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AIDS and Integrity

My sister just posted a bit on her blog, over at tourist.com, talking about how a possible vaccine for both AIDS and HIV had completed "phase one" testing, and said that a "cure" was fewer than ten years away. This was very encouraging news, but as she didn't bother to post a link about it, and a rather exhaustive search of google news has led me only to this, I'll have to wager a guess that she was simply passing on unsubstantiated gossip. But, I'll give my sister the benefit of the doubt. Besides, the factual basis of her post isn't the substance of mine.

Let me clear the air, first, and say that I think AIDS is one of the worst things to happen to humanity, in its history. The loss of life alone is reason enough to weep for all the ruined lives- ended and not. But the fact that politicians have used this ongoing tragedy as an opportunity to gather support for themselves, and to push their own agenda with that support is sickening. Unfortunately, I suppose that's just the way politics work. Human suffering equals opportunity. But anyway, I, of course, think AIDS is horrible, and I'd be ecstatic if it ceased to be.

My concern is that the young people of today, having AIDS brandished at them for their whole lives, might get the wrong idea, with its eradication. Promiscuity, with protection or not, is an inherently dangerous pursuit, and I'm afraid that with AIDS out of the picture, many people, ignorant or just willfully in denial of the non-AIDS dangers of sex with multiple partners, will take the event as a license to, "let the good times roll." Our society has casualized sex, an intimate personal act indicative of real emotional feelings, to an act as casual and innocuous as playing catch. It's an irresponsible and disrespectful frame of mind, but it does seem to be the overarching opinion.

My concern is that the only thing that's keeping normal people from letting promiscuity rule their lives is AIDS. What happens if it goes away? Well, I suppose whatever problems that would surface as a result would still be minuscule in comparison to the effects AIDS is having right now. I don't know where I was going with this. Rachel, check your sources, and post them.

10:01 PM, Jan 19, 2006

10 comments

ck cut in with:

If don't think AIDS discourages promiscuity as much as it encourages safe sex. Say AIDS was magically cured tomorrow. Do you think all the normal people who haven't been having sex would just start sleeping around? Normal people who let promiscuity rule their lives need to be smart enough to use condoms, to prevent pregnancy and the spread of STDs, plain and simple.

12:00 PM, Jan 19, 2006

Rachel thinks:

I go to this clinic to participate in a phase three testing of a herpes vaccine for women. I get paid for it, and I'll never contract herpes. Sweet! While I was there, I looked at the signup sheet, and there were names next to a study (called STEP, where mine is HVAC) I hadn't heard of or seen since I'd been there, and I saw a sign that said "Give all members of the STEP study condoms at the end of their appointment," so I was curious as to what it was. I asked the doctor there, and she told me all about it. It is an HIV vaccine in phase two (which is still fairly experimental, which is why it might not be terribly available on the web just yet) testing, and that is my only source.

And I agree with ck. People that are going to have a lot of sex are going to do so, really they are just going to do so, and condom etcetera use needs to be pushed, like mad.

2:35 PM, Jan 19, 2006

thesmartone took the time to say:

I think i agree with the other posters here.

people are going to have sex, regardless of whether or not HIV exists. I think that a concern that more people may have sex if HIV is eradicated has to be very low on our priorty list of actually eradicating the disease.

Also, now that i know i can't get herpes from Rachel, i am wondering if she wants to hook up?

4:09 PM, Jan 19, 2006

bahua thinks:

I never disputed that people will have sex. I don't know where anyone got the idea that I did. I agree with the other posters too, but none of them seem to understand the concern I have: that our society has trivialized the whole thing down to "no big deal," and as it's no big deal, according to what society tells us, why should we be careful with it? AIDS is gone! No problem.

Of course that isn't the case, but I do think that will be the prevalent line of thinking among the population, as ignorance and willful disregard are much easier, and much more common than knowledge and responsibility.

And as for you "hooking up," with my 20-year-old sister, I'll leave you with my tandem-with-Alex words: "Just because it's legal, doesn't mean you're not a scumbag."

4:24 PM, Jan 19, 2006

thesmartone commented:

Me?

Scumbag?

come on, Rachel, i'm an attorney, and I am wildly popular.

plus, alex wouldnt dig your sister, he's into guys!

8:40 PM, Jan 20, 2006

bahua interjected:

What a coincidence. Rachel wouldn't dig you. She's into mammals.

9:29 PM, Jan 20, 2006

ossc blurted:

if you're an attorney you should maybe come back after you finish shedding your skin. you seem kinda flaky.

12:52 AM, Jan 21, 2006

Rachel had this to say:

My big brother has my back. Bitchin'!

4:42 PM, Jan 23, 2006

thesmartone chimed in with:

Rachel, dont agree with John, it is truly a horrible thing to do.

and, i mean, i could have your back too!

ha ha ha

ha ha ha

ha ha ha

side note, john, when will i see you again?

6:23 PM, Jan 26, 2006

bahua brooked no delay in saying:

The thought had occurred to me as well. My record for longest stint in Kansas City is six months. I haven't left town for anything besides Christmas and Thanksgiving, since the beginning of October, 2005. However, I have already set a record for longest stretch without a business trip, since I first took this job in March 2004.

I guess I need to make a trip to the Eyehawk state. I should plan one. If you hear about any beer-related events, let me know, and I'll see if I can whip up some gas money and a free weekend.

7:03 PM, Jan 26, 2006

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