Alex Au of Yawning Bread has posted a new article on the increase in HIV/AIDS incidence and the amendments to the Infectious Diseases Act. The article contains much data and information and is well-worth a read.
Mr Au identifies moralisation of HIV/AIDS as one of the underlying problems with our HIV/AIDS programme, and doubts that legislation will make things better. angry doc tends to agree with him.
But whether or not one agrees with Mr Au's observations, one cannot deny that the data he has presented suggest that whatever Singapore has been doing to try to reduce the number of new cases of HIV/AIDS is not really effective, and that at the same time, some countries are in fact experiencing successs in their fight against HIV/AIDS. Perhaps there is a place on Earth where moralisation and/or legislation of HIV/AIDS will work, but so far Singapore doesn't look like that place.
Faced with the latest figures, angry doc feels that we should take a step back ask ourselves why we are failing. We should look critically at whether the programmes we seem to be pursuing currently have in fact been shown to be successful elsewhere in the world, and also look at programmes which have been shown to be successful.
We may want to consider evidence that "[p]rogrammes that exclusively encourage abstinence from sex do not seem to affect the risk of HIV infection in high income countries", and ask ourselves whether we should review the emphasis of our programme.
We may also want to look at the success Brazil has had, which is attributed to "its integrated approach of prevention, respect for human rights and to free of charge universal access to state of the art antiretrovirals", and ask ourselves if there is something we might learn there.
There is a lot more data out there to be looked at, and we should look at all the data and learn from them because HIV, being a virus, obeys the laws of nature and not moral or penal codes, and looking at the data objectively and scientifically may be our best chance of beating the disease.