- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 16, 2005

It has been 23 years since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially identified the insidious disease Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. The year was 1982, and there were an estimated 1,300 cases of HIV/AIDS reported in the United States. This week we learned that more than 1 million people in this country are HIV infected. Some people in the homosexual community said nearly a decade agothatthe HIV/AIDS epidemichad been arrested. We now know that was not true.

Indeed, while noted journalists like Andrew Sullivan posited that the HIV/AIDS epidemic was a public-health crisis no more, reality rested elsewhere. The unvarnished truth was that the face of AIDS apparentlyhad changed from the image of homosexual white men and black junkies shooting up dope in ghetto back alleys to images and behaviors that are as multifaceted and complex as the very medical cocktails available to treat the disease.

Americans now know they were suckered. While gay white men might have “protected” themselves by using condoms, they also ratcheted up their push for federal, state and local policies that allowed them to hide “sexual preferences” and practices in the name of privacy and civil rights.

The liberals’ advocacy for needle-exchange programs is but one example. The push for condom availability for teens is another, as well as the shouts against what the new pope, Pope Benedict the XVI, rightly calls “pseudo matrimony”— that is, “same-sex marriage.” And one of the most untenable issues of them all: allowing public schools to teach children in the name of education that when it comes to sexuality and sex itself, anything — and everything — goes.

Activists surely don’t want any alarms sounded about what the politically correct term “MSM,”the so-called down-low practice of bisexual men keeping their devilish proclivities on the hush-hush, and they certainly don’t want us to focus on pedophilia.

The barebacked ride to socio-political freedoms has made for a short trip.

According to statistics released just this week by the CDC, women, black Americans and Hispanics are leaving indelible impressions on HIV/AIDS. In fact, the tally for U.S. HIV cases has now surpassed the 1 million mark. “An estimated 1,039,000 to 1,185,000 Americans were living with HIV at the end of 2003, up from between 850,000 and 950,000 in 2002,” The Washington Times reported on Tuesday. “The jump reflects the role of medicines that have allowed people infected with the virus to live longer.”

Here are the facts that color the picture: “Forty-seven percent were black, a disproportionate figure considering that blacks make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population. Whites accounted for 34 percent of the HIV-positive population and Hispanics 17 percent.”

Alarming, to be sure. What’s more is this fact: Of the “men who have sex with men” (the MSM who often keep their women partners in the dark), researchers discovered that “67 percent of the black men in the group did not know they were infected before participating in the study, more than three times the percentage of whites who were unaware,” The Times reported.

Now, we should no more peep inside the bedrooms of adults than look into the habits of patrons of public libraries (as the misguided Patriot Act permits). But adult American voters do need to wake up to the stark realization of the discolorations and distortions that are pushing public policies and tax dollars into the darker corners of immorality.

I’m hardly advocating anti-gay activism or bashing homosexuals. It just seems to me that if Americans can get the Senate to “apologize” for the lynchings that proliferated in the South and accept Bill Clinton’s “apology”for slavery, then Americans can come to terms with what’s right and what’s wrong and get America’s moral house in order.

The CDC has painted a blatantly clear picture of the high public-health stakes for future generations:The possibility that the HIV-positive population would shift to reflect a higher proportion of infections among blacks, women and heterosexuals.

The huge blessings from the scientific community mean that people with HIV and AIDS are living longer. Both our tax dollars and our private donations brought about those changes. But Andrew Sullivan was wrong. HIV/AIDS remains an American public-health epidemic.

The real face of the crisis has been unmasked. Its name is Behavior.

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