Archive for May, 2008

Canadian government calls in the executioner (30/05/08)

I ended my last post on an optimistic note. I should have known better. Canada’s health minister is sharpening the guillotine, and hopes to chop down North America’s only supervised injecting site despite a court ruling that the execution would be unconstitutional. “In my opinion, supervised injection is not medicine; it does not heal the […]

Stay of execution for Canada’s life saving injection room (29/05/08)

Drug Warriors have been gloating about the imminent closure of North America’s only supervised injecting site for drug addicts. (“The injection site is expected to close next month,” reported one conservative group. “Congratulations to members who have worked so hard to keep the pressure on the powers to be to close down this madly insane […]

Life after AIDS (29/05/08)

We’ve all known for ages that there are essentially two HIV epidemics in the world: a heterosexual epidemic in East and Southern Africa (some would say all of sub-Saharan Africa) and an epidemic driven by drug injection, sex between men and commercial sex in the rest of the world. Now there’s another distinction, too. There […]

Thailand gets snippy about castration (27/05/08)

Last month, Thailand banned “cosmetic castration” for the under 18s. Cosmetic castration: now there’s a concept. As if lopping the balls off an adolescent were of a piece with smoothing some wrinkles out of a furrowed brow. The Ministry of Public Health is concerned that young men are going through the cheap, easy castration process […]

Abstaining from common sense in Uganda? (27/05/08)

The First Lady of Uganda, Janet Museveni, thinks that increasing access to HIV treatment is making Ugandans more promiscuous, according to a story in Sunday’s The New Vision. We’ve certainly seen evidence of that in rich countries, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason it wouldn’t be the same in poorer parts of the […]

While we’re on chocolate condoms… (26/05/08)

They went down well with the breakfast crowd at Hay. Especially with the gay Bishop.

More trumpets (only one a litte off key) (25/05/08)

There’s another clutch of reviews of The Wisdom of Whores posted to the “What They’re Saying” page. They include Rachel Holmes in The Times (she thinks I’m a nerd, in the best possible way), Michael Fitzpatrick in The Guardian (who seems vaguely disapproving), Stephanie Merritt in the Observer (who is seduced by the mysteries of […]

Chocolate Condoms for breakfast (22/05/08)

Anyone out there going to the Hay Festival this weekend? Because I’m dashing to the Netherlands, I had to give up a nice, gentle mid-day spot on Bank Holiday Monday in favour of a talk on Sunday morning at 9. Mornings are not my best time of day, and Sunday mornings rarely creep in to […]

Treatment is prevention. And black is white (20/05/08)

Two of the Republican senators accused of holding to ransom some US$ 50 billion in US funding for HIV in Africa are fighting back. They are also ill-educated, badly confused, or lying through their teeth. After a Washington Post editorial accused them of foot-dragging on AIDS funding in part because they worried that money might […]

If you’ve got it, flaunt it department: Elizabeth’s mafia connections (19/05/08)

It’s been a busy day on the airwaves. Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I managed to hit BBC World TV’s HardTalk interview and be on BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week, both in one day. On HardTalk, Stephen Sackur spent a lot of time quizzing me about my mafia connections. Comments have ranged […]

Balls to purity, this is therapy for Dads (19/05/08)

What teenage girl would want to be “covered” by her father in areas of purity? Plenty, it seems, if the ongoing success of the Purity Balls is anything to go by. At these balls, fathers pay over US$100 to crow over their daughters’ virginity, pledging publicly to maintain it until they hand them over to […]

For US$ 100, learn about sex (but not about condoms?) (18/05/08)

A reader recently sent me a link to Time4Facts, a site that allows parents to download videos about sex and puberty. The idea is that parents can pick and choose from a menu of video clips, and then put together a “curriculum” that will allow their kids to learn about everything from wet dreams to […]

Texan juries make me spitting mad (17/05/08)

Even in Texas, I thought when I first saw this story, there cannot be 12 people this ignorant. I thought it a bad joke, not worth mentioning here. But apparently it is true: a Texan jury convicted an HIV positive man for assault with a deadly weapon: his saliva. I reproduce the Associated Press story […]

Do UK taxpayers pay for America’s HIV phobia? (16/05/08)

I’ve written before about America’s nonsensical ban on HIV-positive immigrants — a provision which puts the States in the illustrious company of such shining protectors of human rights as Libya and Iraq. Andrew Sullivan, a stalwart of the US political bloggosphere and an HIV-positive not-quite-immigrant, raises the issue again in an editorial in the Washington […]

Random thoughts on data from Dilbert (14/05/08)

This evening, I’m speaking at London’s Southbank Centre about how to communicate uncertainties in data to a non-scientific audience. And what pops into my in box but this, from Scott Adams (via Tim Brown)?

Football spreads AIDS (13/05/08)

Though I like to rant that HIV is all about sex and drugs (as for example, in this profile in the Guardian), I’ve got a new thing to think about: football. One of the coolest things about publishing a book, it turns out, is that people start doing your thinking for you. Last week, I […]

Good servants and bad heating make babies for Blair (12/05/08)

Cherie Blair, the hot-shot lawyer who is married to Britain’s former PM Tony, blames her fourth child on the Queen. Leo was conceived while the couple were staying at the Queen’s Scottish pad in Balmoral. Cherie had left behind her contraceptive equipment, because on an earlier visit the household staff had unpacked everything. “The first […]

The dog’s bollocks, Gerry Ryan, and quality versus quantity in sex (11/05/08)

Apologies for the silence, which was in part due to a glorious whirlwind of a visit to Dublin, where I spent a while with Ireland’s answer to Oprah, Gerry Ryan. I’ve always been a bit of a fan of Gerry’s morning show on RTE2 so I know that pretty much anything goes. And I was […]

Can we get back to sex now? (07/05/08)

I’ve been a bit distracted of late by the impending launch of The Wisdom of Whores. Now I’m distracted by the post-party haze, and this shelf at Blackwell’s is completely bare. But I promise to be back on sex, science and all things sundry in the next day or two. Thanks to everyone who came […]

A condom for every occasion (05/05/08)

The Wisdom of Whores is born tomorrow. This ad more or less sums up how I am feeling this evening. Thanks to the beyond cool Nicholas Gourlay for finding this for me.

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