof contracted or passed on HIV to any of his girlfriends? I can’t find any evidence of that. But doesn’t a junkie who’s lost weight look awfully similar to an AIDS patient?

The Daily Mail (notorious for being quite awful, but fairly occasionally on the ball) also makes a mistake in one of its info boxes. Under ‘Celebrities with the disease’ Magic Johnson is listed. Johnson does not have ‘the disease’, he is only HIV+. And his wife and unborn child prior to diagnosis were tested HIV-.
Johnson being black American is of note, as is the fact that he is still healthy and alive while Woodroof is not.

Woodroof died in ’92 while Johnson was diagnosed in ’91. By this decade the dosage of AIDS drugs had thankfully lowered; that was of help to Johnson but probably wouldn’t have made a difference to Woodroof. But still, without Johnson having ever been ill we don’t know if his medication is necessary. Johnson is treated for a spurious blood marker, not a manifestation. Him and Woodroof differ.


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