News has spread across the internet about an Indiana town that has been ravaged by HIV. 190 out of Austin, Indiana’s 4,000 residents have been diagnosed with HIV. The spike has been attributed to the town’s rampant use of intravenous drugs. To remedy the problem, Indiana has approved the previously-banned method of clean needle distribution.
I have a better idea. We’ll lick the drug intravenous drug problem in one fell swoop.
Rather than distributing clean needles, Indiana should be handing out needles that definitely have HIV on them. Print it right on the needle in all-caps Helvetica and be obvious about it: HIV NEEDLE.
Then, people will know that if they are going to use intravenous drugs, they’re going to get HIV. No questions or uncertainties about it. If that doesn’t scare you straight right away, quite frankly, nothing will. And at the same time, if you decide to ignore the warning and inject a substance that you KNOW will give you HIV, you are doing a little more than asking for it. The people who choose drugs over health would be, to put it delicately, weeded out. If you choose heroin needles, you are basically choosing the opposite of life. This would just make those lines a little bit more defined.
Negligence is often excusable. Strong-willed stupidity never is. Someone who chooses something stupid knowing that it is going to have a negative outcome deserves to be punished. Often, the best deterrent is the severity of the penalty. And everyone knows it doesn’t get more serious than HIV. Well, it does, but just a little bit more serious.
Heroin is a serious problem that needs serious solutions. So while you sit around with your 12 step shenanigans that are barely curbing the alarming death rates, I have a real solution.