something really bad. Whether that is a new strain of gonorrhea, or something far more insidious than AIDS, we don’t know. But we’ll get another mass societal scare.
I’m old enough to remember when AIDS first hit the national scene. It had started out as a virulent illness largely confined to the male homosexual community, intravenous drug users, and those who slept with people in those groups. Early in the game, some hemophiliacs, organ transplant recipients, and others who relied on blood transfusions, were infected via a contaminated blood supply. But by the late 1980s, we turned the tide against that. But not before Ryan White–and tennis great Arthur Ashe–succumbed from tainted transfusions.
Back then, if you tested HIV-positive, it was tantamount to a death sentence. The only drug that had shown any promise was AZT, which was a crapshoot.
Today, HIV/AIDS is still largely restricted to the male homosexual community, intravenous drug users, and those who sleep with people in those groups. If you keep your pants zipped until you get married, eschew intravenous drug use, and neither you nor your spouse enter the marriage with HIV, and you each remain faithful, your chances of getting HIV/AIDS are infinitesimal.
It is the same with any other sexually-transmitted disease. HPV, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, the list goes on.
On the bright side, HIV/AIDS is not necessarily a death sentence anymore. The treatments are more effective; the protease inhibitors developed in the mid-1990s sparked the development of new generations of drugs that are making HIV/AIDS a more containable condition, much like diabetes. While there has been huge talk of a vaccine, I wouldn’t hold my breath: HIV is not like the flu; it is as elusive as the common cold, only deadlier. Development of a vaccine–or even a cure–is probably many years down the road, perhaps decades.
On the downside, HIV/AIDS is merely the devil we know. If science develops a cure for HIV/AIDS–just we developed a cure for most strains of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia–we still will have plenty of devils we don’t know.
The new strain of gonorrhea should be troubling. This is because–due to the misuse of antibiotics–even the development of a cure for these new bacterial strains will be problematic.
And that does not account for the new viruses we will see emerging.
Ultimately, we need to face the reality: the counterculturalists of the 1960s and 1970s were wrong. “Free love” is too expensive.
Before the sexual revolution, a smaller amount of women were engaging in the bulk of the promiscuity, and the female virgins outnumbered the male virgins across the board.
Today, it is the other way around, even though the women have more to lose: their bodies are more receptive to various STDs than the men’s bodies are. (Back in the day, I warned my CPC clients: “You have a greater chance of getting HIV from a man, than a man would have of getting HIV from you if the roles were reversed. And if you get HIV, your life as you know it–is over.” I said that because, back then, HIV was a virtual death sentence.)
The hookup culture has given women carte blanche to engage in sexual behavior that now carries far less societal stigma than it did 30 years ago. The men, sadly, have also taken the Red Pill. If you’re a man and have the audacity and no morals, it’s easy to get laid. If you’re a woman and want to “hook up,” that scene is easier today than it ever has been.
That said, the Law of Sowing and Reaping shall not be up for repeal. And as long as we insist on a society where our moral understanding is not informed by the Christian consensus that served America well–before we absorbed European post-Christian skepticism–we will continue to reap the whirlwind.