Tuesday, March 24, 2009

AIDS: Serious Problem Requiring Serious Solution

In July of 2008, the World Health Organization in conjunction with the United Nations released a report which stated that approximately 33 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS. With a world population of over 6 billion people, that means the percentage of human beings with this illness is about .0055 of the total world population. In other words, while we may be talking about a lot of people, we are not talking about a significant number. Better than 99% of the people on earth do not have this illness, and there is a reason for that. The reason is that it is spread in its greatest numbers by far through irresponsible sexual practices, and the greatest number of those by far in the advanced world come through homosexual practices. By far the highest numbers of AIDS cases in the world can be seen in sub-Saharan Africa, that area of Africa below the Sahara desert, where approximately 2/3 of all the cases on earth can be found. It is highly likely that this area of the world is where the AIDS virus first found its way into the human population. There are serious problems in this part of the world largely attributable to poverty and a lack of education, which themselves are perpetuated by the autocratic and despotic governments. At the individual and familial level the results are involving shortcomings in personal hygeine and the overall lack of cleanliness, combined with the social problems of acceptance of multiple sexual partners at any one time. In short, AIDS came out of Africa and remains at its strongest there, and around the rest of the world it has spread largely due to irresponsible and deviant sexual practices. Anyone who tells you anything else is simply perpetrating a fraud on you. Is it possible to get the AIDS virus from a bad blood transfusion or some freak exchange of bodily fluids? Sure, but that possibility is extremely low so as to not be nothing more than a smoke-screen when discussing the best ways to attack the spread of AIDS and to begin putting it into reverse. This past week, Pope Benedict visited the African continent in a tremendously successful mission to his flock. Catholicism and an acceptance of Jesus Christ in general is growing on the Dark Continent, and the Pope went to personally deliver Christ's message of love to these people knowing that Christianity can inspire hope there as it has the world over. On the flight to Africa, the Pope was asked about the AIDS problem and specifically the Church's position that condoms are not the answer. There are many around the world who scoff at this assertion, and who truly believe that condoms save lives. These people either do not understand the position of the Church on this matter, or do not care. The Pope reiterated his position on the flight, saying that distributing condoms was "not the answer to the problem of AIDS", and that instead the best strategy is the Church's efforts to promote "sexual responsibility through abstinence and monogamy." Kudos to the Holy Father for so succinctly expressing simple, basic truth. The usual array of European nations and homosexual groups fired back at the Pope, but the truth is that the world needs to follow this simple, straitforward, moral message. A message that will, if followed, in fact work as a realistic solution. Let's try on this hypothetical, just for arguments sake. Every homsexual male on earth stops having sexual intercourse with a member of the same sex. Every human being on earth who is diagnosed with the AIDS virus stops having sex completely. And finally, every human being on earth decides to commit to a normal, healthy, monogamistic relationship for child-bearing and family-building purposes, if in fact they decide to have any sexual relationship at all. Now pardon me if I haven't run the numbers through the WHO computers, or past some expert from the U.N., or especially past the gay leadership, but my bet is that AIDS cases would eventually plummet to the point where the illness was almost a non-factor. The simple fact is that the Pope is right. The answer to AIDS is not in keeping people perpetuating the same old practices that helped spread the illness to begin with, but in educating them in the direction that God has set for them to a higher calling. Far too many of us who are not involved in an AIDS-related lifestyle fall into habits or even just the occassional incident that is immoral. If we all simply would allow ourselves to understand the beauty of the true meaning of sex, its true importance, its sacred role in our lives, then not only would the world be a better place, but it would be a more AIDS-free place. Sex was meant by God to take place in a loving and committed relationship between married persons for the purposes of procreating and sustaining a loving familial relationship between the couple. That is a lesson that it has taken me personally a long time and a few hard times to learn. But it is one that the entire world needs to learn in order to truly overcome the AIDS virus. Someone once said that serious problems require serious solutions. The bandaid of a condom is no solution at all. Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church's message of abstinence and monogamy is just that serious solution that is needed.

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