The implications of a cure for
AIDS HIV, where are the kids in local sports, the Klan in North Dakota, tribute for a code talker, and one for all the "tortured souls."
First, the Monday Morning Rouser:
A cure for HIV.
The words flow so easily, it's possible not to grasp the meaning. A cure for
AIDS HIV . For those who remember the fear that accompanied the realization that there was an insidious and unknown disease at work, the news that a child born with AIDS HIV has been cured -- or at least scientists so claim -- is particularly significant.
Three-hundred-thousand children worldwide could be ridded of the disease, especially in AIDS-plagued African countries where too many babies are born with the virus, the Associated Press says.
"We can't promise to cure babies who are infected. We can promise to prevent the vast majority of transmissions if the moms are tested during every pregnancy," Dr. Hannah Gay said.
Until now, such children have been considered permanently infected, NPR says.
The baby is from Mississippi. And after an initial treatment, the doctor said, the mother stopped bringing her in for help.
"The baby's mom was having some life changes, that's about all I can say," Gay reports. "I saw her at 18 months, and then after that did not see her for several months. And we were unable to locate her for a while."
Gay enlisted the help of Mississippi state health authorities to track down the child. When they found her, the mother said she'd stopped giving antiviral drugs six or seven months earlier.
At that point, Gay expected to find that the child's blood was teeming with HIV. But to her astonishment, tests couldn't find any virus.
"My first thought was, 'Oh my goodness, I've been treating a child who's not actually infected,' " Gay says. But a look at the earlier blood work confirmed the child had been infected with HIV at birth. So Gay then thought the lab must have made a mistake with the new blood samples. So she ran those tests again.
"When all those came back negative, I knew something odd was afoot," Gay says.
There is only one other person on the planet known to have been cured of AIDS.
It took a doctor to take a gamble, First Post says.
Compared to the first decade of the epidemic, when it meant a miserable and stigmatized death, AIDS today is a chronic, manageable medical condition. People affected with the virus do not like to be called patients, just as they way people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension detest the term. They also live long, normal and productive lives.
From a handful of drugs with severe side-effects a few times a day to stave off death in the early years, HIV-positive people today need to take just one pill, once a day. A large number of long term survivors of HIV now die of old age and other illnesses than HIV-related complications. The Mississippi child might bring in better news for them.
That word in the first sentence -- stigmatized -- is certainly an important one, which is why the news of a possible cure comes with a remembrance of Ryan White, the face of AIDS in children. He was a hemophiliac who contracted the virus through a blood transfusion.
And people turned away from him. He wanted to attendpublic school in Kokomo, Indiana but the school system banned him because other students and parents were afraid of the kid with AIDS.
He died at age 18 twenty-three years ago next month.
The news of a possible cure reminds us of how far science has brought us. It reminds us of how far we can move from our own ignorance and fear.
More health: Minnesota House set to vote on health exchange.
Duluth athletic officials are noticing the trend; fewer kids are participating in youth sports, the Duluth News Tribune says. A third fewer kids are participating in hockey, for example, than 14 years ago. Basketball participation is also down.
There are fewer kids in Duluth than there were 14 years ago, but some are blaming another insidious threat: soccer.
You drive around on any weeknight in August and you will go, 'OK, kids playing soccer. OK, kids playing soccer.' On any patch of grass that's big enough, there's a soccer game," a youth soccer league director says.
More sports: New Rochelle wins! New Rochelle wins! New Rochelle wins!
When we wrote last week about the hockey fans in North Dakota who wore Klan robes to a "white out" promotion at a high school hockey game, an astute reader reminded us that the Klan wasn't entirely about black v. white, especially in North Dakota. Now, Forum Communications follows up, with a history of the Klan in the state.
In Minnesota, Hawley is remembered as an active site of Klan activity, and a historian once estimated that ministers of half of the Norwegian Lutheran evangelical congregations in the region were members or tacit supporters, according to research by Clay County Historical & Cultural Society.
The Klan often sought sympathetic preachers to spread its message and to help win converts. It also took on many of the characteristics of a fraternal organization, popular social outlets in the early 1900s.
In the Rev. F. Halsey Ambrose, a Presbyterian minister in Grand Forks, the Klan found a devoted and persuasive evangelist. Ambrose was a fervent anti-Catholic, a position he preached from the pulpit.
His sermons were so entertaining, in an age before television, that they even attracted admirers from outside the congregation, according to accounts from Grand Forks Herald archives.
Whatever happened to the Rev. Ambrose? He left for a pulpit in Saint Paul.
Chester Nez, now 91, is the last surviving original member of World War II's Navajo "Code Talkers." Their code was never broken by the Japanese.
The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and Northland College in Ashland honored Nez on Friday. It takes a lot to get more than 50 veteran honor guards from tribes across Wisconsin to turn out but they did for Mr. Nez.
There is at least one "tortured soul" who says you don't know what it's like to go through what he's been through. He hit the beach at Normandy and that's not what he's talking about, either. He's talking about not being able to read.
By the way, the Minnesota Literacy Council provides adult learning classes. Go here to find one.
