Tags: Rome, Roman Empire, Babylon, AIDS, HIV, HIV positive, Joycelyn Elders, condoms, Bill Clinton, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, abstinence, Family Research Council, International Conference on AIDS, World Health Organization, penicillin, microbes, overprescription of antibiotics, bacteria, Streptococcus pneumoniae, super bugs, antibiotics, Enterococcus faecium, Staphyloccus aureus, Joshua Lederberg, bubonic plague, depression, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health
The sixth angel blew his trumpet, and
I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to
the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound in the
The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. The power of the horses was in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury. (Rev 9:13-19 niv)
The people of
* * *
So this is how it is in
Primarily AIDS was transmitted though sinful activities; promiscuous sexual activity, homosexuality and drug needles. Though the government was insisting that transmission of the disease came from only these limited circumstances, there was no telling where you could pick it up. It might attack you in the dentist office. That is what Kimberly Bergalis discovered as she died at the age of 23, infected by her dentist, Dr. David Acer. He had already infected six of his patients in what was called "one of the most disturbing unsolved mysteries in the annals of medicine." Some wondered if it was in fact murder.
Dr. Stanley Turetzky, who practiced in
But what many were beginning to think is that legislature must be written to restrict the ability of health-care workers to practice medicine. The crisis got the nation raging in fear.
World health officials had reported that
about 12 million men, women and children throughout the world were infected with the AIDS
virus by the beginning of 1993. In the
The complication of AIDS was the root
cause of an increased spread of tuberculosis by 1.5 in the
AIDS in fact, by June of 1993, surpassed
accidents, cancer, and heart disease as the leading killer of young adults in the nation's
cities. The findings of Dr. Richard Selik and colleagues at the National Centers for
Disease Control in
But the biggest jumps in new AIDS cases for the first time in the epidemic in 1992 were women who were infected more through sex than drugs. "It's a continuing evolution of the epidemic," said Dr. John Ward, the CDC's chief of AIDS surveillance. "They need to know their sex partners, and they need to know the drug and sex practices of that partner so they can. . . make a more informed decision about whether to have sex with that person."
Our women are the ones who just decades ago were hallmarked for their chastity. Now we were warning them just to be "careful." However, the way things are going, it is doubtful that any sex will be safe in the near future.
In April of 1993 it was reported that the number of Americans with AIDS had increased at a surprising rate when more than 35,000 new cases were reported during the first three months. This increase by 21% doubled the rate for the same period in the previous year, according to DR. John Ward, chief of the AIDS Surveillance for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was "higher than we expected. Some of that 21% is a sign that the AIDS epidemic is continuing to grow." The majority of these people were from the ages of 25-44, the group that made up most of the nation's workforce.
Not only was the disease targeting the
working class, it was leaving children without parents. On
"These numbers will just keep growing," assured the reports chief author, David Michaels." Most of these affected people, the authors agreed, would be from poor and black communities least equipped to care for them. "Unless increased attention and resources are devoted to this vulnerable population," they wrote, "a social catastrophe is unavoidable." So, once again the government was called to come to the rescue of a people who would not initiate moral accountability in their lives, and you know who would be called upon to fit the bill.
But the question remains that, given the nature of this particular disease and the moral condition of our society, would a cure be discovered in time to avoid a national disaster? It is true that scientists knew more about HIV than about any other virus in history. It didn't seem to be enough, as it was becoming more-and-more evident to researchers just how insidious the virus that causes AIDS really is.
"Despite the high-powered arsenal
of contemporary biology, there is nothing on the horizon remotely resembling a cure for
AIDS," reported the Journal of the American Association for the Advancement of
"This disease has been trying to tell us for a long time that it's complex," commented Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the lead agency in the U. S. Government's war on AIDS.
There was the hope that the drug AZT would provide some answers for the problem. But early in 1993, a large European study cast doubt on the idea that this drug had any effect upon those who had the virus with no symptoms of the disease. This study of 1,749 volunteers discovered that those patients who got AZT were just as likely to succumb to the disease or die as those who had received a placebo.
Nick Partridge, director of the Terrence
Higgins Trust in
Leave it up to the American bureaucracy
to come up with a solution. "Let's just spend money on it," they reasoned. So,
And what did the one whom the president
so overwhelmingly endorsed have in mind? It was announced on
The Knight-Ridder News Service reported, "The federal government is planning a dramatic -- and controversial -- shift in its attack against teenage pregnancy and the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents.
