Archive for the tag "HIV prevention"

Indonesia’s health minister shocked by her own failure (23/11/12)

The always provocative Unspun asks how it is that Indonesia’s minister of health is shocked at the country’s HIV prevention failure. It’s a good question, most especially since before becoming minister of health just a few months ago, Nafsiah Mboi spent six years at the helm of the National AIDS Commission. The failure was highlighted […]

In Indonesia, even “free sex” is safer than going to work (17/06/12)

As part of the Makassar Writers’ Festival, I’ve been asked to give a talk about HIV in Indonesia at the faculty of public health at Hasanuddin University. I’m reluctant. I’ve been wandering Indonesia without any thought of focusing on HIV for over eight months now. In that time I’ve met a surprising number of widows, […]

A sad day for Indonesian sex workers (04/05/12)

Wednesday was a sad day for Indonesia, and for me. It marked the death of Endang Sedyaningsih, who encompassed what is best in the women everywhere: courage, determination, integrity, compassion and humility. It is a rare combination at the best of times; in the Indonesian cabinet, where Endang held the position of Minister of Health, […]

HIV prevention, Indonesian style: stay away from blondes (05/01/12)

Note: This post appeared over at Elizabeth Pisani’s new blog, “Portrait Indonesia”. “Wisdom of Whores” is still on hiatus as she travels Indonesia in preparation for her new book, but we thought that WOW readers might appreciate this particular post. If you’ve not done so already, please do go over to Portrait Indonesia and have […]

The last word in HIV prevention (and farewell for now) (25/10/11)

Much has been going on in the world of HIV, sex and drugs in the last month or so; the US marines recruiting at gay community centers, more mysteriously disappointing study outcomes for PrEP, encouraging news about the effect of microbicide gels against herpes, a new super-easy condom with a brand name that will put […]

Responsible porn hits the Financial Times (08/09/11)

It’s not that often that I sit reading the FT on a Tube full of morning communters. Even less often that the Pink Paper (no, boys, not THAT Pink Paper) carries full page ads from the Purveyors of Porn. The ad is pimping a new internet domain ending: .xxx (Slogan: Coming, now!) The porn industry […]

PrEP makes no sense for discordant couples – corrected (15/07/11)

First PReP worked for gay men, and we were happy. Then it didn’t work for straight women, and we were sad. Now, two big studies in heterosexuals have shown it can work for straight couples, and we are deeply confused. Or at least I am. Taking anti-HIV pills every day cuts the risk of infection […]

Of penises and pasta-measurers: sex ed in the dark ages (circa 2011) (05/05/11)

Thirty years ago next month, the first reports of the illness that came to be known as AIDS were published. Five cases, all among young gay guys in Los Angeles. Since then, we’ve racked up over 60 million HIV prevention failures worldwide. But new draft guidelines on safe sex advice proposed for the UK suggest […]

The PReP roller-coaster: no good for women? (22/04/11)

Just as we were getting all excited about giving people antiretorvirals to protect them against HIV infection, a large trial of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PReP) in women is being shut down because the pills are unlikely to prevent HIV. It’s a huge disappointment to those who were hoping that the pill-a-day-to-avoid-a-pill-a-day solution might drag us out […]

New York’s Brave New ad targets HIV complacency (13/12/10)

Clearly someone in the New York City health department believes that HIV sucks, even in a post-AIDS world. Here’s their brave new ad, targeted at the gay men among whom the majority of new infections in the city occur in this age of treatment. Pity about the Hollywood trailer soundtrack. Predictably, most of the comments […]

Men in dresses: Pope approves trannies too (24/11/10)

The kerfuffle surrounding the Pope´s comments on condoms continues. As the gender of hookers allowed to use condoms switched in translation, the Pope´s spokesman was asked to clarify. Apparently, HIV-infected people can use condoms to protect their partners: “Whether it’s a man or woman or a transsexual.” Of all the men I know who regularly […]

PrEP works: Now what? (24/11/10)

It´s official. Taking antiretroviral drugs when you don´t have HIV cuts the risk that you´ll get infected. It´s exciting news, if not unexpected. But it´s going to be a major headache for politicians. The results of the iPrEx trial, were published today in the New England Journal of Medicine (with pdf but not the supplementary […]

Pope approves of male hookers (22/11/10)

So our old friend Pope Benedict has come round to the idea that there are times when wrapping one´s penis in latex will not consign one to eternal damnation. According to the New York Times, he cited just one instance when it might be ok to use a condom. Benedict said condoms were not “a […]

Stigma soup: HIV testing at the borders (28/10/10)

Can you protect your nation from HIV by testing immigrants for the virus? Even the United States now thinks that’s a daft idea; it finally dropped its HIV testing requirements for immigrants earlier this year. Now South Korea has followed suit, sort of. The country will drop HIV testing for some, though it has announced […]

HIV: a right of passage for gay men? (24/09/10)

It’s taken two whole years, but US CDC has finally published data from the 2008 round of HIV and behavioural surveillance in gay men in 21 cities. Nearly one in five gay men is infected; in some cities (notably Baltimore) it is twice as high, at 38%. Reacting to the report, CDC’s HIV prevention director […]

Blood donation: rights and wrongs (12/09/10)

In the last few days, Canadian and American courts have ruled on gay rights. Somewhat unusually, activists are happy with the Yanks and cross with their northern neighbours. Even more unusually, I’m happy with both. The Canadian ruling is the more complex, because it has given us the right decision for the wrong reasons. A […]

Tilting at windbags — it’s AIDS conference time (19/07/10)

Illustration by Fernando Vicente This week, the Great and the Good of the AIDS industry gather in Vienna for the biennial AIDS circus. With delicious irony, the conference, held right next to the barracks of the UN’s Drug Warriors, will focus in part on getting more countries to do the one thing that really works […]

The “HIV’s a pain” theory of prevention: can it work? (05/04/10)

So gay guys go on having unprotected sex after they are diagnosed with HIV, a new descriptive study of gay poz guys at a clinic in Boston tells us. Nothing new there, although it’s sobering to be reminded that one in two of the men who know they have HIV choose to bareback with someone […]

Two to tango: graffiti protect against HIV (03/03/10)

The test-and-treat debate has been getting a bit hot and heavy of late. I think we all deserve some light relief. I offer this: Thanks to Txema, who is always ready to make a girl smile.

“Test and treat” won’t beat HIV, says the witch (24/02/10)

Can we treat our way out of the HIV epidemic? Yesterday I wrote a piece in The Guardian suggesting that the “Test and Treat” approach was a triumph of optinism over common sense. Today, I am a homophobe, a media slut, a cherry-picker of data and over 120 other things, mostly nasty. My favourite, gloriously […]

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