Medical Miracle?

Did you know?
  • By the end of 2004, an estimated 39.4 million people had HIV
  • 4.9 million people were infected with HIV in 2004
  • 3.1 million people died from Aids-related illness

A report in the UK's Independent reveals that 25-year-old Andrew Stimson tested positive for HIV in 2002. The following year, with no treatment or medical intervention, Stimson tested negative for HIV.

Researchers are asking whether it might be beneficial to investigate to find the key to a cure for AIDS within Stimson's immune system.

I believe that if there is a possibility to find a cure for people with AIDS, then we must do the research. Too many people are dying of this devastating disease. And, they aren't just homosexual men. They are babies in Africa; they are men and women; they are homosexual and heterosexual alike.

I visited South Africa about 2 years ago. Some friends ran a Christian group on the University of Cape Town campus. At the time, they had about 500 students who were part of the group. They informed us that one of their challenges was the number of deaths that occur among the group. Praying for the sick and attending funerals of those who'd died of this wretched disease played a significant part of their ministry on the campus. One out of every five people in South Africa dies of AIDS. It's not just those doing drugs and having illicit sex. We must seek a cure.

I feel compelled, however, to raise a critical point. One that I rarely hear brought up with this issue. In every discussion on heart disease, there's a note on prevention. In every report on obesity--even in ones revealing genetic connections--there is a mention of exercise and diet. However, it seems to be politically incorrect to say, "do not participate in activities that will put you at risk." That is, if you are having anal sex, stop. If you are shooting up, quit. If you're living a promiscuous lifestyle, change it.

We do people a disservice by telling them that they cannot change their behavior. We are not afraid to say it when it comes to food and exercise; but, we stay silent on matters of sexuality. If it's a life and death situation, we must speak up. (In reality, there are spiritual and emotional issues which also get ignored.) We cannot remain silent on issues that could save lives.

I do hope that the Stimson story will provide an important link for modern medicine. However, that will never take the place of prevention. So, if you are having anal sex, stop. If you are shooting up, quit. If you're living a promiscuous lifestyle, change it. Your life is worth more than that.


At 11/15/2005 01:31:00 AM, Anonymous GJ said...

Great post! I wholeheartly agree. This disease is ravaging an entire generation on the continent of Africa. I understand that we much preach the message of prevention. However, in some cultures it is not that easy. In Sub-Saharan Africa, AIDS workers try to tell women to use condoms. However, culturally women are seen as inferior to men in these countries. They do not have the power to say no to their hubands or other men. The choice of whether or not to use a condom or even have sexual intercourse at all is seen as the man's choice, not the womans. Women and young girls in sub-saharan Africa are also routinely raped by their husbands and by other men who are in positions of power over them. So it goes far beyond just telling people to stop. There needs to be a cultural change in the sub-saharan countries, one in which women will feel more empowered to make choices that will save their lives.

At 11/15/2005 01:50:00 AM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

gj: good point. there absolutely needs to be a change in hearts and minds in many cultures. in some places in Africa, it is believed that having sex with a child will heal them of their sexually trasmitted disease.

there needs to be a transformation in the value place on individuals, male and female, adults and children. There needs to be a new view of the value of sex, the sanctity of human life and of marriage. I believe that so many problems in all cultures have to do with, not imposing or forcing in any way but, incorporating those values throughout society.

And, as far as AIDS in American culture, I do believe that prevention would take care of the vast majority of the issue.

At 11/15/2005 02:21:00 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Isn't it strange that people love to sin so much that they will risk a horrible debilitating death for a few moments of pleasure?

At 11/15/2005 04:56:00 AM, Blogger Jaymeister said...

That is an excellent way of looking at things. As a society, we need to educate people as much as possible about the consequences of their activities, whether it be a healthy diet or safe sex. Unfortunately, people will still insist on playing Russian roulette. In an ideal world, people would stop doing the things you mentioned, but they'd also stop smoking and drinking excessively.

That said, I wouldn't put anal sex with a monogamous partner on the same level as shooting up or sexual promiscuity. If you want to make a religious case regarding homosexual or heterosexual sodomy, that's one thing, but in a public health context it seems out of place. Irresponsible promiscuity is the real enemy.

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