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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘hiv/aids

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • blogTO notes that beer cans have been banned at Rogers Centre for the duration of the Toronto Blue Jays’ playoff run.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that the atmospheres of many white dwarfs are polluted with what may be the remains of their old planets.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the warning of Ben Carson that gay marriage will bring mass killings.
  • Language Log parses the recent order to Republican Party workers to no longer work for Trump.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a photo essay about 21st century agriculture.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer liveblogged the debate.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a study on HIV’s impact on the world.
  • Strange Maps links to an amazing clickable map of pop music from 1880 on.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the descendants of the peoples punished by Stalin are commemorating their sufferings under Putin.

[VIDEO] “Mykki Blanco recites ‘I Want A Dyke For President’”

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Some days ago, my cousin shared Dazed Digital’s clip of queer rapper Mykki Blanko’s recitation of artist and activist Zoe Leonard‘s 1992 poem “I Want A Dyke For President”.

I want a dyke for president. I want a person with aids for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their last lover to aids, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no airconditioning, a president who has stood on line at the clinic, at the dmv, at the welfare office and has been unemployed and layed off and sexually harrassed and gay-bashed and deported. I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth and an attitude, someone who has eaten that nasty hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown: always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss and never a worker, always a liar, always a thief and never caught.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 9, 2016 at 11:36 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “The Case for Keeping Casey House in the Neighbourhood”

At Torontoist, Lisa Cumming describes the latest changes to hit Casey House, an HIV/AIDS hospice and hospital.

For almost 30 years, Casey House has provided care to Torontonians living with HIV/AIDS, home care, and other supportive healthcare programs. For some patients, it has been a home away from home when they needed the support most. Although it will remain in the neighbourhood, the hospital is going to move.

The change in location was driven by one goal: to expand the services and care offered to patients.

At its new site, a 58,000-square-foot facility adjacent to Casey House’s existing location, a new day health program will be launched, offering wound care, hot lunches, massage therapy, physiotherapy, antiretroviral therapy support, and connections to places like Fife House, where a patient can get peer and housing support.

Construction of the facility is scheduled to be substantially completed by December 2016 with occupancy commencing late 2016 to early 2017.

“We’re fortunate in that [the old building] is just across the street and that we’re able to continue to see it—that was part of our plan as well,” said Lisa McDonald, the spokesperson for Casey House. “We didn’t want to sell that building and have it torn down and it be used for condos or anything like that.”

Casey House is currently located at 9 Huntley Street, and while the new facility is a mere 97 metres away, at 571 Jarvis, it’s the site of a heritage property known as the “Grey Lady.”

Written by Randy McDonald

August 9, 2016 at 7:00 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Cyclists ride to support Torontonians with HIV/AIDS in the Friends for Life Bike Rally”

The City Centre Mirror reports on this year’s iteration of the Friends for Life bike rally. This is a noble cause, indeed.

An extended heat alert Sunday didn’t dissuade a few hundred cyclists from hopping on their bikes to Montreal to raise money for Torontonians living with HIV/AIDS.

Toronto People with AIDS Foundation’s (PWA) Friends for Life Bike Rally left Allan Gardens July 24 for a one-day, 108-kilometre ride to Port Hope. Some cyclists will pedal 600 kilometres in six days to arrive in Montreal July 29.

More than 300 riders and crew have cycled annually in the rally for the past 17 years, raising more than $14 million in sustainable funding for PWA.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 25, 2016 at 12:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • The Big Picture shares photos from the Nice terror attack.
  • blogTO notes that it might soon be illegal to talk and text in Toronto.
  • City of Brass’ Aziz Poonawalla responds to Gingrich’s call for a deportation of sharia-believing Muslims.
  • Crooked Timber considers the prospects for the United Kingdom.
  • Language Hat looks at the problems involved with translating Chinese poetry.
  • The LRB Blog looks at third-wave jihadism.
  • The Map Room Blog examines the most popular walking routes in the United Kingdom.
  • Towleroad notes that Trump’s vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence wanted to divert funding for HIV/AIDS towards gay conversion therapy.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that the dying-off of the old generation of people in the former Soviet Union will not necessarily leave younger pro-market ones.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Antipope hosts a guest blogger with an interesting vision for a new iteration of cyberpunk.
  • Beyond the Beyond’s Bruce Sterling shares a link to a report on Saudi Arabian water resources.
  • Centauri Dreams shares a study of nearby brown dwarf WISE 0855.
  • Crooked Timber notes the amoral technocracy of the Speers.
  • Dangerous Minds shares vintage postcards from a century ago warning against the threat of feminism.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining the import of carbon to oxygen ratios in exoplanet formation.
  • ImaGeo notes the discovery of new dwarf planet RR245.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Australians scientists have declared an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in that country, conditionally.
  • Language Hat links to a site for learning sign languages.
  • Language Log tests an alleged Finnish joke about Russian occupations for linguistic plausibility.
  • The LRB Blog notes that Prime Minister Theresa May is not a victory for feminism.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the depopulation of Japan and looks at Britain’s low productivity.
  • Otto Pohl announces his impending move to academia in Kurdistan.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog looks at Ukrainian emigration.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russian austerity will hurt Russia’s regions.

[DM] “On the Toronto AIDS Memorial and the impact of HIV antiretrovirals in the mid-1990s”

Originally posted at Demography Matters, I opted to crosspost here on account of the local content.


I was in the area and it seemed apropos after the Orlando shooting, so I went off to visit Toronto’s AIDS Memorial, in Church and Wellesley’s Barbara Hall Park, before I went to work Monday afternoon. It is simple enough, pillars almost two metres high each with six inscribed metal plates of the names of the dead, organized chronologically by the year of their death, in a peaceful garden. It is a solemn place, but lovely for all that.

I’ve visited the memorial before. I even shared a picture of it last year, looking at the memorial pillars from the outside as framed by the roses. I had not taken a picture of the memorial from the inside, the pillars with the plaques of inscribed names–so many names–arcing away into the distance.

Impact of HIV antiretrovirals, 1996-1998 #toronto #churchandwellesley #barbarahallpark #aidsmemorial #hiv #aids #antiretroviraltherapy

There is actually quite a lot of information you could surmise about the epidemic from the information on the plates. In the first years of the 1980s the plates are almost empty, one being more than enough for a year’s dead. Later, they spill over into multiple plates. Still later, around 1990, the plates shift to a smaller type.

In the mid-1990s, the impact of effective antiretroviral therapy, much more effective than the easily blunted AZT monotherapy, becomes evident. It is on the 1996-1998 pillar this is most visible. The year 1995 took up most of the previous pillar, but 1996 took up a mere half, 1997 two plates, and 1998 only one. Later plates and later years revert to the low density of names of the mid-1980s, this time with the smaller font. (The 1999 and 2000 plates on the next pillar are visible to the left. Later years’ plates have fewer names still, reverting to the early 1980s, as HIV infection becomes manageable.)

Anti-retrovirals worked. They continue to work, and in ways that might not have been imagined by the originators of modern anti-retroviral therapy, treating and even preventing HIV infection. Toronto’s AIDS Memorial, and like memorials in other cities around the world, serve as effective partial records both of a terrible medical/human tragedy and how, if too late, this tragedy began to be ended. It’s still too far away from ending in some parts of the world, but there is hope. What better testimony is there to this than the pillars of the AIDS Memorial which remain unscarred by plaques?

Written by Randy McDonald

June 15, 2016 at 10:29 pm