This Is The Fight

May 25, 2011

Today, as we were discussing intellectual property rights in a Strategic Implementation class, the topic of AIDS in Africa came up.

And one of the guys in my elite, top-notch, expensive European business school made a speech, starting with this:

“AIDS has spread because some countries allow too much in the way of human rights. For example, Elton John now has a husband. No offense, but gay people are just linked with spread of these types of diseases.” [cue more rhetoric along the lines]

I think I saw everything in red for two hours after that.

First of all, factually incorrect. 95% of new HIV+ cases are in Africa. Most of these cases were spread through heterosexual contact. 60% of the new cases are heterosexual women.

There is also a high correlation between HIV rates and the amount of non-consensual sexual activity in a country. So the only way to reduce HIV spread in the long run is to increase the emphasis human rights and allow women to make their own choices in sexual activity.

Second of all, HIV-AIDS growth is strongly related to public policies biased by hate and discrimination. At the beginning of the disease, many governments decided not to do anything, since they considered AIDS a sort of a “gay cancer” that they hoped would put an end to the immorality of homosexual communities.

Today’s speech was an unfortunate reminder about how long hate can continue to perpetuate. We still need to go much farther for acceptance, for rights, for everyone to be considered just as human as his neighbor. This is a daily fight, and we can’t let comments like this slide. Not here, not now, not with how far we’ve come.

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2 Responses to “This Is The Fight”

  1. Anonymous said

    Word! Totally agree.

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