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getting started on World AIDS Day early

I figured that I'd be more likely to be polite to Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens than the other reviewers at Daily Info, and I probably was; but, oh good grief whatever posesses people to write monologues in rhyming couplets? It was also rather out of date and full of vague mumblings about there being no cure, too many "innocent" victims (transfusions, accidental infections), the haemophilia issue was covered very sketchily and there was little or no mention of the African AIDS disaster.

Let's get it up to date a bit! Let's have an African asylum seeker, and an ostracised Pakistani woman, two teenaged girls who fetched up sleeping with the same risk-taking older man, and a couple of disco-bunnies who got HIV to prove they were real gay men. Lets have an IV drug user who knew about the risk, but carried on using dirty needles anyway, because he wanted to risk it all. Let's have the wife whose husband brought her back a special present from Taiwan. Let's have a prostitute who tried to get her clients to use condoms, but at the end of the month always falls back on how she can charge double for unprotected.

And while we're at it, lets have the women who've evolved some sort of immunity; the kids who live on with HIV, their infections controlled by cheap antibiotics; a pregnant mum who's taking drugs to stop her child getting HIV; the different issues facing mixed and positive couples who living with AIDS or HIV.

Fact of the matter is, I suppose, that the HIV campaigns (in this country, at least) have pretty much won. It is just another disease, that people live with, and people die from. And sure, you're more likely to catch it bad if it goes undiagnosed or if you're doing a lot of risk-taking behaviour or if you're homeless or otherwise unhealthy, but the same goes for pneumonia, the same goes for lots of things.

Wherever AIDS is an societal (rather than individual) issue now, it's part of a bigger problem, often to do with women's rights, access to health information, or systematic sexual abuse (such as occurs during wars). But in some areas of the world one might (quite successfully) argue that this is for the same reasons that abstinence programs are beginning to make a difference; because pretty much everyone got it already.