TB, HIV, the Recession and the Pope
There are clear, long-recognised links betwen HIV infection and infection with other opportunistic infections such as TB. It is these secondary infections which normally kill HIV/AIDS patients. It is interesting, however, that monitoring of TB deaths indicates that as many as 25% of such deaths have an underlying HIV infection.
TB, HIV and Malaria are terrifying killers in tropical regions. Only a lack of clean water kills more people. All these problems could be effectively erradicated with a well funded global response. So why aren’t they?
One reason is that vast amounts of money are spend by governments on utterly pointless non-problems such as global warming.
There is no evidence that the minor warming of less than one degree over the twentieth century was anything other than normal natural fluctuation. There is no evidence of unusual sea-level rises or arctic sea ice reduction. The world has been cooling for the last ten years.
Yet in response to media and special interest pressure, governments allocate billions of dollars to come up with solutions that won’t work, to a problem that doesn’t exist.
Similarly with stimulus plans, and especially those which use tax payer funds to create pointless ‘make work.’ This money would be better left in the hands of tax payers, where it is used to create real jobs and generate real production. But even if the govenment really believes it knows better than the people who make and earn the money, why not spend where there are real needs – increasing numbers of nurses, eradicating AIDS, malaria, TB, providing clean water to poorer regions in developing nations?
But instead of forming well-rounded plans of action which would address these problems, organisations like the International AIDS Society, go ballistic when Pope Benedict says something perfectly sensible and obviously true, namely if people would keep their pants on and have sex only within the bounds of marriage, there would be no AIDS problem.
The Church says that using a condom to attempt to avoid disease is a sin. First note that the only people remotely likely to take any notice of this at all are catholics. The Pope is not telling anyone else how to behave.
Secondly, many catholics (sadly) routinely ignore the teaching of the Church on matters of contraception. The more likely they are to ignore the Church’s teaching in one area, the more likely they are to do so in others – namely that sex outside of marriage is wrong. In other words, even in catholic countries it looks to me like telling people they should feel free to ignore the Church’s teaching in the area of contraception is likely to encourage, not discourage, risky behaviour.
But finally, does anyone really imagine that someone who is out to commit adultery, who is going to steal from his wife and family to pay a prostitute, who is going to have sex with another man in a public toilet, is going to be so troubled by his conscience over wearing a condom that he will refuse to do so, while still proceeding with the other mortal sin?
No, the problem here is that the Pope has the audacity to tell people that they can and should keep their sexual desires under control, and that good health, responsibility to others, and respectful, lasting relationships depend on their doing so.