Wednesday, October 7, 2009

HIV/AIDS

I've decided to tackle yet another cultural cliche. Only gay people get AIDS. Oy vey, how many times over the past few months have I heard this ignorant statement? Way too many I tell you! That's why I'm here to clear up some false pretenses about this disease. According to WHO (World Health Organization), there are 32.9 million people living with AIDS globally as of 2007. Only 1.2 million of those poor souls live in North America. Mind you, North America and the United States specifically is, for the most part, the only population who believe AIDS is related to homosexuality. Another shocking statistic: 50% of all those people living with the condition are women and children. Fun fact for ya: lesbians are one of the lowest risk categories for HIV/AIDS. Man that's a whole lot of straight women dying of AIDS for it be a "gay" disease wouldn't you say? To be fair, as of 2006, 50% of all cases in the United States were caused by homosexual activity. But a staggering 33% of all cases were caused by "High-risk" heterosexual activity. You might ask what is the "high-risk" kind of breeder sex? I asked the same. Apparently it is sexual activity between people in high risk categories, such as: African-Americans or sex without contraception. And yes, black people are at a higher risk and no, it is not because of black people in Africa! They're still at a higher risk in the United States. Another small tidbit of brain food: African American women are at a higher risk of contraction than homosexual males. So I hope everyone sticks those ideas and percentages in their proverbial pipes and light up! HIV is not from God to kill gay people. First, all sin is supposedly the same to God and people aren't dropping dead when they gossip; The View is proof of such a statement. Second, if for whatever fucked up reason God wanted to kill us, I highly doubt the omnipotent Lord of the universe would use a virus. Third, if it were a gay disease, then only gay people would be dying of AIDS...and lesbians clearly aren't! Regardless of your personal choice in religion, don't blame God for your ignorance and bigotry. I'm sure the Almighty doesn't want His people giving him a bad reputation for being the fag killer!
In other HIV news, there is a new vaccine out that is effective in about 31% of those tested on. There was a six year study done in Thailand with 16,000 volunteers and it was funded partly by the United States. That puts to rest another incorrect Christian dogma: that in the end-times there will be incurable diseases and that HIV/AIDS is one of them. This vaccine may only be effective one-third of the time but its a huge step forward. Maybe one day Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome will be something as foreign a concept as the black plague or the Spanish flu. Now is the time for me to leave you with another quote: "The fight against HIV/AIDS requires leadership from all parts of government--and it needs to go right to the top. AIDS is far more than a health crisis. It is a threat to development itself." -Kolfi Annan. Please go out into the world and remind those out there that the top commandment in the Bible is to love the Lord and secondly to love all those around you. We are all creatures fighting our way through existence. Cherish those around you and hope for better days!