Yes that’s right! AIDS is the disease alot of us will inevitably see as practitioners one day.
Let’s revise abit of microbiology here. HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) is a retrovirus with 2 serotypes – HIV1 & HIV2. It infects CD4+ cells of our immune system such as T lymphocytes and macrophages. This renders the immune system less effective and the body less protected against invading microbes.
A vaccine or cure has yet to be discovered. I’ve had conversations with some of our own friends who strongly oppose the development of this vaccine. Their ‘Christian’ views see it as a deserved punishment and that God introduced this disease into our species to punish us for sexual immorality.
What about those people who were born with HIV? What about the people who did not know their spouses had the disease? Think of the medical professionals that got the disease from other patients? How about the few blood transfusions that go through undetected?
My stand on finding a vaccine is clear: we must push all out to find a cure or a vaccine for this devastating killer virus. We are slowly running out of antiretroviral drugs used to prolong the life of those suffering from it.
As with polio myelitis, HIV, as the name suggests, only has a human reservoir. We can vaccinate and eradicate this disease from the face of this earth. Learning from previous mistakes, mankind should not be stupid enough to ‘create’ another sexually transmitted disease that kills one another. (HIV was mutated from the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus 1 initially infecting only certain primates)
Also, let us not look at those HIV+ fellow humans with disdain. They are not neccessarily sexually deviant or immoral. Even if so, we should not judge them because everybody makes mistakes.
To you prudes who have not witnessed the real world for all the evil it yields; not everyone is brought up in as controlled and protected household as yours. As the world westernizes and sexual freedom is ‘promoted’ we must not assume Asian values to be superior. We are not! No one is actually superior. We are all comrades in the never ending war against those we can’t see and can’t beat – microbes. (And some of you feel like you’re in some spiritual battle – good for you.)
We must not allow Asian stigmatization of sexually transmitted diseases to inhibit a very well westernizing society like ours. Enacted stigma of HIV+ individuals is on the rise; as medical professionals actively taking part in this stigma is disgraceful.
We do not advocate irresponsible sexual behaviour but we MUST NOT commit the err of allowing our values to marginalize any sufferers of AIDS. We MUST NOT shun the very people we will take an oath to help.
Join me comrades, this World AIDS Day, to spread the knowledge of safe sex and discourage the negative labelling of HIV+ friends. Peace out.