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14 comments

"using a new transplant method involving umbilical cord blood"

Which as I learned recently, they aren't paying women for. Using us as a free resource yet again. The hospital won't let you take it (unless you practically steal it), but won't pay you for it either. Everything from stem cells and placenta, to now this it looks like. But, aside the fact women aren't being paid for it, it's turning women's bodies and parts into another commodity.

I was thinking today how about how this is a new reason men will force women to carry pregnancies to term and create a legal and economic setup where more and more women will become "surrogates." So women's bodies can be mined/farmed for cord blood and placentas along with babies.

Since this story involves HIV specifically, I also immediately thought of all the rich gay men who are already paying poor women to bear children for them, or planning to do so. In the US, these guys make a point of using contracts that deny the women dignity and basic rights. Now I bet these guys will put in clauses saying that it's not just the baby a "surrogate" gives birth to that belongs to the men - the cord, cord blood and placenta will be theirs for the taking too.

Generally anti-abortion people also do not support this kind of research.

They let you take it but need to pay a third party service that stores it for you. It’s like $1k at least. I’m upset that I have to pay to keep tissue from my own body that could be used to help me or my family but complete strangers with diseases and defects get to benefit from it for free?

Even if they take your placenta, can they use any part of your body without permission?! What with stem cells and all sounds like an ethical issue

[–] loren 1 points Edited

They gave me 2 options at the hospital. Pay well over a thousand to some third party company to store my umbilical chord for my family’s use in the future, or give it up to the hospital (the largest funded research hospital in my state) for them to use however they want on whoever the fuck they want.

I was watching (streaming) tv the other night and kept seeing the same commercial, repeatedly, for a PREP drug, Descovy. It was a typical US pharmaceutical commercial with narration while showing happy, smiling people - actors playing patients - doing happy, smiling things.

The narration stated that, "Descovy is not for people assigned female at birth," and I thought, "WTF? Why not?" but then the icing on the misogyny shit cake was when, after that disclaimer, the "patients" shown included a TIM. Once again, they are "women" except when being male benefits them.

Now, from this article OP posted:

women account for more than half of H.I.V cases in the world, they make up only 11 percent of participants in cure trials.

It's all got my head spinning. Women account for more than half of cases, yet treatment and prevention is aimed at men. Using cells produced BY WOMEN. Fuck everything about that.

Also, pretty much all girls and women who get HIV in the world contract it from males. Not from IV drug use or from sex with other females. And a lot of times, girls and women contract HIV through unwanted sex with males, either outright rape or sex forced on girls and women through coercion or marital duty.

Most of the girls and women getting HIV in the current century are poor ones in the less developed world, largely in sub Saharan Africa, where a widespread belief amongst males is that raping a virgin can cure a man of HIV.

Everywhere on earth, the people who spread HIV to members of both sexes are pretty much entirely male. Yet as you point out, both treatment and prevention are aimed at men.

The narration stated that, "Descovy is not for people assigned female at birth," and I thought, "WTF? Why not?"

Looks like it's not approved for women because it hasn't been proven to prevent transmission through vaginal sex - but of course, that's because the clinical trials didn't even include women.

I read about why HIV was more common in gay men at the beginning and it just has to do with the transmission of the virus being more likely during anal sex, basically, just due to the tissues and mechanics involved. That surprises me that women are not included because if PIV sex was already less likely to transmit HIV than anal, you would think it would be easy to test for when studying a drug like this?

Worldwide yes, but in the U.S. where that drug is created, the vast majority of HIV patients are male.

treatment and prevention is aimed at men.

And here is an example showing that isn't the case.

I guess I saw this as good news because it proved that female patients can receive this treatment, but I understand the controversy about the use of umbilical cord blood and compensation. I had no idea the sex distribution of HIV infection was so even until today, so I hope this brings more awareness of that as well.