Archive for the tag "HIV"

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 […]

Can you tell who has HIV? (02/05/08)

From the ever-helpful Kaiser Family Foundation we have a new game: Pos or Not? Players get to see a photo and profile of young men and women, then have to guess whether or not the person is HIV-infected. It’s intended to challenge prejudices and preconceptions, and I have to say it does it pretty well. […]

Global warming causes HIV (30/04/08)

The Wisdom of Whores isn’t published until next week, but one of the more absurd predictions in the book has come to pass. Here’s the passage from the book. Chatting with my friend Bert who works for the World Bank, I marvelled that almost every UN agency was on the AIDS bandwagon. Bert gave me […]

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 […]

Pakistan rocks! (and makes me eat humble pie) (25/04/08)

As I flicked through the headlines of the wonderful Kaiser Foundation HIV reports, I saw this headline. Pakistan, U.N. Agency Launch Pilot Initiative To Improve HIV Control Efforts Among Women. I rolled my eyes. Another touchy-feely let’s-empower-women-through-microcredit-so-they-can-protect-themselves initiatives that will do precisely nothing to reduce new HIV infections. Ho hum. Then I read the story […]

Smooth site for rough sex (23/04/08)

If you’re a guy into rough sex with other guys, or just curious about it, check out the fantastic new website at Hard Cell. Everything you ever wanted to know about the ins and outs of different sexual practices, and some stuff you probably didn’t want to know, as well. What a pleasure to find […]

Rethinking Rethinking AIDS Day (23/04/08)

Today, apparently, is “Rethinking AIDS Day”. Or so we’re told by a group of AIDS denialists who gather under the banner of RethinkingAIDS.com. They and their mates have a channel on Youtube, too, called HIVquestions. They’ve been inviting me to sign up since I posted a video explaining that in some countries, counterintuitively enough, more […]

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

Kenya gets out the scalpel, circumcising men to prevent HIV (12/04/08)

Kenya plans to offer all men the snip, in an effort to reduce HIV transmission. It’s a brave move in a country when circumcision status is a badge of ethnicity and differences in ethnicity are reason enough for rioting, looting and murder. According to a report in The Nation Kenya’s Ministry of Health has published […]

Girl is girl and man will sweetalk (05/04/08)

Jamaican-Ghanain poet Kwame Dawes has been reporting on HIV in his Caribbean homeland, in poetry and prose. He reads his poems on a snappy website, supported by the Pulitzer Center. Annoyingly, the site doesn’t allow for linking to specific items. I commend to you the poem Making Ends Meet, which tells of the delicate relationship […]

Saving souls not lives: missionaries in Ukraine (28/03/08)

I’m not a regular reader of the Mission News Network, but I couldn’t help snapping to attention when they re-drew the global HIV map: “Parts of the former Soviet Union are starting to see infection rates surpassing those of Africa,” they declared, singling out Ukraine. Last time I looked, around 1.4% of adults in Ukraine […]

Cheap travel for mountaineers and HIV-positives in India (27/03/08)

India’s sprawling railway network will from next week allow HIV-infected people to travel half-price, the Economic Times reports. Since it’s India, there’s red tape to go with the red ribbons — the discount is only for second class travel to and from approved HIV treatment centres and people “have to produce (a) certificate in prescribed […]

The 10 stages of HIV (26/03/08)

Last night I waded in to an interesting discussion about Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss at the (always interesting) Dana Centre. One woman observed that the selective memory loss that goes with Alzheimer’s could be a blessing, because it allowed people to wipe away recent bitterness and return to happier stages in their relationships. Interesting […]

Importing HIV: does it matter? (26/03/08)

For 15 years, the United States has tried to bar its doors to immigrants with HIV. Like most decisions related to HIV in the States, that one was motivated more by political expediency than by common sense. It seemed to play to fears that if immigrants with HIV came to the States, they’d start spreading […]

Vancouver’s needle exchange is homeless (25/03/08)

Drug use and homelessness go together in many cities around the world. The Canadian city of Vancouver, for many years a shining example of sensible drug policy, is no exception. Now, however, it’s the city’s much-vaunted needle exchange programme that is being thrown onto the streets according to Cindy Harnett of the Times Colonist. The […]

Stating the obvious department: HIV kills voters (20/03/08)

Three years of research, 400 pages of text, a 52-page introduction, and we learn that politicians and other voters are dying from HIV in Africa. The Institute for Democracy in South Africa has recently published a massive tome, The Political Cost of AIDS in Africa which “reveals that the fledgling multi-party democracies in parts of […]

HIV spreads in those slutty phases: new evidence from a UK study (19/03/08)

In a fascinating new paper published in the wonderful, open-access Public Library of Science, Fraser Lewis and colleagues shed a little more light on how HIV spreads. They show that, at least among gay men in the UK, HIV propels itself in bursts, exploding quickly through a whole cluster of people and then tailing off. […]

Intentionally spreading HIV: Britain clears up the confusion (18/03/08)

Some US States may be adding “sex offender” to the charge sheet of HIV-infected people having unprotected sex, but Britain is heading in the opposite direction. At least I think so. New guidance issued by the Crown Prosecution Service suggests that people can’t be convicted for one-off acts of risk or folly. The original law […]

Supressing herpes doesn’t prevent HIV: another silver bullet mis-fired (14/03/08)

Another window of hope for HIV prevention slammed shut this week, with publication of a study showing that treating herpes doesn’t prevent HIV. There’s a very strong association between HIV infection and herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2), especially in sub-Saharan Africa. People with HIV are more likely to get herpes, and vice versa. But because […]

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