The morning-after pill to prevent pregnancy has been around for quite some time. You sleep with someone and “oops” the condom breaks. No problem. Take the morning-after pill, and no little embryonic worries. It’s a great invention, particularly for women who have been raped, as its defenders are quick to point out. Its attackers tend to think that it will cause everyone to run around willy-nilly having condom-less sex with everyone, because they can take the “oops” pill and have no worries. But most people won’t do that. Because of AIDS. Why worry about something like pregnancy when you can worry about dying, I always say. 🙂
But now researchers have been releasing their findings on a new morning-after pill that could be used to prevent AIDS. The findings are pretty encouraging. San Francisco has been testing this for years on non-health care workers (I assume that means people who had high-risk sex rather than those stuck with a needle), according to the story, and not one person has contracted AIDS. That sounds pretty good. Apparently it has also worked on monkeys and a high percentage of health-care workers.
If something like this really works and becomes publicly available, we may finally be able to say goodbye to the AIDS epidemic. Think about it. Living in a world where death is no longer the possible consequence for having sex. That’s one hell of a motivator.
Of course, you just know the morality police will have a field day with this. Imagining worlds where people run about having sex with whomever they want without the fear of dire consequences. And to a degree, they might be right. The sexual conservatism that exists today is a far cry from the free-wheeling sixties and seventies. And that has a lot to do with the advent of AIDS. It changed the sexual landscape in a very major way by introducing new, frightening, and potentially death-threatening consequences. If those consequences (coupled with things like the morning-after birth control pill) are removed, how will it change sexual culture?
Yes, yes, there’s still syphillis and herpes and other nasties to worry about, you don’t have to remind me. But, these diseases existed in the sixties and seventies and you didn’t see that making a huge impact on the sexual safety choices of a generation. And with the medical advances in treatments for those STD’s since that time, I tend to think they won’t work as much of a motivator.
And let’s face it, the idea of rubberless sex is kind of appealing. I hate condoms, and my, don’t they taste nasty.
I also ran across a really well-written article on Salon that talks about how Internet censorship actually affects kids. Written by a highschool student, he talks not about how he can’t access his favourite porn sites, but how it stops him from doing real learning and real research on the school’s computers. This is the net effect of all the hype and lawmaking on obscenity and the Internet (particularly gaining strength thanks to the Bush administration). It’s really sad, and I hope more stories like this reach the ears of those who can make a difference.