The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
drafterman
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

Governments must act more decisively to stop the spread of AIDS

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
drafterman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,522 times Debate No: 18736
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (7)
Votes (6)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

When people used to contract a contagious disease for which there is no cure, such as leprosy, they were isolated from the rest of society in order to prevent that disease from spreading. Thankfully, these days, leprosy can be easily treated (1) which is why sufferers are no longer confined to leper colonies.

But what about people with HIV/AIDS? There is still no cure for this fatal disease yet people infected with HIV are allowed to roam the streets without let or hindrance. As a result of the total lack of restrictions on HIV-carriers' movements 25 million people worldwide - including many children - have contracted HIV and died. (2)

Obviously, this uncontrolled spread of AIDS cannot be allowed to continue any longer and HIV-positive people must be rounded up and herded into AIDS colonies without undue delay, but this policy presents two obvious questions:

1 - Where will these colonies be located?
2 - Who will be responsible for running them?

To answer the first question, the colonies should be as secure as possible in order to minimise the inmates' opportunity to escape and the obvious location would be an island surrounded by hostile waters. The US has plenty such islands in Alaska and elsewhere, while the UK has many such islands in the South Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Similarly the French, Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians have isolated islands that can be pressed into service. Other countries will have to look at alternatives such a sealing off mountain valleys or allocating remote stretches of desert to accommodate AIDS colonies.

To answer the second question, traditionally the churches took responsibility for running leper hospices and colonies (3) but now that there is no need for leper colonies the churches have the opportunity to, once again, demonstrate their compassion for the afflicted by picking up the baton and managing and financing the new AIDS colonies.

Of course, the AIDS sufferers themselves may have some objections to my proposal, but let there be no doubt: if the spread of AIDS is allowed to continue unchecked even more people will die. Therefore, it is imperative that governments act decisively to establish AIDS colonies without any further delay.

Thank you.

(1) http://www.who.int...
(2) http://www.globalhealth.org...
(3) http://www.buildinghistory.org...
drafterman

Con

Pro suggests that the appropriate course of action, vis-a-vis HIV/AIDs, is wholesale quarantine, but then just dives right into the practical matters, without actually addressing the matter of whether we should actually quarantine people with HIV/AIDs. Ignoring the irrelevant issues of personal rights, it is clear that we should deliberately allow the spread of HIV/AIDs because of the beneficial side-effects of the disease.

We should acknowledge that this is no longer the '80's. HIV/AIDs is no longer an immediate, life-threatening disease. The median age of death from HIV has increased from 36 in 1987 to 46 in 2007 in an almost strictly linear fashion (1). In comparison, the overall life-expectancy has increased only 2.5 years during roughly the same period of time (75.4 in 1990 to 77.9 in 2007). That trend isn't linear and seems to be leveling off (2). If we extrapolate, we can expect the median age of death from HIV to exceed the overall life-expectancy in little more than 60 years. So while HIV/AIDs may technically still be fatal and incurable, it will nevertheless be treatable to the degree that it doesn't matter.

However, it should be noted that the degree to which HIV/AIDs can be treated depends on access to adequate medical facilities, something that will be lost if we confine them to physically remote location run by ignorant clergymen, especially considering that some of the most religious people consider HIV/AIDs to be a form of divine retribution (3).

Now that we understand that HIV/AIDs is treatable, with progress hard at work at minimizing and almost negating the ill -side effects, we should address the benefits of HIV/AIDs existing.
Cancer is the leading cause of death among children from ages 1 - 14 (4). One third of these is leukemia. A recent development in the treatment for leukemia involves reprogramming the patient's T-cells to recognize and destroy the cancerous blood cells. What's good at invading T-cells? HIV (5).

Given the high level of mutability of HIV, the limits to its potential appear are only our imagination.

In conclusion, we have a treatable disease (HIV) which can be used to cure a worse disease (leukemia) with far greater potential. And Pro wishes to round up the people that have this life saving virus and put them in the hands of people who, on principle, hate them and desire their eternal torment.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov...
[2] http://www.cdc.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

I welcome the opportunity to debate drafterman once again and I thank him for posting such an enlightening argument - it is, indeed, an astounding revelation that poor little kiddies with leukaemia can be cured by injecting them with HIV. This is also great news for AIDS victims, by the way, because if HIV can cure cancer it duly follows that cancer can cure HIV. That is why I further propose that inmates in AIDS colonies should be subjected to very high levels of carcinogenic radiation – there is no absolute guarantee that it will cure them of AIDS, of course, but it has to be worth a try.

