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Censorship Science

Researchers Warned About AIDS Grants 108

Posted by michael
from the read-no-evil dept.
winksmith writes "The NYTimes (free registration, etc.) is reporting that scientists researching STD's (including AIDS) must be careful in the wording of reports and particularly of grant requests. many have been verbally warned that phrases like: "sex workers," "men who sleep with men," "anal sex" and "needle exchange," may cause the government to withhold grant money."
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Researchers Warned About AIDS Grants

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  • by Blaine Hilton (626259) on Saturday April 19, 2003 @02:47AM (#5764006) Homepage
    This seems to be another example of politicians trying to double talk. When they are talking to a medical group they say how all the grants are going to AIDS research, but then when they are talking to anti research people they can go back and say the opposite. It seems like anything that is fine for medical terminology should be fine. Of course a lot of the grant process is subjective rather then objective so it may be the little things that get the application passed up, but this is just one of the many problems a grant request can face.

    Go calculate [webcalc.net] something.

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2003 @03:14AM (#5764060)
    This is entirely appropriate.

    Look, there are lots of diseases that affect human beings. Everything from the common cold to ebola. Some of them are very rare, some widespread. Some are deadly, some place a heavy burden on our health care system, and some are mere nuisances.

    Medical science is a zero-sum game. Every dollar or minute spent trying to find a cure for disease X cannot be spent on disease Y. There's only so much money and effort to go around.

    Diabetes, stroke, cancer, heart disease, and trauma all kill more people every year worldwide than HIV. Not a few more, either; we're talking about millions of people every year.

    Now, every educated person knows that HIV is not limited to gay people, or to drug users, or to people who have anal sex. HIV is out there, and everybody is at risk of contracting it, though for the vast majority of people that risk is statistically insignificant.

    But the notion, correct or incorrect, that HIV is confined to a particular group or that it's only transmitted by a particular illegal or socially unacceptable activity gives one pause. Is it really right to spend $X on AIDS research when one hundred times more people die of cancer or heart disease or stroke every year?

    If you want funding for your AIDS research, you're going to have to convince the organization offering you the money that your research is more important than research that will help tens, or even hundreds, of millions of people over the long term.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0x0d0a (568518) on Saturday April 19, 2003 @03:55AM (#5764104) Journal
      Be fair, though -- AIDS does have its own nastiness. Once it's in a population, you have tons of disease vectors. It can spread, and it doesn't just quickly and cleanly kill off its host.
      • Re:Good (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2003 @12:09PM (#5764529)
        Actually, no. HIV has precisely ONE disease vector: blood-to-blood transfer. And it requires a HUGE viral load to sustain an infection-- on the order of hundreds of thousands of particles.

        It's actually very difficult to get HIV.

        My wife is a surgeon, and HIV transmission used to be a HUGE concern in the operating room. You're in a tight space with lots of sharp objects; sticks happen all the time. Now we know more about how HIV works, and it's just not a big worry. A concern, sure, but it's a hell of a lot easier to contract Hep C through a needle stick than HIV.
        • Re:Good (Score:2, Informative)

          by sribe (304414)
          Actually, no. HIV has precisely ONE disease vector: blood-to-blood transfer. And it requires a HUGE viral load to sustain an infection-- on the order of hundreds of thousands of particles.

          Incorrect! There are 9 identified subtypes of the HIV virus and the HIV virus (each subtype) mutates as it spreads through the different systems of the body. The 1 subtype that has come to North America is highly contagious only in the form found in the blood. The forms found in semen, saliva and blood are hardly contag
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sam_handelman (519767) <.skh2003. .at. .columbia.edu.> on Saturday April 19, 2003 @08:06AM (#5764218) Homepage Journal
      Are you in research, anonymous? I am.

      Science is not a "zero sum" game. Studies of HIV have revealed important information about the immune system, for example, which may be of help in combating antibiotic resistant bacteria, or autoimmune diseases.

      I'm a biologist but I don't study diseases at all. Is the pure knowledge I gain worth nothing?

      Tens of millions of people in Africa DO have aids. Hundreds of millions of people in China COULD get AIDS - if we study how it spreads, which is what most of the NIH grants that mention gay people are actually about, we might prevent that.

      Finally, there are serious diminishing returns in science when you tell the researchers what to work on.

