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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘hiv/aids

[NEWS] Some Monday links

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  • Al Jazeera notes the Iraqi desire for foreign intervention, the problems with sex-offender registries, and the plight of former nuclear workers at Hanford in the United States.
  • Bloomberg observes Russian resistance to Western pressure and Ukrainian alliance-seeking, notes that Senegal was declared Ebola-free, looks at the terrible job market in Spain, observes competition in East Asia for wealthy Chinese immigrants, suggests that China’s one-child policy will be relaxed, and examines Turkey’s quiet border with the Islamic State.
  • Bloomberg View compares Russia and Germany in not prioritizing economic growth, looks at how Brookyln is the only borough of New York City to see its housing market recover, notes Turkey’s issues in the Arab world, and examines with problems of Petrobras with expensive deep-sea oil at a time of falling oli prices.
  • The Inter Press Service notes the critical role of mangroves in mitigating disasters and protecting fisheries, looks at ethnic conflict in China, finds hope for civil society in Cuba, suggests that HIV/AIDS can be controlled worldwide, and fears for Iraq’s minorities.
  • National Geographic notes North America’s threatened monarch butterfly migrations and examines Ebola as a zoonosis.
  • Open Democracy notes issues of British Jews with Israeli policy and looks at Russian economic policy.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO notes an organic tea shop and cafe opening in Regent Park.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the mysteries behind Titan’s polar weather.
  • Crooked Timber discusses the uses of the military in an epidemic like Ebola.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper concerned with suggesting how worlds can become super-Earths not gas giants.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to an archeological study describing methods for distinguishing between human artifacts and simple rocks.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog examines ways people shame others who use too much water in drought-affected areas like California.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the recent study suggesting HIV’s origins as a pandemic can be traced to Kinshasa in the 1920s.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money discusses Kissinger’s 1976 proposal to invade Cuba in retaliation for Cuban intervention in Angola against South Africa.
  • Peter Rukavina describes how he beat a rental car charge for a toll bridge by using his personal geolocation archive to show he was never there.
  • Spacing Toronto discusses the lost canopy of the St. Lawrence Market.
  • Towleroad notes controversy around the screening of a documentary on gay teen life in Russia in St. Petersburg.
  • Window on Eurasia notes refugee inflows into Crimea and refers to an article by a Russian historian describing how Crimea is not historically exclusively Russian.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Bad Astronomy examines asteroid 2014 OL339, a quasi-moon on Earth.
  • blogTO notes an ongoing satirical campaign targeting the mayoral campaign of Doug Ford.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the mysterious orbit in Titan’s Ligeia Mare.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes 3:1 and 2:1 orbital resonances of multi-planet systems discovered by Kepler.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the continuing Ukrainian war.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that New York City is promoting PrEP on Grindr.
  • Languages of the World’s Asya Perelstvaig examines the word “cucumber” used in European languages.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that ocean acidification produced by greenhouse gas emissions will end oysters in their natural habitat.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders if Catalonia’s referendum on independence will take place.
  • Registan doesn’t like how Russian experts see the spectre of the Islamic State throughout central Asia and miss real issues there.
  • Spacing Toronto notes the import of indigenous soundscapes.
  • Window on Eurasia notes who Russian sympathizers are abroad, notes that Muscovites live on average six years longer than people elsewhere in Russia, and observes Russian interest in Russophone minorities in the Baltic States.
  • The Yorkshire Ranter shares a variety of charts, including some showing the Eurozone’s lagging recovery from the 2008-2009 recession and the concentration of English identity in rural areas and in the east.

[LINK] “PrEP, The Pill, and the Fear of Promiscuity”

Ian Lekus’ essay at Nursing Clio about the parallels between the hostile reactions nowadays to PrEP–the use of anti-HIV medications as a prophylactic measure–to preempt and prevent HIV infections and reactions in the 1960s to the contraceptive pill is thoughtful. Recommended.

Coming of age in the plague years of the 1980s, I could hardly imagine — who could? — that the arrival of a pill that prevented HIV infection would generate such controversy within gay male communities. Loud, pointed critiques of multinational pharmaceutical corporations, sure, I could easily expect that: when I teach HIV/AIDS: Politics, Culture, and Science to undergraduates born barely before the 1996 arrival of effective antiretroviral medications, my students learn plenty about the roles of pharmaceutical giants and grassroots protest over the course of the epidemic.

