Published by Ignatius Press and available from Plymouth Foundation, P.O. Box 425, Marlborough, NH 03455, $7.70 (postpaid).
I fully expected this book to be reactionary and thus to present a distorted view of the AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) in a manner that supported the author's biases. My expectation was erroneous. The author does have his biases, as well all do, but the book is quite objective for such an emotionally-charged issue.
The book is almost entirely based upon a review of the medical literature with numerous direct quotes. Not only does the author present the expected statistics and possibilities of the spread of AIDS, he presents a sound case for the pathophysiology of the disease and its probable epidemiological development. For example, the vagina is well-designed to prevent infection during intercourse with its multi-layered epithelium and lubricating fluids. The rectum, however, used for intercourse by homosexuals, has only a single lining of cells that readily allows the transmission of infectious agents. It is also easily damaged, making infections even more likely. This fact confirms the greater prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases among homosexuals, as compared to immoral heterosexual activity.
The book is useful for both physicians and laymen for a thorough overview of the AIDS epidemic from its beginning to the present situation. So far, the number of AIDS cases has doubled every year since the disease was recognized. We cannot know whether those numbers will continue, but they are the only statistics thus far available! The projection of those numbers means a possible 15-64 million people infected with the AIDS virus by the end of 1990. Since 20 percent go on to develop the disease (the others remain carriers) over the next 5-10 years, the possible number of cases is awesome.
The danger is not only acquiring the infection from carriers and those with the disease, but an overwhelming of the medical and hospital system and third-part payments by both private insurance and government. With this economic burden and the loss of productivity of those with the disease, even total economic collapse is a possible consequence.
Mr. Antonio goes on to describe how AIDS has been a socially and politically "protected" disease. In the history of mankind no society has intentionally threatened its own destruction by failing to take comprehensive action to prevent the spread of such a plague according to the medical understanding of the times. Further, he describes specific actions that people should take to push the government toward containment of AIDS. In fact, had the recommended public health response been made at the point that AIDS was recognized to be an epidemic, then the incidence of infection and new cases would probably already be on the decline. This limitation of AIDS is still possible with these same measures (for example, immediately close all known gathering places for homosexuals.)
This epidemic is not limited to the United States, but is prevalent throughout the world. So far, those who are faithful to their marriage vows have little to fear. With increasing numbers of cases and the possible mutation of the virus, that safety may not continue. At the present time, however, infection with AIDS is virtually impossible for those faithful to God's design for sexual intimacy, aside from accidental exposure through blood transfusions, needle sticks, etc.
Mr. Antonio has given us the information upon which we can plan for our families and for government action. He has enabled every Christian needs to be aware of the enormous potential impact of this disease.
Copyright © 2003 BMEI, Inc.