      1) There are only so many genuinely promising heart disease research projects for the NIH to fund. The bill to fund these projects (recall that the pharmaceutical industry provides a lot of funding, as well) is actually quite small - what should the NIH do with the rest of the money? Throw it at heart disease research projects which are NOT promising?

      2) You can't just take an AIDS researcher, who presumably has come up with what he feels is unique insight into fighting AIDS, and move him into heart disease. He might accomplish something, but chances are he would have accomplished more doing the work he felt he was qualified to do. There is no question in my mind that science driven primarily by institutional goals is lousy science, but that science driven by the personal creativity of the scientists is good science.

      3) The NIH exists to fund research that the pharmaceutical industry will not. In the long run, the pure knowledge gained has shown itself worthwhile, I assure you.

      The article is not about avoiding AIDS research in favor of heart disease research. It is about avoiding "politically charged" AIDS research - research into how AIDS spreads, by and large, which is preventative research and has the highest yield per dollar spent - because of the politico-religious convictions of right wing zealots in congress who still think only gay people get AIDS.
      • by jmccay (70985)
        What is there to study about how AIDS is contracted? We know it's spread through the contact with infected bodily fluid. Who gives a damn is the person who has AIDS is a prostitue, gay, or both. The point is irrelevant, and it's a waste of money to fund stupid studies on the social aspects of how they got AIDS. I can sum up most of the cases with one phrase: "they had sex with someone with AIDS, or HIV". What more is there to know. We won't learn anything useful in the by studying the social aspects o
    • Is it really right to spend $X on AIDS research when one hundred times more people die of cancer or heart disease or stroke every year?

      So, since the USG is so carefully focused on only those research projects that provide the greatest good for the greatest number, it is right to deny research pertaining to a short list of "bad" things?

      And, of course, the USG only funds those projects which return the greatest good for the greatest number, which is why the tax bill doesn't include studies into the sex l

    • Wrong (Score:2, Interesting)

      by John Meacham (1112)
      This is not how science works. scientist A, who spent years working on AIDS, cannot just 'spend some time working on cancer'. heck, scientists working on cancer cannot spend time on it unless they have ideas and theories to test. Scientists ask for funding because they have an idea or theory they want to test which they believe could further understanding, you cannot just throw money/time at a problem and have it be equally spent by arbitrary research groups. perhaps they already gave all the tier 1 (likely
    • Re:Good (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bowling Moses (591924)
      "If you want funding for your AIDS research, you're going to have to convince the organization offering you the money that your research is more important than research that will help tens, or even hundreds, of millions of people over the long term."

      Like AIDS, right? According to the United Nations [disasterrelief.org], over the course of the last two decades 22 million have died because of AIDS. They currently estimate that there are another 34.1 million infected persons right now, the vast majority of them in developing
      • Re:Good (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        According to the United Nations, over the course of the last two decades 22 million have died because of AIDS.

        Big whooping deal. More people than that die of diabetes worldwide every year.

        Sorry, but AIDS simply isn't the most significant public health problem out there. Everything you said is more true of cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and trauma. Our efforts should be spent where they will do the most good.
        • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Bowling Moses (591924) on Saturday April 19, 2003 @06:38PM (#5766048) Journal
          Sorry, but AIDS simply isn't the most significant public health problem out there. Everything you said is more true of cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and trauma. Our efforts should be spent where they will do the most good."

          Except that it isn't at all. The old get the lion's share of cancer, stroke, and heart disease, not the most productive age bracket in society which AIDS hits. Stroke and heart disease are often synonyms for old age--when my 97-year-old grandfather and survivor of multiple strokes eventually passes away hopefully a good number of years from now, when the obituary lists cause of death it could just as easily put in old age for either stroke or heart attack. An estimated 150 million have diabetes, most commonly middle aged persons, but only in a handful of small isolated populations does its penetration level ever become comparable to Zimbabwe's 1 in 3 adult AIDS cases. In these small populations current research has implicated drastic recent changes in diet and excercise to be the dominant factor in diabetes cases.

