(Previous FIV Site)
Well, this USED to be a web page about the tragic death of one of my cats to FIV (the feline equivalent of HIV in humans). I had the page up for years. During that time I received numerous thoughtful emails from people who had also gone through this experience. More recently the number of emails had gone down significantly.
Then I received a critical email from someone. She signed her name and then added "UCLA" at the end. I went to a state college in fly-over country, poor me.
She claimed that I was all wrong in stating that FIV cats only live a few years, even though the web page clearly stated the following: "More detailed info on FIV cats and life expectancy: Just like Human HIV and Aids, there is quite a bit of uncertainty about the life span that an FIV cat may expect. There have been cases where the virus seems to have no effect on the cat, and it lives for years symptom free until passing away from old age or something else. If the cat progresses into the symptom phase, it may get sick and even near death, then recover and live for years afterward. You just never know. I certainly do not want to discourage anyone from deciding to fight this instead of euthanize, especially if the cat is still free of symptoms. Just make sure the cat is kept indoors and isolated from all other cats."
She then "informed" me that FIV was present (and had been for some time) in other species of cats, and the cats were in the process of adapting to it. Once again, she apparently missed this from the original site: "In many other species of wild cats, the FIV virus is present in many or most of the animals, yet it causes no harm to the cats. This is believed to be the eventual progression of all 'IV' viruses. First the virus spreads and causes numerous fatalities; then a few individuals whose bodies can tolerate the virus survive and procreate, and eventually the entire species is unaffected. This natural progression takes thousands of years, however. It is now taking place in domestic cats."
She also said: "This is NOT AIDS". Well, duh. Everyone knows this. I only had 1 uninformed person even ask me about this in all the years the original page was up.
At this point in my life I am not going to tolerate poorly considered criticism from anyone. Here is a perfect example of "no good dead goes unpunished".
I feel sorry for anyone struggling with the issues of dealing with a cat with FIV; I know what you are going through. At this point you will have to go elsewhere for advice on this issue.