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Old 11-30-2006   #1
Tom Odom
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Default AIDS as a Security Threat

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But what was once seen as a humanitarian catastrophe is viewed increasingly as a security threat—an important reason behind the $15 billion Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief that President Bush announced in January 2003. A study of 112 countries by Susan Peterson, a political scientist at the College of William and Mary, and Stephen Shellman, a political scientist at the University of Georgia, found that countries with severe AIDS epidemics had correspondingly high levels of human-rights abuse and civil conflict. “Does AIDS make war or civil strife more likely?” asks Peterson. “The answer is yes.”

Even in countries that don’t collapse, AIDS deaths can threaten security in the form of AIDS orphans, who are desperate, disenfranchised, vulnerable to radicalization, and projected to reach 25 million worldwide by 2010. “Where do you think the breeding ground for terrorism will be?” asks General Charles Wald, the former operational head of European Command, which also oversees U.S. military operations in most of Africa. At a recent conference, Wald listed the biggest threats to U.S. security. After terrorism and weapons of mass destruction came AIDS.

High on the list of the Pentagon’s concerns about AIDS is its impact on African militaries; for many, it has become the biggest killer. Young, often far from home, and with cash in their pockets, soldiers who must live under fire cultivate a sense of invulnerability that can kill them when they come back to the barracks. The epidemic accounts for seven out of ten military deaths in South Africa and kills more Ugandan soldiers than any other cause, including a brutal twenty-year insurgency and two wars in Congo. AIDS deaths have reduced Malawi’s forces by 40 percent. Mozambique can’t train police officers fast enough to replace those dying of the disease. “As we fight the enemy, the HIV is also fighting us,” John Amosa, a forty-five-year-old AIDS-afflicted Ugandan sergeant, told me. “We have two front lines.”
More at Containment Strategy

good piece on why AIDs is not simply a health or social problem

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Old 11-30-2006   #2
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Tom,outstanding article and there are wider implications to the whole idea of disease as a national threat. Hospital ER's are seeing cases of disease thought to have been wiped out in the US years ago, the source of which are usually illegal immigrants coming across the border to receive free health care. All this paid for by the US taxpayer, so it is a double hit re-emergence of the disease plus the economic cost (attack)!

Tom, I was getting worried about you again when I read the part about a "dildo" being used as a weapon against disease??
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Old 11-30-2006   #3
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Default That was a training AID

hmmm

ya know my wife watched Broke Back Mountain on Showtime the other night. I did not--I swear--as HBO ran all episodes on Band of Brothers continuously beginning at noon and there was no doubt as to what I would watch.

But from that particular movie, the later recounted a scene where Heath Ledger's character is taken to task by his wife about years of fishing trips with the other cowboy that never produced any fish. The wife told me about this and said, "Next time you go to Oklahoma to deer hunt, you better bring a deer home..."

No pressure there...

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Old 11-30-2006   #4
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The wife told me about this and said, "Next time you go to Oklahoma to deer hunt, you better bring a deer home..."

My nephew just took a nice 8 pointer down near Hugo with his bow.
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Old 12-01-2006   #5
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My nephew just took a nice 8 pointer down near Hugo with his bow.
Our farm is up the toll road from hugo south of Muskogee; so far no joy although I have let spikes and yearlings walk. I watched Bambi's dad at 500 yards chasing does for 2 hours but with a bow I could only watch. One more effort is coming up before the end of the season.

that's why its called hunting--especially with stick and string..

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Old 12-01-2006   #6
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Default AIDS effects

In Kenya, there are 100,000 AIDS orphans that the state cannot support. They become targets for radical islamic HA groups that indoctrinate these individuals, while simultaneously providing for their basic needs. The Saudis continue to pour A LOT of money into Wahabbi schools in east Africa that are full of AIDS orphans.
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Old 12-01-2006   #7
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Default Complex Issue

and it compounds Adam as many of those AIDS orphans were born infected

in the case of Rwanda, the rape of some 250,000 women in the genocide is still killing those survivors and their offspring. I know of several RPA officers who have passed due to AIDS

It is more than a medical problem; it is a social, educational, and security problem. Behavior modification on use of condoms runs full tilt into local mores, compounded by statements/pronouncements against condom use by the Catholic Church and other bodies. USAID is hamstrung in its efforts because condom use has to be sold as disease prevention versus birth control; if the persons involved don't know (or care) if they are infected, they don't care about disease prevention. And venereal diseases of more traditional forms have historically run at 95+ percent in some African countries.