          Let's get back to that 1 in 3 level of adult AIDS penetration in Zimbabwe. Go out to the mall or to the university or anywhere people 15-45 are found in numbers. Now imagine that 1 in 3 is carrying a disease that will kill them unless something else gets them first. Now multiply that out to cover an entire nation. Factor in the low education levels and social stigma of AIDS that help it spread to even higher levels. Imagine what it's like when you're a 8-year-old kid who's got a 1 in 3 chance of in the next 5 years of having your teacher die, your mom die, your dad die, aunts, uncles, cousins too. This isn't some "won't somebody think of the children" crapola either. These kids if they grow up at all will have lower education levels plus whatever value you get from parenting and family, plus a society in ruins--things that foster the continuing spread of AIDS.

          Imagine it spreading to the nations next to you. Imagine that prevailing attitudes about AIDS have allowed people with HIV to donate blood, which is then mixed according to blood type with many others, contaminating 10's or 100's of units of blood--blood that is later used for transfusions, infecting the nation at large. This probably went on for years in China, where prevailing attitudes about medicine may be a culprit in the spread of SARS recently. It is an incontrovertible fact that AIDS is a contender for the next worldwide plauge. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and trauma are a pinprick even when combined in comparison to having 1/3 (and rising!) of your nation's workforce infected with something that will kill them. It'll be really interesting and I expect terrifying to see what happens to sub-Saharan Africa when it gets the coming population crash.

          AIDS deserves heavy funding, and if you write a grant and have to worry that matter-of-fact descriptions like "sex workers" might be the factor in getting your grant rejected as opposed to its merits,that's just plain bullshit foisted upon the world by petty beaurocrats who are more interested in their myopic ideology than in fixing a major and growing problem.
    • by dh003i (203189) <dh003i@gmaiTIGERl.com minus cat> on Saturday April 19, 2003 @01:46PM (#5764854) Homepage Journal
      Your post displays a complete and total ignorance of how science works. The simple fact is, we never know what's going to lead to what. Prof. Gorovsky at the University of Rochester has spend years researching a single-celled Eukaryote, Tetrahymena, which doesn't superficially appear to have any relation to human problems. However, it is in Tetrahymena that telomeres and telomerase were discovered, which has major implications for cancer. It was in Tetrahymena that many advances in RNA-interference, a technique which may be useful for shutting down (for example) viral proteins in humans, have occured. Studying biology at a basic level on primitive organisms often has enormous impacts in other areas. And it works vica-versa too, as well as between different areas on a similar level. Research on HIV and AIDS doesn't just lead to more knowledge about how to stop HIV; it leads to information on our immune system, and all sorts of other biological processes in humans.

      Of course, your post is exactly how these idiots in Congress think. In their puny little brains, somehow it makes sense that the research done in NASA has lead to many other good things, and it should be funded, even though it's direct goals are completely useless to human beings; while the same should not be true in the biological sciences.
      • Another example (Score:5, Informative)

        by Bowling Moses (591924) on Saturday April 19, 2003 @04:09PM (#5765420) Journal
        Another excellent example of this is good old polymerase chain reaction (PCR, natch.). The old enzyme that made it sooo much easier to do (insert DNA manipulation of choice here) came out, according to the dimbulbs who give out Golden Fleece awards, "a $1 million study on algae [sic] in warm water." A second example near and dear to my heart is green fluorescent protein (GFP). This tool vital to modern molecular biology eventually fell out of a study on why jellyfish glow when you poke them.
    • by mnmn (145599)
      Its not just what TYPE of people, its also WHERE...

      Too many people in poorer countries die of simpler diseases like Malaria and Leprosy. Most medical funds, not just national as in the US, but global, funding from international companies and organizations are directed to the people where the funding comes from. Imagine the amount spent on Cancer and AIDS, then imagine the number of people dying from these, compared to the simpler diseases with no access to the medication so readily available elsewhere. T
    • by sllim (95682)
      I won't post anonymously.

      For the people that can't read between your lines I will just make the point you are making a little bit more clear.

      The majority of AIDS victims are sex workers, drug users and gay people. Only a minority of of AIDS victims are heterosexual-non sex working-non-drug using people.

      The majority of heart disease victims, stroke victims and victims of the common cold are normal people.

      Therefore we need to take the resources from HIV away and put them to a better cause.

      Is that at lit
    • by gotan (60103)
      Now, every educated person knows that HIV is not limited to gay people, or to drug users, or to people who have anal sex. HIV is out there, and everybody is at risk of contracting it, though for the vast majority of people that risk is statistically insignificant.

