The status of AIDS as a global disease has been prevalent since the early 1980s. Initially believed to be a disease that only affected homosexuals, AIDS and HIV have managed to effect every form of lifestyle whether homo- or heterosexual, woman, man or child. President George W. Bush decided to appoint Jerry Thacker, a man who has publicly stated that AIDS is a “gay plague,” to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS.
The appointment of Thacker, an HIV-positive marketing consultant, sends the wrong message to the millions of Americans infected with this disease and is an insensitive move on the part of the Bush administration.
Thacker says he became infected with HIV after having sex with his wife who was infected during a blood transfusion. This fact alone should have corrected his belief that the disease is a “gay plague.” But according to an Associated Press report Thursday, Thacker continues to assert in speeches and on his Web site that homosexuality is a “deathstyle” as opposed to a lifestyle and that “Christ can rescue the homosexual.”
This backward and homophobic thinking is what caused the delay in AIDS research at the beginning of the ’80s. It is a shame that after having come so far, in both treatment and understanding, the Bush administration seems content to set back the progress a few decades by appointing a man who clearly has no tolerance or understanding of the disease.
Late Thursday, Thacker graciously removed his name from consideration, as it should be. While Thacker seems to have more common sense than the Bush administration, the real problem with this issue is that the man was nominated in the first place.
The Bush administration should be more aware of who it is nominating. While the president may currently be concerned with a possible war in the Middle East, he needs to think before making insensitive and idiotic moves that directly effect the constituents who elected him.