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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

AIDS & the Singapore Hypocrisy

Once again, the world is making fun of Singapore's obsession with gay bashing and our beloved Dr Balaji's maths.

Simon's World (http://simonworld.mu.nu/archives/071392.php), a comprehensive compilation of Asian blogs has a few lines with links to various sites with commentaries on the debate:

The contoversy over a Singapore minister's comments and the reporting of them in the Straits Times on gays and AIDS. A related look at the hypocrisy over family values. Adri naturally has plenty to say on this, including the taboo topics of AIDS and being gay in Singapore. Mr Brown adds a dash of ridicule to the claims and Mr Miyagi wonders if its a ploy by the Straits Times. Caleb, IZ and Lancerlord all also have takes.

Yawning Bread's What the Minister Said and What the Newspaper Said discusses the issue extensively and with verve.

On the famous Mr Brown commentary site: http://www.mrbrown.com/blog/2005/03/hypothesis_aids.html

[quote]Sadly, the total number of new cases for 2004 was 311. In 2003, the number of new cases was 242. This means there was a year-on-year increase of 28%. Currently 90% of these newly diagnosed patients are males, with 1/3 being gays. We had a low prevalence rate of HIV in the past, even in the gay community. We do not know the reasons for the sharp increase of HIV in the gay community.[/quote]
apparently, the number of hetrosexual males detected with hiv in 2004 was
311-242 * 2/3 * 0.9 = 93..
apparently 93 more hetrosexual males were detected with hiv, as compared to 20 more homosexual males. OMG! hetrosexuality causes aids!

Flava@SPF was a volunteer at last year's Nation party to give out safe sex kits...The police came and escorted the condoms out of the party...funny how the Aids spike is blamed on the Nation party isnt it? read her account here http://sarongpartyfrens.com/archives/2004/08/14/nation/

On http://www.thebody.com/asp/janfeb05/lazarus.html?m83h - The Fourth Annual "Just Shut Up" Awards, the write-up on Dr Balaji says:

The Southeast Asian country of Singapore is one of the world's most prosperous nations. Home to a little more than four million people, figures from the World Health Organization tell us that about 4,000 Singaporeans are living with HIV. Speaking publicly last November, Senior Minister of State for Health Balaji Sadasivan reported that HIV/AIDS cases were doubling every three to four years. Sadasivan blames gay men for the spread of HIV and claims nongovernmental agencies like Action for AIDS (AfA) are not doing enough to promote safer sexual practices. Naturally, he fails to acknowledge that gay sex is still illegal in many parts of Singapore (as are oral and anal sex) and that agencies like AfA are routinely prohibited from distributing brochures or condom packs that would lead to education and prevention. "We must recognize there are conservative people in Singapore and there's no need to say the only way to educate people is to try to do it in an in-your-face approach," Sadasivan protests. "To educate people, you don't have to be offensive," he rambled further until finally warning, "If we do not act, by 2010 we may have more than 15,000 HIV persons in Singapore." Does he have a plan, a strategy? Nope. His job would seem to be pointing fingers and declaring, "Sexual behavior is a private thing, it's something people don't want to talk about. It's not discussed in polite society."

Another site (http://popagandhi.com/vault/synonym-gay-hiv) says:
I believe that the ‘conservative majority’ is really made up of the same people who make Geylang their favourite spot in Singapore. They are the ones who can condone prostitution, but not intimacy between two consenting adults of the same sex. They are the ones who also don’t mind going to Bangkok once or twice every year to see sex shows performed by people of the same sex on each other, drag shows, have sex with girls young enough to be their daughters (which is worse? i think paedophelia is)... that’s the ‘conservative majority’ for you, very hypocritical because after all, they need someone to blame and it better be those sexual deviants. I also think that the govt chooses to blame the gay community because pointing the finger at the ‘conservative majority’ (who I feel are mostly to blame considering statistics prove that HIV is more prevalent amongst straight males) will mean that singapore has a NATIONAL problem—something akin to the falling birth rate, casino, etc which in turn means that it will become a fully debated issue, no stones left unturned proportions. Plus, I guess it’s not something that can help win or break votes, unlike more bread and butter issues directly involving the cost of living, so what’s there to bother? I believe, this HIV problem is something they would want to sweep under the carpet until it festers and explodes in their faces and perhaps give them the ability to take all the credit when they solve the problem, as this is only what a developed country should do—solve problems using first world solutions.

2 comments:

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