Today is World AIDS Day and the 30th anniversary of HIV/AIDS prevention programs.
There’s good news: Young men are no longer attending funerals more than then their grandparents.
But while life-saving medicine hides the physical signs of AIDS, it also masks the ugliness of the politics, infighting and sanitised messages to appease constituents surrounding it. Meanwhile, HIV infections are up 8 per cent nationally.
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There has been a 50 per cent increase in HIV cases over the past decade in Australia. So what are we going to do about it?
The biggest bang for our buck will be getting people who have HIV on treatment. The data suggests only around 50 per cent of people with HIV in Australia are on HIV treatment, yet it is becoming increasingly clear that virtually all people with HIV should consider taking treatment to benefit their health and wellbeing.
Untreated HIV is bad at all stages of the disease. Also, taking HIV treatment can significantly reduce the risk of passing on HIV to others.
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Today The Punch team has each selected two issues which get us hot under the collar, and which we feel deserve more airplay.
What are your thoughts on the issues we’ve chosen? And what other issues do you think we should all be talking about?
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The recent resurfacing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, or the “Kill the Gays” Bill as it is notoriously referred to, has been a timely reminder of how homophobia remains a threat to human dignity. So how do sexuality, national politics and human rights align?
In numerous places around the world, homosexuality remains a site of intense political and social anxiety. Despite sexual orientation becoming a valid focus of international human rights law, over 80 countries around the world continue to criminalise homosexuality.
Uganda is now reconsidering legislation that would enhance the criminal penalties that already exist for people who engage consensual same-sex relationships. This may also include the death penalty for offences that are deemed to be of an “aggravated” nature.
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For one of the world’s most powerful men Pope Benedict has a big problem with clear communication.
Health experts around the world have rejoiced at a hint from the Pope that it kinda, sorta, maybe could be better for a male prostitute with AIDS to use a condom when having sex.
The Vatican has been quick to clear up that it’s not official teaching so headlines such as “Vatican makes first concession on condom use”, in one paper this morning seem a little hasty.
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A new front in the immigration debate opened up in the last week as the media grabbed hold of proposed changes to migration law to deliver a sensationalist warning of alleged “loop-holes” that will supposedly lead to an influx of chronically ill foreign workers.
The alarmist reporting on efforts to engage the community in tackling the complex issue of migration policy for people with disability is disappointing on several levels - particularly as there were serious factual errors underpinning the arguments.
Suggestions that the Government had widened a “loop-hole” and “loosened” its grip on migration policy for migrants with HIV and cancer not only played to political fear-mongering that Australia has lost control of its migration policy, it also negatively stereotyped people with disability as non-taxpayers who constitute a drain on society and the economy.
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