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I Wear A Red Ribbon
December 1, 2002 11:21 AM   Subscribe

I Wear A Red Ribbon "Why do I wear the Red Ribbon? I wear it because I CAN. I am still alive, still able to carry the message about the reality and urgency of AIDS and how HIV can be prevented. I carry this message for those whose voices can no longer be heard but whose presence can still be felt. What message is that? I carry the message-- to all who will hear AND listen-- that HIV/AIDS is, at this point, 100% FATAL... but it is also 100% PREVENTABLE." She died in 1995 in a car accident.
posted by ashbury (6 comments total)

 
I could never really understand people's fascination with this cause du jour. Let's face it, if you a heterosexual non-drug user, and don't f*** every little thing that walks down the street, your chances of getting AIDS are infinitesimally small.

Not only is AIDS preventable, it is *easily* preventable.

Feel free to check CDC HIV contraction rates to see what I'm talking about.

That said, focus on an AIDS cure has given us a lot of beneficial research in the field of virology but I would have liked to see that money and effort spent on diseases that people had little knowledge or ways to prevent.
posted by Witold at 1:26 PM on December 1, 2002


A more accurate statement is that if you're an American heterosexual non-drug user your chances are small. (yet growing)

That said, there are currently 42 million people living with HIV/AIDS, and 3.1 million died of HIV-related causes in 2002. People that can care about such an enormous killer even when they are not in the most probable risk group should not, in my opinion, be chastised for their concern.

To suggest that research aimed at saving the lives of millions and millions of people is only useful as an academic endeavor with practical implications exclusively in other fields is reckless and irresponsible in the extreme.
posted by rhyax at 2:14 PM on December 1, 2002


I think Witold has a point, considering that we spend more on AIDS than other non-curable diseases, that are responsible for far more deaths (in the U.S., based on US funding).

Dont get me wrong here, I am all for finding cures for diseases that kill millions of people, but when I looked at the numbers and the percentage breakdown I was a little surprised.

This information is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Following are links related to the leading death causes for the U.S. in the years 1999 and 2000.

FY 2002 Budget Authorization, NCHSTP
HIV/AIDS programs are funded primarily by the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention.

National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention = $1,135,000,000

FY 2002 Budget Authorization, NCCDPHP
Cancer programs are funded primarily by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion = $747,472,000

This total includes:

Breast & Cervical Cancer = $194.2 million
Cancer Registries = $40.3 million
Colorectal Cancer = $12.1 million
Comprehensive Cancer = $4.4 million
Ovarian Cancer = $4.6 million
Prostate Cancer = $14.2 million
Skin Cancer = $1.7 million

FY 2002 Budget Authorization, NCID
Infectious diseases programs are funded primarily by the National Center for Infectious Diseases.

National Center for Infectious Diseases = $344,696,000

This total includes:

Emerging Infectious Diseases = $311.0 million
Hantavirus/Special Pathogens = $7.0 million
Hepatitis C = $21.9 million

FY 2002 Budget Authorization, NCCDPHP
Heart disease & stroke programs are funded primarily by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion = $747,472,000

Leading causes of death, 1999, 2000. Other data.
posted by Recockulous at 3:37 PM on December 1, 2002


Wish to hell I'd been able to wear a red ribbon on my uniform at work today. (I work for a national chain store; for obvious reasons I won't say which one.)
posted by alumshubby at 6:40 PM on December 1, 2002


Witold: I could never really understand people's fascination with this cause du jour. Let's face it, if you a heterosexual non-drug user, and don't f*** every little thing that walks down the street, your chances of getting AIDS are infinitesimally small.
What if you are
- a child born to an infected mum?
- infected through a blood transfusion?
- infected through an irresponsible partner?
- unlucky, and get infected on losing your virginity?
- a child or adult infected through a sexual assault?

These victims, what do you propose for them? Now, myself, I don't feel that it's as simple - even for promiscuous adults - as condemning folk for their lusts. But, on a side note, do you think that there should be more accessible sex ed. in schools to protect the youth of today?
posted by dash_slot- at 9:33 PM on December 1, 2002


Then again, the unbalance in present spending may be salve to quell the sting of a well-deserved backlash.

Had the AIDS epidemic not been overlooked by the US government in it's initial phases, we might as a culture both gotten ahead of this infection's deadly curve, and saved numerous lives.

Instead, a conscience had to be "provoked" by activists before anything substantial was finally undertaken in the way of government-funded remediation.

Therefore: AIDS has a strong lobby build from grass-roots desperation...and causes with strong lobbyists get a greater share of the Official US Slushfund Moshpit.

The government grew the AIDS political movement by offering those with this condition particularly gross neglect. Now, they dance to it's music, from time to time. Makes sense to me.

We may now spend more on AIDS than any other "non-curable disease"...but that situation could have been inoculated against had this epidemic been treated at first with half the compassion shown to sufferers of other "non-curable diseases."

It's the same backfill reaction we see in recent increased spending aimed at research and treatment regarding heart disease and breast cancer in women, after far too many years centered around the study of heart disease and cancer in male patients.

And, there really are benefits to our following a line of research into a cure or vaccine for AIDS. It does seem to be an excellent path to trod that may open many doors to secrets locked in the darkest recesses of epidemiology: the mystery of cancer, the politics and powerplays behind plagues and pestilence, and even gives us amazing insight into our human immune systems. [Username and password: metafilter]
posted by Dunvegan at 12:38 AM on December 2, 2002


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