While there's nothing wrong with warning gay men against the risks of HIV, using HIV solely in that way also carries risks.
I'm reminded of some numbers, although I'll dispense with what comes after the dot, and just round them off.
Australia has about 22 million people.
It has 35 000 HIV infected people.
The US has over 300 million people.
It has 1.3 million infected people.
African Americans, despite being a quarter of the population, bear 40 percent of HIV infections.
Some documentaries now say that that the black population in the US is infected to the same degree as the southern African pandemic (the sub-Saharan
African pandemic accounts for 98 percent of global cases, which are believed to be heterosexually transmitted), and that not a single legislation has
been passed to lower that rate (lowering incarceration for the war on drugs, or providing condoms in prisons, for example).
South Africa has about 50 million people.
We have 5.5-6 million infected people.
By 1998 a million people had already died of AIDS.
My numbers were conservative - under Mbeki's AIDS dissident inspired policies 365 000 people needlessly died, including 35 000 babies that were
Some say former President Mbeki should be brought to trial, or at least some form of truth commission.
While gay people have done very well in some countries in bringing infection and death rates down, and not so well in others, thinking globally it is
to me a tragedy that HIV/AIDS is simply used to discuss gay people.
To me that is proof of the great harm and distraction in religion, particularly religions that dismiss condoms and proven public health policies, and
who think that a message of guilt, shame and simply telling people to be faithful or celibate will actually make them so.
Of course talking about HIV brings up the high risk groups, and the sense that everything only exists in large amounts.
Well no, people with HIV are not just black or gay.
People hit small odds every day.
I recently heard of five white, mature women who were all infected by one white heterosexual male.
I saw a similar case on Oprah in the US.
While many younger gay men need the message, they are not the only ones.
Everyone is at risk.
Let's not let that message get swamped.
Stigmatizing HIV/AIDS with homosexuality bolsters homophobia.
As if gay people actually created the virus, and it also falsely dismisses a very courageous struggle by gay AIDS activists from everything including
campaigns for blood safety; protests against big pharma profiteering, to becoming human guinea pigs and resisting a disinterestedl bureaucracy -
struggles that would help other groups.
But apart from writing themselves out of socially desirable history with AIDS, the Christian mainstream STILL abuses it, and it's made entire groups
of people feel unduly "safe" and non-affected.
It essentially tells people that HIV/AIDS is a "gay plague".
And what did the big Christians do apart from gleefully pointing fingers?
Well, until Franklin Graham made HIV/AIDS an issue, not much else really.
Yeah, those big movers for social change - what a bloody joke, even when the churches had AIDS.
Back then it must have been the loneliest place to have AIDS on earth.
What a shame.
It has changed though, many churches here are helping. Others are exploiting it and promising fake cures.
It could be better in many quarters, and nobody should point fingers.
Humanity just didn't respond very well - delusions of grandeur I suppose.
Let's hope we do better with various drug resistant forms of TB.
Already I saw on Aljazeera that doctors are being censured by governments for speaking on it.
No country wants to be the center of a new plague.
Oh, why is it always the poor, the hungry, the sick, the widowed and orphaned, the dying and the stigmatized who must struggle for change?
on 23-8-2013 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)