NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

To Stop Aids, Stop Culture of Disease

July 31, 2003

In fighting the AIDS crisis over the last 20 years, activists and health officials have done everything possible to dispel the negative connotations that come with having H.I.V., says writer and actor Harvey Fierstein. Now, "After all the effort exerted to convince the world that AIDS is not a gay disease, we now have a generation embracing AIDS as its gay birthright," claims Fierstein.

  • According to figures just released by the Centers for Disease Control, the number of new AIDS cases rose last year for the first time in a decade.
  • Surveys indicate that young gay males are engaging in riskier sexual activities.
  • AIDS is a debilitating, deforming, terminal and incurable disease. H.I.V. drugs can bring on heart, kidney and liver disease, as well as a host of daily discomforts.
  • H.I.V. is an almost completely avoidable infection: You need to be compliant in some very specific behaviors to be at risk.
  • In fact, if every person now infected vowed that the disease ended with him, we could wipe out the ballooning number of new infections.

Drug companies have made billions of dollars, the medical community has gained a captive audience, and AIDS charities have become a career for many, creating an industry of disease that would crumble if AIDS was cured in the gay community, he concludes.

Source: Harvey Fierstein, "The Culture of Disease," New York Times, July 31, 2003.


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