Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Morning HIV/AIDS Update

I do this for work, btw, update the staff on issues around the world about HIV/AIDS. Conveniently, that also happens on Monday morning. This may become a regular thing...
  • Prominent and longtime HIV/AIDS activist Martin Delaney has died. Founder of Project Inform and author of Strategies for Survival,this man was old school, to the point of smuggling the untested HIV drug, Rimavirin, from Mexico when the FDA was held up and was not prioritizing the disease. I mean, that's some old school AIDS activism. Well done, sir. There's a special place for you, I'm sure.
  • Welcome back to the 21st century, South Africa. Their new health minister, Barbara Hogan, has incredible goals set for that country after years of Mbeki nearly destroying years of advancement by appointing a woman who essentially believed in withcraft as a way of curing HIV.
  • The only thing that Bush will be remembered positively for is his work in African HIV/AIDS. This is what we call the creation of mythology and the beginning of a legacy. No one will remember the abstinence only education rules, though, or continuing the anti-syringe exchange policies that he let go on through his tenure.
  • Meanwhile, President Obama is pushing for better and more comprehensive family planning and education. He will continue to be called the devil.
  • The Gates Foundation is expanding its focus to include polio, which is excellent. The World Health Organization will be quite happy. After all, their last success was smallpox, and their efforts are middling when it comes to HIV/AIDS.
  • Fascinating new efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS in young women of color -- apparently they are trying out cell phone based videos as a way of getting the message out about unsafe sex and STD's. I'm optimistic, but I always question these sort of methods. There are 100 things that halt its success (like, how many young women of color download videos onto their cell phone). The acting tends to be lousy in this sort of thing, too. But, it's always good to see things tried... more importantly, it's good to see someone connecting sex and safety on a popular art form -- television shows.
  • And our DUH story for the day: Botswana is telling men to cut down on their sexual partners. Apparently, they are just now figuring out there that larger numbers of sex partners increase risk for all sorts of little nasties. That's a big old, welcome to the 21st century to you, Botswana.

Ahhh... now doesn't that feel better? Don't you feel a little more informed? :-) Aren't you glad you never asked? And, more importantly, aren't you glad to see more and more of the world entering modern times?

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