Archive for the ‘Pisani’s picks’ Category

Is the Pope a Catholic? He’s certainly not a scientist… (18/03/09)

I, like many who’ve written to me, am speechless with rage at the Pope’s first direct pronoucement on condoms. (Well, not quite speechless. I had a little vent about it in today’s Times.) To oppose condoms on dogmatic grounds is one thing. That’s the Pope’s job, if he considers it his job to defend Catholic […]

The Wisdom of ART (26/02/09)

I’ve always been a big believer in the overlap between art and science. We’re seeing more of it these days — the idea of testing whole populations for HIV and sticking everyone who is infected on antiretrovirals as a way of putting a stop to the HIV epidemic has been dubbed Pop-ART, for example. I’m […]

Significant progress in HIV prevention (10/02/09)

Halleluliah! We’ve finally got something to be happy about in HIV prevention — a microbicide that cuts the risk of HIV infection by a third. You’d think everyone would be shouting for joy. But no, we’re bending over backwards to say we’re not sure it works. The product in question is Pro2000 gel, and the […]

Does oral sex protect against HIV? Suck it and see (03/02/09)

Public health types are always agonising about oral sex. Should we say it’s dangerous or not? Now, Swedish researchers have shown that lots of oral sex with an HIV-infected partner may actually be protective against the virus. The study, published in the (expensive, subscription only) AIDS journal and helpfully summarised by Aidsmap suggests that men […]

Perfect Christmas present: a born-again virgin (21/12/08)

Christmas is about the Virgin Birth. For those of us not lucky enough to have been blessed by the Angel of the Lord and wanting a second chance, there’s the artificial hymen. A bargain at just US$14.99 (or Suggest Your Price). The product has so many advantages. It comes in discreet packaging — “Your Mum […]

So we CAN treat our way out of this epidemic. Or can we? (26/11/08)

Many people, including the head of the WHO’s HIV division Kevin de Cock, have observed that “we can’t treat our way out of this epidemic”. Today, The Lancet publishes a paper by many people, including the head of the WHO’s HIV division Kevin de Cock, claiming that we can, in fact, treat our way out […]

Epidemiology and the wrath of God: Nigerian nightmare (22/08/08)

HIV research nerds like myself collect information from people at risk because we want to make things better for those people (by providing better prevention services, e.g.), not because we want to make things worse. But what happens when that information gets used as a weapon against the very people we want to help? It’s […]

Australians told not to follow those wild Swiss (28/07/08)

Since the Swiss noted that people who take their meds correctly and don’t have other infections are unlikely to pass on HIV, the public health establishment has been in a tizz over how to react. Predictably enough, Australian researchers have done what epidemiologists with a point to make so often do: — they’ve reached for […]

Paid to pleasure oneself: nice work if you can get it dept (25/07/08)

I’ve been known to take the piss out of scientists who think people make decisions about sex the way they make decisions about what stocks to invest in, nice and rationally. My published references even include “Sex is fun, remember?”. In my experience, a hard-on (or its female equivalent, a wide-on) tends to disrupt rational […]

Will Big Pharma get littler in HIV research? (21/07/08)

Last week, Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche said it was giving up on HIV-related research. I expected some cynical “told you so” comments from industry analysts, but the reaction to the announcement was surprisingly muted. Even AIDS activists were mousy. Activists have done a spectacular job in slapping down the price of antiretroviral drugs in the […]

A (truly) useful tool for proposal writing and much else (23/06/08)

Last week I posted the patented Wisdom of Whores Automatic Proposal Generator (TM) to help you all shake millions out of the Global Fund. But today I found a tool thats is genuinely useful from the ever-helpful Kaiser Family Foundation They’ve put together a fanatstic, really simple tool that allows you to generate charts of […]

How to get a 100 million dollars from the Global Fund (08/06/08)

The Global Fund has announced an extra round of funding for 2008. Intimidated by the 68-pages of instructions? Don’t be. The Wisdom of Whores Automatic Proposal Generator (TM) is here to help. Just press the “Give me money!” button as often as you need to, and copy the phrases into your Global Fund proposal. You […]

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 […]

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 […]

Blowing my own trumpet department: Sunday Times Review (04/05/08)

I promise not to keep posting reviews of The Wisdom of Whores to this blog. There’s a whole page dedicated to reviews (“What They’re Saying”) over here, and if any readers want to contribute their own views I’ll post them there. Even if you hate the book. But since it’s an idle Sunday and I’m […]

Will Self, Prince Harry and genital warts (29/04/08)

The first review of The Wisdom of Whores hit the newsstands yesterday, in London’s Evening Standard. I was honoured that fab World of Boy novelist Will Self read the book, and thrilled that he reviewed it with his penis. (Well, he reviewed it with his brain. But he reviewed it together with his penis, which […]

The key to HIV prevention: chastity pants for masseuses (28/04/08)

A fashion designer turned massage parlour owner in Indonesia has come up with an inspired solution to the problem of unsafe sex: he’s padlocking his girls in to their trousers. Paul Watson of the LA Times spoke to Franky Setiawan, owner of Doghado Massage Parlor, who came up with the chastity pants. Setiawan “says he […]

More sex equals less HIV: I explain why (16/04/08)

This video, not to be taken tooooo seriously (though the science is spot on), is the product of a rainy afternoon with the incomparable Candy Gourlay. Check out Candy’s wit, wisdom and illustration at Notes From the Slushpile

Earth to Congress: Contraception is NOT abortion (02/04/08)

Fundamentalist Catholics seem determined to save souls without saving lives. But the elected representatives of the American should not be following suit. Today, the US House of Representatives discusses a bill that will take US$ 50 billion out of taxpayers’ pockets and put it on the table for HIV treatment for people in poor countries. […]

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