It’s official: sexism, racism, poverty and homophobia spread AIDS. Not just sex.

What if I told you that smoking two packs a day doesn’t increase your risk of lung cancer? That a highly sedentary lifestyle doesn’t lead to various adverse outcomes? Surely you’d deride me. Conclude I’m off my rocker. Anti-science. A reactionary.

Would it be better if I qualified it to say that these behaviors are not the only causes for these conditions? Maybe, I guess, a little. But when the point is to minimize their importance as main risk factors, the question of motive naturally arises.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    AIDS by definition is the weakening of the body’s immune system to the point where it can no longer effectively fight invasive infections. In Africa, the absence of proper sanitation and clean drinking and bathing water has destroyed many an immune system. Likewise, the ingestion of harmful, addictive substances in large quantities and indulgence in unsanitary sexual practices has also wasted immune systems. It’s all that simple. The way to safeguard our immune systems is to say no to self-destructive behavior and maintain a safe and clean living environment.

    This isn’t the first AIDS conference to be held in Durban. In the first one, it was reported that the volume of business of Durban’s escort agencies and massage parlors doubled during the conference. After all, pharmaceutical salesmen, public health bureaucrats and morality preachers need an outlet to blow off steam. I wonder how these establishments did the second time around.

    • Frances

      Right, Norman, and for how many of these “destroyed” immune systems, has HIV not been a problem? Bear in mind this is South Africa. Had a church volunteer who had gone to South Africa to see what our church community was contributing towards, and to talk on her experiences. Chief among them was her comment that, in the part of South Africa she observed – community workers (women) would go to door to door to provide what aid they could and – when they met young women – would advise them as to what to do WHEN raped. The assumption was, sadly, that all young women would be raped, that being the culture. The church group with which this woman was affiliated was working to change that culture, but it was a seriously uphill battle.

      • dukestreet

        My Dad used to be responsible for international aid on behalf of the Salvation Army & C.I.D.A. He told me that while checking out the programs in Africa, he found that the nurses & doctors responsible for teaching tribal chiefs & their people about changing their cultural practices and using the methods know to prevent aids, they were regularly going off and having unprotected sex with the aids victims they were teaching. How does one deal with that? No wonder aids is still a serious problem in Africa.

        If people ignore the scientific facts that they know are true, there is little that can be done to help them.

    • El Martyachi

      … and there is the actual HI(V)irus that, no matter how sanitary and clean one is, will still infect and, if left untreated, progress to AIDS. ie. rape.

  • Hard Little Machine

    How they give each other HIV is no concern of mine. Carry on.