Tagged with immigration

How much evidence do you need?

Newly-elected AFAO vice-president Bridget Haire has a timely piece on the ABC Science website about HIV prevention technologies, calling for regulatory action to make these available in Australia.

If a person with HIV consistently takes effective anti-HIV medication, the chances of them infecting a sexual partner are close to zero. The condom, while remaining cheap, effective and sometimes convenient, is now just one part of the HIV prevention toolbox rather than the whole kit and kaboodle — in theory at least.

But in practice, access to these new forms of HIV prevention is constrained by regulatory systems, concerns about cost, and a fear of new technologies eroding the ‘condom culture’ that saw the whole scale adoption of condoms by gay men worldwide in the mid-80s, who perceived the threat of HIV, and improvised a form of protection.

Read the full article here.

Also recommended:

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How to fight an epidemic of bad laws

“The law can seem remote, arcane, the stuff of specialists. But it isn’t, because for those of us who live in democracies, the law begins with us,” says Shereen El-Feki, vice-chair of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, in this TED talk.

The talk is a very fine summary of the issues around HIV criminalisation and its unintended effects. The comments below the video, alas, show how far we have to go.

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You’re gay? Prove it!

(This posting goes on a bit. Sorry about that.)

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Some time ago I wrote a cranky email to Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, in response to media reports that a Bangladeshi couple may have to have sex in front of witnesses to prove they are gay, as they had claimed on their refugee visa application.

This is the same Senator Chris Evans I wrote about last year, when I called him ‘Australia’s best immigration minister in a dozen years’.

When I heard about what these two Bangladeshi fellows were going through, I felt a bit cranky. When I read the history of the case as outlined in the published findings of the Federal Court appeal on 18 September 2009, I was incensed.

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