Thursday, November 11, 2004

It's interesting to see how Today and The Straits Time reported Senior Minister of State for Health Dr. Balaji Sidasivan's speech last night. The ST article played down Balaji's comments about gays and omitted his criticism of, which the Today article, which you can read here, picked up.

On the other hand, Today omitted Balaji's rationale for the different suggested approaches towards gays and promiscuous heterosexual males. Not that that rationale makes much sense to begin with:
As for heterosexual men who have casual sex abroad, he felt different measures were necessary. Dr Balaji said many were poorly educated, making it difficult to get the prevention message across.

"If the CDC can screen high-risk Singaporeans at our borders when they return, we may be able to protect Singapore women from catching Aids from these men."

I'd like to know how a "high-risk" person can possibly be identified. Can you pick them out with a MINDEF thermal scanner? Don't people lie on questionnaires? Besides, I suspect his premise -- that the majority of men who have casual sex abroad are poorly-educated -- is wrong.

And why is the gay community being singled out? The ST article states outright:

Overall, heterosexuals account for 80 per cent of HIV patients.

So wouldn't it make sense for the CDC to concentrate its efforts on heterosexual males? Instead of breathing down the neck of Action for Aids?

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