AIDS prevention from a different angle

Posted: Feb 22, 2005 12:00 AM

Is a new strain of AIDS developing? The New York Times suggests that this could be the case. Scientists are running tests to see if a man infected with an unusually fast-acting and resistant form of HIV has a new ?supervirus.? Nothing has been confirmed yet, but already people are getting alarmed.

The Times reports, ?While many are calling for a renewed commitment to prevention efforts and free condoms, some veterans of the war on AIDS are advocating an entirely new approach to the spread of unsafe sex, much of which is fueled by a surge in methamphetamine abuse. They want to track down those who knowingly engage in risky behavior and try to stop them before they can infect others. It?s a radical idea,? says the Times, ?born of desperation, that has been gaining ground in recent months as a growing number of gay men become infected despite warnings about unsafe sex.?

Trying to stop virus carriers from deliberately infecting others is a radical idea? No more radical than stopping a person from shooting another person. It only becomes radical because, as gay activists are starting to admit, many homosexuals have acted as if they have their own special set of rules, and our society has gone along with it. Well-known gay activist Larry Kramer, himself HIV-positive, bluntly told a homosexual audience, ?You are still murdering each other. Please stop with all the generalizations and avoidance excuses gays have used since the beginning to ditch this responsibility for this fact.? And columnist Richard Cohen, a cheerleader for gay ?marriage,? went so far as to say, ?When they?re victims of discrimination, [homosexuals] need to be defended. When they?re victims of their own behavior, they need to be condemned.?

Now, I suspect that neither Kramer nor Cohen would approve of my quoting them. They think of conservative Christians as the ?enemies? of gays. What they don?t understand is that we share their concerns about the physical, spiritual, and emotional health of homosexuals. But we believe the self-destructiveness that the activists are worried about is inherent in the homosexual lifestyle. When fully a quarter of a given group abuses drugs as part of the sexual experience, as the Times noted?and when such a large percentage of the group is plagued by other emotional and physical ?issues,? such as ?childhood abuse and depression??there?s something wrong that can?t be fixed simply by promoting ?safe sex.?

And natural law suggests the reason behind that: Things work a certain way because they were designed a certain way. When you misuse them, things start to break down. And this doesn?t just apply to homosexuals; the high rate of sexually transmitted disease among promiscuous heterosexuals demonstrates this fact as well.

Kramer, Cohen, and others are right to suggest that homosexuals must change their behavior. And though it?s not a popular thing to say, I have to add that they need to change their mindset as well. People who are seeking solace for their pain in promiscuous sex and drug abuse don?t just need to practice ?safe sex?; they need to seek healing from the only One who can truly redeem them. That?s not a ?homophobic? statement; that?s being loving?offering the only real hope any of us, sinners whom we all are, will ever know.

For further reading and information:

Lawrence K. Altman, ? Search for Origin of New AIDS Strain Widens ,? New York Times, 14 February 2005 . (Archived articles cost $2.95 to retrieve.)

Benedict Carey and Anahad O?Connor, ? How to Get Those at Risk to Avoid Risky Sex? ? New York Times, 15 February 2005 . (Archived articles cost $2.95 to retrieve.)

Andrew Jacobs, ? Gays Debate Radical Steps to Curb Unsafe Sex ,? New York Times, 15 February 2005 . (Archived articles cost $2.95 to retrieve.)

Richard Cohen, ? A Warning, from Gays to Gays ,? Washington Post, 17 February 2005 .

Larry Fine, ? New HIV Strain Shakes Up New York Community ,? Reuters, 17 February 2005 .

Andrew Sullivan, ? Super-AIDS?; Meth is the Issue ,? 15 February 2005 .

Diane Mattingly, ? My Path to Lesbianism ,? Christianity Today, 17 February 2005 .

?Cheated by the Affirming Church ,? Christianity Today, 17 February 2005 .

Setting Captives Free  offers help and online courses for sexual impurity of any kind.