Brother Bimbo del Doppio Senso, OPI: December 2003 Archives

December 2, 2003

Yesterday's leftovers

New Zealand: As it launched a new campaign featuring a nude man, the New Zealand Aids Foundation (NZAF) blamed the closet for a spike in HIV infection on the South Island.

Mr Price said the surge in infections in the South Island was fuelled partly by deeply closeted men who have sex with men living in isolation from any identifiable gay community, which made it difficult to reach them with support and safe sex education...

...An earlier NZAF survey revealed that men who were isolated or too scared to come out and identify as gay were highly likely to practice unsafe sex.

As Mike A. of Ex-Gay Watch points out, this profile matches that of men involved in ex-gay ministries - Christian fundamentalist groups who try to surpress their homosexuality becuase they believe it's wrong, and asks

It may be advisable for ex-gays and other antigay same-sex-attracted individuals to pay closer attention to the role that closeted sexual attractions, antigay values, and unsafe binges play in the spread of HIV. Unfortunately, the Exodus web site offers no AIDS-prevention information, except to reject condoms even as a fallback measure, and to require total abstinence from an ex-gay population prone to unsafe compulsive behavior.

Nude men feature on HIV campaign billboardsThe Press, 2nd December 2003; New Zealand Ex-Gays at High Risk of HIV/AIDS?Ex-Gay Watch, 1st December 2003.

December 1, 2003

Spot the real Christians

UK charity Christian Aid has urged the Blair government to influence the Bush administration to go beyond its unrealistic abstinence-only approach to AIDS prevention.

Although the US has made a welcome commitment of $US 15 billion to be spent over five years in the fight against HIV/AIDS, fully a third of this money is allocated to programmes promoting 'abstinence-until-marriage'. These programmes do not include sex education and the use of condoms. While abstinence is clearly the most reliable method of avoiding HIV infection, the reality is that most people, especially young people, do not choose abstinence.
In a report published by Christian Aid in October 2003, research showed that good quality sex education reduces the levels of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and HIV.
In addition, Dying to Learn, exposes the myth that access to condoms increases promiscuity among young people. On the contrary, condom use does not increase the number of sexual partners. More importantly, when used correctly and consistently, condoms are effective in preventing HIV infection among young people who are sexually active.

Bush's preference for fœtuses over adults means the US refuses to fund any organisation which supports abortion in any way, even though the money will not be used for this kind of service.

In Ghana, 697,000 clients of Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana will lose, not only family planning services, but also access to HIV voluntary counselling and testing, and HIV prevention education. This will have severe repercussions in a country with low HIV infections rates and which is working hard to maintain these low levels.

Condoms are crucial in HIV prevention, says Christian Aid - Christian Aid press release, 19th November 2003.

Thailand: A Buddhist monk has set up an AIDS temple in an attempt to both shock people out of complacency, and to fight indifference towards and discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS.

The first stop on a tour of Wat Phrabaht Nampu temple is a glass-windowed room where 12 formaldehyde-preserved bodies lie exposed on wooden slats. Their dark brown, leathery skin is stretched taut over bones. Snapshots next to each body remind viewers that the remains in front of them were once healthy people, living ordinary lives. They include a sex worker infected by a customer, a woman infected by her husband and a child born with the disease. All were former patients who donated their bodies.

Misunderstandings about the ways HIV is transmiitted has led to families refusing to accept the bones of their relatives, something the temple has dealt with in an interesting manner:

Outside the museum, visitors see a row of sculptures made from the crushed bones of those who have died at the temple. Crafted by an artist whose brother has AIDS, the metre-long sculptures depict various modes of transmission, from a couple having sex to a mother with her child.

The project was a way to deal with the temple's growing collection of bones. Hundreds of boxes with names and identity numbers are still stored in a meditation hall and 7,000 cream-coloured bags are kept outside near a Buddha image. We usually send the bones home to their families, but only 10 percent keep them. They are afraid the bones have AIDS, said Kongkiat

"AIDS" temple aims to shock complacent ThaisL'Express, 1st December 2003.

Virus spreads through risqué lyrics.

Kenya: Anti-AIDS campaigners complain that their efforts to prevent the disease are frustrated by traditional beliefs:

Leaders attending an Aids conference in Kisumu said self-proclaimed cultural experts were using a Kenya Broadcasting Corporation radio programme -- Abila -- to frustrate the fight against the disease by linking it to witchcraft...
...Talks on the Luo culture by some elders are retrogressive. They make people believe that Aids doesn't exist and instead link all illnesses to chira (curse), Ms Oketch said.

Rather then using it as a hook to get people talking about AIDS, the campaigners wish the community would be a little less sex-obsessed:

Moi University Chancellor Bethwel Ogot urged the community to stop some customs which tied sexuality to all important family events such as planting, weeding and harvesting. Such cultures misled people to believing nothing important could be done in a family without sexual intercourse.
The conference blamed Luo musicians for contributing to the spread of Aids, saying a majority of Benga and Ohangla singers composed songs with strong sexual messages that lured their fans to risky sexual behaviour.
Our musicians sing nothing but sex. Women dancers are barely dressed while on stage and this is a setback to the fight, said Ms Oketch .

She did not explain how HIV passes from exposed flesh on stage to the audience. Cultural traits blamed for Aids spread - Daily Nation, 1st December 2003.

It's World AIDS Day

And as usual, we have led Feòrag astray so we can report on religion, superstition and AIDS. As soon as we find out where she lives, we will arrange for the Australian Sisters to importune Red Wolf!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by Brother Bimbo del Doppio Senso, OPI in December 2003.

Brother Bimbo del Doppio Senso, OPI: July 2003 is the previous archive.

Brother Bimbo del Doppio Senso, OPI: December 2004 is the next archive.

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