God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Interesting topics from around the world..

Man and woman having anal sex. Ceramic, Moche ...

Man and woman having anal sex. Ceramic, Moche Culture. 300 C.E. Larco Museum Collection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The internet is a source for lots of information, but sometimes it is difficult to find the ones one is interested in or looking for. Here a choice of topics which crossed my virtual desk this week:

Rectal issues are normally not on top of the reading material, but the write-up about HPV (human papilloma virus) is not only interesting but also important for those engaging in anal sex: Read more in clicking the following link .

Staying with anal intercourse, which is by the way also surprisingly common in heterosexual relationships (to avoid pregnancy) I saw an article dealing with cleanness and another has the headline:    Insert Discourse: Rectal Douching Among Young HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Men Who Have Sex with Men in Vancouver, Canada

Remains on this unusual topic to mention the website of IRMA (International Rectal Microbicide Advocates) which you can access here.

In the fields of research there is an interesting read about HIV fighting itselfGroundbreaking vaccine research reveals more clues about HIV is going into the same direction.

Great Britain is warned about the rise of faked condoms and on another note Paul Kawata (Executive Director, National Minority AIDS Council USA) reflects on Martin Luther King and his impact on the struggle to beat HIV.

And I end of with an article full of hope: PrEPing for the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic by Phill Wilson. He is the president and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, the only National HIV/AIDS think tank in the United States focused exclusively on Black people. I had the pleasure listening to one of talks at the World AIDS Conference in Washington – an indeed inspiring man.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Networking, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , ,

Obamacare, turn the tide and enthusiasm @ AIDS Conference

Sometimes it is only one speech, one moment in time, and one can feel energized again. Sometimes it is just one speech, one moment in time and all tiredness is gone and one starts to focus again. For me, this moment in time happened this morning at the Plenary Session of the World AIDS Conference. Still tired from the long journey I listened to three keynote speaker which really got my mind going.

Introduced by the Nobel Price Laureate Francoise Barre-Sinoussi from France who was instrumental in discovering the HI virus, the Director of the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health (USA), Anthony S Fauci gave an overview where we are standing in the moment and why we are close to turning the tide of HIV/AIDS. He caught the attention of the audience in describing how sciences and community approach must go together and laid grounds how all facets of prevention and treatment, outreach and bio-approach can take the next steps in eradicating HIV and giving a whole new generation a chance to grow up without the treat of the pandemic.

Next was Phill Wilson, CEO of the Black AIDS Institute in Washington – black, gay and HIV positive. His charismatic speech described the plight of black Americans – specially also in the Washington area, where the prevalence rate amongst those with dark skin color are as high as in some areas of South Africa. He made it also very clear to the audience what “Obama-care” means for those US Americans without an expensive health insurance. I felt ashamed listening to his very personal stories thinking that the US American Catholic Bishops attacked the new health care system because amongst others family planing is included in Obama’s approach. Was there ever a thought of balancing all the “Catholic question marks” against the benefits for those, whose lives or deaths are depending on this new law?

Next Hillary R Clinton, who delivered a clear message that after 25 years and the last World AIDS Conference held in the USA in San Francisco her country is now more than ever committed to turn the tide and assist in having a next generation without fear of HIV and AIDS. She also declared her very solidarity to Melinda Gates and announced additional funds of her government for family planing but also circumcision and other projects.

All speakers the morning made it clear that the moment has come to combine all efforts to push the syndrome back, to use all tools to reduce the transmission to the magic “zero”. But also all acknowledged that there will be still quite some time till this goal is reached. But until then, those lesser and lesser in number, who get infected in the coming generation, should be able to receive treatment and support without any discrimination or stigmatization. And it was made clear that this means that all involved from community outreach via faith-based organizations till governments to reflect how one deals with those most in danger of contracting HIV: gay people, drug addicts, prostitutes. And the question remained open during the rest of the session as a challenge to all concerned: What does it mean to go into those fields many people feel uncomfortable to speak about? And specially for me as a Catholic priest remains that question: How do we deal with those moral minefields in today’s atmosphere of theology and pastoral care?

A lot to think of for the first day of the conference and the day has not ended yet…

Turning the tide – now..

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Medical and Research, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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