No self-respecting survivor of "HIV" is going to ignore the
passing away of Continuum Magazine's founder - a proud and angry
man has been lost.
Jody had said in 1992, "If I'm going to leave the planet early I
want to have done something worthwhile." The comment of a man who
remained, despite his usual persona, unsure of whether he could
escape the force of the HIV=AIDS theory; also the comment of a
prophet. If you seek his monument, see the magazine.
Jody was diagnosed HTLV3 (earlier called LAV and later HIV)
positive in 1984. It was 18 months after the traumatic breakup of
a 14-year relationship of which he said later, "I simply could not
handle the situation and began to drink, something I had never
done in my life before. I very quickly became alcohol dependent,
my nutrition suffered badly and I came down with glandular fever.
I was tested and found to be positive. When I asked the doctor
her opinion she said if I was lucky I might have a year to live."
Eight years later Jody began Continuum, putting out the news to
all who could hear that HIV was a life-sentence, not a death
sentence; and perhaps not a sentence at all. He lived to see the
publication in this magazine and others around the world of
scientific confirmation that the "virus" which has misled and
terrorised people everywhere is not even isolated.
In the past ten years, working first at the London Lighthouse and
then with Continuum, his defiant qualities enabled him to stand
aside from the drug-based medical orthodoxy over AIDS. It became
obvious to him that nutrition, drug use (prescribed and
recreational) and quality of life were significant factors in
individual progression, or not, to a definition of AIDS. He was
adamant from observation that the so-called side-effects of "HIV
and AIDS medications" were very contributory to the onset and
perpetuation of an AIDS definition in an individual. In this
opinion he was eventually confirmed in more than principle by
respected London immunologist Professor Tony Pinching (among
others) who told a journalist, "The trouble with AZT is its side-
effects mimic the symptoms of AIDS."
But Jody found himself facing choices, including the use of
regular nebulised Pentamidine as possible Pneumocystis Carinii
Pneumonia prophylaxis, which were reinforced in the community past
the point where he wanted to resist them. His pneumonia was
diagnosed with tests known for their high false-positivity rates,
after he suddenly ended his long cigarette addiction in the middle
of last winter. Jody also used Septrin, Dapsone, Trimethroprim,
steroids etc. With reminders, he began to question the use of
these drugs, but his will to support his body in real ways, in its
crisis, seemed drained.
John Lauritsen has said of senior gay men, "as the AIDS epidemic
developed, they experienced grief; they were in perpetual
mourning, their hearts broken by the loss of their closest
friends." This was true of Jody, despite his cheerful face, for
he was a lover of mankind who resented loss, and cherished the
richness of the present. Burdened with the loss after Christmas
of yet another close (medicated) contemporary, and a tendency to
overwork, Jody's fighting spirit was sadly depleted. Two weeks
before his last admission to the AIDS ward (sic) at Chelsea and
Westminster Hospital he "wrote off" his car, and when he died both
his lungs had collapsed. One had been reflated. The senior
consultant's provisional first diagnosis? "It could be heart
failure. HIV gets everywhere."
In January Jody had confided to Maggie Turner, a close friend,
that he was ready to die. She's commented, "I respected him, and
knew him well enough to know that Jody wanted to be in charge of
his life - and his death."
Jody's known past health risks for mid-life illness included
alcoholism, syphilis, heavy tobacco addiction, sustained stress
and no exercise. He experimented for the second half of last year
by not taking vitamin/mineral supplements. Although Britain's
Pink Paper printed that he had used further "recreational drugs"
there is no evidence for this, and he himself had denied it except
for his own report of unwittingly having some hash-cake on an
unrepeated occasion. He liked to joke that he had outlived the
family members whom he'd told of his HTLV3 diagnosis in '84, which
might have been cold comfort.
His cremation took place on Tuesday 5th September with several
friends and colleagues absent. Jody's paid domestic carer for
recent months, with whom he had once had a fourteen-year
relationship, made the arrangements. A believer in HIV, he had
correctly predicted, "Jody isn't going to get better."
It is a great tribute to Jody that Continuum lives on, empowering
people by disseminating information often not found elsewhere and
asking important questions. He will be missed by many whom he
inspired and especially by those carrying on the work he began.
Continuum - UK phone 0171 713-7071/fax 713-7072
Fax sent by John Stevens
Ai> Jody's known past health risks for mid-life illness included
Ai> alcoholism, syphilis, heavy tobacco addiction, sustained stress
Ai> and no exercise. He experimented for the second half of last year
Ai> by not taking vitamin/mineral supplements.
This is not what killed Jody. Contributory, perhaps, but not
causative. What killed Jody was the lentiviral, chronic infection
of HIV. HIV causes AIDS. But we must first understand what the
fire is so we can safely put it out while fireproofing the house.
BOTH tactics must be undertaken.
George M. Carter
... I'm looking for a good, hard man.
___ Blue Wave/QWK v2.12