"The Clinton administration plans to revise the 12-year-old Republican message of 'Just Say No' to premarital sex by placing greater emphasis on birth control and disease prevention, in effect adding a new line, 'But if you say 'yes,' be sure to use a condom.
"For the past several months, the Department of Health and Human Services has been developing a proposal that could funnel millions of dollars (perhaps as much as $7 billion) into comprehensive health services for the nation's 35 million 10- to 9- year-olds.
"The plan would provide more money for sex education, birth control counseling, health care contraceptives at clinics in or near public schools, said HHS officials who described it on the condition that they not be identified.
"'It's a huge change,' said Lisa
Kaeser, a policy expert for the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a leading reproductive health
research group in
"A major force behind the change
and the official who likely will champion the new approach is Dr. Joyce Elders, an
Indeed, the government wanted to solve the AIDS crisis by putting a condom in every pocket. This, of course, could only be message of false hope. The condom is a poor contraceptive at best, and a worse deterrent to disease. Truly, it is not unlike the government to propose a solution that encourages the very activity responsible for the dilemma!
In spite of the impotence of condoms in
relation to stemming the spread of AIDS, apparently the initial efforts of Elders and crew
to propagate sex in
"That ought to give pause to those who believe that handing out condoms in schools will stem unwed pregnancies." It ought to also declare how fruitless the effort to pass out condoms in schools is in the battle against AIDS.
It appears there were some of our young
who were not allowing themselves to be the governments' patsies, nor did they want to risk
their lives for the sake of promoting the immoral agenda of the liberals. On
It appeared at the time that the
"just say no" message was working. It was the only real solution to a plague
that had in its very inception a cause that generates from sexual immorality. But if
The despair of the situation was so
rampant that President Clinton asserted on
Would a cure be found in spite of the
millions and billions of dollars the government was sure to pump into the project? Not if
One featured Dwayne, a gay man who cheerily insisted, "If I'm going to have sex it's going to be protected. . . I'm HIV negative, and I intend to stay that way."
Another showed Vivian unabashedly buying condoms to say, "If you have a condom and you partner doesn't, you just say, 'Here, put this on.'"
"Nobody ever knows I have AIDS unless I tell them," proclaimed Carol.
A woman named Lynn C. admitted that her steady boyfriend "never used a condom" even though he knew he had AIDS. "I never thought it could happen to me," she admitted.
"Secondary virginity is what I practice," revealed Tami. "The next time I have sex will be when I get married."
The Family Research Council branded all the spots except the abstinence one. Gracie Hsu declared that others "begin with the flawed premise that there is nothing wrong or harmful about teenagers having sex as long as they use a condom." She asserted that the government should not "give its imprimatur for teens to have sex."
It was incredible the risks that liberal
"We never thought there would be
another generation of thalidomiders," lamented Canadian Randy
According to J. David Erickson of the Centers for Disease Control and prevention this reintroduction of thalidomide could expose as many as 500 pregnancies a year. He concluded, "If thalidomide is allowed on the market, there will be failures."
The ethical problems involved with the research were vast. Maria Michejda, one of the researchers, declared that there was a possibility of creating the potential for "fetal farming," when a woman gets pregnant so that she could sell the fetus for bone marrow. "When women conceive and abort at the optimal time to get tissue, this is a very dangerous situation." However in light of the profusion of abortions already in the country, such an unthinkable act laid right on the horizon.
The AIDS dilemma was beginning to take on a new ominous presence in the country. Nonetheless, the president remained optimistic. He determined that he could end the AIDS problem by issuing a directive. Hence, on May 19, 1997 President Clinton set a deadline for an AIDS vaccine before 2007. "If the 21st century is to be the center of biology, let's make an AIDS vaccine its first great triumph," he declared.
In spite of humanism's great hope that its proponents could continue to dodge the AIDS bullet, there was little-or-no progress in tracking the disease down. This was rather frightening in light of the fact that on November 26, 1997 it was declared that the AIDS epidemic was worse than originally thought. A U.N. agency reported that more than 30 million people worldwide had been infected with the deadly disease. About 16,000 were infected daily, and one in every 100 sexually active adults under the age 49 worldwide had HIV. "The main message of our report," Peter Piot, director of UNAIDS, divulged, "is the AIDS epidemic is far from over. In fact, it's far worse." The report revealed that if the current trend held, those infected with the virus "will soar to 40 million" by the year 2000. So much for the sexual revolution.
AIDS came to us from deep within the hot
fertile jungles in
What is particularly frightening about this virus is that it carries an enzyme called reverse transcriptase that allows it to copy itself right into the inner machinery of a living cell -- the DNA. Once this occurs, the virus becomes so immersed in the human cell that it cannot be destroyed without the destruction of the entire cell itself.
