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Thursday, April 17, 2014


Jaime R. Vergara

Pronounced "ayeds," "aides," or "eyeds," it does not matter. The global scourge that awakened the world in 1981 to a new virus has joined the list of institutionalized efforts to "eradicate" it, or, at least, reduce the speed of its pandemic spread, along with TB, malaria, cancer, polio, et al.

AIDS prepared me for the autism stigma that descended on my second family in the early 90s when my wife and I discovered our only two kids (girl and boy) suffers from what was then cautiously referred to as PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified), a prelude to the full identification of symptoms identified as autism now referred to as ASD (autism spectrum disorder) to cover a multitude of neurological disorders afflicting the young.

The blame game went on full force. The conservatives latched on genetics. Parental genes do influence behavior of offspring, a concession my spouse was only too quick to own up and cast an eye on my lineage, and cost us a perfectly manageable marriage. The progressives in my circle looked on the rapid increase of chemical input not only in the atmosphere but also on food intake.

Our children were born in Washington, D.C., and much as the humid weather by the Potomac rates better than many of the east coast urban centers, the experiments in the production of chemical food additives and preservatives, the production on chemical warfare and all the sinister designs that went with it, just fueled the anger of the liberal soul. I got unhinged on that one, too, as my children became casualties to a fatherless growing-up when the sentiments of otherwise sane parents went out of control. They failed to handle the management of a neurological situation because they allowed their own fears to get in the way.

World AID’s day was observed globally yesterday, a Sunday. We will not drag the readers’ mind through the science of HIV/AIDS, the information being readily available in yesterday’s Press and the Internet. We do note that the incidence of AIDS related deaths have decreased substantially in 2012 from 2011 figures, so there’s a silver lining on the statistics, though not much of a consolation to those who suffer. There is no known cure yet for AIDS, and retroviral medication only retards the progress of the spread but does not eliminate the virus.

I am concerned about our bodies’ capacity to mutate with the increase of chemical intrusions into our body metabolism. We are in our current reckoning by nature creatures on an evolutionary process and the specie retards when it fails to evolve from the new assaults on the body material.

We administer pesticides and herbicides on industrial ag-farms that has admittedly alleviated many from famine and poverty, but also made casual the cloning that takes place to produce sturdy and long-shelf produce for our urban center supermarts. Monocrops weakens plants artificially engineered to produce for the bottom line rather than human health. The banana on my table resembles nothing I was familiar with in my youth as plantations mass produce for the wealth of corporations, which, in the United States are deemed as persons!

We are now alarmed at what happened to mother’s milk to vulnerable children around the world who are exposed to the chemical intrusions transmitted through natural maternal feeding. Innocent suffering has become a matter of course.

We are also now familiar with the devastating effect of the use of Agent Orange in the defoliation of the Vietnam-Cambodian-Laotian forests in the ’70s and early ’80s. From our much documented efforts in chemical warfare in the U.S., we were not surprised when the rest of the world was receptive to KGB propaganda that the HIV virus was not a crossover from Simian source to homo sapiens in West Africa from being a racially motivated birth control experiment straight out of the biological warfare pages of the CIA game book.

We previously kept five candles lit on our ledge at night to symbolize our watch of the cancer survivors on our immediate circle of collegial relations. The fifth got snuffed early this year when a colleague in New York had the final version of her epitaph written, quickly replaced by another as another colleague in Saipan now seeks surgery to deal with her newly discovered malignant cells.

The worldwide phenomena on how our bodies respond to "advances" in our food intake has had unexpected consequences. The high incidence of alcoholism and diabetes in the Pacific comes from the body’s unaccustomed consumption of distilled spirits and refined sugar.

I am a rotund (da pangzi) Buddha among my students here in China but when I venture out to Hawaii and the United States, I suddenly feel "petite" in size. Not for long. The obesity among China’s young is increasing at an alarming rate, which no nutritional program from a centralized government can handle. We have become what we eat, and our habits leave a lot to be desired.

We can lament the passing away of another AIDS victim. Each of us may also start paying attention to what we inject into our metabolic system other than that brightly colored stuff packaged for our gastronomic cravings at the store.

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