      But the notion, correct or incorrect, that HIV is confined to a particular group or that it's only transmitted by a particular illegal or socially unacceptable activity gives one pause. Is it really right to spend $X on AIDS research when one hund
    • Medical science is a zero-sum game. Every dollar or minute spent trying to find a cure for disease X cannot be spent on disease Y. There's only so much money and effort to go around.

      Well...there's always the possibility that sufficiently basic research into disease X might find results useful for other diseases. On the whole, though, I have to agree with the main point. As Damon Runyon put it, "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong--but that's the way to bet."

  • Booooring (Score:4, Funny)

    by jeramybsmith (608791) on Saturday April 19, 2003 @03:27AM (#5764070)
    They're asking grant requesters to leave controversial topics out of grant requests to keep from having to answer questions like "did my tax money go to fund a study or whores?" or "did my tax money go to study buttsex?". If you look at the NYT article, it seems there is really no censorship going on. They are simple asking for discretion on the part of people requesting grants.
  • wording (Score:5, Funny)

    by Per Wigren (5315) on Saturday April 19, 2003 @07:05AM (#5764191) Homepage
    many have been verbally warned that phrases like: "sex workers," "men who sleep with men," "anal sex" and "needle exchange," may cause the government to withhold grant money.

    Instead they were requested to use phrases like "hookers", "faggots", "buttfucking" and "junkies".
    • Re:wording (Score:2, Interesting)

      by driptray (187357)

      This isn't funny, it's insightful. This administration has a negative view of all those things, and so wants negative sounding words to describe them. These positive (or at least neutral) words don't allow them to vilify and demonise certain groups.

      • Sex worker - this dignifies prostitutes and puts them in the same class as all other "workers". It doesn't sound as negative as "prostitute" or "hooker".

      • Men who sleep with men - this implies that straight people can have gay sex, and that's a bit unsettl


    • > > many have been verbally warned that phrases like: "sex workers," "men who sleep with men," "anal sex" and "needle exchange," may cause the government to withhold grant money.

      > Instead they were requested to use phrases like "hookers", "faggots", "buttfucking" and "junkies".

      And for Heaven's sake, don't even think about recommending "spank the monkey" as part of an abstinence program!

    • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Monday April 21, 2003 @06:35AM (#5772235)
      ABSTRACT. Evidence of elevated HIV incidence and relapse to promiscuous fucking among young nonrecovering homosexuals in Vancouver Canada.

      Objective: To determine HIV incidence among young faggots and investigate trends in unsafe buttfucking behaviours.

      Methods: Beginning May/95, fudgepackers aged 18-30 who had not previously been punished by God for their immoral behavior were enrolled in a prospective study in Vancouver, Canada. At baseline and annually, pole climbers completed a questionnaire on their abhorrent lifestyle choices and had an HIV test. Behaviours pertained to the year prior to baseline, and baseline to first follow-up (mean: 15 mo.). HIV incidence density was calculated. Among bone smokers remaining HIV negative, we compared baseline and follow-up responses for raw poopushing with regular (> or = 1 contact per mo.) and casual (< 1 contact per mo.) poofter partners. Among rimadonnas reporting always using condoms during buttfucking prior to baseline, we defined 'relapse' as any filthy sexual deviant behavior reported at follow-up. Odds ratios (ORs) for relapse were tested using McNemar's test.

      Results: Of 386 butthole surfers at follow-up, HIV incidence was 1.96 per 100 pyrs (95% CI: 0.74, 3.18). Of 10 seroconverters, 4 reported paying for hookers and 3 used drugs to support terrorism (including one pretty-boy hustler.). There reported having unprotected buttfucking with a sissy-boy they knew was going to give them AIDS. Among HIV negative poofters with regular partners (n = 266), odds of relapse were elevated for unprotected top (OR = 2.4; 95% CI: 1.5-4.4.) and bottom fudgepacking (OR = 2.1; 95% CI: 1.3-3.3). Among HIV negative men with no morals (n = 261), similar elevations were observed for unprotected top (OR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.1-3.0) but not bottom anal crapshooting (OR = 1.2; 95% CI: 0.7-2.2). The true extent of incidence and relapse may be under-estimated, since homos who were eligible for follow-up but who had not yet returned were younger (p < 0.001), had less education (p < 0.001), were more likely to be unemployed (p < 0.001), non-white (p = 0.004), voting Democratic (p = 1.0), and were more likely to pay gay hookers for sex (p < 0.001), than queers who returned for follow-up (80% return rate).

