The amusingly named head of the WHO’s AIDS department issues the following words of wisdom, confirming what a lot of people have known for a while, but weren’t allowed to say:
Kevin de Cock, who has headed the global battle against Aids, said at the weekend that, outside very poor African countries, Aids is confined to “high-risk groups”, including men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, and sex workers. And even in these communities it remains quite rare. “It is very unlikely there will be a heterosexual epidemic in countries [outside sub-Saharan Africa]“, he said. In other words? All that hysterical fearmongering about Aids spreading among sexed-up western youth was a pack of lies.
The sad reality is that it will take a long time to undo the damage that’s been done by a couple of decades of AIDS hysteria. Public health educators put a tremendous emphasis on condoms as the best way to minimize risk of AIDS, leaving untold number of teens and young adults unaware of the diseases that can be sexually transmitted even with a condom, including HPV, a precursor to cancer. This emphasis on condoms and AIDS avoidance is also in no small part responsible for the increasing perception that only vaginal intercourse is sex (well, partial credit also to Bill Clinton) and the escalation of other forms of sexual activity amongst ever younger kids.
In a more abstract sense, the preoccupation with AIDS, condoms, and physical safety led to the increased commodification of sex, and an emphasis on sex as a physical act. It’s not a coincidence that a generation who was taught all about the physical details of sex, and almost nothing about the emotional or moral implications of it, proceeded to create the hook-up culture. By all means, let’s do everything we can to minimize unplanned pregnancy, STDs, and non-consensual sex. But if we’re serious about making more responsible choices, we have to ask people to consider their hearts, minds and souls, and not only their bodies.
We should also learn from this the folly of directing healthcare spending according to fads and crazes. AIDS kills far fewer people than cancer, heart attacks, and car accidents, as well as suicides, and for those under 35, homicides. An honest evaluation of who is actually at risk for AIDS would enable us to focus education and prevention where it will help the most, give kids in health class accurate and helpful information, and avoid needlessly scaring people who were never at risk to begin with.by