zundel

Saturday 344

The Punishment of Success

Filed under: Medicine, Politics — Tags: , , — zundel @ am

AIM, the Adult Industry Medical Foundation, the most accomplished and successful sexual health organization in the US, and a national resource, continues to get attacked by unrealistic zealots and public officials on a turf war.

AIM Office To Reopen Tomorrow During Dispute With Health Dept.

L.A. City Council: Deny Film Permits to Non-Condom Shoots

The pragmatic and successful get harassed by the bureaucratic and political.

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Friday 343

The Wisdom of Whores

Filed under: Medicine, Politics, Society — Tags: , — zundel @ am

During December you can download a free ebook version of Elizabeth Pisani‘s The Wisdom of Whores.

Saturday 288

Porn, HIV, and AIM

Filed under: Medicine, Politics — Tags: , — zundel @ am

Anyone who has worked too closely with sexual health and government public health knows how political this can get — tragically.

Recently a porn actor got a positive result on an HIV test. And again a media and political storm erupts.

AIM does better testing and education than anyone in public health.

I quote from AIM‘s press release:

AIM HIV Press Release Oct. 13, 2010

The misfortune of a patient testing positive for HIV has been turned into a tragic farce by the efforts of groups to exploit the patient for their political and financial gain.

Under law, reporting to Los Angeles County HIV Epidemiology Program can only occur upon the return of a Western Blot test. That test was taken immediately upon the first indication of a potential infection, but the results take one week to return. Los Angeles County does not, and cannot under law, accept any other test results. […] AIM cannot, under the California regulations, provide any information to other state entities or private individuals.

Earlier this year, the State attempted to violate Federal HIPAA and related privacy laws by demanding personal, identifying information from a patient who tested positive for HIV in June 2009. The California judiciary, specifically Judge Winifred Smith of Alameda County, rejected those lawless efforts and issued a preliminary injunction last summer. Through the press, the State is making the same unlawful demands again, while knowing that the State is under a binding injunction barring it from demanding access to those kinds of records.

The industry is behaving responsibly and cautiously, as it always has, by placing a moratorium on filming any person one or two generations removed from sexual contact with the current patient. Upon completion of testing that cohort, in about ten days or two weeks, as well as highly sophisticated analyses of the genetic components of the infection, the nature of the exposure will be determined.

A little background:

Watch a video interview with AIM founder Sharon Mitchell. It’s worth watching the longer interview.
X-Rated Health: An Interview With Sharon Mitchell
also at http://aim-med.org/news/2010/04/28/1272486586/

Latest HIV-in-Porn-Panic: Rumor Control Central Re-Opens for Business

Unfortunately, irresponsible gossip bloggers, a sensationalistic local press and various activists with different agendas have already begun spinning the few facts thus far made public to their own ends, with potentially disastrous consequences. Before that process whirls out of control, let’s have a look at what we actually know so far.

Pfizer sued over Viagra ads

Thursday 133

A long good life

Filed under: Mind, Science, Society — Tags: , — zundel @ am

and a very good long read. The best article I have read in some time:

What Makes Us Happy?” by Joshua Wolf Shenk in The Atlantic Monthly June 2009

the story of a father who on Christmas Eve puts into one son’s stocking a fine gold watch, and into another son’s, a pile of horse manure. The next morning, the first boy comes to his father and says glumly, “Dad, I just don’t know what I’ll do with this watch. It’s so fragile. It could break.” The other boy runs to him and says, “Daddy! Daddy! Santa left me a pony, if only I can just find it!”

I want to want a pony. Sadly, I have done otherwise.

“On the bright side,” he has written, “reaction formation allows us to care for someone else when we wish to be cared for ourselves.” But in intimate relationships, he continued, the defense “rarely leads to happiness for either party.”

Yup.

Tuesday 343

not HIV that kills us but the hospital administration

Filed under: Medicine — Tags: — zundel @ am

Read this!

No positive news” by Michael Buehler in Inside Indonesia 2008-12

However, in response to our queries and requests for action, representatives of most organisations responded by pointing to the ‘sensitivity’ of the issue or referring to obscure ‘political interests’ that would not allow their organisations to be more explicit about these obvious problems.

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Monday 342

Dow there

Filed under: Science, Society — Tags: — zundel @ pm

Pollution makes small dicks.

Perhaps now we’ll see something done about it.

It’s official: Men really are the weaker sex” in The Independent 2008-12-07

boys whose mothers had been exposed to PCBs grew up wanting to play with dolls and tea sets

Thursday 338

Hubble Advent Calendar

Filed under: Photo, Science — zundel @ pm

Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2008

Friday 332

Quote of the day

Filed under: Quote, Science — zundel @ pm

Re:Break down the stereotypes!” by earlymon on Slashdot 2008-11-28

Creativity is not the exception—it is the norm. Introspection is a strict requirement for the creative mind—it is denigrated as introversion. Excitement and a need to express excitement over complex work is denigrated as yet another computer-wearing-tennis-shoes running his mouth without social skills. [emphasis added]

Wednesday 330

Mbeki killed 365,000

Filed under: Science, Society — Tags: , , — zundel @ pm

Conspiracy theories kill. Science matters. Getting it right saves lives. Getting it wrong cost 365,000 lives, including 35,000 babies needlessly born with HIV.

Lesson learnt yet again in hindsight—too damn often. Treating Mbeki with ‘diplomacy’ may have allowed organizations to work with some South Africans that had HIV and AIDS. But at too high a cost. Mbeki’s bullshit needed fierce and persistent condemnation. Not to persuade him. But condemnation may have helped the voices of reason in South Africa and may have hastened Mbeki’s departure. The death toll becomes millions—from silence.

AIDS: a good example of why science policy matters” by Jonathan M Gitlin in Ars Technica 2008-11-26

This should serve as an abject lesson in why it’s vital for governments to receive effective science and health policy advice.

South Africa is well off compared to its regional neighbors—it had enough money for the former President, Thabo Mbeki, to splash out nearly $100 million on a new Boeing Business Jet. Mbeki claimed poverty when it came to providing his citizens with antiretroviral drugs, however.

A Johannesburg AIDS hospice in 2002 (Joao Silva for The New York Times)


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Saturday 326

And you thought orals were hard

Filed under: Dance, Science — Tags: — zundel @ pm

Dance your dissertation, baby.

These are so cool.

“Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor Disputes” by Barbara Allen, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1999

Makes me want to read the book.
Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor Disputes by Barbara Allen, MIT Press 2003

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