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Peginterferon-Ribavirin, Failed it twice. Incivek, Failed it. Sovaldi Olysio, failed it. Harvoni, failed it... Transplant Patient Zepatier and Sovaldi...we'll find out!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Provocative Statements

Pamela Anderson and Kim Kardashian.


It doesn't matter what good they may do, their most provocative activism comes via their own power as sex symbols. The reason for this is that their names are so associated with sex that it's impossible to claim that it isn't a factor in how they promote a product, service, make a political or artistic statement.

Both Pam and Kim recently revealed nude photos in solidarity with the community they represent.
Kim chose International Women's Day, while Pam chose Hepatitis C.
(selfies and Kim Kardashian's essay located at end)

Kim Kardashian has the ability to hit on a public nerve in a very real way, she must be provocative for her brand to keep growing.

I do not make the assumption that the person she presents is the person that she is.
It's a work face, it's just that her product/brand is Kim Kardashian.

Kim knew that posting the picture would create a public conversation, she was fully willing to step forward by doing the same thing so many other people do with a selfie.

She released an essay to elaborate further along with more photos. The essay's irony in the first  paragraphs doesn't frame the articulated argument she was intending. She fails to see that our assumed prejudices pervert our beliefs until we shift our perspective. 

The depth and measure of art is not in its existence, but in the response to its existence.
And the selfie is so art right now.

Thankfully, the gasps from of those with higher moral fiber were met with the clash of the stances within feminism. Giving more exposure on all sides...All the while still promoting Kim Kardashian.

(Seeing all the reactions to Kim Kardashian's tweet, got me curious about the psychology behind it, and unfortunately there are presently only two studies, one American (men only) and another Polish(all adults) on the selfie, and they focus on subject rather than the audience reception.)

Compare the response to another sex symbol who released a nude on Instagram(IG) in November.

Pam Anderson released the nude on IG in November  to predominately positive responses.
Both women captioned their respective photos, and every aspect of the art in the photo is undoubtedly their signature style.

Wait...a second....IG doesn't allow nudes.  

Pam used it as an opportunity to remark about  how unaffordable the treatment is for the majority of those affected by Hep C.

Pam immediately set the tone of her message and her announcement took fresh advantage from the fall's political rally against pharmaceutical price gouging.

Both used their artistic license to carve a talking point on a diverse problem allowing more mainstream exposure.

Advocates and activists used the exposure to highlight key arguments within their respective communities.

Fantastic commentaries ,
Critical receptions,
Mainstream exposure,
and advocacy 

Since this is art, measuring the reaction within the community is the measure of the art's success.
The difference in reaction is telling. Both communities have had major escalating upsets and changes in the last few years on a global scale, and both suffer from a lack of unification. Both are also shaped by their diverse composition and intersectionality.

The critiques and responses above exemplify how willing we are to accept nudity as an artistic statement. Not only in their points but in one distinct choice. Whether or not to re-share the image.

For all groups the rationale to use/not use the image is based on readership reception.

After all.... why am I not showcasing both images right now? Because it's unprofessional.

Scroll down, I put them at the bottom so you can still browse this shit at work.

What this reception shows is that sexualized marketing is acceptable when the subject isn't the artist.
The artist chose a provocative photo to declare a statement, and to remove that provocative photo from the statement and use another photo is sexual objectification. Because at that point the statement she made is devalued by filtering it but still profiting from it.... Nah, I'm sure it's just professionalism.
make a wish
send this to 10 people in 10 seconds or your wish will never come true
Forgive my unprofessionalism 
Pam Anderson


Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian's Essay

Hey, guys. I wanted to write a post elaborating on my tweets last night. In all seriousness, I never understand why people get so bothered by what other people choose to do with their lives.

I don’t do drugs, I hardly drink, I’ve never committed a crime — and yet I’m a bad role model for being proud of my body?

It always seems to come back around to my sex tape. Yes, a sex tape that was made 13 years ago. 13 YEARS AGO. Literally that lonnng ago. And people still want to talk about it?!?!

I lived through the embarrassment and fear, and decided to say who cares, do better, move on. I shouldn’t have to constantly be on the defense, listing off my accomplishments just to prove that I am more than something that happened 13 years ago.

Let’s move on, already. I have.

I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me. And I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world.

I am empowered by my husband, who is so accepting and supportive and who has given me a newfound confidence in myself. He allows me to be me and loves me unconditionally.

I feel so lucky to have grown up surrounded by strong, driven, independent women. The life lessons I’ve learned from my sisters, my mother and my grandmother, I will pass along to my daughter. I want her to be proud of who she is. I want her to be comfortable in her body. I don’t want her to grow up in a world where she is made to feel less-than for embracing everything it means to be a woman.

It’s 2016. The body-shaming and slut-shaming — it’s like, enough is enough. I will not live my life dictated by the issues you have with my sexuality. You be you and let me be me.

I am a mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, an entrepreneur and I am allowed to be sexy.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Some Things Considered

I am an outlier,

But I am happy.

Treatment to cure is every person with Hep C's goal. When things get closer to the end it can consume us to find the keys to the locked exit doors. Even in my early 20s I gave up hope when Int/Riba failed, I grasped at straws and took the treatment again with a higher dosage.

That grasping, failing, created my first RAV, I had a q80k polymorphism. Failing a treatment is not simply continuing to have HCV but it also bears the risk of creating mutations, RAVs. 
So after failing Int/Rib/Incivek, Sovaldi/Olysio, Harvoni... I now have three mutations, RAVs.

I am an outlier, but one or two RAVs is common among experienced patients.

Zepatier, the drug i've been waiting for had a contradiction I was worried about. While previously I was unsure my Child-Pugh score; I confirmed that it is only A. Which means it shouldn't be as hard to get access to the meds.
Daklinza/Sovaldi/Olysio/Riba is another contender.

(to make things even more complicated, the existence of RAVs from a previous treatment does not indicate that the treatment will or will not necessarily fail)

Well....fuck.  There isn't enough longitudinal data for my situation on these meds to make the best decision. Why? Because breakthrough medications often lack the studies their non-breakthrough partners have at date of FDA approval.  Breakthrough therapies are not about the results, they're about maximizing the amount of time the patent is most profitable.

Zepatier will undoubtedly change the conversation about Hep C meds due to its lower price point and high efficacy in smaller groups as well as across Genotype 1 and 4.  I fear that this low price point will drive a "consumer's" choice in treatment. 

(Insurance agencies, Healthcare groups and Pharma companies make the real choice between medications before you even see em... which means 1/3 of the people deciding  give a shit about the patient. Fucking Trident has more support from leading dentists.) 

There are many combinations of Hep C meds for many different cases, each one with different efficacies. (Sovaldi ranges from 84-96% depending on subtype.)

The best drug/therapy to treat should be set by relative efficacy, not by price.
That being said, my condition is stable, I don't seem to be getting worse, nor am I getting better. If I keep up the healthy changes I've been making I may be able to stay where I am for a few years yet.

The key now is choosing the best treatment, which means waiting for more data. Thankfully the EASL (aka the International Liver Conference) is coming up next month, so we should have more information in the coming months.

In the meantime later this month I'll be making a trip to Portland and Seattle. Making stops in San Francisco, and Sacramento.
If you're along the route, ping me!