November 25, 2007


Rethinking the reach of AIDS (Donald G. McNeil Jr., November 25, 2007, IHT)

There it is, starkly: AIDS has peaked.

New infections reached a high point in the late 1990s - by the best estimate, in 1998.

There must have been such moments in the past - perhaps A.D. 543, when Constantinople realized it would survive the Plague of Justinian, or 1351 in medieval Europe, when hope dawned that the Black Death would not claw down everyone.

A milestone moment in AIDS history came 11 years ago when Andrew Sullivan wrote an article in The New York Times Magazine titled "When Plagues End." It argued that a new treatment, the triple therapy cocktail, meant it was finally possible to envision AIDS as a chronic illness, not an inevitable death sentence.

One of the saddest discussions in Randy Shilts's tragic classic, And the Band Played On, concerns how much difficulty the gay and medical establishments had identifying AIDs as a new disease because of the whole host of other conditions that go along with having anal sex. Makes it possible to understand that homosexuals would adopt the attitude that AIDs is just par for the course, though, obviously, anyone even mildly well-adjusted can only shake their head at the notion of choosing such a diseased one in the first place.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 25, 2007 10:11 AM
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