AIDS and SEX
The World AIDS pandemic problem...
Ask someone you know or anyone at all that, if they know what AIDS is.
Chances are even it they don't know that it stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency
Syndrome, they still know of it and have heard a lot about it, and that about ninety
percent of the time, it's "acquired" from unprotected sexual relations, the rest of the time
it's mostly from contaminated hypodermic needles used to inject illicit drugs, and very
rarely it can be acquired through contaminated blood given for a transfusion
(although in industrialized society there is almost nil chance of this happening thanks to
our screening procedures.).
So of course people hear AIDS and automatically associate it with unprotected sexual
relations. My blog today is not about morals or ethics regarding unprotected sexual
relations. It's my belief that people should be able to live their lives as they see fit as
long as they don't hurt others, physically, psychologically, et cetera. But when you do
hurt others, then you're no longer just living your life, you're affecting someone else's
and that's what I have a issue with and where I draw the line!
Last week, US President George W Bush's top adviser on HIV/AIDS said the world is
losing the battle against the virus.
Now with all of the medical advancements and achievements in the last century, even
the last decade, I ask why? Why are we losing the "battle" or "war on AIDS"? How is this
possible?! Of course there is no cure for AIDS or HIV, so we can't eliminate it from those
who are unfortunately already infected. But why is the situation, why are we "losing" the
battle? It is likely because people with AIDS/HIV are having sexual relations and
purposely don't tell their partner that they have AIDS, or it may be that they have
unprotected sexual relations and never got tested for any STIs, therefore are transmitting
the virus without either partner's knowledge.
Why can't we take any precautionary steps? Throughout the world, There has never
been any attempt to discreetly find, identify, and catalogue every single person with
Some of you might be thinking right now that I am being cold and cruel, but keep in mind
I did say discreetly, also, I believe it is much crueler, selfish and immoral to infect someone
with a virus when having knowledge or being infected. Think about it, if someone started
infecting random individuals in a night club with some other incurable virus, would anyone
tolerate that? Wouldn't people be outrages and demand punishment against these people?
If we could ever stop the transmission of the AIDS virus from host to host by unprotected
sexual relations with those infected, then the disease would naturally die out within the
next eighty years or so.
Now I have no issue with people who have AIDS living, working and playing around me and
our society, or being friends with someone who has AIDS either, they are still human beings
after all and should be treated as such. However for public health and in the best interest
of all of the public, we should have some system in place to discreetly find and identify
people who are contaminated with the virus, a system that could ensure every person
with AIDS would be identified by a sort of hidden symbol or a discreet code that would
only be revealed to their potential sexual partners as they were preparing to engage in
sexual relations, i.e. A small tattoo by the genital area of the infected individual's body.
In this manner the tattoo would never normally be revealed to the general public, however
their potential partner would be safeguarded against unknowingly becoming infected.
The respect for the person with AIDS would never be removed and they would not be
discriminated against because only their potential partner (and Government Agencies
responsible for the database of all infected persons.) would know about the infected status.
Some people may think it should be a right of privacy to hide their infection from society,
but in matters where it endangers the rest of society, such a privilege is forfeited.
Anyone who is contaminated with an incurable (and sometimes even curable) disease is
reported to public health or government health agencies. This system would benefit society
greatly over time, by eradicating the disease.
Now before any of this happens, we would need to first have our democratic governments
reach a consensus to what I believe most of us already agree to, that the majority's
well-being is ultimately more important then the minority's wish to deny or lie about their
infection to the rest of the uninfected.
I offer my sincere empathy to all of those who suffer with this terrible affliction.
Sources: BBC News (2007)