Archive for October, 2008

Indonesia goes over the edge (31/10/08)

I don’t usually mind being wrong. Really I don’t. But today it hurts. Indonesia has passed a bill that makes it illegal to bathe in rivers or wiggle your hips while dancing. The news reached me at exactly the time I was on air on one of the country highest rated TV shows, talking about […]

Staying alive or biting the dust? (29/10/08)

It’s official: the Bee Gees can keep you alive. According to David Matlock of the University of Illinois, the song “Staying Alive”, of Saturday Night Fever fame, provides the perfect rhythm for the chest-thumping that’s needed to bring someone out of a heart attack. As the New York Times reports, Queen’s just as good. “Another […]

Sooner is better for HIV treatment (and Pharma) (27/10/08)

A new study suggests that people with HIV have a 70% greater chance of staying alive if they start taking antiretrovirals when their CD4 count is as high as 500. That’s good news for people who know they are infected early on and who have easy access to drugs. It’s also potentially good news for […]

Singaporeans on sex: clueless or innumerate? (18/10/08)

A new survey indicates that young Singaporeans are pretty clueless about HIV prevention. Or perhaps it indicates that Singaporeans can’t count. According to The Straits Times, the state’s Health Promotion Board asked close to 1,800 Singaporeans how HIV could be prevented. Apparently, almost half of them didn’t know that consistent condom use prevents HIV infection. […]

Cash vs HIV stigma: the wallet wins (13/10/08)

Malawian civil servants who are not infected with HIV are claiming to be positive to increase their salaries, thus demonstrating that the monster of stigma can be slain with cash. Malawi is suspending its payments to HIV-infected civil servants because so many uninfected people are trying to cash in, according to AFP (via Cryton Chikoko). […]

What is old is new: absurd reactions to the origins of HIV (11/10/08)

Sequestered in Indonesia, I’ve let pass many interesting stories in the past week — I’ll get around to circumcision, Nobel prizes and pornography bills soon, really. One story I didn’t expect to revisit was the “news” that HIV has been with us for a century or more. But it has caused such a stir that […]

No Comment Sunday (05/10/08)

Stolen from Sean Casey, with thanks.

Lost and found: 15-foot condom, has own car (04/10/08)

Ever spend time in Latin America thinking magical realism is more real than magical? From Mexico, we bring you the story of a 15-foot inflatable condom, stolen but returned to its distraught owner after a major media splash. The giant condom is now somewhat limp, however. Thieves hung on to the motor used to inflate […]

Halleluliah! (not). Faith healing could spread HIV (02/10/08)

Christian fundamentalism and HIV seem both to be on the upswing in Uganda. I’ve remarked before that enthusiastic support for abstinence-only programmes has undermined previously successful HIV prevention efforts in the country. But now it seems over-zealous preachers are threatening the success of treatment efforts, too. Robert Ochai, director of the trailblazing AIDS support organisation […]