well, let's see--susan hoffman and i the co-moderators of the oldest FIV
group on yahoo; which is FIVCats2, for reasons that are way too complicated
to go into.

i am currently owned by two of the little beasts, and have been living with
them since 2002 when i moved into a FeLV/FIV sanctuary.

does that count as direct experience?

FIV has NOTHING WHATSOEVER in common with HIV: FeLV is much closer in terms
of how it's transmitted, it's course, and everything else.

the first investigators to isolate it did so in 1987, at the height of the
HIV/AIDS panic, and gave it a name that has killed far more cats than the
virus ever will. the only people who liken it at all to HIV/AIDS anymore are
the original researchers, who seem to have an investment in doing so,
despite years of research showing them to be in error. these folks use
HIV/AIDS terminology, which is pretty absurd, since H = human, after all.

the snap test is wrong 40% of the time, even in non-vaccinated cats; the
vaccine has not been proved effective in independent tests (another fine
product of Ft Dodge), and WILL cause any cat to test positive for life, even
on the confirmatory test, which is the western blot.

FIV cats, most of whom are male, mostly turn into, well, pussycats once
neutered--and couldn't bother biting anyone hard enough to transmit the
virus; when we get timid housecats in who actually DO test positive on the
western blot, one of our vets says that the cat was probably bitten on the
butt trying to run away.....

should a cat remain aggressive post-altering, filing down or removing the
canines prevents them from biting deeply enough.

FIVs are more prone to herpes infections and stomatitis than non-FIVs, it
seems, but basically they are VERY VERY healthy: sanctuary anecdotal info
(which, like with FeLV, is all there was for a long time) shows that FIVs
are healthier than any other population. yes, they get sick, but they
respond to treatment as well as any other cat.

most FIVs die with the virus, not from it, tho, of course, other things can
get them as well.


On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 2:47 PM, Caroline Kaufmann <

>  Does anyone have any direct experience with FIV that they can pass on to
> me?  I know the gist of course, since I foster cats and have "met" *and
> lost the battle to*- both Felv and FIP in the past year (ugh).  I have
> heard that cats with FIV can be fairly successful- live heathly lives barely
> affected by the disease (is this true?), and it really is a lot like human
> HIV?  I have also heard this is the one retroviruses that is transmitted by
> deep bite wounds and NOT casual contact?
> I am going to help a man who has taken in a alley cat that hung around his
> house for about 3 years that tested positive of FIV.  He was clearly
> neutered by alley cat advocates b/c he has a tipped ear.  He says it's a
> wonderful, approx. 5 yo tuxie.  He has him in the bedroom for now (his only
> room with a door in his house) because his own cat is an extremely
> aggressive, neutered male and after 3 years of the tuxie hanging around
> outside, and being in the house for a while now- they can't sort out their
> differences and they will fight.  He wishes he could keep the cat but with
> his cat- being such an aggressive fighter, and the tuxie being a fighter
> when need be (alley cat mentality)-- he just doesn't see it as possible due
> to transmission to his cat.
> The cat did get outside and got in a fight recently- ended up with an
> abcess on his ear- being treated by a vet, stint put in and he has a f-u
> next week- but it was at that appointment that the vet found the FIV and
> said "segregate!"- as they always do.
> I am going to work to get the cat into our adoption program as a "special
> needs" cat in the hopes that someone w/o other cats, with a non-aggressive
> cat, with a docile female, with other FIV cats, etc., would be willing to
> take him on.  In the meantime, this man has agreed to continue to "foster"
> him in his home while I work to help him out with the situation.
> In the meantime, I want to build up my knowledge so that I have "talking
> points" for potential adoptive parents and I can educate if someone w/o
> prior FIV experience is willing to take him.  The man seems to understand
> that he could have a cat on his hands with something a lot worse (like Felv
> or FIP), so he's definitely not an overreactor and he seems well-educated.
> Any info that anyone has will be great!  Especially PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
> and/or accurate and trustworthy websites I can read and pass on to others!
> thanks,
> Caroline
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