But I did not anticipate a surge of hostility towards PrEP and its early adopters, especially given the urgency of developing multiple HIV prevention strategies that acknowledge falling rates of condom usage among men who have sex with men. In May, pioneering AIDS activist Larry Kramer condemned PrEP, declaring “There’s something cowardly to me about taking Truvada instead of using a condom.” More critics, from the blogosphere to gay social networking apps, have shamed PrEP users as promiscuous, as irresponsible – even as “Truvada whores.”

Perhaps, though, my historical training should have prepared me for such a backlash, given the public discourse surrounding the development of the Pill half a century ago.

Elaine Tyler May, in her history of the Pill, recalled how as a child, reporters swarmed around her father, Edward Tyler, a researcher testing the oral contraceptive at his private practice. “Would the pill make women promiscuous?,” they asked. He insisted that it would not. But while he disapproved of premarital sex, he believed that unmarried women would have sex with or without the Pill, and hoped the new contraceptive would reduce unwanted pregnancies.

Other pioneering birth control researchers openly scorned unmarried people, especially women, who might turn to the Pill. John Rock, an obstetrician and gynecologist, and one of the Pill’s most prominent proponents, declared that, “any high school kid can get other contraceptives and probably knows about Saran Wrap.” Such means of birth control were available “for naughty little girls who want to use them.”

Written by Randy McDonald

October 2, 2014 at 3:59 am

[BLOG] Some Monday linls

  • blogTO notes the five longest TTC routes in Toronto.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes evidence that objects detected by Kepler are gravitationally bound to their parent stars.
  • The Dragon’s Tales tracks the migrations of raccoons and their kind from North to South America, and notes that Pacific Island nations are hoping to find places they can evacuate their populations to.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the computer of the anti-gay papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic has been found to be filled with child porn, and observes apparent success in treating Ebola with HIV medications.
  • Language Log looks at gendered pronoun usage on Facebook.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes depression.
  • Marginal Revolution links to an article examining the lives of lightning survivors.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at Russian-Ukrainian energy wars and isn’t hopeful for Ukraine.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes war-related mortality patterns in Iraq.
  • Savage Minds notes that anthropologists at the University of Chicago have played a leading role in getting that university to disengage from its Confucius Institute.
  • Torontoist notes how 1971 thinkers thought Toronto could be made more pleasant.
  • Towleroad considers if Britney Spears is a proper gay icon.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests the death of civic nationalism in Russia, notes the refugees in Ukraine displaced from the Donbas, suggests that there is sympathy in Tatarstan from Crimean Tatars, looks at Russian official support for the far right worldwide, and suggests that Eurasianism and Dugin are of falling importance.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO shares pictures of Queen Street in the 1980s.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly considers the idea of a digital detox.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper noting strange occultations of TW Hydrae.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to one paper suggesting plants can grow in simulated (and fertilized) Martian and lunar soil, and speculates Russia will be trying to build a space station of its own or to cooperate with China.
  • Eastern Approaches examines the shaky ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Joan Rivers was an early HIV/AIDS activist of note.
  • Language Hat summarizes a paper suggesting that language death and economic success are correlated.
  • Marginal Revolution considers Scottish separatism, wondering about the sense of either a currency union or a separate currency, and noting the increased possibility of separatism according to betters.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog critiques Mark Adomanis’ critique of Masha Gessen’s article on Russian demographics.
  • Savage Minds notes that, alas, Joan Rivers never majored in anthropology.
  • Torontoist notes that NDP Joe Cressy, defeated in his run for the Canadian parliament, is now running for city council.
  • Towleroad notes the firing of a pregnant lesbian teacher by a Catholic school, and observes the hatred felt by some anti-gay people who would like books celebrating children pleased when their same-sex parents die (among other things).
  • Understanding Society examines the sociology of influence.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy disagrees with Henry Farrell that laissez-faire ideology contributed to the Irish Famine.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russian hostility towards the Crimean Tatar Meijis, reports on things Ukrainians think Ukraine should do doing the ceasefire and things Russians think Ukrainians should do (federalize and accept the loss of the east), notes high rates of childlessness in Moscow, and suggests that the Russian victory in eastern Ukraine is exceptionally pyrrhic.
  • At the Financial Times‘s The World blog, the point is made that a Scottish vote for independence would have profound implications worldwide.

[PHOTO] AIDS Memorial, Barbara Hall Park

AIDS Memorial, Barbara Hall Park

The Toronto AIDS Memorial in Barbara Hall Park (formerly Cawthra Square Park), one of the several across Canada, was completed in June 1993 in the middle of the escalating epidemic. Plaques of names of the dead are mounted on the pillars, arranged in a kind of semi-circle beyond these roses. Thankfully, in recent years with the progress of treatment the lists have grown ever shorter.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm

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