Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Politics First. People Second.

Outrageous. Bill Frist, this column's favorite kitten killer-cum-Senator, puts religious dogma ahead of our children's health on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. (Video here)

Recall how we learned last week that the abstinence-only classes were teaching kids all sorts of nonsense like AIDS can be transmitted through sweat and that a woman can only be happy if her husband is happy? Well, read what Senator Vivisection has to say on the matter. Courtesy of LiberalOasis:

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of programs [said] "the actual ability of condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS, even if the product is intact, is not definitively known."

Another: "The popular claim that condoms help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases is not supported by the data."

A third...suggested that tears and sweat could transmit HIV and AIDS.

Now you're a doctor. Do you believe that tears and sweat can transmit HIV?

FRIST: I don't know. I can tell you --

STEPHANOPOULOS: You don’t know?

FRIST: I can tell you things like, like --

STEPHANOPOULOS: Wait. Let me stop you there. You don't know that, you believe that tears and sweat might be able to transmit AIDS?

FRIST: Yeah, no, I can tell you that HIV is not very transmissible as an element, like compared to smallpox, compared to the flu, it's not.

But, the first line -- because I think it's dangerous to show that, and then sort of walk away...

...About condoms for example, we know there's about a 15 percent failure rate.

You know, this is a deadly virus. And you know it is directly transmissible, with a relatively high degree of infectivity by sexual relations.

If there's a 15 percent failure rate in condoms, itself --


STEPHANOPOULOS: ...Let me just clear this up though, do you or do you not believe that tears and sweat can transmit HIV?

FRIST: It would be very hard...for tears and sweat to -- I mean, you can get virus in tears and sweat.

But in terms of the degree of infecting somebody, it would be very hard.

Senator, you're a fucking doctor! A DOCTOR! How on earth do you sleep at night after going on television and hemming and hawing about a health issue, trying not to contradict the religious zealots who pay for your campaigns?

If you're curious what doctors who actually want to help people have to say on the subject of AIDS transmission, you can find it at The Centers for Disease Control. And the 15% failure rate statistic that the Jesus-freaks like to regurgitate? That's only when taking human error into account. Hmmn... what could we do to get that error rate lower? If only we could create some sort of a class to, I don't know, maybe teach kids how to use condoms properly...

Shame on you, Senator. Shame on you.

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