Re: Aids Is A “Gay Disease” etc.

Someone PMed me a few mins ago and asked me two science questions – one, whether as their mother insisted AIDS was a “gay disease”, and the other “if we came from apes, why are there still apes”.

The person who asked just wanted science info and did not hold these views themselves.

I thought my response to be blog-worthy.

And I didn’t resort to google or wikipedia once : P

Anyway, here it is:

HIV originated in chimpanzees, and was most likely transmitted to humans in africa where tribes butcher and eat chimpanzees the way we do other forms of cattle in the united states – all it would take is one guy butchering an animal to have a cut on his hand and there you go.

It is not a “gay” disease, there was no public health warning for a long time after the disease got to the US, and the gay community was affected more severely not because gay sex is more likely to transmit the virus (lesbians are the least susceptible) but because unprotected anal sex is the easiest way to get it, since it creates micro-lacerations in the skin of the anus which is less resilient than that of the vagina.  You can imagine why lesbians are far less likely to get it.

To call a disease everyone gets, which is most easily transmitted between gay men and least easily transmitted between gay women a “gay” disease is simply not accurate.  And with modern public information about the virus and the availability of contraceptives it is getting to be roughly as common in various demographics, which is to say very uncommon in the US, a small fraction of 1 percent.

The fact that gay men were initially more severely affected by the disease for logistical reasons no more makes it a “gay” disease than the fact that africa being the epicenter and not having the benefit of first world education and readily available condoms makes it far more severely afflicted to this day makes it a “black” disease.  Though I’m sure people would call it the “nigger virus” in a different era.  It is more socially acceptable to express disgust toward gay men today than it is toward other minorities.

As far as apes, to define the term first the word ape does not refer to any one species, but a group of species which includes humans.  The term “ape” isn’t used by science as much because when people think ape they think gorilla.  The term “ape” and the term “primate” are synonymous.  Second, we descended from other apes, both human and non-human, but we no more descended from modern apes than someone of european descent descended from modern europeans.  They are our cousins, not our time-traveling ancestors.  And it is the same with other primates.  And we are far more closely related with extinct primate species like neanderthals, which shared about 99% of our DNA, than we are to modern chimpanzees which share about 95% of our DNA.

But yeah, to say “if we descended from apes why are there still apes” is like saying “if we descended from the english, why are there still english people”.  Because our lineage is not a straight line, like any family tree it splits off into many branches, and the fork in our lineage that connects us to other primates is just one of many in a long, long series of forks. 

Anyway, hope this helps.

Mark.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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21 Responses to Re: Aids Is A “Gay Disease” etc.

  1. agnophilo says:

    @YouTOme – That’s Mr. Mrk to you : P(just being ridiculous, ignore this)

  2. Huck says:

    All very true. Homophobia knows no bounds.

  3. FoliageDecay says:

    My understanding was that the consensus was aids was spread when the blood of infected chimpanzees was used in the process of producing small pox vaccines which were distributed cheaply in order to wipe out the illness. 

  4. There is no scientific proof that we descended from other apes. That is pure conjecture.

  5. agnophilo says:

    @Huck@mancouch – Yup.@FoliageDecay – I didn’t know that was proven.  Ironic if it was the case.@LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – Your parents are apes, which you would know if you read the blog, which of course you didn’t.

  6. versatil says:

    Wait do you know if this is still popular? Are they STILL calling it a gay disease, blaming it on “the homosexual lifestyle”?  I’m in NYC. I saw on the news recently that they’re trying to push an ad campaign targeting gay men in a way that is graphic and meant to shock.  The message was not the past’s “you’re gay, your problem” quite the contrary as there are serious diseases affecting the rising HIV-infected homosexual population such as osteoporosis and anal cancer. That old sort manner of thinking was precisely what delayed and prevented pursuit of cures, treatments, etc. Given what we know now scientifically (for quite a while, though somehow people fail to learn… the news was like, “HIV doesn’t kill as much as it used to, but other diseases are.” Forget facepalming, that seriously pissed me off. It’s precisely it’s manner of rendering the immune system impotent that makes it so lethal.) as well as the immense social and political repercussions it’s an abomination to maintain the old “AIDS is an effect of the homosexual lifestyle” dogma. 

  7. Violent Pornography, gay sex, and apes. Sounds like a party.Excellent post.

  8. agnophilo says:

    @versatil – I’m sure the phelps family and their ilk consider it a “gay disease”, but I don’t think it’s too mainstream an opinion these days.  I know pat robertson and jerry fallwel maintain(ed) that AIDS was god punishing homosexuals and punishing us for tolerating homosexuality.  They also maintained that god allowed 9/11 to punish us for having pagans, feminists, abortionists, gays, people for the american way etc in our midst.Hate-mongering assholes.@Automaton_Emotion – Thanks.

  9. pewterrose says:

    Very clearly written, in a way that makes it make sense.

  10. we came from god i am very stong about that 

  11. littlechef1 says:

    well done, im not very sciency but this actualy made sence too me loland to whomever up there (^^^^^^) asked if HIV was still refered to as the gay deases, it is, or atleast it still is down here, new Zealand is supposed to be civilised right?well aparently not

  12. TexasTidbits says:

    Part of the reason the disease was called the gay disease is because the press first named it GRID, Gay related immune deficiency. The CDC originally referred to it as 4_H disease. Homosexuals, hemophiliacs, heroin users and Haitians being the first group among the infected, a cluster of gay men in LA.

  13. leaflesstree says:

    Well stated. I once had a crazy old lady tell me that the reason AIDS came into existence in the human population was because sex-crazed African women were having sex with monkeys. (I didn’t bother to start an argument with her, she was way too far gone). It astonishes me how incredibly stupid people can be about things like evolution. Just boggles the mind.

  14. @ciarandoherty - You’re a dumbass. Please pull your head out of the uneducated past and into reality.

  15. agnophilo says:

    @pewterrose – Thanks.@ciarandoherty – Well, I’m an atheist, but yeah. : )@littlechef1 – Yeah, sucks.@TexasTidbits – Thanks for the info.  The CDC sounds like they knew their stuff, but the media’s moniker seems like more of a symptom of the cultural prejudice rather than the cause of it.@leaflesstree – Yeah some people you can’t even bother with.@RockinOtaku2005 – Disagree without being a shithead please.

  16. versatil says:

    @agnophilo – ouch. there’s no cure for stupid = no brakes for hate either, just hope they run off a ledge sooner than later.

  17. agnophilo says:

    @versatil – Well fallwell dropped dead, so that’s something.

  18. @ciarandoherty – Ciaran, dont tell me you believe the adam&eve theory 😐 If it makes you feel better, a more believable version of that is.God created the universe, and all the life in it, also the apes on earth. The humans came from the apes etc.

  19. @FaolannSupposee – i dnt belive that i do belive in the adam and eve theroy g2g watch come dine with me bye xxx

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