A recent post from Terrified Tabetic (@TTabetic) over at Pull My Finger points to a startlingly idiotic set of comments on federal funding priorities for HIV/AIDS and cancer. Terrifiedtabetic has already pointed out the callous and slightly hypocritical brush-off of "behavioral" causes of cancer while lambasting "behavioral" causes of HIV/AIDS.
I feel for anyone who has AIDS . . . just as I feel for anyone who has cancer. But in the case of those who have cancer, most of them get it due to circumstances beyond their control (yes, I know, some behaviors lead to cancer, like smoking, tanning, eating too much red meat and not exercising). Not the case with AIDS, which is still largely behavioral-intravenous drug use, gay sex, promiscuity (with a few people who got it by accident through tainted blood transfusions).
No, she doesn't "feel for anyone who has AIDS" the same as she does for people with cancer. Her next sentence makes that very clear. She even acknowledges that, as with HIV disease (which I presume she means when she says "AIDS"-she's not stupid) people with cancer often have behaviors that led to their disease. What she makes very clear is that sex (especially butt sex) is much more morally abhorrent than smoking (that is, smoking tobacco, because in her dimwittery, nicotine is morally superior to heroin).
I noticed this strange little hateful statement.
And, as we know, AIDS remained confined to gays and needle-using druggies-not the general population which they tried to frighten us into believing would be infested.
"Confined"? Really? but I thought..... hmm, let's stroll on over to the CDC, shall we? That site quotes a paper.
Estimation of HIV Incidence in the United States
Hall HI, Song R, Rhodes P, Prejean J, An Q, Lee LM, Karon J, Brookmeyer R, Kaplan EH, McKenna MT, Janssen RS for the HIV Incidence Surveillance Group. Estimation of HIV Incidence in the United States. JAMA, August 6, 2008;300(5):520
Said paper estimates about 53% of new HIV infections in the US in 2007 were due to male-to-male sexual contact, 12% to injection drug use and....wait for it.....31% to high-risk heterosexual contact. Another CDC site identifies the same deal in 2006 with 33% of new cases attributed to heterosexual contact. If you ask me, 31% sure as hell does not sound like "confined".
[UPDATE: Related thoughts on blame-based withholding of health care / research from Pascale Lane ]