Archive for the tag "US Politics"

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 […]

Another Evangelical hypocrite bites the dust (02/07/10)

Meena Saraswathi Seshu was a well-to-do Indian do-gooder who was determined to save India’s sex slaves from their evil traffickers. To her immense credit, illustrated in this nice profile in The Lancet, (pdf here), she changed her mind when she learned the facts. Not so the US Congressman who tried to bully her organisation SANGRAM […]

Testing America’s common sense (11/12/09)

Finally, some common sense in HIV testing policy in the US. Although you’d be hard pressed to know it from some of the coverage. Until last Monday, America’s unfathomably illogical health service for the properly poor, Medicaid, refused to pay for HIV testing just as it refuses to pay for all sorts of other screening […]

As one HIV ban ends, another morphs (03/11/09)

Yesterday the US finally dropped its absolutely senseless law forbidding people with HIV from visiting the Land of the Free. (While Saint Obama is getting patted on the back for ending the ban, he was actually signing off on something that George Bush put in motion last year). That’s unmitigated good news for people with […]

Proud to be American? (01/10/09)

The US voted for hope. It (we, I) voted for change. It (we, I) got a president who suggested sensible things like basing health policy on good science. The US even got some senators who followed through with funding for programmes that would teach young people that if you want to have sex and not […]

Whose war is it, anyway? (10/03/09)

The Colombian President says we’ve lost the war on drugs. So does his predecesor. And his Mexican counterpart. Not to mention Harvard economists. Oh, and the editors of The Economist. Is it conceivable that the United Nations and the US government, that have for so long dug their heels into the mud of prohibition as […]

For Obama’s inauguration, DC hookers get vaccation (17/01/09)

Many people are thrilled that the Bush Years are almost over. Few more so than sex workers, who have essentially been declared not to exist under the administration’s HIV funding rules. Though many are disappointed that Mark Dybul will stay at the helm of PEPFAR for a while, some of us hope that he’ll do […]

In the company of bigots: US opposes gay rights at UN (19/12/08)

The death rattle of the Bush administration puts it, once again, in the company of great defenders of human rights such as Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. This time, it breathes its sickness on gays. The US is one of nearly 60 countries which stamped its feet in opposition to France’s declaration (made in the […]

The US moves forward, one prejudice at a time (08/11/08)

Tuesday evening. I spent it with baited breath sitting at the bar in Baltimore airport, surrounded by boys with buzz-cuts and camouflage who were headed for Iraq. They seemed strangely unconcerned by the drama that was unfolding in red and blue on the screens in front of us. I, for my part, nearly missed my […]

No Comment Sunday (05/10/08)

Stolen from Sean Casey, with thanks.

Not-so-open Access: Congress tries to stifle science (24/09/08)

It’s been a good year for citizens interested in science. Several of the biggest funders of scientific research, including the US taxpayer funded National Institutes of Health, have said that the results of any research they pay for must be made available to the public. The big academic publishers — the dinosaurs of the internet […]

Condoms = death, part 2 (16/07/08)

Bush may be quacking around with a limp, but the fundamentalists that support him are squeezing all they can out of these last, lame-duck months. For me, the first sign that US Christians were prepared to terrorise people into dropping contraception was this poster in the Tanzanian capital Dar Es Salaam. But it now looks […]

PEPFAR creeps (11/07/08)

The PEPFAR authorisation circus drags on. Senate leader Harry Reid is trying to force a vote on the bill. A handful of stubborn Republicans continue to stamp their feet about it. One of their worries is “mission creep” — PEPFAR money might be used to do things that are not 100% related to showing America’s […]

Shocking news from the US: teens have sex! (05/06/08)

The results of the 2007 round of risk surveillance among US high-school kids are out. They find, wait for it, that despite nearly a decade of being told to cross their legs, American teenagers still have sex! The proportion of teenagers having sex drifted downward for the first decade it was measured (the surveys started […]

Life after AIDS (29/05/08)

We’ve all known for ages that there are essentially two HIV epidemics in the world: a heterosexual epidemic in East and Southern Africa (some would say all of sub-Saharan Africa) and an epidemic driven by drug injection, sex between men and commercial sex in the rest of the world. Now there’s another distinction, too. There […]

Treatment is prevention. And black is white (20/05/08)

Two of the Republican senators accused of holding to ransom some US$ 50 billion in US funding for HIV in Africa are fighting back. They are also ill-educated, badly confused, or lying through their teeth. After a Washington Post editorial accused them of foot-dragging on AIDS funding in part because they worried that money might […]

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 […]

Science in Congress: is there any? (13/04/08)

Policies on AIDS, recreational drugs and a warming world are struggling their way through Congress at the moment; they always seem to emerge slimmer on the science once they’ve made it through the endless committees, discussions and debates. If you’re in the New York area, you might pick up some tips on why from this […]

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 […]

In Texas, masturbation leads to incest (16/03/08)

Help me out here. George Bush says abstinence is the only reliable way of avoiding HIV. So you’d think do-it-yourself orgasms would be the order of the day. It took Bush’s home state of Texas a while to get with the programme, but they finally made it okay to masturbate, legalising dildos just in time […]

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