Thursday, February 16, 2006

Unidentified Resident, Rare N.Y. Case Linked

Reposted as history. Originally posted in February of 2005.

By Cheryl Clark - San Diego Union-Tribune - February 15, 2005

An unidentified San Diego resident may be infected with the same rare, aggressive and highly drug-resistant strain of HIV found last week in a New York City man who has rapidly become ill with AIDS, health officials said yesterday.

This is not good news. Saying "this is only the third case, why get concerned" is not the intelligent reaction. Medical professionals have been predicting for several years that the increasing frequency of drug resistant strains of HIV in Africa could not be contained. Whether these cases are the first signs of the prediction coming true or not, the prediction is scary. The Republican Party switched its position on help for AIDS in Africa as the scope of the tragedy became clear.

However help for Africa is not the whole story. If this outbreak widens, the most important thing we can do is assure that the ridiculous reaction to AIDS in the 1980s is not repeated here in America. Drug and homosexual communities treated attempts to contain the disease as assaults on their individual freedom.

Millions have died, and millions more live diminished lives due to the refusal to address the problem when it could be easily contained. We must not allow these communities to minimize the problem. Those communities seem to be circling the wagons against society again.

This affects us all as the disease cannot be contained within communities about which it is convenient to say, "they brought it on themselves". Millions of innocent spouses of drug users and bisexuals have been infected, and then infected others far from the drug and homosexual communities. Tens of thousands of innocent children of drug users and children of innocent women (among the infected as described above), also have contracted the disease and have had their lives destroyed.

How many more innocent will die this time if we allow history to repeat?


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