Sobering Thoughts on AIDS on a Snowy Sunday

Technology and new scientific methods are causing big rewrites to the numbers long associated with AIDS. America’s CDC had stated they saw some 40,000 new cases of infection every year.

Turns out, a new method of testing blood and, in essence, a way of “aging” infections present, means the folks in white coats at the CDC now believe between 55,000 and 60,000 new cases are amassing each year, not 40,000.

The big thing to remember there is that more than half of the people infected with HIV/AIDS don’t actually know they are. They’re still out there spreading things, unknowingly.Getting tested is a nervewracking thing. I hate the experience, personally, but I usually play things pretty smart. A friend of a friend didn’t, and now has AIDS. At least he got his regular test and found out early that he’d paid the price for a night of ignorant passion.

The CDC also says the amount of new AIDS cases amongst gay men has shot up some 13%. Here in Canada they’re reporting a rise in infections with teenaged girls. It continues to rise in African Americans, too, both men and women. Europe has just announced that AIDS is on the rise all over that continent. China’s acknowledging a problem now, too.

Eastern Europe, for instance, says they’ve seen a 150% rise in AIDS cases. Since 2001. Six years. France has one of the highest levels of AIDS in Europe, and an AIDS advocacy proponent there says, “It was a mistake to think that the epidemic was [just] striking the high-risk groups. There are heterosexuals that have sex [with their own gender] and drug users that have sex. So it was a mistake to think it only concerned one part of the population.”

It fucking baffles me. All the fight against AIDS needs is condoms. Abstinence is a nice little pipe dream all the religious types might want to preach about, and abstinence is the only guarantee you can have that you’re not at risk. Condoms certainly help.

Condoms break, though, and people lie. You want to believe the person you’re about to fuck or currently are fucking is telling the truth, but you’re just being naive. People lie. All the time. About everything from how they’re feeling to whether they’re carrying a disease they know will send you scurrying from the bed they’re about to fuck you in. Who’s kidding who?

I just don’t understand why we’re still having discussions about whether or not to teach how to practice safer sex. I don’t believe in calling it “safe sex”, even though I fall into that habit too often for my liking. It’s never safer. There’s always an element of risk. I know that. I’m fine with that, because I know I’m pretty selective. But my judgment is far from perfect.

And, really, come on. You insist on a condom, the person you want to fuck says no? Aren’t they the LAST person you then should fuck without one? Isn’t that just common fucking sense, literally? If they refuse to wear one with you, they probably won’t wear one with anyone, and that’s how diseases spread. One guy tried the excuse of “Well, I’ve been in a relationship the last 13 years. Even the sight of a condom will kill my erection.”

Boo-fucking-hoo. Tough luck. As the stupid cliche goes, no glove, no love, right?

My acquaintance with AIDS got it from one random night when alcohol was involved and they didn’t grab a condom. It was that guy that infected him.

I mean, it goes as far as, if you even suspect your spouse/partner is sleeping around, and you’re not using a condom with them, you’re practicing at-risk behaviour.

These religious types may have missed out on the passion and euphoria genes, but the rest of us know how good sex and romance feels, we know how easy it is to just go ahead and have that orgasm. The trouble is, more and more youths are ignorant about all this… and the numbers are starting to prove it.

AIDS is decimating Africa. Who’s to say Africa’s not just the canary in the coalmine. I would think we’d need all the vigilance we can muster to ensure that not become the case. Sex education is real fuckin’ imperative these days. Explicit, unpretty education, and a good luck at what dying from AIDS actually entails wouldn’t hurt. The lesions, the wasting away, the endless pain and failing of organs.

Every now and then I have this little fear that some decade down the line they’re going to point to this moment on the timeline and decree that all the politicians who were too fucking squeamish to really deal with this problem were guilty of crimes against humanity. AIDS is one of the only diseases that can be fought with education… that we’re failing to do that is nothing less than a crime against humanity. On that, time’s gonna tell.

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