The Washington Post had a special section yesterday on AIDS in America. In an article named “The invisible epidemic” there were these staggering numbers:
About 1.2 million Americans are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of that total, 80 percent know they are infected; 62 percent have sought medical care after diagnosis; 41 percent have stayed in care; 36 percent are receiving life-extending antiretroviral drugs; and 28 percent have no HIV detectable in their bloodstream as a result of treatment.
Let’s do the math:
960,000 people know they have HIV. 240,000 people have HIV and don’t know it. Now is where the math becomes iffy. 62 percent have sough medical care… That’s 62 percent of the 960,000, right? 595,200. 41 percent have stayed in care. 393,600. 36 percent receiving antiretrovirals. 345,600. And 28 percent have no HIV detectable in their blood. 268,800.
This means that life extending medicine exists. And there are approximately 931,200 people who are not taking advantage of it.
In another article, this one by Mary Jordan, the numbers make me a little more angry.
In the United States, the rate of new infections for black women is 15 times that of white women. Black men today are getting infected at more than six times the rate of white men.
And then there’s the article that makes me shudder. Franklin Graham talks about HIV and AIDS and says this:
We need an army of young Christians who are willing to go to the remote areas in this world and show compassion and God’s love. We need to tell those suffering that no matter what they have done in life, God still loves them and He will forgive them.
I am not an advocate of passing out condoms to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. We should not condone sex outside of marriage. When a crowd dragged the adulterous woman in front of Jesus and prepared to stone her, Jesus forgave her and said, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). I cannot imagine Jesus giving her a condom and saying, “Keep doing what you are doing and try to protect yourself.”
You don’t think there’s still some connection here? We are still looking at people with this disease as if they have done something wrong to get it. And then we’re denying them the lifesaving resources to keep from getting it.
In the United States alone, there are 931,200 people who are not getting life-extending medical care to combat the HIV virus in their bloodstream.