Archive for September, 2008

The Lady and the Lab: politics and populism in Indonesia (28/09/08)

Indonesia’s Minister of Health Siti Fadilah Supari told Reuters this week that a major US navy lab in the country, NAMRU II, had stopped all its work, which she thinks is of “little benefit” to the country. It’s the latest punch in a dust-up that has been running for months. It’s not actually about what […]

Not-so-open Access: Congress tries to stifle science (24/09/08)

It’s been a good year for citizens interested in science. Several of the biggest funders of scientific research, including the US taxpayer funded National Institutes of Health, have said that the results of any research they pay for must be made available to the public. The big academic publishers — the dinosaurs of the internet […]

Good news is no news (22/09/08)

I try to avoid public transport in large cities. Anything with two wheels that I control seems more reliable than anything with several wheels controlled by the city council. Nowhere is this more true than London. But if there’s one downside to cycling, it is that I can’t feed my secret addiction to freebie newspapers. […]

Common sense HIV testing in the UK – almost (20/09/08)

The British HIV Association has issued new guildlines for HIV testing . (pdf) They are very nearly extremely sensible. But… One in five of the people newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK last year were diagnosed with AIDS at the same time. That means they’d probably been walking around with HIV infection for eight […]

Of rescues and rape (19/09/08)

Still on the theme of rescue, hear it from Cambodian sex workers themselves: If one were looking for an unexpected ray of light in this dreary tale it would be in the testimony from the sex worker who was raped by six policeman. Nothing light about that, obviously. But the fact that she was able […]

Starting from scratch: sex work after rescue (15/09/08)

Today’s post is copied wholesale from Laura Agustin. In the poster, the product of a workshop by the Thai sex workers rights organisation EMPOWER, sex workers relate what being “rescued” in brothel raids means to them. • We lose our savings and our belongings. • We are locked up. • We are interrogated by many […]

Prayers and yoga prevent HIV in Bhutan (13/09/08)

Bhutan is not exactly crumbling under the weight of HIV infections. Between 1993 and 2006, a total of 90 cases were reported. Each is dilligently listed by the Ministry of Health — age, sex, how they became infected, how their infection came to light, whether they are still alive (19 had died by August 2006). […]

Tell us something new dept: In the US, HIV is gay and black (12/09/08)

A little while ago, CDC estimated how many people were newly infected with HIV in the US in 2006. They told us it was a disease of gay men and black people. Now they’ve done more detailed analysis: It’s not just a disease of gay men and black people. It’s increasingly a disease of gay […]

Speed dating for positives: Nigeria’s solution to HIV (09/09/08)

The conservative northern Nigerian state of Bauchi is running a lonely hearts service for HIV positives who want to get married. Authorities claim that this will reduce the spread of HIV. Predictably enough, some people are whining about this. A UNAIDS official is quoted as saying that it is dangerous, because of the likelihood of […]

Thailand’s HIV success rocks on, unless you’re gay (06/09/08)

Thailand has been much (and rightly) praised for its pragmatic approach to cutting HIV in its illegal but vast heterosexual sex trade. Of course when the tide of brothel-caught infections goes out, the rocks of ongoing infection in jails, among drug injectors and between men who have sex with one another are left exposed. And […]

Pregnancy, rape and bestiality. What can we report? (05/09/08)

I wasn’t even going to bother to gloat about the goody-two-shoes Republican Vice-Presidential candidate’s swelling family. Plenty of others have done it for me. But the kerfuffle did get me thinking about what’s fair game in science and reporting. And that led me on an unlikely path to rape and bestiality. Yes, Sarah Palin gutted […]

Want help quitting your job? It’s a deal (03/09/08)

Earn good money but hate your job? The UK charity Switch can help you out. As long as you’re a drug dealer. Switch is a coalition of community groups based in the Western city of Bristol. The Guardian reports that the group was finding that a lot of dealers wanted out, but felt trapped because […]

Largely in New York: new HIV is young, black and gay (01/09/08)

New York likes to think of itself as ahead of the rest of the US on many fronts. It certainly is on the HIV front. In most of the world, we’ve got precious little idea how many people get infected with HIV each year. Generally, we report HIV prevalence — the number of people who […]