      Conclusions: We observed elevated HIV incidence among young sexual deviants in Vancouver. Perverts who are also filthy junkies, engage in paying young fuckboys, or who knowingly take risks with AIDS-infected fairies, may be at highest risk. Our analysis is limited by low power, self-reported data, and differential follow-up. However, early indications of a relapse to homosexuality are consistent with early incidence data. Our findings underscore the urgent need for Bibles for young ass pirates, particularly those limp-wristed hookers who shoot up. Further study of attitudes towards abstinence and reasons for not liking girls are required.

  • In times gone by... (Score:2, Informative)

    by mlush (620447)

    .... a womans ankle refered to the who leg up to the waist and her stomach refered to everything between the waist and the neck.

    It certinally caused doctors diagnosis problems when a woman (with breast cancer) presented with pains in her stomach... OTOH considering the state of surgery at the time it may have been just as well

  • by Alsee (515537)
    many have been verbally warned that phrases like: "sex workers," "men who sleep with men," "anal sex" and "needle exchange," may cause the government to withhold grant money."

    Orgasm professionals, biandro-relations, fudge packing, and hypodermic renewal.

    -
  • by Alethes (533985) on Saturday April 19, 2003 @01:52PM (#5764873)
    The reason the government doesn't like phrases like "sex workers", "anal sex" and "men who sleep with men" is because they indicate that AIDS discriminates, which is not what the government would like you to believe. If people stopped doing the things that spread AIDS (it's not exactly airborne), it would eventually go away. Consequently, politicians and activist groups would lose a manipulation tool to siphon tax dollars away from issues that are a lot less preventable and affect more people.

    I'm not trying to troll, but it's just common sense that if you're concerned about the risks that come with an activity, you either don't participate in that activity or you (not your fellow citizens) accept the risks. You like Big Macs? You accept the risk of clogged arteries. You like to smoke? You accept the risk of lung cancer. You like games on Windows? You accept the risk of Outlook viruses. You like sex with prostitutes? You accept the risk of AIDS. Even my dog understands that there are consequences for certain actions.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2003 @03:29PM (#5765271)
      Qualification: I'm a teenager infected with HIV.

      Your logic is flawed. People don't make these decisions "to put themselves at risk" in a vaccum. As a sophemore in high school my biology teacher (the most respected teacher in the school) took it upon himself to convince us that condoms didn't work and that abstinance was the only choice. He used pseudo-scienctific terms and charts and graphics to convince us that condoms were incappable of blocking the virus. This was only a few years ago.

      When I started becoming sexually active (and kids do, there's no denying it), I was completely under the impression that the use of a condom was futile unless attempting to prevent pregnancy.

      Social research is imporantant in preventing this sort of FUD from being spread around.
      • Why is this interesting, or worth a value of 4? The only thing this comment says is that the kid didn't bother to get the facts when he gambled with his life. There is no nice way to put it.
        Even condom manufacturers will admit that condoms are not 100% effect in preventing pregnany or contracting an std (and they don't work at all with some). Chances are you misinterpreted what the teacher said.
        The ONLY 100% sure way not to get an STD through sex is not to have sex. Any other way to run a ris
        • So you're suggesting that having listened to his biology teacher doesn't count as "getting the facts"?

          Tell me, where do we draw the lines at when we've "gotten the facts"? After all, a biology teacher seems a reasonable place to get the facts on a biological disease.. or maybe that's just me. Of course, if we can't trust the biology teacher, why should we trust the biology books? After all, they're what the teacher likely got the knowledge from. And if we can't trust the books, why should we trust the scie
          • by Anonymous Coward
            You are missing the poster's point. The original poster CHOSE to do something that was dangerous, and new it was dangerous. There is enough information out there where the poster could make an educated choice. The original poster chose to have sex, and now the poster is trying to pawn the blame off on the biology teacher. It's simply the original poster's fault. Plain and simple.
        • And just what unsafe activity are you doing right now because you were intentionally misled to believe it is OK? Don't know? Of course not, if you did know, you wouldn't have to find out the hard way.
        • The ONLY 100% sure way not to get an STD through sex is not to have sex.

