Tuesday, November 23, 2004

AIDS: Disease or Political Issue

When I read this paragraph by James Pinkerton at TechCentral Station I grinned from ear to ear. Finally, someone else gets it. I am sure we are not alone, but the politics associated with AIDS often times prohibits doctors and scientists from treating the pandemic.

Part of this is the majority's fault. If the bigots in the US didn't label AIDS as the "gay plague" or "gay cancer" we might have been able to look at it from a pure medial standpoint that would have allowed us to treat the disease and treat its victims with dignity--but also allow us to have removed them from society as we would with any other communicable disease (e.g. if AIDS was airborn).

But now that AIDS is treatable, it has become a tool--a wedge issue--for gays and "sex workers" (aka, whores). They use the charitable nature of people who want to fight the disease (regardless of who has it) and use it to promote political gains (i.e. say that if you are against the spread of AIDS you are against "sex workers" and gays, per se).

Here's a paragraph from this great article:
My visit last July to the XV World AIDS Conference in Bangkok left me with the uneasy feeling that many AIDS activists were more interested, strange as it might sound, in preserving the sexually liberated status quo than they were in stopping the disease. Why? Because the activists approached AIDS through the prism of liberation and politicization, in which the great good was human freedom, and the great "bad" was Puritanism. Oh, and of course, the profit-minded drug companies were bad, too. Human freedom, the activists seemed to think, should be protected in the bedroom, not in the boardroom.


paul said...

I'm not clear on what you're saying here. If you're suggesting removing aids victims from society would have been an effective treatment back in the day, you're wrong. Too expensive, but even if it was possible, the nature of the disease makes such acts impossible.

Giving needles to junkies would have slowed transmission to the straight population (through male hookers/junkies) and been basically free (needles retail for about a quarter).

Hep C is going to be a bigger problem, far more people have it and the tx isn't so easy to take, and it's efficacy is unknown.

We can kiss Africa goodbye, as people start to drop dead from it. Hopefully it won't mutate. Giving out medicine may not help much, the problem there is delivery. AIDS meds are complicated, I have friends who have trouble keeping their regimes together.

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