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"Aids is God's punishment for Homos" A school teacher
Jun 3, 2006

Can you believe that???????????????????????? One of the teachers at a religius school some of my friends attend told them that. I am trying to get them to boycott class until the teacher apologises for those words. Another problem with this school is that they claim condoms do not work as justification for no sex education. They say there is no such thing as safe sex and that abstience is the only way to stop the spread of STDs and pregnancy. Anyway, my question concerns the immune system as I have a bit of an interest in it.If the immune system is revved up when one acquires hiv initially, wouldn't that also boost the immune systems response to allergence. I.e wouldn't there be alot of sneezing in response to stuff such as say, dust mites, which might not normally produce sneezing or a response, as someones immune system is so revved up when it reacts to these substances it is like this person has an allergy. I.e, because the immune system is boosted it reacts in the same way it would if someone was allergic to dust mites. Is this correct?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Yes, unfortunately I can believe it. And what's really even more distressing is that some of those kids attending that school will wind up believing what they were taught. So, since Sister Missionary Position told them condoms don't work, why should they bother using them, right? The result of these misguided abstinence-only sex education programs is not more rosy-cheeked virgins, but rather more unwanted pregnancies, more STDs and, tragically, more HIV, all of which could have been prevented by teaching the truth. It's unfortunate that these religious schools are willing to ignore science and even promote hate all in the name of God. I tend to think the higher powers won't be very happy with them come judgment day! Tragically, their feeble and woefully misguided attempts at saving souls remains more important to them than actually saving lives. I applaud your efforts to inform your friends of the truth. Advise them of this Web site. Talk to as many parents and community leaders as you can. Write a letter to the religious school's principal condemning the "AIDS is God's Punishment for Homos" comment and send a copy of the letter to your local newspaper and AIDS service organizations. Suggest the teacher be dismissed for his/her outrageous comments.

Turning now to your specific question, the immune system is a remarkably complex mechanism. Allergy is just one small aspect of the immune response. Allergy involves an immunological overreaction to a particular substance which generally doesn't cause problems for most folks for instance peanuts, beestings, penicillin or dust mites. These types of immunologic overreactions are very specific. In other words, someone might be highly allergic to beestings, but not bothered at all by penicillin or grass pollen, etc. HIV does rev up the immune system somewhat in early infection. But this is very nonspecific. That's why the 40 million of us who are HIV positive are sneezing, wheezing and scratching all day long.

Hope that helps clarify things for you.

Dr. Bob



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