Bonus I: They're walking on Lake Superior in Duluth, a chance to walk out to The Cribs.
Bonus II: In a warehouse in Philadelphia. a man is pursuing a dream to build a ship by hand. He hopes to sail it across the Atlantic. (BBC)
Bonus III: Snow got you down? You need to spend some time with Carl Martin's new video on his trip to the BWCA last summer.
Gov. Mark Dayton's plan to raise taxes on the state's top earners is popular with a majority of Minnesotans according to a new poll. Across the U.S. wealthy families are paying some of their biggest federal tax bills in decades even as the rest of the population continues to pay at historically low rates, reports the AP. Today's Question: Is our current tax structure fair?
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) - First hour: Gov. Mark Dayton.
Second hour: Who should bear the cost of risky behavior?
Third hour: Charles Wheelan, author of Naked Statistics.
MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): A Chautauqua Lecture by historian Ronald White on Civil War General & U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.
Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) - The Vatican's focus turns to selecting a new pope.
All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - In Ludington Michigan, people love to watch the car ferry, smokestack billowing, heading to Wisconsin. It's powered by coal, and it's the last one of its kind in the U.S. The ferry has an uncertain future, and its shut down could have a large impact on the Ludington economy. NPR will have the story of the ferry and the town.
St. Paul wants the state to forgive its $30 million mortgage on the Xcel Energy Center. Minneapolis wants $25 million to rebuild Nicollet Mall. Minnesota's two largest cities each have lengthy legislative wish lists and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to lobby state lawmakers. And with the DFL in control of the Capitol, they're more likely to see some of those wishes granted
Listened to item #1 on my way to work today. A great story.
Saw #5, too. Heartwarming.
The Daily Circuit in hour 2 will no doubt discuss the clause in the Affordable Health Care Act that allows (but does not require) health insurers to add a surcharge to smoker's policies.
We at the American Lung Association oppose the smokers surcharge. Why? Because we are here to help smokers quit, not to punish them for their behavior. We have solid evidence that higher cigarette taxes reduce smoking rates, but the same cannot be said of surcharges.
2) WHERE ARE THE KIDS IN LOCAL SPORTS?
Soccer isn't a local sport?
Hockey and Football are expensive (and the whole brain damage thing). Baseball hasn't been the same (to me) since 1995.
My son is nuts for soccer. He likes West Ham United FC of English Premier League. We just purchased 1/2 season tickets to the Minnesota Stars FC.
I'm a parent of two girls who played soccer throughout their childhood into high school. The 14 year old kid who played on a football team and says he spent too much time 'basically just standing around' hit the nail on the head. Football and baseball have too much inactive time for a lot of kids. Basketball and hockey are similar to soccer in that the team is always on the go; I know a lot of kids who play both soccer and hockey (the seasons are opposite). I'm happy to see the change from 'traditional' sports to soccer.
I noticed in the tags at the bottom of the Duluth news story soccer wasn't listed, although the other sports were. Huh...
You soccer parents will have to excuse Bob. When he and I grew up, the "real' sports were hockey (in New England), baseball, football and (in Indiana)basketball.
Soccer was seen as some sort of silly European game, not a real sport. When I was in high school, my art teacher tried to recruit me for a soccer "club" --it wasn't recognized as a official school sport in Indianapolis then. Years later, in Washington, DC, I saw kids playing on soccer pitches for the first time. Now I see them everwhere.
I don't think I am that far behind. 18-20 years isn't that far, right?
When I was growing up soccer was the sport the 'weird' kids played, or what the hockey players did to stay in shape in summer (roller blades came out when I was in high school but were not popular yet).
I think the head injuries of football and hockey, and the price of the equipment, have me convinced not to have my kids play them.
It doesn't matter what sport *I* like. But there's a public policy component.
Out here in my neck of the woods -- Woodbury -- we're spending millions -- MILLIONS -- building facilities for hockey kids. And also baseball and football.
When they last expanded the soon-to-be-gigantic Bielenberg sports complex, I think they put in three soccer fields.
Oh, and we're not the state of soccer, so there's that cultural component to this.
I'm in favor of anything that lets kids run around, and then collapse, thus being too tired to bug their parents, or knock over old people. (g)
Knit-picky, maybe, but the child was not cured of AIDS. The child never had AIDS, but had HIV. The story I heard on MPR this morning was that they think they were able to get rid of the virus because of early intervention that did not allow the virus to form hideouts. If the child had full blown AIDS, this would not have been the outcome.
This will also be important for those who still believe HIV doesn't cause AIDS. Those people still exist right?
Youth soccer has been really popular in Duluth for a long time. I lived there for a few years in the mid-80's when I was in elementary school and my brother and I both played (his team won a citywide championship too). When we moved back here, I was going to keep playing soccer, but it seemed like all my friends were in youth football, so I switched to that.
When they last expanded the soon-to-be-gigantic Bielenberg sports complex, I think they put in three soccer fields.
When money was poured into a new/updated athletic complex in Minneapolis near Fort Snelling a significant portion included soccer fields.