"We're matching wits, but ours have not been good enough so far to beat AIDS," mourned Lederberg. "It's the structure of evolution, the survival of the fittest, and in this war the ones that grow the fastest are proving the most fit."
At the 10th International Conference on AIDS during the summer of 1994, Dr. Peter Pilot stood up to warn of the "naive optimism" on the part of science which contended that the epidemic could be controlled any time soon. In light of the fact that 17 million were infected with HIV worldwide, the doctor noted that efforts to create drugs to treat AIDS and vaccines to prevent it had largely failed.
"After an era of naive optimism about what science and technology can achieve overnight, and after a period of equally unfounded pessimism, it is time for this conference to be one of realism," this president of the International AIDS Society spoke. He proclaimed that the world ought to face up to the fact that AIDS is no longer an outbreak. Rather it has become entrenched and "will be an integral part of the human condition for a very long time to come.
Therefore, the conclusion of researchers by April of 2001 was that an AIDS cure just was not in the cards. The new drug cocktails, though they were amazing in their results, could not get rid of the virus. It was admitted that even if all signs of the virus disappeared in a treated patient, HIV would be lurking somewhere.
This lack of success was in spite of the fact that researchers knew so much about how AIDS worked. For they knew that HIV latched onto human blood cells, oozing inside and killing them. But they also realized that HIV would burro in for the long haul in an infected patient. The virus lies silent inside cells that are programmed to do nothing but sit and wait. These memory T cells only job was to store a record of the germs they encounter, keeping the body prepared for the next time it sees the germs. These cells are literally the immune systems memory, so they must survive for a long time. This is what helps the body fight a disease that has already attacked the body.
HIV lies inside these sleeping cells,
dormant but dangerous. This means that HIV infection will last a lifetime because it is
hidden in the everlasting cells that are suppose to protect the body from disease.
Therefore, HIV infection will last for the entire life span of the infected individual.
This latently infected reservoir was the single biggest obstacle to getting rid of AIDS.
According to Dr. Robert Siliciano of
. . .What HIV has done is tap into the most fundamental aspect of the immune system, and that is its immunological memory. Its the perfect mechanism for the virus to ensure its survival.
Therefore, science began to give up on a cure in order to aim for a goal that was less ambitious. Since it was believed that HIV eradication was unlikely, most scientists contended that the next best thing would be to train the body to control the virus in order to help patients live with the disease.
Indeed, scientist had developed a
multitude of AIDS drugs to treat the disease symptoms, lifting up hopes that it would be
finally of no consequence in the human experience. However, on
We could be right back where we were in 1984, when the virus was unstoppable, warned Larry Kessler, executive director of the AIDS Action Committee of Boston. This is something that we really have been worrying about, dreading.
* * *
The problem of disease is not limited to the AIDS front. When one considers all of the venues where disease is getting out of control, the possibility of plague that lies in the horizon of mankind is virtually unnerving! "We have reached the stage in evolution where we have no other competitors except microbes -- bacteria and viruses," revealed Dr. Joshua Lederberg, a research geneticist and Nobel Prize winner. "We think of ourselves as being at the top of the food chain, but these tiny bugs are predators on us. The competition is fierce and there is no guarantee we will be the survivors."
"Modern medicine truly began with
the discovery of penicillin," instructed Dr. Joyce Johnson, infectious disease
But the overprescription of antibiotics
has created serious problems. Now, many physicians in the
For example, the germ that most commonly causes pneumonia and ear infections in children -- Streptococcus pneumoniae -- has become resistant 50 percent of the time to typical antibiotics. The problem has become so serious that many experts now believe a major medical disaster is on the horizon.
"We are entering a post-antibiotic era, where our children will be defenseless against the same diseases that our great-grandparents were unless prevention is done now," warned Dr. Mitchell Cohen, director of the division of bacterial disease at the Centers for Disease Control.
"I've been trying to sensitize people for 25 years now to the evolutionary skill of these germs," added Lederberg. "I work in the lab and see in an overnight experiment how they undergo massive changes.
"But the attitudes of complacency have made it very hard to get people to listen. It's like telling them an earthquake will happen -- no one cares until their house tumbles down."
While demonstrating that drug-resistant strains of bacteria were becoming more-and-more proliferate as the germs genetically changed, Cohen contended, "The problem can become very serious. We already have some untreatable infections and some bacterial strains are just on antibiotic away from being untreatable."
