The Simple Solution to the AIDS Epidemic

The seriousness of the AIDS problem is severe. But people fear to combat this, the world’s most lethal virus, as they should.
From the July 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

Many problems in this world consume mankind’s time, energy and money: bickering over borders, international trade regulations, religious differences, political and ethnic disagreements and, in several cases, outright war.

Of these, one problem has not gone unnoticed, but should produce outcries from every political leader in the world. It should mobilize multiple thousands of officials to take protective measures for all of human societies. The problem is that of hiv (human immunodeficiency virus) infections and aids (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

The most unusual aspect of this problem is the fact that it could have been easily controlled and stopped if world leaders would have simply used some common sense and followed some ancient directions to control it. Seldom has such a serious problem had such a simple solution, and yet our leaders are not brave enough to look the problem in the face and attack this enemy called aids.

What is their cowardice costing us? Just how serious and far reaching is the disease of aids today?

Stunning Statistics

When looking at statistics about aids, it is easy to miss the physical suffering of those infected and to overlook the mental and emotional anguish of the people around them. It is easy to skip past the facts surrounding the infants born hiv-positive and those whose parents die, leaving them as orphans. In other words, the impact of this disease is much deeper than just the number infected. The toll on the lives of the people involved is immense, not to mention aids’ considerable economic impact.

Several agencies (including the National Institutes of Health) placed the number of people living with hiv around 33.6 million at the end of 1999. By the end of 2000 that figure could easily be over 40 million. An estimated 1.2 million of those infected are under age 15, and slightly less than half of all victims are women. In 1999, 2.6 million people died from hiv-related illnesses, including 470,000 under age 15. This brings the estimated total deaths from hiv to 16.3 million men, women and children since the disease was first recognized.

The number of new cases of hiv in 1999 was about 5.6 million, of which 570,000 were people under age 15.

UNaids, the United Nations’ anti-aids agency, estimates that over 9 million children under age 15 have lost their mothers to aids. Of these aids orphans, 90 percent live in sub-Saharan Africa.

There have been many reports about the number of school teachers dying from aids in Africa. But, it seems, no one stops to consider what the students are learning about lifestyle from these teachers.We know for a fact that people who do not participate in premarital sex and who have a monogamous marriage do not get aids (except for very rare situations such as medical or drug-use transmissions).

The loss of the teachers will have a great impact on the growth of these nations, yet if the teachers were setting the proper example for the students, aids deaths among them would be miniscule. God’s rules are clearly spelled out in His word, the Holy Bible, but it is politically incorrect to teach His principles, even though they would prevent so much human suffering and tragedy.

About 80 percent of new hiv cases result from heterosexual transmission. Over 90 percent of children under the age of 15 who have become infected receive it from their mother.

Close to 70 percent of all infected people live in sub-Saharan Africa, while only about 10 percent of the world’s population lives there. The worldwide rate of hiv-infected people is about 1 percent; countries in southern Africa have rates between 8 and 25 percent.

What do these figures really mean? Since the average time from hiv infection to actual symptoms of aids is ten years, we may be seeing the infection rate from ten years ago. What would that mean ten years in the future? The figures could easily increase four-fold.

One sign of the seriousness of the situation is the declaration, by the president of the United States of America, that aids is a national and global threat to security. It is explained that the disease can have a destabilizing effect on countries, especially on developing nations.

The social and economic impact of hiv/aids is astronomical, especially in Africa. CNN reported that the life expectancy in some sub-Saharan countries has dropped from 70 to 39 years, and it is estimated that approximately one quarter of the population of this region is likely to die from aids. As early as 1994, Uganda reported that 10 percent of their railway workers die each year from aids.

According to Dr. Peter Piot, executive director of UNaids, aids causes more death than any other infectious disease. The UN reports that about 25 percent of the people in Zimbabwe and Botswana are hiv infected and will probably develop aids and die.

Too Severe?

People by the millions are dying, and our leaders refuse to apply methods proven throughout history to control the spread of contagious diseases. Instead, they want to talk about “better communication between sex partners” and “safe sex.” As they repeat this useless rhetoric, millions more become infected and will die.

The quarantine laws of the Bible, properly coupled with God’s perspective on sex and marriage, would have brought a quick end to the aids epidemic. Countless people would have been spared the suffering and tragedy they are now experiencing.

The “experts” feel God’s rules are too harsh and cause too much suffering, but that does not make sense. Explain to a child whose parents are dead that it would have been too harsh to quarantine the person who passed hiv to his or her mother. Explain to the infant born hiv-positive that rules preventing his mother from getting aids would have been too severe.

Another problem our leaders have with regard to aids is the acceptance of inappropriate behavior. One prominent author, in an article about aids, uses the sterile phrase “commercial sex workers” for prostitutes—lending dignity and acceptance to this ungodly “profession.”

It is attitudes like his that have prevented health officials from taking a stand for quarantining infected people and protecting the rest of mankind. The unwillingness of our leaders to stand for morals and decency is a main contributing factor in the continued spread of hiv/aids throughout the world. If the people in authority would take a stand for proper human values and a stand against sexual immorality, this disease would be a small problem.

