8) In 1997, two Singaporeans received donor platelets and red blood cells from SGH. These were later discovered to have been HIV-contaminated. What did the government do? Instead of trying to explain how such a serious procedural fault could have happened, they went on a witchhunt. They traced the donated blood products to a man whose name and face was published in the papers. And there it was, the public execution to deflect consciousness from the failings of the public health system.
9) Balaji, we don't need you to be sad.
10) We need you to do something about the epidemic. And the solution is not in passing legislation that will continue to stigmatise PWH's (people with HIV), PWA's (people with Aids) and gay men. We need you to start spreading the message, alarmist or otherwise, to straight people too, because your recent comments can easily lull them into a sense of complacency. We need you to provide a better environment for those stricken with the disease to lead productive and dignified lives. We need you to try to provide better treatment to PWH's, and for the record your much vilified northern neighbour, Malaysia, has introduced free treatment of generic frontline drugs to PWH's. We need you, ultimately, to tell PWH's that they are not lesser human beings because high risk behaviour is often linked to issues of self-worth. We need you to start thinking of how terrified a sexually active 18-year-old boy is to take a HIV test because if he's branded positive in his community it's the end of the world for him and he can't afford that, not when he's never really been in love before. We need you to start thinking of that man who goes around fucking without a condom because in the society he lives in, having HIV is a shameful thing and who sees infecting other people as revenge against that society. We need you to start thinking long and hard about the prostitute who doesn't insist anymore on her clients using protection because in the country she lives in, a Minister has given her an expiry term of 'four to five years'.
25 Mar 2005
'Dr Balaji, Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts
Posted by soci at 3/25/2005 11:46:00 p.m.