          The ONLY 100% sure way not to die in a car accident is not to leave your house.

          • >>The ONLY 100% sure way not to get an STD through sex is not to have sex.

            >The ONLY 100% sure way not to die in a car accident is not to leave your house.

            <spirit message>
            You're going to be soooo red when that 1998 Toyota SUV comes crashing through the living room wall while your watching Buffy
            </spirit message>

      • I agree. I'm almost 30 and I dated a woman who was 26. She was totally paranoid that a condom would not protect her from diseases. Never mind the fact that I _KNOW_ that I am disease free.

        She was so paranoid, she wanted STD tests on a monthly basis even though we were monogomous.

        Too much hassle from a nut. I dumped her.
    • If you have a country like Zimbabwe where a third of the population is infected (according to the WHO) then I don't think that 'avoiding prostitutes' is going to protect your average citizen.

      The fact is that Tens of millions of people are infected. In parts of sub-saharan Africa, a boy born today has a 50% chance of getting AIDS, and thus probably dying from it. This is a serious problem, and invoking your dog doesn't make it less so.

      Tell those who received blood transfusions that AIDS discriminates. Once
    • I'm not trying to troll, but it's just common sense that if you're concerned about the risks that come with an activity, you either don't participate in that activity or you

      Well, and whaddayaknow, a large chunk of AIDS funding goes towards education to let people know about that. Because, you see, kids aren't born with that kind of knowledge.

      Unfortunately, many of the same people who keep talking about people "accepting responsibility for their actions" want to keep the government from giving that info

      • and social Darwinism.
        That's an interesting question.

        Let me ask you this: the average gay male in his life time has more sexual partners than the typical heterosexual male. I've seen studies that suggest a hetro male will have ~7 partners, where a homo male will have ~50.

        Let's not go that far - I can't vouch for any numbers except to say that it is a pretty-well regarded notion that gays are more promiscious and participate in much, much more unprotected sex.

        There is a lot of visible evidence to
        • At this point in time, over 99% of all American AIDS/HIV cases are contracted from unsafe sex or intravenous drug use. That's the bottom line.

          Assuming your statistics are correct, what is your point? That people who make one mistake, or even whose entire life is completely screwed up, "deserve" getting AIDS?

          Sure, that is one way of thinking. It's a way of thinking as old as human-kind. Two thousand years ago, the story of Mary Magdalen was about that. It's a view, however, that lacks compassion and

          • And, even in a purely utilitarian sense, before you know it, it may end up being applied to you. I mean, assuming you drive a car to work, why should I pay for your risky choice of mode of transportation? If you eat meat or drink sodas, why should I pay for your risky nutritional preferences?
            Interesting points. I don't think you should. I think I should be on the hook for my own medical care. I think I should be on the hook for the cost of roads, the cost of my car, the cost of my own funeral if I kil
            • It sounds cold but we MUST answer the question. Especially when we have finite resources..

              That argument doesn't hold water because we have not even come anywhere near reaching the limit of our "finite resources". Our tax rates are among the lowest in the industrialized world, so the tradeoff isn't between spending and additional $1 billion on heart disease or spending an additional $1 billion on AIDS, the tradeoff is between spending an additional $1 billion on AIDS vs. buying (on average) an Espresso fo

              • By your reasoning, why not put HIV-infected individuals into concentration camps and gas them? The disease would be gone instantly. You see, once you start that kind of approach to organizing societies, you are pretty much on a one-way street to totalitarianism and death camps. The US and Europe, rightly, criticized China and Cuba sharply for trying to ostracize HIV-positive individuals.
                Putting individuals into concentration camps would be murder and genocide. That's wrong. What I am talking about is t
                • Putting individuals into concentration camps would be murder and genocide. That's wrong.

                  Yes, just as the kind of moral calculus you are engaging in is wrong. It is not OK for a society to let people rot just because they have made mistakes or just because they are stupid. You may think it is, but fortunately, most people disagree.

                  Spend whatever it takes to inform and educate people - at schools, via the media, via outreach programs - do whatever it takes so that we can say with 100% certainity that ev

                  • If you only include reported, documented, white, middle class, suburban rapes by high school football players, you are right, there are not 10000 HIV infections from "rape" each year. If you look at worldwide rape victims, there are many times that.
                    I am talking about US rapes. In lower Africa the numbers are sky high. All the sudden you want to inject foreign countries into this. That changes things a lot.

