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Question: When - aside from this post - was the last time you heard anything about AIDS?

My Answer: It's been at least three months. HIV and AIDS seems to have completely vanished from the public consciousness. Every once in awhile - like today - someone will mention Michael Jordan or Larry Bird and I'll think to myself "hey, speaking of basketball stars, why isn't Magic Johnson dead yet? Didn't they only give him 5-8 years? I guess money does buy you quite a bit."

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

11 Responses to "QotD: AIDS"

  1. Last week I heard an NPR story on a new drug patent law in India. Here's a print article about the law's passage. The new law was required by the World Trade Organization.

  2. Ugh, stupid me. The drug patent story is relevant because "millions of poor people in India and elsewhere -- including, by some estimates, half the AIDS patients in the Third World -- rely on India's generics drug industry" and the new law will like significantly increase the cost of these drugs in the future.

  3. I hear of it a fair bit especially in my political science classes. This is of course dealing with the huge AIDS problem in Africa. AIDS is vanishing from the public consiousness because it's not that much of a problem here anymore. In Africa, however, it's a huge disaster that continues to destroy the whole continent.

    I'd say that the AIDS is one of the biggest and yet most ignored problems in the world today.

  4. I saw this headline in my local newspaper around a month ago about how AIDS had a 30% increase state-wide in the last 5 years, which is supposed to be some epidemic. Then I did some math to find that .04% of my state has AIDS and the increase is only due to the amount of people with AIDS who haven't been dying. In reality, there are people who are still some getting AIDS but the people who have it are living a lot longer due to medical technology. America is doing amazing compared to the rest of the world so we have a very skewed perspective.

    The biggest weapon against AIDS is education, which few people have in Africa and Asia.

  5. Last night's episode of Talk Sex

    Before that, I think there was an article recently in the LA Times.

  6. We usually talk about AIDS/HIV in 3rd world countries at least once a week in my U.N. class.

  7. On Wednesday when i donated some blood, they asked if had sex with anyone with aids (among other STD related questions)

  8. Your move from Florida is why you haven't heard much mentioned about AIDS in many months. In Florida there are PSAs and commercials about basically all the different STDs from Gonorrhea and Syphilis to Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. Then again, this is South Florida.

    As to hearing about it in recent months, outside of those PSAs constantly on television, recently a 43 yr old man in NYC contracted a super mutation of HIV that was resistant to ALL known treatments and progressed from HIV to AIDS in 3 months versus the normal 10 yrs it takes for the virus to reach the same effect. He died and there was "massive" media coverage from the New yorker, to NBC News, and other TV media outlets covering it. That coverage was extended to South Florida.

    Also there is not one but three different HIV vaccinations in the works, one of which is very promising and has demonstrated the ability to reduce HIV viral load by 90%, which in most cases makes it undetectable.

    The problem isn't that HIV/AIDS is slipping from the public consciousness, it's that we've been so desensitized to HIV/AIDS' impact, that people don't even notice it's PSAs and commercials. For example most prescription drug commercials mention that their product is not for people with "reduced immune response" and while that doesn't directly say HIV/AIDS patients, when the commercial is about Valtrex Herpes medication it's not hard to connect the two. That and i think most people think it's a "gay" problem, so we don't notice it that much since the "can't happen to me" mentality sets in.

  9. We've discussed HIV/AIDS almost weekly at my harm reduction theatre group meetings.

  10. The education on the subject is so bad in Africa that it could conceivably be called backward. For instance, in many undeveloped areas, it is believed that the best way for a man to get rid of AIDS is to have unprotected sex with a virgin woman -- that it will somehow "purify his body". Of course, this generally results in spreading the disease (not to mention what other damage is caused by the rape of an uncountable number of women).

  11. I can't remember exactly when, but I know I definately heard about it three weeks ago during a High School Sunday School class that I co-instruct.

    I definately have the "it can't happen to me" mentality though. I have been in a committed relationship with one girl for nearly five years and we are getting married in May. I guess if she was unfaithful and unlucky I would have to be concerned, but as it is I am not. Also, it helps that we are waiting to be married before we have sex.

    This is definately ignorance, but also cold and heartless, but I can't help wondering what it would mean if we did get effective drugs into the hands of everyone with HIV/AIDS. There would still be no cure, the disease could and would still be transmitted. My guess is that in a few generations around 90% of Africans would have HIV, just not AIDS. The people will live longer, but that will simply cause HIV to be a ubiquitous problem for the uneducated around the world.

    Maybe this isn't the exact scenario that would play out, but it seems like a highly probable one to me once we get drugs into the hands of every HIV carrier.