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Old 12-05-2006   #8
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Default Good documentary on cable

There is a pretty good documentary on Showtime on AIDS in Africa looking at the primary, secondary, and tertiary effects of AIDS on the continent. It is not a pleasant view and it will get much worse. The number of AIDS orphans already runs in the millions as a sub-component of the 30 million infected.

I recommend it to this audience.

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Old 03-12-2007   #9
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Default Note of AIDS in RSA

A friend sent me a short note on the subject of AIDS in the Repulblic of South Africa's military. According to a knowledgeable person, the widespread of the disease has made it impossible to to assemble a force of 1600 men who are AIDS free.

There is no way to evaluate the tip but consider the effects on operations, ability to project power, and just sustaining a force under these circumstances.

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Old 03-12-2007   #10
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Default Estonia on the top in Europe for HIV infection

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Estonia continues to register one of the highest HIV infection rates in Europe. The Estonian Health Protection Inspectorate said 109 new cases of HIV infection have been registered already this year. Tragically, among them are two girls aged under four years old. The majority of cases, 38, were registered in Narva, while 35 came from Tallinn and 23 from East Viru county. Most people who were found to have the virus were aged between 20 and 24. In total, Estonia is now home to 5,840 HIV carriers and 139 AIDS patients.
The numbers seem small, but then there's only 1.5 million living here and less than 8,000 in the military!

Last edited by Stan; 03-12-2007 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 03-29-2007   #11
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From the Washington Post:


Uganda's early gains against HIV eroding
Message of fear, fidelity diluted by array of other remedies

By Craig Timberg

Updated: 1:56 a.m. ET March 29, 2007
New generation, new attitude
Even in Uganda, these key ingredients have been lost as a new generation coming of age years after Lutaaya's death indulges in the same reckless behavior that first spread the disease so widely.

"We saw him. We saw him die. We abandoned the girlfriends," said Swizen Kyomuhendo, a social scientist at Makerere, who was an undergraduate when Lutaaya spoke there. "When you look at the university students now, they are not as terrified as we were then."

The percentage of sexually active men with multiple partners has more than doubled in recent years, undoing earlier declines, surveys show. Reports of sexually transmitted diseases among women, another indicator of dangerous behavior, have risen sharply as well.
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Old 05-04-2007   #12
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I recently "defunded" one of the non-profit groups I've contributed to for years. They are currently engaged in supplying and administering AIDS suppression drugs in continental Africa, which I think is a destructive practice. I will, like Babe Ruth "calling his shot", say right now, that suppressing AIDS symptoms and development without changing sexual mores will produce a worse, more virulent AIDS epidemic.

I suspect giving AIDS drugs to a prostitute or to a man who frequents prostitutes so they can live longer and spread more HIV cannot be justified no matter what set of morals and ethics you can name.
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Old 03-05-2008   #13
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Default Africa, AIDS, and Social Mores

Good column this AM from the LA Times by way of the SWJ Editorial round up.

It brings up the social mores issue as part of the puzzle.

Quote:
Africa's AIDS puzzle

The key to combating a disease still killing millions is to take a human approach.
By Jonny Steinberg March 5, 2008

Even though it is hardly fashionable today to regard plagues as God-sent, the African AIDS pandemic is a catastrophe of such massive proportions that we have to struggle not to think about it in a religious way. More than 2 million people are perishing each year; millions more will die if they do not receive treatment. Out of this colossal theft of human beings, we have a great need to tell a story about this epidemic that ends with redemption.

In our secular age, though, the agent of the redemption we conjure is not a god but Science with a capital S. In this case, Science's lodestar is antiretroviral treatment, or ART, which, if made accessible across the continent, has the potential to save millions of lives.

