Thursday, February 17, 2005

Pot pourri

Bill Bowtell's comparison between Australia's treatment of HIV - "prevention, education and reason" and the US' - "punishment, faith and emotion" highlights the disturbing possibility of Australia once again emulating a failed US initiative and introducing a new deadly strain of bigotry and bible-bashing fundamentalism.

His statistics are very eye-opening, although I wish he'd acknowledged the current problem of homos my age and under (ie < 25) who seem to think they are immune and invincible. With three friends who are HIV positive, I know for certain this isn't the case. I also know that no amount of prayer will cure them, just as no amount of teaching abstinence in the public education system would have prevented them from contracting the disease in the first place.

On a lighter note, I send across the Tasman a big "cheers, big ears" to NZ PM Helen Clark, who has not only banned Johnny Farnham from singing at the 90th anniversary Anzac service at Gallipoli, she hasn't even heard of "the Voice". If only the rest of us were so lucky...


At 17/2/05 5:47 pm, Anonymous Harley said...

I recommend reading Learning to Trust, which discusses Australia's response to HIV/AIDS, and soundly demonstrates the value of community based education. Very useful if one intends to argue against Federal Health Minister Abbott's anti-community policy, which resembles ever so closely the faith-based policy across the Pacific. Hopefully someone will publish a perspective on the strategic effectiveness of fear and moral based education programmes, as popularised by G W Bush, so future generations will have ammunition to protect themselves.


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