Seed AIDS video

Seed’s Jacob Klein has a video up from his time at the AIDS conference last week: link. It includes short interviews with Kay and Rick Warren, evangelical Christians and founders of Saddleback Church, the grandaddy of all mega-churches. (Warren is also the author of The Purpose-Driven Life, which I’ve admittedly not read). It’s interesting to hear their views, but as noted in this SF Gate article, there’s still a lot of skepticism about their motivations and methods. (For example, while they discuss treatment and dealing the HIV, they don’t pass out condoms, and their ABC’s emphasize “Big A [abstinence], big B [Be faithful], little c [condoms]. Finally, Warren has also previously been outspoken about his views on homosexuality and how it’s “unnatural,” which leads many who are HIV+ to be (understandably, it seems) wary of Warren’s assistance.

There’s much more in Jacob’s video, including interviews with Tony Fauci, so be sure to check it out (and pass it along to your friends; can’t let the old folks have all the fun.)

Comments

  1. #1 traumatized
    August 25, 2006

    I’m skeptical about motivations too, but the potential here for fighting infectious disease worldwide can’t be dismissed. I think this HIV/AIDS activism rethink by evangelicals is spreading and can be traced back to Bono and Jesse Helms. The people fighting HIV can’t afford to turn down the kind of money and action that can be created in places like Orange County megachurches. Even if their motivations are distasteful.

    I found this blog through Effect Measure which has an agressively atheist bent. Using evangelicals to create public health action is exactly the the kind of option that can be lost if we try to fight the war on disease and the culture war at the same time. We need all the help we can get to fight HIV.

  2. #2 Tara C. Smith
    August 25, 2006

    I tend to agree. Certainly we’ve enlisted evangelicals to work with scientists to promote good science (and fight creationism); I don’t see a reason why we couldn’t do the same with HIV/AIDS. But, while evolution is a hot button topic, HIV/AIDS is even more so, encompassing sex, drug use, homosexuality, and poverty, among others. I think it’s great that evangelicals are interested and willing, but it’s going to be hard for many of them to reconcile what really needs to be done to prevent the disease–such as condoms and frank sexual education–with their religious beliefs. They talk about treatment and aid to those who have HIV/AIDS, which is great, but much more bang is gotten for the buck when prevention is made a key role of these programs as well–and Big A, Big B, Little c simply doesn’t cut it for everyone.

  3. #3 Tend Limes
    August 25, 2006

    Strange bedfellows.

  4. #4 traumatized
    August 25, 2006

    Strange bedfellows indeed.
    Particularly Bono and Helms.

  5. #5 Rob-ot
    August 25, 2006

    Strange bedfellows, or maybe some conservatives actually don’t like people dying.

    I’m not a biological scientist, so I’d like to know, is there any evidence to the position that HIV prevelence is over-estimated in Africa? I don’t know enough of the clinical science to know.

  6. #6 End Times
    August 25, 2006

    The Robot said:

    “maybe some conservatives actually don’t like people dying.”

    No, no. They all deeply enjoy the deaths of others and relish the opportunity to kill more. My wife goes to a Four Square Christian church. I have gone to a couple of services with her. They gleefully report and praise the lord for all new deaths. It’s very scary stuff.

    and… ” is there any evidence to the position that HIV prevelence is over-estimated in Africa?”

    Are you trying to kick off a 600 comment post?

  7. #7 Rob-ot
    August 25, 2006

    Well, I did say SOME. Not Robot, Rob-ot.

    Its pretty clear that AIDS is real. I hate to ref Duesburg, but are there sig. cross-reactivities for the antibody tests? Are people diagnosed and added to the AIDS statistics without diagnostic tests at all?

    I’ll make my bias clear: I’d like more money going to malaria prevention and treatment, even at the cost of some AIDS funding. I do understand that reasonable people can easily disagree.

    But, “playing Notre Dame” what is the best evidence that AIDS is rarer in Africa, and why is it wrong?

  8. #8 End Times
    August 26, 2006

    (not Robot) said:

    “But, “playing Notre Dame” what is the best evidence that AIDS is rarer in Africa, and why is it wrong?”

    “Rarer”? I thought it was supposed to be more common there.

    That said, here are some of the conundrums as I see it. Common sense would lead one to believe that the numbers for Africa are far less perfect than for the U.S. They are almost certainly based on projections from much smaller samplings and who the hell knows how rigorous the statistics are? They are probably based largely on a relatively few areas where HIV turned up. Then you have to ask, how many of these people actually have gone on to develop AIDS? There are so many other health problems in Africa, how much of it is over-lapping? (Yes, they were HIV+, yes they went on to develop an AIDS defining illness, but with malnutrition, poor sanitation, etc. would they have contracted one of these illnesses regardless of HIV? – certainly many do) There is a growing pct. of people here in the U.S. who seems to never go on to AIDS symptoms regardless of treatment protocol. Is that true in Africa? If not, why not? HIV is sexually transmissible, but at such a low rate that it is unlikely to ever cause an epidemic that way. So why was there an epidemic in SOME circles here in the U.S. and not in others and why is it so prevalent (apparently) through sexual transmission in Africa – especially since it seems to be occurring in the very circles that missed it here in the U.S.?

    I’m sure some intelligent researcher here can enlighten on a number of these points (in fact, have already on past threads) but the questions are still out there. More research is clearly in order and it is being done. Others will simply challenge the hypothesis without adding any research. Based on that alone, it’s clear where to put your money, even though there is a lot that still isn’t resolved.

  9. #9 Rob-ot
    August 26, 2006

    I meant rarer than the numbers we see. Like less 5% instead of around 30% of the pop.

    Yeah, though, I’m totally not into halfwits who think HIV is benign. If you started mainlining it, I’d respect the courage of your convictions, though, and you’d get crazy publicity. until then, hold off on the babble.

    Some people don’t get sick but are HIV+. meh, some people are positive for TB and don’t get sick. Is TB pretend too?

    Mainline it baby!

  10. #10 rob-ot
    August 26, 2006

    The “you” up there, I meant a generic you, not End Times you.

    Like I said, it is a technical field, and I would prefer to defer to experts.

    I put my money on mitigating malaria because I think that it is lower hanging fruit. I am not an AIDS denier/rethinker.

    How many HIV+ Americans don’t get symptoms after say, 10 years without treatment? Could it be differences in the virus, not the people? Is it enough to “matter”? or one in thousands?

    How does distribution of HIV square to other STDs? If a pop has more say, syphylis, do they have a higher AIDS rate? That would corroborate sexual transmission.

    I think there are STDs that gay men don’t get, and aren’t spread by IV drug use eg. vaginitis, so we could look at relative rates of those vs AIDS, if they move together, good evidence for heterosexual transmission.

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