Well it was funny when I was eleven which is when AIDS really hit Britain or at least when the advertising started.
Efforts to stop the spread of HIV/Aids in the UK are “woefully inadequate” and a new awareness campaign is needed, a House of Lords committee has said.
Yes, I saw Lord Fowler on the TV. Apparently we spend “next to nothing” on AIDS prevention. This almost stuns me. The government spends a fortune on it’s war with salt, fatty foods, beer, ciggy-wigs but not AIDS - like Ginster’s pasty might is more lethal than a roll in the hay with “positive Mike” (possibly, I have had Ginster’s pasty - it was emotional - I don’t believe in God but after that I do believe in near death experiences. I guess they expect Sir Elton to do the heavy lifting on that score. Frankly I reckon the tubby crooner does a better job but that is another issue.
(I am not by the way making a case for MOR popular songsmiths to take government jobs in general. But Sir Elton at least seems to have his head screwed on the right way. This cannot be said about much the rest of ‘em. Phil Collins - wanker extrordinaire - once divorced his missus by fax - how ’80s is that! Sir Paul for the FCO! Seeing as he was taken in by a gold-digging Geordie unidexter I can’t see that working out in a trade deal with the Chinese - they’d eat the Scouser for breakfast and stack the bones in the shower. And then there’s Sting at any position. God help us!)
It says better testing must become a priority and suggests relaxing the laws on home-testing kits.
I often find government to resemble OCD. I mean the last lot made it illegal to sell squirrels (this means I’m using the black market and financing Snakehead gangs and Yardies but I’m down to ten a day) and illegal to detonate a nuclear device “except as an act of war”. It is the same demented mentality that even conceives of laws about HIV testing. I mean some things obviously ought to be against the law: murder, rape, putting a camera in front of Jonathan Ross. No, not the last one! That is so obviously vile it shouldn’t need to be illegal in a civilized society. If I were a TV exec I’d be more inclined to show “Adolf Eichmann Does Tap” or even “Come Dine With Me”. The last one is a close call, mind.
But HIV-testing is a matter of life and death so it must be regulated! So is a pregnancy test and my local pharmacy will sell me a dozen of those. Why the difference? [Don't give 'em ideas Nick!]. I mean the pharmacist would raise a quizzical eyebrow but I’d just say, “Been one of those weeks…” and flash a naughty grin. Either that or I’d say I’d been taken on as a runner for a show on C5.
The Department of Health said with no cure, prevention and safe sex were key.
Which is pretty much what they said 25 years ago. Now I dunno if it needs re-iterating*. What I do know is the Department of Stealth and Social Insecurity (as was) not long since ran a “safe-sex campaign” (buried in the same TV graveyard-slots Durex use off their own dime!) mentioning all sorts of dread maladies got via cock and cunny and the tradesmen’s but not AIDS. What I don’t know is whether “awareness” needs raising. I really have no idea (not going down on the kids) but it does seem odd that the government can spend millions on chlamydia but not on AIDS.
Lord Fowler says…
Acquiring HIV is not remotely consequence-free.
Touché! Does anyone think it is? I mean anyone who thinks? Lots of the government muntering on this seems predicated upon the same ideas they think we have. AIDS is now a manageable condition. That doesn’t mean it won’t kill you. Everyone knows that. Everyone knows that for a very simple reason because it’s true. AIDS is pretty much the only person-to-person transmissible disease that is both (fairly) common and (potentially) fatal in the developed world. Apart from hospital infections - obviously.
The health tyrants do seem to have let this ball slip from their grasp somewhat. Going, as they have done, for chips and a Diet Coke and such as the route of all weevil. But really!
I dunno. What I do know is getting AIDS is a really, really bad idea. This arguably is why Sir Elton has done more good than the government - he is focused because he lived a pretty cavalier lifestyle in the ’70s and didn’t get AIDS. I saw him interviewed and what drives his charity suff here is how lucky he feels. By rights he should be in the same choir eternal as Freddie Mercury and he knows it - lucked-out there Elt! It is not like (in the Geordie) “gettin’ a durse and gannin’ to the special clinic”. It is not, to put it bluntly (and the instruments of the NHS “special clinics” are used very bluntly***) a laughing matter. One is a topic for - a few pints in - public house ribaldry and the other just isn’t. Are there any buggers (or those who take the lady highway - I ought to be shot) who don’t know about AIDS? Really. I mean the whole libertarian thing is we own ourselves. Otherwise it is nothing and we are mere cogs in a grand machine. Well, not that grand, obviously.
Christ almighty, do our Lords and Masters not trust us to go out of our way not to contract fatal diseases?
It’s part of my plans for he weekend. I dunno about the cabinet - look at them - the best argument ever put forward for complete sexual abstinence. Theresa May but I won’t. NB. There is also Teresa May who is not a secretary of state (well maybe for party-ee!). Well, she might be in a rational universe. I honestly found that purely by chance. I was just trying to look-up the leading Tory politician as the actress said to the bishop. Really!
Reminds me! I recently didn’t buy a book. It was in Corbridge, Northumberland and it was the memoirs of Norman Lamont. It was very cheap. Not cheap enough. My cat fetches in things of more literary merit.
They don’t trust us. How do you feel about people who don’t trust you? Would you have sex with someone you knew didn’t trust you? Because you know if you don’t trust them…
So why trust on he subject of sexually transmitted infections not your husband, wife, lover, paramour, whatever but the sort of people you would never bunk-up with in poincare time?
What next? Gordon Brown on the G-spot? You know that forced grin he has? The one by numbers? You know like Mandelson has stuck a traffic-cone up his bracket and he’s quantitatively easing whether he likes it or not. I have gone too far now. I’m gonna buy a hair-shirt, learn apiculture and start droning in Latin.
Coda: AIDS is manageable now. This is not good but it beats the hell out of dying! Most things do. The rest are on Jeremy Kyle show. This is due to combined therapy - a heady cocktail of drugs - not ideal but when you contemplate the alternative… The key scientist who developed this is no longer with us. He was on Pan Am 103.
*Possibly. At my secondary school, “AIDS”, opined a member of Set 7 (of 7**), “Is an arse disease that botters get”. Which perhaps reinforces the point that folks either know already or any amount of percussive education with a pit-prop will do no good. Having taught math to folk who didn’t want to know it I know. It was at times like carving granite with a banana. What really fecked me off was they weren’t thick. What kept me coming back for more was 18 quid an hour and that was twelve years ago. Teaching - casting false pearls before real swine.
**My brother’s year it was up to set 9! Set 9 of 9. What a thing to label someone at age 11! There are many excellent things my country learned from India. A caste system shouldn’t have been one of them.