Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mystery In The Southland

There’s two basic rules to follow if you don’t want to catch AIDS:

  1. If you belong to the overwhelming majority of humanity that likes having sex, always use a condom; and,
  2. If you belong to the smaller subset of humanity that likes intravenous drugs, never share a needle.

That’s pretty much it, right? There’s extra rules to follow if you’re a doctor or anyone else whose job requires the handling of medical waste, but for most people it just boils down to “Use condoms” and “don’t share needles,” and most people can ignore the second admonition since they don’t shoot heroin anyway.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a story discussing the alarming increase in AIDS and HIV among rural black women in Georgia (the American one, not the Asian country that just might catapult us into World War Three):

HIV/AIDS has assumed a new face in Georgia. It is younger and more rural, more likely to be black or female.

And it is harder to reach with prevention messages, testing and services.

Old messages geared to urban, white, gay men simply don’t resonate with many African-American and rural people, advocates say.

Well, yeah. Stocking rural black churches with AIDS-prevention posters showing buff naked white guys with fabulous hair likely wouldn’t resonate (as they say in marketing) with the intended audience.

But that’s not what the story’s about. It mostly focuses on the stigma that keeps people who already have HIV reluctant to say anything about it. Which is indeed a problem, but one entirely different from “How to prevent people getting the disease in the first place.”

To talk about that you must make frequent use of the word “condom,” which unfortunately appears in this story only twice, in a little throwaway clause:

[Georgia AIDS Coalition President] Teahan said reaching young people in schools has been difficult since so much sex education in Georgia is abstinence centered.

“No one can use the word condom now,” she said.

But Bruce Cook, whose Atlanta company Choosing the Best provides abstinence-centered education materials to Georgia schools, said such instruction can be effective in leading young people to make the right decisions.

“The only way you eliminate risk is abstinence,” Cook said. “Condoms do break and they do slip off.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is confusing the issue (or missing the obvious) by marveling over the success differential between “messages that appeal to white urban gays” and the failing programs in rural Georgia. It's simple: gay men’s AIDS awareness ads aren’t funded by the Anti-Sex League. The difference isn’t between urban and rural, gay and straight or black and white; it’s between “use condoms” and “never ever have sex.”

12 Comments:

Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

Thus we have the real problem with state run education. Instead of a broad base of educational methods being practiced so we can see which works and which fails we are forced to endure whatever the majority of ignorant boobs think is best. Then when the inevitable complaints come out the solution offered by the other side is to take over and shove their ideas down the throats of the ignorent boobs.

You gotta love how we practice Democracy in this nation, it's all about who gets to force their ideology on the rest of us.

6:21 AM  
Blogger NoStar said...

I advocate the foolproof Absinthe method to prevent pregnancy and the spread of HIV and other disease.

Drink enough until sexual dysfunction is guaranteeed.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

Vicodin is a damn fine substitute for Absinthe if you haven't got a man in France...

8:41 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

If US Air fucks you over hard in the woods, and there is nobody around to hear it, do they use a condom?

2:35 PM  
Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

Moose, I'm going to tell you what I tell my wife when she gets upset at people. Beat them with a nine iron or get over it.

Yeah, US Air sucks the sweat from a dead mans balls. I found an article about how a soldier was mistreated by North West Airlines and the TSA drones at Detriot Metro. He thinks NWA sucks too. Methinks no matter what airlines you look at you will find plenty of horror stories out there.

Airlines suck.

Get over it or declare war. Pissing and moaning on a blog isn't going to fix anything.

Link for NWA story...

http://consumerist.com/5039530/tsa-martinet-claims-her-unpublished-rules-trump-real-ones

4:32 PM  
Anonymous A moose said...

Um...stand down, CML, it was a joke. I guess my dry sarcasm is lost on ye.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Jennifer (et al),

I don't know if ya'll have heard, but Nostar, a regular poster here, was involved in a serious motorcycle accident over the weekend along with his 12 year old daughter. Nostar is in serious condition, but unfortunately the little girl died at the scene.

Here's link to the winecommonsewer's blog where I first heard about it. Here's another link to the newspaper article. You now know as much as I do.

sasob

4:34 AM  
Anonymous A moose said...

was involved in a serious motorcycle accident over the weekend along with his 12 year old daughter.

Dear god, the newspaper article says the 12 yr old was killed. I'm so sorry to hear that.

5:53 AM  
Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

Holy crap! Didja notice this part, "The girl slid across the road and was hit by a 2002 Dodge Caravan driven by an 81-year-old woman."

An 81 year old woman behind the wheel of a Dodge Caravan? Shit. She probably didn't even notice what was happening around her. Her family should have taken the keys away from her at least ten years ago. If they had his daughter would be in a bed in the hospital instead of a slab in the morgue.

Farking Boomers, so wrapped up in their own lives that they ignore the inevitable decline of their parents and endanger everyone else by letting the old farts drive.

6:20 AM  
Anonymous A moose said...

Holy crap! Didja notice this part, "The girl slid across the road and was hit by a 2002 Dodge Caravan driven by an 81-year-old woman."

I did. I don't read into it as much as you do, I saw it as the motorcycle hit the vehicle in front and she was thrown quickly across the road and the oncoming driver didn't have time. Doesn't really matter, if I was driving and one of my daughters was killed, it would be hard to continue on.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

I just saw the news about NoStar on Hit and Run. Oh, no. I'm going to make a post about it here -- not that it'll make a damned bit of difference. That poor man.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

[Deleted a couple of comments. A friend of mine has suffered a horrible personal tragedy, and acrimonious tangents can only make things worse.]

3:32 PM  

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