HIV tide rises, Singapore still building sandcastles, part 2

In her book, The Wisdom of Whores, Elizabeth Pisani argues for a more sophisticated understanding of the epidemiology of HIV and a more dedicated focus on vulnerable communities. Truly engaging these communities require us to get rid of preconceptions and our own queasiness or disapproval of what they actually do. Not safe for work. Full essay.

7 Responses to “HIV tide rises, Singapore still building sandcastles, part 2”

  1. 1 sm 12 June 2009 at 18:34

    instead of demonizing people who take or have taken drugs, an organization in the UK has come up with this

    “It is time that we demanded that politicians and the media have a realistic and honest discussion about drugs. It’s time to shift the debate – we need laws that are fair, information that is accurate and a debate that is meaningful.”

    I am not suggesting the same approach in Singapore, not because I am opposed to it, rather Singaporeans are not ready for such a radical idea. But surely, to be realistic when discussing about safer sex can be done soon.

  2. 2 KiWeTO 13 June 2009 at 22:42


    just curiously, where were the sources of the photos used in this essay, and may I ask if their permissions were obtained?

    nothing judgmental against ‘porn’, but, in this case, I do hope that the IP rights (as they currently are even though I don’t like their general direction) have been properly respected.

    Pictures as such may have been proper on a dating site, but might not be the owner’s original intent done this way.

    I do hope that the featured person(s) had given their permissions and I applaud them in advance for advancing the cause of a laudable objective. 😉


  3. 3 yamezt 15 June 2009 at 13:57

    Well put together.

    Again this can be seen with Amsterdamn where Weed is legalised with shops to smoke and take them.

    They also assume young people will want to take drugs and there really is no way to stop them if they want to take. So instead they educate the effects, side effects and things to look for if young people take them.

    Interestingly, as a country, not a lot of people in the population smoke weed though there is a lot of those coffee shops that have them available.

    The large majority are tourists – because it isn’t legal in their countries. There is larger attraction to something that is illegal than is legal – the comparison can be made with Alcohol. Yes you can have your alcoholics – but hey, just because everyone can legally get high, doesn’t mean everyone would abuse it. Treating the community as children isn’t the way to go.

  4. 4 Mouth of the Beast 15 June 2009 at 20:55

    Large posters throughout the saunas reminding people about safer sex and to disclose their status might help. TV and radio adverts reminding people. Anything to help keep it in mind.

    • 5 yamezt 16 June 2009 at 10:01

      To Mouth of the Beast: All those reminders wouldn’t do much to help. I may be making a sweeping generalisation of Singaporeans, but they have a tendancy to see “enforcement” as a remedy.

      Singapore criminalises anyone who is HIV to have sex with anyone who is not HIV regardless whether they have safe sex or not. This in turns brings up two issues, 1) Not bother finding out -> Though a person is liable even if he did not know but has a lot of high risk contact. 2) A person who is not HIV have an expectation people will tell them if they are HIV.

      At the end of the day, the fact is people have to protect themselves. By criminalising the HIV person just for having sex safe or otherwise, place the burden on the person with HIV – and honestly, that isn’t going to work.

      The burden should be drummed onto people who want to protect themselves. If they want themselves to be in good health, then practicing safe sex is the way to go.

  5. 6 Mouth of the Beast 16 June 2009 at 19:55

    So how to keep safer sex foremost in peoples’ minds if they go to a sauna?

  6. 7 Sgpo 27 June 2009 at 00:51

    For a Bt200 fee, “Anonymous Clinics” operated by the Thai Red Cross Society checks gay men for several venereal diseases.

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