Posted by: shannonc | January 22, 2010

On Darren’s arrest

This is going to be editorial material.  If you’re looking for information, try the story in Eventing Nation.

I generally don’t like being in the middle of the fray – or even joining in the fray at all.  I’m happier being a sidelines kind of girl when it comes to drama.  But I can’t shake the feeling of sadness I’ve had since this story broke yesterday.

The below is mostly a copy of what I posted to the Chronicle of the Horse forums.  Posting there on topics like this makes me feel a little short of breath.  I guess I fear the flames that sometimes come from speaking up.  This time I might be too numb to worry much about it.

Old Jan. 22, 2010, 02:08 PM
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I don’t think for a minute that HIV is just another STD. There is no cure for HIV; it has been implicated in the deaths of more than half a million people in the US since the start of the epidemic, according to the CDC. As a chronic disease it irrevocably changes the lives of those infected. Many still consider HIV to be a death sentence.
 

Though that may not be as true as it once was, people continue to die every day in the US from HIV-related causes. Those under treatment with HAART – not all of whom respond – monitor their HIV VL obsessively, knowing the virus’ tendency to mutate and rebound under drug pressure – and since we have a finite number of drug classes to treat with, it does happen that people become multidrug resistant. The HIV specialist community struggles even today with how to help these patients, who have made their way through all the drugs we currently have available to keep the virus in check. Patients live in fear.

I cannot think of any comparable STD. It doesn’t matter to me that the laws lump them in together, because I’m not here to respond to the laws…but to share my feelings about my sport being represented at the highest levels by someone who may have knowingly put another human being at risk for contracting this horrible virus. It is an action I personally consider so morally abhorrent that, confronted yesterday with even the idea that it had taken place, I found myself unaccountably close to tears more than once during the day.

For now it is all what-if. However, if he is found guilty of this crime, I will find his continued presence as a sponsored ULR and US representative in the sport of eventing offensive beyond what I can describe.

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