Archive for the tag "IDU"

Proud in New York (25/06/11)

Last night, I was sitting in a Brooklyn restaurant chatting with a Famous Artist and his life-partner, the Respected Historian. In just about third bottle territory, a huge cheer went up from the table next to us, crowded with 20-something year-old straight hipsters. The cause of their excitement was an incoming Tweet: gay New Yorkers […]

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 […]

Is CDC’s HIV prevention trial in Thailand ethical? (24/01/10)

How ethical are HIV prevention trials? Every time we announce results of a trial that compares new HIV infections in a group with or without some new intervention (a microbicide for example, or a vaccine), some journalist or other jumps on the fact that researchers are just watching people get infected. Researchers then explain that […]

Oh Canada! Insite stays, but for how long? (19/01/10)

Great news from Vancouver: the city’s safe injecting facility, Insite, is allowed to continue saving lives. For now. It’s the second time that Insite has won a case brought by the right-wing rottweilers of prime minister Stephen Harper. This victory was in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. But Harper may decide to put more […]

Drug Warriors: blind or just innumerate? (08/11/09)

As promised, a note on the UK’s latest data on HIV among drug injectors. Some of the US’s battalions of Drug Warriors have been crowing that the new figures show a rise in infection rates among junkies in the UK: clear evidence that the nation’s policy of making sterile needles and injecting equipment available to […]

HIV surveillance, US style: don’t try this at home (14/04/09)

For a world-renowned centre of epidemiological excellence, the US CDC can do some pretty shonky work. This week, the second week of April, 2009, they have finally published some results from surveillance among drug injectors carried out more than three years ago. And the analysis is so simplistic that it tells us virtually nothing about […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dealing in health: do we dare? (07/07/08)

Still on the topic of sensible policies to prevent disease among drug injectors, I’d like to pass on the idea of Wisdom reader Pierce Wetter. Pointing out that blackmailing brothel owners delivered very high levels of condom use in Bangkok’s brothels, Pierce suggests we use the same technique for drug dealers. Enlist them to sell […]

Canadian government calls in the executioner (30/05/08)

I ended my last post on an optimistic note. I should have known better. Canada’s health minister is sharpening the guillotine, and hopes to chop down North America’s only supervised injecting site despite a court ruling that the execution would be unconstitutional. “In my opinion, supervised injection is not medicine; it does not heal the […]

Stay of execution for Canada’s life saving injection room (29/05/08)

Drug Warriors have been gloating about the imminent closure of North America’s only supervised injecting site for drug addicts. (“The injection site is expected to close next month,” reported one conservative group. “Congratulations to members who have worked so hard to keep the pressure on the powers to be to close down this madly insane […]

Can Canada save its safe injecting experiment from the politicians’ axe? (03/05/08)

Vancouver is the only city in North America that provides a safe place for addicts to shoot up in. The local government thinks it’s a good idea. The national government doesn’t. So they’re sticking their oar in to undermine the project, according to local researchers. “Scientists accuse Tories of ‘despicable’ interference”, yells a headline in […]

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 […]

Canada could inject sense into Ukraine’s HIV response (18/04/08)

A Canadian group has just been holding a pow-wow on HIV prevention in Ukraine. The Winnipeg Free Press notes that Winnipeg’s the right place to be holding these discussions because the city is home to so many people whose roots are in Ukraine. In fact, it’s appropriate in another way. Ukraine’s HIV risk looks a […]

Canadian cops support safe injecting, not (04/04/08)

The Canadian city of Victoria (not Vancouver, sorry) is still dithering over a home for its needle exchange programme: no-one wants it in their back yard. British Columbia’s top health official has a solution: open supervised injecting sites around the city. The cops are not too pleased. In an editorial in the British Columbia Medical […]

Tree-huggers learn from junkies: needle exchange goes green (31/03/08)

Needle exchange usually gets a pretty bad press. So I was surprised, as I wandered by accident into the greenosphere today, to find that harm reduction models could save the world. Colin Beavan draws a parallel between injectors and consumers. You can’t break an addiction to consumer goods any more easily than you can break […]

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 […]

Ireland’s new imports: drugs and HIV (03/03/08)

Since the mid 19th century, Ireland’s biggest exports have been brains and brawn. When the Celtic Tiger began roaring in the 1990s, the brain drain was reversed: the economic boom has sucked in people from all over the world. With them have come better food, an infusion of new music, decent plumbers and HIV. Ireland’s

UK’s drug strategy: common sense and controversy (27/02/08)

Britain today published it’s new drug strategy (pdf here or here). It’s actually pretty sensible, but it will probably be howled at by footsoldiers on both sides of the War On Drugs. On the one hand, the government plans to cut benefits (welfare payments) for addicts who refuse to turn up to treatment programmes. That […]

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