The news report at the Sun Herald takes the position that this is an HIV health crisis story: “70 percent of Americans with HIV don’t have virus under control.”
Seventy percent of Americans who have HIV do not have the disease in check, and many of them are no longer receiving treatment, according to a study published Tuesday.
The study found that of 1.2 million people who were living with HIV in the United States in 2011, fewer than three in 10 had the virus under control. Twenty percent had never even been diagnosed. And about 66 percent of those who had been diagnosed were no longer in care.
Antiretroviral medication can suppress HIV, extending people’s lives and lowering the odds that they’ll pass the disease on to someone else by as much as 96 percent.
“For people living with HIV, it’s not just about knowing you’re infected – it’s also about going to the doctor for medical care,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement.
“And for health care facilities, it’s not just about the patients in your care – it’s every person diagnosed, and every person whose diagnosis has not yet been made,” he said. “Key to controlling the nation’s HIV epidemic is helping people with HIV get connected to – and stay in – care and treatment, to suppress the virus, live longer and help protect others.”
The CDC’s study also revealed that younger people were more likely not to have HIV under control. Just 13 percent of people between ages 18 and 24 had suppressed the virus, and fewer than half had been diagnosed.
Conservatives could respond to this story in a number of ways. They could, with some justification, say that this points to an amazing level of irresponsibility among homosexuals. They could even ask if this shows some kind of death wish.
Liberals might infer that somehow we are not putting enough money into free diagnoses or treatment.
I have another suggestion: Perhaps this story proves to us that the spread of AIDS through HIV has been exaggerated.
I have no doubt that people have destroyed their immune system (and then died due to infectious diseases) due in part or in whole to homosexual hedonism (drug use might also factor in this). I am not claiming homosexual behavior is healthy (there are any number of STDs that would make this so, in addition to other problems). And since homosexual actions are contrary to God’s commands for human beings, they can never be safe. But that is different than saying that HIV is a deadly epidemic.
Notice that there is nothing in this story about more people being sick or dying. In fact, the same story that claims that people are being so irresponsible and spreading the virus, says nothing about the spread of AIDS actually increasing. It states that 50,000 people get infected every year, as if that is a static number year after year that has not changed much.
So are these retroviral drugs really making all that much difference? Or is this entire story trying to cover up the fact that they aren’t making much difference?
I think we need to be open to the possibility that much of the treatment of HIV is more about stimulus for Big Pharma than a life-saving treatment.
Of course, I’m not a medical doctor and I could be wrong. You need to do your own research and make up your own mind—especially if you are infected! But I simply don’t see how this kind of story fits into the narrative that the media has reported since the late eighties.