Saturday, October 2, 2010

Those AIDS Patients In Africa Aren't So Stupid After All

Africa has a ridiculously high percentage of people that suffer from AIDS, in many regions it's up to 20% of the population. Africa is inhabited by around 14% of the world's population, yet is home to 88% of the people living with HIV. For years we've heard of all these initiatives from first world nations like the USA to help them out by supplying HIV medications either free or at a very low cost. But we've also heard for years about how many people in Africa are afraid to take these medications from us, fearing that we're trying to poison them. What a bunch of frickin' morons, right? I mean they're dying of AIDS, we're trying our darndest to help and they're refusing the one thing that can save their lives.

Here's an article from the NY Times back in 2003 about a clinic in Khayelitsha, South Africa which treats AIDS patients with antiviral medication for free.

''I thought I was going to die, but now I'm fresher than ever,'' said Ms. Charlie, 28, who shares a two-room house with her mother. ''People here are dying of AIDS every weekend, every weekend. But I'm gaining weight. I've got no problems. So far, so good.''

This clinic offers a rare glimmer of hope in South Africa, which has more people infected with H.I.V. than any other country.

What a nice optimistic feel good story about something finally being done to help those who are suffering in Africa because of the AIDS virus. But further down in the article, some moronic killjoy had to get all conspiratory about it, with the idea that we're actually poisoning them:

President Thabo Mbeki has expressed concern about the safety of AIDS drugs commonly prescribed in the United States and Europe. Senior members of his political party have called the medicines ''poison'' and accused drug companies of trying to use Africans as guinea pigs. Other officials insist that providing AIDS drugs in the public sector is too costly.
What a bunch of assbackward savages, right? I mean you think you can just do a couple voodoo dances and you'll be cured of AIDS? For God sakes take the medication, we're trying to help, you bunch of retards.

Fast forward to now, where today we read about a recently uncovered U.S. Government administered study in which medical researchers intentionally infected hundreds of people with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or permission in Guatemala from 1946-1948. This was done with the cooperation of the Guatemalan government, and we're just now apologizing for it because it was just exposed by Professor Susan Reverby while she was researching another study where 399 black men who had syphilis were kept from getting treated in a research project called "untreated syphilis in the male Negro." What??

Yes that's right, from 1932 to 1972, the United States observed seriously ill poor blacks living and dying of syphilis while they took notes on what happened, all the while knowing that a simple dose of penicillin would have immediately cured them.

Researchers never treated the illness over its usually fatal course, even after the simple remedy of penicillin was shown to be an effective syphilis treatment; participants received only free meals and medical exams, together with federal funding of their funeral expenses after they died. The study began in 1932, continuing right through to 1972, when it was exposed in media reports.
Well gee, at least we paid for their funeral expenses, that pretty much evens everything out then.

So just to recap, our United States government monitored hundreds of black American citizens dying of a disease they could easily treat, but instead of treating them, we told them they just had bad blood, and took notes while they died in agony. Then we're over in Guatemala injecting people with gonorrhea and syphilis for a study on what happens when people are infected and go without treatment. So just think about that for a moment, if we're doing this to our own people in America, and we're doing it to people in Guatemala, do you really think we aren't doing the same thing in Africa? Those "idiots" in Africa who refuse to take our medication just might know a lot more about what the U.S. does than us living here in the states know about. What others studies occoured that haven't come to light yet? What will we be apologizing for in 60 years that's happening right now?

I can't stand conspiracy theorists. They annoy the hell out of me. But I'll tell you what, with shit like this coming to light all the time, it's hard not to see why so many people have such distrust for our government. And for people who say "well this happened in the 40s, that was a different time back then". Listen, I believe in evolution, but it doesn't happen that fucking fast. Humans today are the same humans 500 years ago; don't ever fool yourself into thinking we're reaching any sort of enlightenment with society - either culturally or genetically. Unfortunately all the horrible shit that happened in the past is just as likely to happen today as it was then. Societal changes are kind of like fashion trends, they move this way and that way but we'll never say "we're here! we've arrived, this is what we've been working towards!" because it isn't ever going to happen.

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