mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, August 27, 2004

The naked truth about AIDS...

I've blogged on the funny side of the naked NY AIDS protesters on newsamuse (complete with pics!).

But I want to look at the serious side of AIDS. The protestors featured body paint with the words "stop AIDS" - which would seem to suggest that there is somewhere a counterpoint of people pushing for the spread of AIDS.

I'm all for finding drugs that help reduce the effects of AIDS, and I know that there are people who have caught it from blood transfusions and the like - although that is getting less common.

But I take issue with people like rapper Jadakiss who throw out lines like Why they ain't give us a cure for aids/ AIDS is caused by HIV. HIV is a virus. There are no cures for viruses. The drugs that are out there make lives longer and better for people who have AIDS or HIV, but they aren't going to cure it, because it can't be "cured".

I also have to wonder about the fact that groups like ACT UP put so much emphasis on the role of the government in AIDS. AIDS spending by the government per capita is much higher than the amount spent on other diseases per capita, such as cancer and heart disease. Furthermore, going after the government takes away from what they should be doing - encouraging prevention.

The fact is that you are much more likely to get the HIV virus if you participate in certain high risk behaviors - namely lots of unprotected sex, especially with people you don't know and the use of injected drugs. We know this, and the best way to decrease HIV is to emphasize this. But ACT UP would rather get naked and complain about Bush rather than encourage people to take responsibility for their lives and take reasonable precautions that make them much less likely to get AIDS.


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