This is very sad, but also not highly informative. This article raises so many questions. Like what proportion of prevention spending is used on other high risk groups? And are the high risk groups the same globally, or are these statistics not available?
Also, spending is one thing, but how do you go about prevention? I know one health authority that had an outreach worker in the local gay scene, giving advice wherever possible. How widespread a tactic is this, and how do you measure any success? What other tactics are there and how is their effectiveness measured? Basically prevention means a lowering of the rate of spread of infection, but how can you get an unbiased measure of non-infection, and can we really demographically break that down?
Also, was there anything positive about this conference, like a report of cheaper and more effective treatments?
Can Lisa Power of THT please explain why her charity has become so dependent on the government for HIV prevention funding? Without it, THT says, it doesn’t have the money to run campaigns that are needed to educate gay men about sexual health risks. But what about the hundreds of thousands of pounds THT raises from its gala dinners, celebrity auctions (a Tracey Emin painting raised £200,000 for THT just a couple of months ago!), extensive club door collections on World AIDS Day, THT credit cards, Xmas cards ad nauseum… And still THT cries poverty (perhaps we should mention the multi-million pound offices THT upgraded to in Grays Inn Road in May 2006?)!!! It just is not on for THT on the one hand to moan that government prevention funding is miniscule when it raises vast amounts elsewhere and pays its executive members private sector salaries and generous pension schemes.
Perhaps Lisa Power would also care to come clean and explain the conditions that are attached to the government funding it receives, and the politically correct protocols it is duty bound to adhere to? If she did, this would at least explain why THT has abjectly failed in its PC prevention campaigning to stem and curtail the spread of HIV in our community. In the latest issue of GT, for example, THT spin doctor Will Nutland continues to stamp his feet and insist that PC HIV campaigns are the way forward, even though it is its PC-gone-mad HIV campaigns that have got us into the mess we are in with the HIV epidemic – and despite the likes of genuine AIDS professionals like Dr. Chris Jansen calling for hard-hitting campaigns to reverse the damage they have already done.
The fact of the matter is that THT has become the Tesco Higgins Trust, and until it goes back to its humble, charitable roots and ceases its greedy dependency on government cash and instead uses the money raised from other sources to fund the sort of truthful, PC-free HIV campaigns that succeeded in stigmatising unsafe sex and saw rates of infection fall to their lowest level in the early nineties, then THT will continue to condemn our community to rampant STIs, the now social glorification of barebacking, STI-facilitating sex-on-premises venues and, not least, AIDS itself, which continues to kill over 200 men in the UK each year and which is placing an intolerable strain on the NHS in the form of expensive HIV treatments and medications.
Is it really moral for our community to sit back in and indifferently allow the THT to squander the next 25 years, during which thousands more gay men will needlessly get infected and claim HAART medications while the NHS preventing cancer treatments and Alzheimers drugs reaching the people who need them most while citing lack of funds?
HIV prevention is clearly broken in this country, but for THT to continue blaming the government for lack of funding is a lie when it is
sitting on a huge cash reserve of its own making.
Surely there are much bigger issues surrounding homophobia than this – there is clearly no intent to be homophobic, merely a desire to keep blood safe through a practical approach.
bisexual ### FindBilover.com