Friday, April 22, 2016

Prince Died of AIDS Related Complications -- Report

Read HERE.

The Santa Monica Observer is reporting that two days before Prince died, a confidential source told the paper that the pop star was dying of AIDS, having stopped taking his meds for the virus he supposedly contracted sometime in the 1990s. The paper alleges he wound up off his meds -- presumably somewhat recently -- because of the influence of fellow Jehovah's Witnesses, who are "known to forego modern medicine in favor of prayer." (Prince converted in 2001.) People magazine then reported that he was grappling with a "serious and ongoing" illness at the time of his death that "weakened his immune system." But no sooner did People's report lend credence to SMO's, the magazine then contradicted itself and said the treatment for whatever he had was what led to his having a compromised immune system -- not that he was being treated for a compromised immune system -- which sounds more like someone who is undergoing chemo or is on steroids (or the like), which can cause one's defenses to diminish. Putting another hole in the theory is that Damian then reminded me that it is Christian Scientists who won't take medication, not Jehovah's Witnesses. (Followers have some unique ideas about medicine, but mostly they just have rules against blood transfusions.) And if he were some kind of follower who eschews medicine, then why would we be hearing that he needed a Narcan shot on April 15 after overdosing on Percocet prescribed for hip and ankle pain? He'd take Percocet but not HIV meds? (Preliminary autopsy results released Friday ruled out suicide but do not reveal a cause of death yet,)  If SMO is correct and he did die of AIDS related causes, I can already hear the "What about his privacy?" and "What difference does it make?" comments flowing in, I tend to err on the side of transparency when it comes to matters such as this, and autopsies of public figures are matters of public record anyway. (How do you think we know how Marilyn Monroe died? And I can still vividly recall my jaw dropping on the 101 in downtown L.A. car-pooling home from work when a radio announcer came on and rattled off that Robert Reed's "cause of death was colorectal cancer complicated by HIV.") Just as with Charlie Sheen, though, if it's true that Prince chose to go off his HIV meds and then couldn't right the ship when his health went off course, whose story would be better than his to spread the word about the importance of proper treatment of HIV/AIDS? Science and medicine are real, religion is faith. Sadly, faith does not combat HIV, no matter how rich and famous you are.


Jeffery said...

His dieing from the flu set off a red flag for me. AIDS sounds more like it.

rob clemenz @ said...

Brilliant commentary, KW in the 212.

Mike in Asheville said...

Sounds like BS to me. I've been HIV+ since the early 1980s and hit the AIDS threshold in the mid 1990s. What is described in the article is not how the virus works. In advanced AIDS, the toll on the body would be too severed for someone to be able to tour as Prince was doing shortly before he died. He would have been too weak; there would have been opportunistic diseases also taking their tolls.

Of course there are extremes (like me still being alive when so many of my friends died) and perhaps Prince was one when havoc hits in a week. But, what is also highly unlikely, is an insider from Prince's closest circle, would reach out from Minneapolis to Santa Monica Observer? Seems more likely SMO is looking to sell a story before an official cause of death is reported.

Edward Smith said...

The main killer of people with AIDS is a terrible opportunistic infection called PCP Pneumonia. It is responsible for the majority of deaths of people with AIDS. It is a silent killer. A person can walk around with it and not know it, and function reasonably well. The problem is by the time it is diagnosed it is often too late. It damages the lung tissue. (A nurse told me once that it "cooks" the tissue)and the immune system is too weak to mount a defense even with antibiotics.

I lost two close friends to this. My friend Rob was fine one week and dead the next. I remember thinking how can Rob be dead?, we just had lunch a week ago and he seemed fine! Also my friend Sean, who wasn't taking his meds, died because he was diagnosed after the illness developed and he had no immune system to recover with.

Kudos to the wonderful statements here. If Prince did die from AIDS complications it does nothing to diminish his amazing life and his contributions as an artist. We have to stop thinking of this disease as some sort of punishment!

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