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Viral Politics, or How They'll Spin You Into Sin!

By Dave R.

May 31, 2012

Internet links shown in these posts are designed to provide more detailed information if required.

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Poorer regions of the world have never been given so much money and support to combat the spread of HIV as during the last ten years, yet despite massive financial back-up for health initiatives, HIV prevalence and rates of infection are increasing in those areas and not shrinking! As a result, while the epidemic is weaker in terms of global statistics; it is expanding and intensifying in specific areas.

Whilst natural disasters and conflicts obviously play a part, there's clearly something seriously inhibiting aid distribution and implementation systems. Why there isn't worldwide outrage and urgent investigation is baffling. Are hundreds of thousands of HIV victims in certain areas being seen as 'collateral damage' until the virus dies a natural death? Where's all the money going and why isn't it achieving results? The following link follows up on the relevant issues far better than I can.

More Information: HIV/AIDS: Global Trends, Global Funds and Delivery Bottlenecks

Unfortunately, it's an enormously complex issue and the worst affected areas are still the poorest. The combined effects of poverty, disease, famine, cultural isolation and economic or political instability, are creating domino effects which prevent the creation of durable health infrastructures. The problem is getting worse as a result. Even so, even in the dark days of colonialism, the most powerful countries in the world never interfered in the affairs of other countries as much as they do now. So why haven't the global powers been able to exert enough pressure on governments and give the right sort of support, to create self-sufficient health systems which can control the spread of HIV?

My theory is that the answer lies in global politics. Where there's a will, there's a way and if the world pulled together the problem (if not the disease) could be solved in no time. The real problem is that conflicting interests mean that there's just not enough will and despite the millions poured into combating HIV, the disease is still revealing alarming spikes. The world should be shocked but unfortunately it isn't ... HIV is almost yesterday's news!

I've always suspected that in general, politicians and religious leaders are the most powerful enemies of people with HIV. The former can be unpredictable, can be changed every few years and can sell their grandmothers to gain votes. The latter are so steeped in their own sense of tradition and belief in their own doctrine, that progressive or creative dialogue becomes very difficult. After all, when you can fall back on the word of God, who needs a debate!

I realise that I'm treading on thin ice here. Both religion and politics are such sensitive subjects that people can quickly become angry if one group or the other is being seen to be demonised. I am speaking simplistically and I am using generalisations; in a blog article how could I otherwise? I'm not a theologian or a political scientist, but as someone with HIV, I do fear for the future.

It doesn't really matter what political colour you are, in the modern world, first and foremost you have to deal with a society based on money and balance sheets. Love for your fellow man becomes relevant only if you have the time and the finance. By definition, in virtually every country across the world, both leaders of society and leaders of faith, try to hold onto the influence and the power they have to change or maintain laws both secular and religious. Whatever decisions they make will be dependent on what they perceive will gain them votes. This is not a sign of amorality; it's just the nature of the beast. New politicians with a social or liberal vision tend to have the edges of their enthusiasm quickly rubbed off by reality and in the end the political colour spectrum becomes mainly shades of grey. Little wonder that many a voter is more and more attracted to the fringes of political thought and extremism.

People living with HIV are therefore dependent for their security, peace of mind and medical treatment on the games that their leaders are going to play. It only needs a slight change of public opinion, or a few ciphers on the National Debt to switch tolerance and sympathy to fear and repression. Those public opinion mood swings can be manipulated or responded to, according to the ambitions of what is actually a relatively small number of power brokers. For that reason, people with HIV always have to look over their shoulders to see how the next political decision is going to affect their lives.

More Information: Richard Grenell Hounded From Romney Campaign by Anti-Gay Conservatives

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See Also
More on Interfaith Responses to HIV/AIDS

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HIV, Neuropathy and More: Avoiding Becoming a Nervous Wreck

Dave R.

Dave R.

English but living since 1986 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. HIV+ since 2004 and a neuropathy patient since 2007. I've seen quite a bit, done quite a bit and bought quite a few t-shirts if you know what I mean; but all that baggage makes me what I am today: a better person I believe, despite it all.

Arriving on, originally, was the end result of getting neuropathy as a side effect of the medication, or the virus, or both. I found it such a vague disease and discovered very little information that wasn't commercially tinged, or scientifically impenetrable, so I decided to create a daily Blog and a website where practical information, hints, tips and experiences for patients could be gathered together in one place.

However, I was also given the chance to write about other aspects of living with HIV and have now contributed more articles about those than about neuropathy. That said, neuropathy remains my 'core subject' although one which unfortunately dominates both my life and that of many other HIV-positive people.

I'm not a doctor or qualified medical expert, just someone with neuropathy and HIV who has spent the last few years researching the illness and trying to create information sources for people who want to know more.

I also have my own personal website and write for

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