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I have just learned that a young man of 21 years I know is now HIV positive and about to enter the system for treatment. Based on his lack of caution and condoms, this is just another bump in his road. His attitude will improve, the disease can be treated and hopefully he will learn from this and grow up.

I know others with the same condition, but thankfully I was scared enough, or careful enough, to avoid the disease. Some of them became infected as far back as the late-80's and they are still with us. Treatment has come a long way and survival rates are up. But to many HIV and AIDS is still a gay disease, and in this society where gay issues are under attack by religious organizations we have more than a disease to treat.

This article is not new, but can you imagine the problem for these men has vanished or has it just been swept under the rug in the Vatican:


The demon in the closet affects all levels of religious thought. Many churches have suggested that AIDS is a form of punishment for sin. These same organizations have established HIV treatment programs with the sinner message included. Pray for redemption and we will treat you. An interesting study here and I wholeheartedly agree with their conclusions:


However you view the subject, the moral imperative is that we treat all disease for what it is, a threat to humanity. In the last century we successfully beat back malaria, polio and other epidemic diseases around the world. The fight is never complete, there are still victims to any disease where vigilance slips away and governments don't seem to care. HIV-AIDS is still with us, and some learn to live with it. What choice do they have?

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There is one big point against the idea that HIV/AIDS are a punishment for being gay. Well, besides the fact that straight people and children get HIV/AIDS, there's another big argument, I should say.

There is something called FIV, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Yes, the nickname is even "Kitty AIDS." No, it is not contagious back and forth, from being around your cats. The fact of FIV and HIV means that study of one can help study of the other, to lead to treatment and an eventual cure.

However, my real point is -- It is just a disease, a virus, like any other terrible disease. It is not a punishment for sin, any more than the flu or the common cold.

One of my previous two cats caught FIV from a fight (or sex), before my current two cats. I asked my vet all sorts of questions: Could my cat live? How long? Would my other cat be safe? Would I be safe? All sorts of things. -- His brother never caught it. The cat himself lived many years after, and it wasn't FIV/FeAIDS that was the cause of death. That's one thing about it: Cats have some way of surviving it better than we do the human HIV version. -- And so I lived with a cat with FIV for many years. I had never thought of HIV/AIDS as any sort of divine retribution. It is simply a disease. My experiences with those two cats, much loved and much missed, enlarged on my views.

I'm in that generation who came of age right before HIV/AIDS came into the general public consciousness. In college in Biology lecture and lab, we asked our professor and t.a. about HIV/AIDS, and they didn't know enough at the time to tell us much for certain. They were still trying to figure out how it was transmitted and how it could be stopped. (This was the mid 1980's.) Ryan White was still alive. -- Everyone of my generation knew they were taking a risk by being sexually active, whatever they did, gay or straight, condoms, whatever. -- I didn't get it because I was in the closet, not active, and very busy trying to wrap my head around (and deny or pray away) the realization that I was gay. Uh, I was an idiot about that, I flunked out, rather than accepting myself and coming out, at least to myself. Not a recommended way to live your life.

For pity's sakes, guys, if you are sexually active, use a condom! Several condoms. Or if you don't use one, you'd better be blasted sure your partner and you are HIV-negative. And if you or he or she are seeing anyone else, that person or those persons had darn well better be negative too. (Hint: The more people in on what's goin' on in any one person's pants, the more likely it is that someone isn't being 100% truthful. And nothing guards against not knowing or not being careful and using protection.) -- It isn't me making whoopee with you out there, so I can't judge one way or the other. I can only say this: I would like for you to be around in five, ten, twenty, however many years from now, still enjoying life and love. So please be smart, use your big head when you use your little head. Use protection and get tested. Please.

I'm on the conservative side, mostly. I'm also gay. So what I might or might not be comfortable with or think is right in a relationship, is not necessarily what everyone else thinks. And hey, I have hormones and urges, and I'm not perfect. So I don't have any more room to talk than anyone else. -- But what I wrote above, that I'd want someone to be healthy and happy and safe, whatever they do sexually, that holds true for sure. If you're gonna have sex, make love, and please be healthy, happy, and safe. Use protection. Get tested. Please.

I think anyone who's HIV-positive or who's lost someone to HIV/AIDS would say the same, or nearly so.

It's a disease. It is not a sin or a punishment for sin.


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I have seen the video before, and there are more videos from the debate on Youtube.

It is especially worthwhile to watch Stephen in part 2 of his address.

The moderator would have to be the worst I have ever seen in her inability to take and direct questions, but she did give the following results of the debate:

[When the audience came into auditorium they voted on their position on the motion,]

“that the Catholic church is a force for good in the world” 678, against the motion 1102, and the undecideds, the ‘don’t know’s were 346. This is how you voted subsequently: for the motion “that the Catholic church is a force for good” from 678 it’s gone to 268. I’m sorry. Against the motion, it’s now 1876. And you can see that doesn’t leave very many ‘don’t know’s, it’s 34 undecided.

I found this detail in transcript of the debate.

I need hardly add that I am on the side of Stephen Fry...what a hero he is.

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  • 1 year later...

Sorry if I am taking this topic a bit off line but it is the closest I could find to post what I have to say without starting a new topic.

Today (Sunday 1st December 2013) is World Aids Day. Yesterday, as I do each year when I can, I made a donation to an AIDs charity and got a Red Ribbon. This I was wearing when I walked back to my car. Just before I got to the car park I had to pass a parade of shops and there were a group of youths lounging about smoking and drinking. As I past them I got spat on and verbal abuse about being gay. One youth shouted at me about wearing 'The Gay Badge' and pointed to the Red Ribbon.

It is disturbing to find that even now people still think of AIDS as a gay disease. It's not and never has been AIDS had been present in areas of the heterosexual population before it became established in the gay population. The only thing that the gay population contributed to the disease was to make it noticeable through the high incidence of the disease in a relatively identifiable and affluent population who had access to medical treatment.

People need to be aware of AIDS as a disease in their own community, the youths who abused me where Afro-Caribbean in origin I were rather shocked when I told them that they were more likely to get AIDS than most gay men in this country were. What was worrying is the fact that they clearly did not know that they could get HIV infected through heterosexual sex and were unaware that the majority of HIV infected people are within the heterosexual population.

The red ribbon is not a gay badge, it is a sign that you are aware of AIDS and are joining the fight against it.

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