TED Conversations

Susan McCurdy

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AIDS can be eliminated by education and enlightened self interest, without the morality issue, which keeps us focused on a strawman.

AIDS in recent times, has been looked on with fear and disdain and with a strong dose of heavenly punishment for bad behavior thrown in. I looked up AIDS in animals on Google. AHA! They get it too. So is heaven punishing a stallion for being the only breeding male in a herd (chuckles from audience)? Or the rooster for being cock of the walk?(outright laughter from audience) As in the journalist's previous talk on malaria and her premise that a better understanding coupled with a higher standard of cleanliness and sanitation has driven out malaria, why can not the same approach apply to AIDS. Take away the condemnation and start examining personal responsibility for each persons own health. As we have, as a society, come to the realization that homosexuality is genetic based, (many societies treat its presence in their members as sometimes sacred but rarely against the gods) we owe it to ourselves to understand, plan and execute a program to deal with it at its source.
Thank you
Susan McCurdy

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    Sep 18 2013: When offering an idea for a conversation on TED, the aim is to provoke thought. My offering this thought was in response to the journalist's conversation regarding a different approach to curing malaria and that perhaps a different approach to curing AIDS could increase the chances. Since offering this thought to TED, and the responses by others, I have gone exploring the current discoveries and research regarding homosexuality and AIDS, which are two different subjects, though related. There are a lot of thoughtful websites online and I include links to these for your edification below. As to who controls your sexual expression.............why ultimately you do, of course. Fascinating as it may be to understand the biological basis of sexual orientation, however, not everyone is convinced it’s a necessary line of investigation. And if you think about it, what difference does it make, eh? That's like saying my family is all musicians and suddenly, there I am! I am a carpenter........shouldn't I be a carpenter because of me and not because my Pop could play a horn and I am beholden to that?
    “The most important thing is to hold on, hold out, for your creative life, for your solitude, for your time to be and do, for your very life.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-Spirit
    http://healthland.time.com/2012/12/13/new-insight-into-the-epigenetic-roots-of-homosexuality/
    http://usnews.com/news/articles/2012/12/11/scients-may-have-finally-unlocked-puzzle-of-why-people-are-gay
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_homosexuality
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/aids/virus/origins.html
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    Sep 27 2013: So there are many STD's... Which can be transmitted in other ways as well.
    Proper hygiene can help prevent a lot of diseases, though it seems insufficient to wipe out those diseases entirely (some get even worse, like the hospital bacteria).
    As a matter of fact, a lot of prevention of STD's has to do with hygiene, like condoms and washing yourself (or shaving to avoid crab louse). Same goes for HIV prevention: clean needles for drug users and condoms for promiscuous sex.

    I think linking AIDS (exclusively?) to homosexuality is at least incomplete (like others mention here as well). What makes you think that such is the case?
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    Sep 16 2013: Did I miss a meeting? When was homosexuality declared to be a genetically determined condition, and who declared it? I thought homosexuality was a free-will choice of a particular set of social and sexual behaviors. Are you telling me a person cannot practice the homosexual lifestyle if they are not genetically suited for it, and that a person must live the homosexual lifestlye if they are genetically suited for it? Oh balderdash!
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    Sep 16 2013: You are right, I was only thinking about the US when I posted . Stephen Covey wrote in great detail about the ability to be effective, describing CIRCLEs of CONCERN and CIRCLEs of INFLUENCE, in his book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". I am aware there is AIDS in Asia and Africa also. But I cannot influence their culture. I believe our culture is becoming more open and showing a willingness to deal with AIDS in a pragmatic way.
    Though I am concerned with the suffering due to AIDS overseas, my best chance to have influence is here. Creating open and thoughtful dialogue combined with more research and education to persuade at risk people to step up and own their behavior and its consequences is a reachable goal. If we in the US and Britain can eliminate malaria, and are pursuing cures for many diseases once thought incurable, perhaps we can have a positive influence on the world to illustrate that it is possible to have a better life. Especially with the internet that allows all the citizens of the world to share knowledge.
    Thanks for commenting.
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    Sep 15 2013: This question narrowly focuses of AIDS of the US, what about the rest of the world?
    Homosexuality is not what courses the spread AIDS in Africa.