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.

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

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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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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Tuesday 329

Put out your arm

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

Indonesia may tag AIDS victims” by Niniek Karmini from AP in the Toronto Star 2008-11-25

Lawmakers in Papua, Indonesia’s largest province, have thrown their support behind a controversial HIV/AIDS bill requiring some sufferers to be implanted with a microchip to track their whereabouts.

It won’t happen, but worrying that they consider it. They attempt to stem the growing pandemic with inapt technology and draconian state invasion of privacy. Instead they need to provide education and condoms.
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