Furthermore, because supplies of HIV-infected blood from HIV-carriers in the community cannot be guaranteed, AIDS colonies could be of great benefit to cancer patients because supplies from the colonies would be reliable: the colonies' chaplains (armed with submachine guns for their own protection) could use extraordinary rendition techniques to transfer troublemaking volunteers to off-site clinics where they could be coercively persuaded to donate blood.

Moving on, while it is the case that modern medication can mitigate the effects of AIDS victims and, thus prolong their lives, I disagree with him that it "doesn't matter" if someone becomes infected with HIV. As my opponent conceded, AIDS victims still die young and, furthermore, the medication used is very expensive and has to be paid for by the general public through higher private, state or national health insurance contributions.

Finally, my opponent makes a fleeting reference to the "personal liberties" of HIV-spreaders but fails to mention that most fundamental of all human rights: the right to life. HIV-infected people have caused tens of millions of deaths since the 1980's and will cause millions more unless governments act more decisively to stop the spread of AIDS.

Thank you.
drafterman

Con

"[I]f HIV can cure cancer it duly follows that cancer can cure HIV."

It duly follows? I'd be interested in seeing a more fleshed out demonstration of this. This reasoning would state that "If radiation can cure cancer, then cancer can cure radiation poisoning!"

Reliability of HIV infected blood

Here we have to admit to some sort of trade-off. Agreed that, if you round up all HIV/AIDs victims, you have a readily available supply of blood. But the success of your isolation would be counter-productive to this purpose. Once you've rounded up most HIV/AIDs victims, that supply will become stagnant and will slowly dwindle. So we will have great, unfettered access, but only for a limited time, then not at all.

However, if we allow HIV/AIDs to remain wild, consistent access may be more difficult, but we are guaranteed the existence of the supply. If we are worried about the virus being eradicated through natural means (unlikely) we could institute an injection program where a certain number of kids will be administered injections alongside their normal vaccines.

Cost of Treatment

The medication and treatment of HIV/AIDs is a moot point unless my opponent suggests that his islanders will not be receiving said treatment. If, in both scenarios, victims will be treated, then the cost of said treatment doesn't affect choosing between said scenarios.

"Right" to Life

However many lives HIV/AIDs kill, it doesn't even make the top ten (1). Cancer, however, is #2. Clearly the trade off would be beneficial. A possible objection is that we'd just be swapping cancer for HIV, however the HIV used to treat cancer is altered such that it only attacks the cancer. It is otherwise impotent. However, we need the existence of "real" HIV in order to create the modified HIV.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
I'm surprised to see that drafterman didn't note the fact that AIDS isn't transmitted in a direct medium (air, water, contact, and so on) but through sexual interaction and in breast milk, tears, blood (obviously)...

Leprosy, on the other hand, was viewed as being widely contagious, though we now know that it is not...[according the Mosby's Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Professions, 8th Edition]
Posted by kjw47 5 years ago
kjw47
The only hope left for mankind is Gods kingdom--Th govts of men have done nothing but fail.
Posted by drafterman 5 years ago
drafterman
I'd definitely check out "A Modest Proposal" then.
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
I normally only do two rounds...sadly, I am not well-read and I had to Google Jonathan Swift to find out who he was so I can't honestly say he's any direct influence!
Posted by drafterman 5 years ago
drafterman
Oops. Forgot this was 2 rounds. Left some open-ended statements. Ah well. Was enjoyable. Inspired by Jonathan Swift, perhaps?
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
It's a pleasure to debate you once again drafterman, and from a most interesting angle too!
Posted by drafterman 5 years ago
drafterman
I know you probably don't want to debate the same person over and over again but, after reading this debate, I remembered this (http://xkcd.com...) and couldn't help myself!
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
brian_egglestondraftermanTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: First round was funny!
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
brian_egglestondraftermanTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: One point of conduct to Brian for his amusing update on Swift's A Modest Proposal. Drafterman, as a debater, "duly" ravaged Pro's (intentional?) flawed logic, whether with the colonies (in spite of the fact that other diseases are currently at the forefront of leading causes of deaths) or with Pro's amusing reasoning, "if HIV can cure cancer it duly follows that cancer can cure HIV"...I am sure that Brian wanted to entertain, not convince, the readers.
Vote Placed by Spritle 5 years ago
Spritle
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were slightly convincing. Pro had quite an imagination. All in all a close debate. Fun to read.
Vote Placed by t-man 5 years ago
t-man
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguements were slightly more convincing
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
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Reasons for voting decision: Pretty good debate, but Con just barely takes the lead, as I found his arguments a little more convincing.
Vote Placed by kkjnay 5 years ago
kkjnay
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Two round debate. Con had better arguments. Pro failed to properly address them. However, Con didn't directly address Pro's arguments either. Therefore, Pro gets sources.