This past Saturday evening I was glad to have the opportunity to just chill at home. The TV in the living room was tuned to CNN and I ended up watching Planet in Peril with Anderson Cooper and Sanjay Gupta. It was interesting at first, but then, I found myself getting angry. Here's what happened...
They followed men hunting for bushmeat in Cameroon and Central African Republic. The men were trying to find meat to bring back to those cooking at home. I guess they were going further and further into the bush because of food shortages. The reporters were traveling with a man who studies zoonotic diseases, diseases that can jump from animals to people. The man said that he was concerned about the meat that the men were capturing, saying that some of the species of monkeys carried certain viruses that could be deadly for humans. They also showed a market where the meat was sold, and showed what a big-seller it was.
I didn't have any problem with any of this. They were merely showing people trying to survive: hunting for food; cooking it; selling it. It's the next section that got to me.
They started talking about AIDS, saying that it's an example of a zoonotic disease that jumped from monkeys to people. They said the disease probably started when someone who came into contact with bushmeat had their blood mix with the blood of a monkey, maybe while butchering the animal in Africa somewhere............I was like WHAT?!?! As far as I know, AIDS is still a disease that is being researched; no one really knows its origins and what can stop it. I was so mad at how the report just casually said it, as if it has been proven.
I know that AIDS is ravaging Africa in a really big way, but I really hate negative stereotypes. Until it has been proven, I would prefer that CNN and others not assume that AIDS came from Africa. And even if it does one day surface that AIDS originated in Africa, it will hardly matter anymore; it has become a worldwide problem. More important is finding a cure than placing blame on wherever it came from. I really hope and pray that I live to see the day that a cure for the disease is discovered and when it is, that it is made available to all. How terrible would it be if greed would cause those with the cure to make it unavailable to many because of high prices? God forbid!