What Is the Cause?

While there has been much speculation about the source of the aids epidemic in man, one recent study conducted by the University of Alabama and others suggests that it came from the killing of chimpanzees for food in central Africa.

These same researchers would scoff at the instruction in the Bible about eating only clean meats (Deut. 14), and yet, if they were correct in their assessment of the origin of aids in mankind, God’s rules for food would have prevented the problem completely.

The World Health Organization/ UNaids report dated December 1999 stated, “There is evidence that safe sexual behavior is being eroded among gay men in some Western countries.” This is pure lunacy. There is no such thing as safe sex between gay men! It is this type of godless thinking that produced the scourge of aids in the first place. And it is simply another example of man trying to do things without God’s input. Mankind relying on the thinking of men is what has produced this terrible epidemic; relying on the thinking of men will only allow it to continue.

Since it is the tradition of man to throw money at a problem rather than to stop the activities which cause the problem, it should come as no surprise that the same thing is happening with hiv/aids. The United Nations has suggested that we need to commit us$2-3 billion per year in a prevention campaign to control the continued spread of the disease. The problem is, their idea of a prevention campaign is to instruct people in the use of condoms and how to clean needles for intravenous drug use, and to encourage more open discussion about health between sex partners.

The simple solution escapes the intellectual mindset completely. That is this: Do not use intravenous drugs, and do not participate in premarital or extramarital sex.

Prevention

God pronounced severe punishment on those who have sex outside of marriage (Deut. 22:20-24). Mankind continues to try to get around God’s rules. hiv and aids prove that God’s rules were given out of love for all people. Following them would result in the elimination of these dreaded diseases.

In an August 1982 Plain Truth magazine article about sexually transmitted diseases (stds), the following statement was made: “Prevention by proper living—both sexually and hygienically—is the only sound way to stop these epidemics ….

“That means premarital, extramarital, homosexual and perverted sex practices—all heinous sins in God’s sight—must be completely avoided by single persons or married couples wanting to keep clear of these diseases as much as possible!” The article went on to say, “The Creator, for now, is letting human beings, for the most part, reap the natural consequences of their own ways of living. But He always intervenes and punishes nations in due time for violation of His laws, given for the well-being of mankind.”

Quarantine laws were recorded in Leviticus 13, where leprosy was discussed. The model was reinvented in the 13th and 14th centuries when leprosy was a problem in northern Europe and England. Since that time, quarantining has been applied to many contagious disease epidemics, with excellent results.

Why, then, have the medical authorities refused to apply quarantining to aids sufferers and those testing positive for hiv? Isn’t it irresponsible to ignore the most basic of health practices? Why are people who carry a deadly and incurable disease allowed to continue spreading it at will?

The answer to this too can be found in the word of God: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7). Today’s political and medical leaders do not fear God. They do not want to recognize the fact that there is a higher authority to which they must answer. These leaders are relying on their own faulty knowledge.

There is a movement to make homosexuality an acceptable practice. Man can accept it if he wants to, but God has declared it a sin (Rom. 1:26-27), and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).

This problem is not new. It existed in the days of Abraham and Lot. You can read about the problem and God’s solution in your own Bible, beginning in Genesis 13:12. You can see that homosexuality was defined as evil by God and dealt with severely. God has not changed His opinion. It is still evil and generates consequences today just as it did then.

Human Logic

Human beings have decided that it is a demonstration of love to tolerate anything that anyone wants to do. That is pure absurdity. How can a loving and compassionate position lead to the preventable death of over 16 million people? What love is there in tolerating the practices that have produced 9 million motherless children? How much love is there in a policy that will lead to the unnecessary death of one quarter of the people in sub-Saharan Africa?

That is human logic. It is not God’s, and it is not correct. True godly love leads to prosperity and life, not poverty, homelessness, orphans, suffering and tragic death.

But we have been warned. It was recorded centuries ago in the word of God, “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:28-30).

Jesus Christ is about to return (that is the meaning of “revealed”), but not until mankind has suffered more than at any time in history (Jer. 30:7). Man will suffer until he has learned the lessons recorded in the Bible. We could learn from the past, but it seems we will not. Instead, we will have to learn through the needless suffering of the hiv/aids epidemic.

The Creator loves all the people infected with hiv. But God hates anyone’s rejection of His laws and His rules for living. They will suffer until all mankind has learned to fear God and keep all of His laws. Until that time, people will continue to try to live life by their own rules and will continue to reap the consequences of that life. hiv/aids is just one of the problems we face today. Soon the very existence of mankind will hang in the balance.

But one day soon we will see the Son revealed, and mankind will finally begin to learn how to live. We will fear God and do all His commandments—and subsequently receive all His blessings. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14).

God our Father will send Jesus Christ to intervene in the misguided affairs of men and cause a great healing (Matt. 24:22). Then we will be able to rejoice together as the diseases of men cease to exist.

There is hope, but not in the leaders of this world. Our only true hope resides in God the Father and Jesus Christ. With them all things are possible.