atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#229: Politically incorrect thoughts on HIV/AIDS

I was thinking, just a little while ago, about my dead friend, DB.

DB died in July of 1992. He was 26. He was a hemophiliac; he got regular infusions of clotting factor which kept him from bleeding to death whenever he got a bruise.

The common misconception about hemophiliacs is that they'll bleed to death if they get a cut. That's not so; in most hemophiliacs, they have platelets, which are what help to form clots when you get a cut.

When a normal person gets a bruise, there is a chain of chemical events which occur which make the blood clot around the injury. Hemophiliacs like DB were missing a crucial blood protein; luckily he could get that protein from a transfusion. He didn't even need whole blood; he just needed that protein.

In the early 1980s, HIV/AIDS was making its presence known. Gay men were getting the disease, and some were dying of it. The gay men who had had sex with ones who had died kept on having sex; and the so-called "gay lifestyle" includes promiscuous and anonymous sex with literal hundreds of partners per year. HIV spread through the bathhouses and sex clubs frequented by gay men; attempts by the CDC&P to shut these places down were met with vigorous protest. The evil Reagan stormtroopers were trying to eliminate their lifestyle! Many thought that HIV/AIDS was just some kind of propaganda campaign.

In the end, many gay men died. And many of those who died of HIV/AIDS were good citizens (they thought) and regularly donated blood. And so, sometime between 1979 and 1986, when a blood test for HIV was finally developed, my friend DB contracted HIV from tainted blood.

So the first politically incorrect thought I had was this:

--If people who tested positive for HIV were required to have a tattoo which identified them as HIV positive, would that slow the spread of the disease?--

It was suggested in the 1980s. (It need not even be on "public skin". I don't care if the guy riding the train next to me is HIV positive so long as he doesn't bleed on me.) The gay community immediately protested the idea even though--it seems, in retrospect--it would have saved the lives of thousands of gay men! How many gay men are dead today because the "leaders" of their community cared more about having lots of unprotected sex than they did about saving the lives of their constituents?

Even if this had been enacted as law after the test was developed, wouldn't it have protected a great many people? Wouldn't it save lives? We are repeatedly told that banning guns is worthwhile even if it only saves one life. What about saving thousands of lives? Why is it worth one life to eliminate one of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, but not worth thousands of lives to make a dent in a different right? (And, by the way, I'm not even sure it would be a "dent". There are already many constitutional laws regarding the regulation of speech.)

All I can understand from all of this is the other non-politically correct thought I had:

--It seems that the gay and liberal lobbies think it's only worthwhile to save lives as long as they're not homosexual lives.--

Heterosexual AIDS is not the epidemic we were warned about in the 1980s and 1990s. In America, HIV/AIDS continues to primarily be a problem for gay men. Why is that? What is it about the gay lifestyle that makes them such targets?

We've seen that the virus is transmitted via blood and via other "bodily fluids". It can be transmitted via hypodermic needle. Yet many gay men persist in the risky behaviors which killed so many of their antecedents. Some gays deliberately try to become HIV positive. Why?

Very simple measures, applied at the right time, could have drastically reduced the number of AIDS fatalities in the United States; but the very people who were going to die prevented them.

And, in the process, they killed a lot of innocent bystanders...like my friend DB.
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