Monday, August 25, 2008

Hooker/Hedonist Benjamin Nicholas On The (Now Defunct) HIV Travel Ban

First off, getting into the states as a foreigner isn't always an easy thing. Thanks to a little internet research, it's evident that we don't let a whole lot of people pass through without asking them to jump through some hoops. Hell, the USA discriminates against those who are poor, routinely denying Visas for simply not having the means to get back to where they came from. All of this process is in place to not only keep the USA safe, but to continually stabilize our population with the variety of melting pot culture we're accustomed to. Sure, we're a country founded on immigration, but keep in mind that it was highly controlled and by legal means.

Think about it: Is allowing someone into our country with a debilitating, communicable disease a good thing? Would we put up the same anti-discriminatory argument if it was someone with Bird Flu or Polio? Are we giving HIV a hall-pass because slick pharmacological advertising has brainwashed us into thinking it's now a manageable lifestyle?

Believe what you'd like, but HIV is not manageable. It's not as easy as the ads in the pages of The Advocate would have you believe: One simple pill a day and life is back to normal. That's pie-in-the-sky bullshit and if you think for a second that people aren't still dying on a daily basis thanks to complications from HIV and AIDS, you're as dilluted (sic) as dishwater. A total cure is light years from being found and a vaccine for the existing uninfected is at least 25 years away from realization (or so says the Bill Gates Foundation).

So, with that in front of me, I say keep them out. Why do we need to take even greater risk as Americans, all in the name of 'equality.' This isn't about equality. It's about grandiose, radical-PCism from people who have no real grasp on reality or self-preservation. You might call it cold-hearted, but when push comes to shove, a survivalist mentality isn't a bad thing.

First of all, his entire first paragraph is so clearly based on a decided lack of anything even remotely factual, that it almost negates the entire argument. If he had done even "a little internet research" he would know that in the years 2002-2006 the average yearly number of immigrants entering the US would be close to 2 million people. And this figure does not reflect the latest (2006) estimate of 33.7 million non-immigrant visitors (requiring visas) that passed through our gates. So his insipid comments about how difficult it is to travel or immigrate to the US and how it somehow "keeps us safe" or is part of some cagey and well thought out government plan to "stabilize the population" makes him and everything he says afterward sound idiotic.

Then as if to add insult to idiocy, he goes on to compare HIV, a virus that can not be passed on via casual contact, to Bird Flu and Polio. Aside from the fact that it's an asinine comparison, he's pre-supposing, (I assume) that this is another example of our (suddenly) brilliant border policy, whereby some sort of super secret polio screening has been taking place for the last 40 years, or perhaps there is some kind of Polio/Bird Flu/Hantavirus screening built in to the metal detector at airports. If only it could detect pompous prostitutes with a dubious grasp of the issues, we'd be getting somewhere.

HIV is only communicable if you have unprotected sex with someone carrying an active virus, if you receive their blood, or if you share IV drug needles with him or her. That's it. HIV has nothing to do with attending a medical conference. HIV has nothing to do with visiting the Grand Canyon or taking in a Broadway show. HIV has nothing to do with laying your weary head down on a comfy hotel pillow or enjoying a great meal. HIV has nothing to do with visiting your family and hugging your mom.

The (now struck down) HIV travel ban had nothing whatsoever to do with keeping Americans "safe" and it very much was an issue of equality. It was about the government hating gay sex and using fear to punish those that it deemed less than desirable. There is and there never was anything "risky" about allowing HIV+ human beings (that BN so callously has decided should be "kept out") to enter this country and take a vacation or visit family or see a doctor, or simply suddenly stop walking in the middle of the sidewalk, look up and annoy the fuck out of me as they take yet another picture of the God-dammed Flatiron building.

Whether or not my virus is (in his woefully uninformed opinion) manageable has nothing to do with the travel ban and everything to do with his obvious fear of HIV and his attempt to wrap what amounts to blatant bigotry in an envelope of fear-mongering and anti-gay self-hatred.

Dumb hooker.

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