Skip to comments.Sorting out the facts on AIDS
Posted on 12/02/2003 7:58:03 AM PST by mikeb704
Last Monday was designated World AIDS Day. U.S. Health Secretary Tommy Thompson, speaking from the AIDS-ravaged continent of Africa, said that it looks like were losing the war against the deadly disease.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela hosted a concert in Cape Town as part of an effort to have AIDS declared a global emergency. Taped messages from Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson were shown.
Sitting near Mandela was Oprah Winfrey. Yes, the same Oprah who in 1987 presciently observed: "Research studies now project that one in five listen to me, hard to believe one in five heterosexuals could be dead from AIDS at the end of the next three years. That's by 1990. One in five. It is no longer just a gay disease. Believe me."
That proved to be nonsense, as did other exhibitions of conventional wisdom on the topic. A 1985 cover of Life warned: "Now, No One Is Safe From AIDS." U.S. News & World Report cautioned: "The disease of them is suddenly the disease of us . . .finding fertile growth among heterosexuals."
The reality is that the major causes of AIDS were, and continue to be, men having sex with men and people injecting themselves with drugs. In that order. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2001 fewer than 10,000 Americans contracted AIDS through heterosexual contact.
The total number of annual AIDS cases in the U.S. has declined significantly, particularly between 1995 and 1998. So have the number of unfortunates whove died from the malady.
Even in America, however, all the news isnt so encouraging. Last month a CDC official reported a significant jump in the number of AIDS cases among homosexual men. "To some extent, there is some prevention fatigue," he said. "Its driven by a sense that HIV has become a chronic and treatable disease."
Perhaps that sense partially explains why, despite substantial increases in government spending on AIDS, the number of cases each year has been holding at about 40,000.
Total Federal expenditures for HIV/AIDS were estimated to be close to $15 billion last year. This represents almost a fivefold increase in the last dozen years. Still, critics assert much more needs to be set aside. Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark has pledged to increase spending for AIDS research, prevention and health care to $30 billion a year by 2008.
It may be tempting to think that tossing more dollars at a problem will cure it, but that rarely, if ever, is what happens. A lot of them are just squandered.
Federal dollars for AIDS are no exception. $100,000 was used to pay for a "drag queens ball" in New Jersey. $200,000 from one federally funded group was used for workshops described by a pro-homosexual newspaper as "hot, horny and healthy."
Some advocate abstinence and chastity as ways of reducing AIDS. In many quarters, such views are considered patently absurd.
Yet its interesting that the African nation thats had singular success in curtailing AIDS uses exactly that approach. Uganda has based its efforts in whats called the ABC model: Abstain, Be faithful, use Condoms if A and B fail. Priority is placed on using the first two options if at all possible.
It doesnt appear as though Ugandans have been hit by "prevention fatigue." The HIV/AIDS rate has been cut in half in the last decade.
AIDS is a cultural as well as medical crisis. These days were most reluctant to "impose" our views on others. But the fact is that combating AIDS effectively will require a change of behavior by some individuals. This is the information that needs to be widely disseminated, not promises of a cure that may never be found.
The alternative is a continuing epidemic of heartbreaking proportions: Millions dying slow, painful deaths, their orphans struggling to survive. AIDS isnt caused by a lack of Federal funding or too few people wearing red ribbons.
Actually that's not true.
TUEBINGEN, June 16, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A study by researchers at the University of Tuebingen in Germany has found that anal sex, both homosexual and heterosexual, is the second largest cause of HIV transmission in Africa. Transmission in medical settings, such as through dirty needles, is listed as the primary cause, says the study published in the current edition of The Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Aids.
In a finding which has HIV/AIDS activists on edge, the researchers, say vaginal transmission of HIV is a very distant third compared to medical transmission and transmission through anal sex.
The report's author Dr. Stuart Brody, of the Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioural Neurobiology, said people in Africa need to be told that anal sex poses a greater risk of transmitting the Aids virus.
Also of interest:
It's almost as if G-d exists, and He knows what He's talking about.
Who wuda thunkit.
Another factor involving AIDS in Africa is the fact that frequently little clinics will immunize,innoculate and/ or vaccinate large numbers of villagers with the same needle.
AIDS is big business,and more than any other is able to realize huge profits and receive large sums of money from the public both through public monies collected through taxes as well as the increased insurance payments the ordinary citizen has to pay for private insurance. Thanks in a good part for the big corporations insuring "significant others".
Actually, they do. If you ever lived in the UK or spent more than a certain number of weeks there, you can't donate blood. The same is true for a number of African countries. I'm a regular blood donor, so I know first hand.
None of this undermines the main premise in #37; behavior -- specifically promiscuous behavior -- is the initial cause of the AIDS outbreak. Changing this behavior is the only way to stop it.
I hope I didn't come across as trying to undermine your premise. Promiscuous behavior does indeed help spread AIDS that much more quickly, but it's important to note that AIDS targets homosexual behavior. Abstinence is the cure for AIDS. As you said, condoms aren't worth the risk.
Wesley's now explained how he's going to pay for his proposal. According to the Miami Herald: "Asked how he would pay for his ambitious AIDS plan, Clark pointed to a bunch of red, white and blue balloons. ''I can bring this country together,'' he said. ``I believe we can come together on this because I believe in this country. I love those colors, I love the flag.""
Oh, that's how he's going to do it.