As a result of the concern, it was
The relatively-harmless form of bacteria called Enterococcus faecium had become resistant to all antibiotics. But far more threatening was the common hospital-spread germ called Staphyloccus aureus. This bug caused infections after surgery and also caused pneumonia and bloodstream infections. This staph germ was many times fatal unless killed with drugs. The only medicine that would control it was vancomycin. If that drug became ineffective the number of hospital deaths would become astronomical.
"The worst fear we have has not
happened yet, but there is no guarantee it won't," explained Dr. Clyde Thornsberry,
director of MRL pharmaceutical Services in
The spread of "super bugs" became the number one topic among 12,000 infectious-disease experts and the Interscinece Conference on Antimicrbial Agents and Chemotherapy held in September 1995. "We really are running out of therapeutic options for common diseases," revealed Dr. Michael Scheld, the conference's program chairman.
With the world becoming smaller due to the mobility of people, airplane travel, and changing agricultural practices, previous unknown germs enter the human population and multiply.
"I call it the Future Shock of the germ world," described Stephen Morse, a colleague of Lederberg. "We are making ecological changes in a far greater scope and number than ever before. We're cutting down rain forests, building roads, climbing every mountain. And as a result, we're coming into contact with viruses and disease that we never did before, that we have no immunity to and no cure for."
The development of antibiotics had once prompted doctors to predict that infectious diseases would be conquered by the late twentieth-century. But Lederberg lead the new cry as he testified, "We have the rumble of volcanoes that are going to erupt. We don't know if the eruption will be tomorrow or. . . in 30 years, but the scene is set for any number of outbreaks."
* * *
The bubonic plague wiped out a fourth of
In 1918-1919, influenza wiped out 25 million people worldwide. According to Morse's book Emerging Viruses, this created more devastation to humanity than any other single event. What lies on the horizon for mankind might well dwarf anything he has yet seen.
In March of '94, the
"We dropped our guard,"
admitted Dr. Richard Thorsen, director of infectious disease control at the
"Otherwise, we will have a medical disaster on our hands."
The problem had become so bad in
It was a situation that was devastating the East Coast. In Washington D. C., more than 40 percent of the new TB cases demonstrated resistance to standard treatments. The disease had mutated into its new deadly and evasive form.
In the middle of May, 1995, the world
became aware of a virus that was re-emerging in
The last time the virus had been
detected was in 1967 and 1976. But by May 16, the deadly virus was looming over the
However, changes in worldwide agricultural practices and the intrusion of cities and roads into underdeveloped areas were making it increasingly difficult to contain the spread of disastrous diseases. Joshua Lederberg, a research geneticist and Nobel Prize winner commented that the world is now a global community.
So once again his warning is worth consideration: "We think of ourselves as being on the top of the food chain, but these tiny bugs are predators on us. The competition is fierce and there is no guarantee we will be the survivors."
The war on cancer began in 1971. In
spite of the utopian optimism that existed at the time and the latter expenditure of
thirty billion dollars by 1996 one third of Americans were getting cancer and a third were
dying from it. "Promises were made that could not be kept," revealed Richard
Klausner, director of the National Cancer Institute on
At the end of 1993, it was reported that
the annual cost of depression in
"What's striking is that the costs of depression are comparable to those for other major diseases," said Paul Greenburg, a health economist at the Analysis Group.
Dr. Frederick Goodwin, director of the National Institute of Mental Health affirmed that among major diseases, depression ranked second only to coronary heart disease. "Major depression is far more disabling than many medical disorders, including chronic lung disease, arthritis and diabetes," he related. "Depression tends to strike people in the most productive phase of life, and the most productive people."
Well, with the threat of devastation on the horizon as it is, if I did not have the True and Living God to trust in, I think I would be pretty depressed too!
It said to the sixth angel who had
the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river
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is a graduate of the prestigious music department at CSULB where he studied under Frank
Pooler, lyricist of Merry Christmas Darling, and sang in Poolers world renown
University Choir alongside Karen and Richard Carpenter. During this time Don was also the
lead composer of the band, Clovis Putney, that won the celebrated Hollywood Battle of the
Bands. After giving his life to God, Don began attending Calvary Chapel,
Eventually Don served as a pastor at Calvary Chapel Bakersfield to witness thousands of salvations through that ministry. As the music/concert director, Don worked for seven years with most major Christian artist of that time while producing evangelical concerts attended by thousands of young people seeking after God. Dons Calvary Chapel Praise Choir released the album Let All Who Hath Breath Praise the Lord on the Maranatha! label.
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