Great redemptive hope has been invested in ART. The distinguished African historian John Iliffe, for instance, has suggested that the drugs will inspire Africans to challenge the dire leadership that has afflicted the continent since independence in the 1960s, thus heralding an era of renewal in African public life. We watch with keen interest as social movements rally around treatment, in the hope that they will elevate African countries to new heights.
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Old 03-18-2009   #14
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Default The Pope, the Church, and AIDS in Africa

I cannot understand how the Pope and the Church continue to hold to dogma when it is destructive. The arrogance in this is stunning, a 21st Century religious equivalent of "let them eat cake."

Tom

Quote:
Pope visits Africa, reaffirms ban on condoms

CNN) -- Pope Benedict XVI refused Wednesday to soften the Vatican's ban on condom use as he arrived in Africa for his first visit to the continent as pope.

He landed in Cameroon, the first stop on a trip that will also take him to Angola.

Sub-Saharan Africa has been hit harder by AIDS and HIV than any other region of the world, according to the United Nations and World Health Organization. There has been fierce debate between those who advocate the use of condoms to help stop the spread of the epidemic and those who oppose it.

The pontiff reiterated the Vatican's policy on condom use as he flew from Rome to Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, CNN Vatican analyst John Allen said.
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Old 03-18-2009   #15
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I'm not a Catholic, but I do not view this as arrogance. I view it as quite the opposite. If one believes that God is sovereign and that something violates His word, then it is arrogant to think that "well, he obviously didn't consider this circumstance - God must have made a mistake." I understand the concern about the current suffering of many and the potential spread of that suffering to others, but if one takes the eternal view, as the Pope apparently does, and views current events in that light, then it is a difference of priorities, not arrogance. Ask him his rationale and I suspect he would say that he would prefer that they suffer from HIV, but go to heaven, rather than use condoms and go to Hell. Again, I'm not a Catholic.
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Old 03-18-2009   #16
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Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
I'm not a Catholic, but I do not view this as arrogance. I view it as quite the opposite. If one believes that God is sovereign and that something violates His word, then it is arrogant to think that "well, he obviously didn't consider this circumstance - God must have made a mistake." I understand the concern about the current suffering of many and the potential spread of that suffering to others, but if one takes the eternal view, as the Pope apparently does, and views current events in that light, then it is a difference of priorities, not arrogance. Ask him his rationale and I suspect he would say that he would prefer that they suffer from HIV, but go to heaven, rather than use condoms and go to Hell. Again, I'm not a Catholic.
Perhaps, but somehow I doubt that God said don't use condoms. Rather the Church did. Eternal views aside, the close view is very different.

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Old 03-18-2009   #17
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Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
Ask him his rationale and I suspect he would say that he would prefer that they suffer from HIV, but go to heaven, rather than use condoms and go to Hell. Again, I'm not a Catholic.
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Perhaps, but somehow I doubt that God said don't use condoms. Rather the Church did. Eternal views aside, the close view is very different.
I'm not sure I even want to think about the theological implications here !
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Old 03-18-2009   #18
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I'm not sure I even want to think about the theological implications here !
No kidding. But I do care about the real effects on the ground. HIV education has been struggle even w/o theology due to cultural parameters. Africa is considered the Catholic Church's best avenue for expansion. This would be one way to self-limit that expansion.

Tom

Last edited by Tom Odom; 03-18-2009 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 03-18-2009   #19
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Hi Tom,

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Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
No kidding. But I do care about the real effects on the ground. HIV education has been struggle even w/o theology due to cultural parameters. Africa is considered the Catholic Church's best avenue for expansion. This would be one way to self-limit that expansion.
I know . The truly nasty thing about it is that a lot of it goes back to Vatican internal politics and the dangers to the established factions of having a strong African church. About 3 years ago, one of my students, who had been doing HIV awareness education in Africa, came up with a really great teaching tool. Do you remember the old game of Life? Well, she used that as the basis, set the game parameters around infection vectors, and produced a really accurate board game simulation to teach kids with. The goal was to live until 60 .
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Last edited by Tom Odom; 03-18-2009 at 12:41 PM. Reason: fixed my typo
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Old 03-18-2009   #20
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I'd actually hazard a guess that the majority of it goes back to internal Church politics. Funny that the Pope can come out so strongly against something like this yet remain relatively silent about the abuse scandals that did so much damage to the Church's reputation in the US.
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