                    This article is about medical research. This article is not about foreign aide.

                    Here is
                    • All the sudden you want to inject foreign countries into this. That changes things a lot.

                      Your assertion is wrong even as far as the US is concerned:

                      There is no way to justify spending anything on a disease that is obtained only (except those few tiny rare cases, literally probably under 100 a year) through frivulous behavior.

                      Prison rape alone accounts for more cases than that. And you said nothing about not including foreign countries--US medical research is there for the rest of the world, not just t

                    • Even if you fully reallocated the around $2b on AIDS research funding and the (I would guess) around $2b on AIDS treatments to other diseases and let AIDS sufferers die in the gutter, it wouldn't make any significant difference to the problems we have with medical coverage in the US.
                      This is the crux of the argument. If you take away the somewhat-hypberole of "dying in the gutter" - I am not suggesting that AIDS patients don't deserve hospital care or anything like that - than we are approaching the crux
      • In America, we know that HIV causes AIDS and HIV is transmitted through unprotected sex, needles exchange, and blood transfusions (though extremely rarely nowadays, one would hope.) But what about the President of Congo, who declared that HIV didn't cause AIDS? He claimed that it was a scam by evil Americans to overcharge for AIDS drugs. Or when women can't use condoms because that is a sign they are unfaithful--when the men sleep around as a sign of virility? Education will avail them to the risk that they
      • Now I'm confused. First you say "a large chuck of Aids funding goes toward education", but then you say "You are pitting logic against the raging hormones of hundreds of millions of teenagers? " in response to "If people stopped doing the things that spread AIDS (it's not exactly airborne), it would eventually go away".

        So if you are for funding so that we can have better education, then you must think education will actually help, but this contradicts the idea that kids are going to do things that put the
    • I agree with people knowing the risks. If you care about yourself and your future, you won't sit around waiting to be educated (and ignoring what you are told anyway), you find out the risks on your own. And once you know the risks, its your choice whether you still have sex (or whatever).

      Really now, how many people these days DON'T know about HIV at all? I can't believe its that many.

    • If people stopped doing the things that spread AIDS (it's not exactly airborne), it would eventually go away.
      Yet those pesky blood transfusions continue to occur.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Thinking that you're safe from AIDS because you don't have sex with prostitutes is not only denagerously wrong, it borders on self-righteous arrogance.

      A famous one-liner for those who can't form an argument is "any (creature) understands there are consequences of actions." Of course. But understanding exactly what the consequences are of what actions is the summary of our entire human intellect is for. We aren't precognitive. You could have sex with fifty prostitutes and be fine, or you could be a hi
    • That was totally outrageous.

      The reason the government doesn't like phrases like "sex workers", "anal sex" and "men who sleep with men" is because they indicate that AIDS discriminates, which is not what the government would like you to believe.

      No, the government thinks those phrases look bad on a list of official government-funded projects. That's the obvious explanation, but I guess it doesn't play into your political view of the issue.

      If people stopped doing the things that spread AIDS (it's n


    • to siphon tax dollars away from issues that are a lot less preventable and affect more people.

      You mean like heart disease?

      You like Big Macs? You accept the risk of clogged arteries.

      Oh. I guess not.

      American Heart Association, you can close up shop now that Alethes has found the answer to heart disease: stop eating stuff that causes heart disease.

      If I were to beat you every time you drank a Coke instead of a Pepsi, would you conclude that your only choice was to either drink the Pepsi or a
    • The reason the government doesn't like phrases like "sex workers", "anal sex" and "men who sleep with men" is because they indicate that AIDS discriminates, which is not what the government would like you to believe. If people stopped doing the things that spread AIDS (it's not exactly airborne), it would eventually go away. Consequently, politicians and activist groups would lose a manipulation tool to siphon tax dollars away from issues that are a lot less preventable and affect more people.

      First of all
  • So instead (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    of giving money to find a cure your going to withhold it because of some offensive to some people words?
  • ...please coat yourself in latex.
  • many have been verbally warned that phrases like: "sex workers," "men who sleep with men," "anal sex" and "needle exchange," may cause the government to withhold grant money.

    Absolutely. Stick to "prossies", "shirt lifters" and "shit stabbing" and you'll be fine.

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