On “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, Ron Paul defended comments he made about AIDS patients in his 1987 book Freedom Under Siege. He shouldn’t have had to. The logic is irrefutable.
Raul wrote that people with sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS bear some responsibility for their condition and should not burden others with the cost of their care. “The individual suffering from AIDS certainly is a victim — frequently a victim of his own lifestyle — but this same individual victimizes innocent citizens by forcing them to pay for his care,” he wrote.
In the United States, the AIDS epidemic was caused mostly by homosexual behavior similar to way that venereal diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea are caused by promiscuous heterosexual activity.
“I don’t know how you can change science,” Paul answered. “Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by sexual activity. That’s been known for some 400 or 500 years, how these diseases are spread. If a fault comes with people because of their personal behavior, and in a free society people do dumb things, but it isn’t to be placed as a burden on other people, innocent people. Why should they have to pay for the consequences? That’s a sort of a nationalistic or socialistic attitude.”
(Because the government requires insurance companies to cover self-inflicted diseases, all of our rates go up.)
Have you noticed how historians rightly blame Columbus and his crew for bringing syphilis to Europe? “Apparently, the New World isn’t all that intrepid explorer Christopher Columbus discovered,” a Scientific American article points out. [S]eems we may also have him to thank for spreading the pathogen that causes syphilis — along with news of the Americas — to Europe.”
As much as people wanted to believe that syphilis was transmitted casually (see the film Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet  and the Tractor Story in the 172nd episode of Seinfeld called “The Burning” for this misconception), it was contracted through sexual encounters. That’s why syphilis, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia are called STDs, sexually transmitted diseases. (These diseases can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth.)
Millions of people worldwide have died from AIDS, a self-inflicted and easily preventable disease. While not all of these deaths are related to homosexuality, there are a disproportionate number of homosexual men who have died from AIDS-related diseases when compared to the general population. When in 1981 five young “active homosexuals” were diagnosed with pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), public health workers and physicians believed there might be a connection between homosexuality and the rise of certain diseases that were mostly seen in older populations.
These homosexual-related diseases were at first dubbed “gay-related immune deficiency,” or GRID. When homosexual advocates objected to the GRID acronym, it was changed to “auto-immune deficiency syndrome” (AIDS). Surgeon General C. Everett Koop under Ronald Reagan upset homosexual activists because he linked “gay [sic] sex and the risk of infection through anal sexual intercourse as primary vectors of the disease.” The homosexual lobby has worked long and hard to disassociate homosexual behavior with sexual diseases.
Non-homosexuals have also been affected by AIDs. These infections came by way of those who practiced certain immoral and dangerous behaviors: sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, and intravenous drug use with needles shared with an AIDS carrier.
There were also innocent victims of AIDS. Ryan White (1971–1990) was a hemophiliac who became infected with HIV from a transfusion of contaminated blood. There were others. These are exceptions that prove the rule.
Then there are the general mortality rates of homosexual and bi-sexual men when compared to the general population. “In the U.S., recent research has identified HIV/AIDS as the leading cause of death among men aged 25–44 in the states of New York, New Jersey, California, Florida and Massachusetts, and 64 out of 170 cities having reported at least 25 AIDS-related deaths.”1
A great deal of attention is focused on tobacco-related health costs. Knowing these costs, our government has forced tobacco companies to warn consumers of their products and the inherent dangers of tobacco consumption. Our tax dollars also go into prevention of tobacco use, but there is almost no similar prevention apparatus when it comes to AIDS-related behaviors. “The U.S. government is spending, according to a Congressional Research Services report to Congress, in the range of $20 billion a year for treatment and research, with a small fraction for prevention that, analysts explain, includes testing but largely doesn’t address the behavior itself.”
Ron Paul is absolutely correct: “You don’t have a right to demand that somebody else take care of you because of your habits.”
- Robert S. Hogg, et al., “Modelling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology, 26:3 (1997). [↩]