Not Obviously Law

This is not really or obviously about law, but if you are roughly my age (37 almost 38) or older, it strikes fear into your heart. A mysterious disease with a disporportionate and deadly impact on gay men.

When I first read it yesterday, it was a bit like a punch in the stomach remembering the period when HIV was a mystery, Reagan would not even say the word AIDS, people were talking about quarrantine and the dehumanization of GLBT people. Let’s hope they figure this one out soon and remember, people — antibiotics ONLY when necessary.

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4 Responses to Not Obviously Law

  1. vancleve says:

    This is very frightening. I just sent it to my friends with a note to be careful.

    Yes…let’s all do our share by saying “NO to antibiotics….unless you are drooling, have a fever, and have had a cold since the fall quarter.”

    (note: I am typing this and cannot breath threw my nose, beginning to drool and am on day 7 of my cold…still holding out though!).

  2. vancleve says:

    Also…when sick, I apparently want to “throw” my nose, rather than breathe through it. sigh…..

  3. cdf364 says:

    I found this follow-up article pretty interesting:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/us/20castro.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    It’s worth noting that they managed to avoid mentioning the Time’s on role in putting the gay spin on the story. It strikes me that coding a disease or infection with a particular identity category, while hopefully intended to promote more effective prevention and treatment programs, can often have negative unintended consequences. Seems like an alternative approach would be to focus prevention and treatment efforts on “behaviors” rather than “identities.” (And is this case, it seems the behavior to focus on is just touching people!) To the extent that behaviors are closely linked with identities, I might be splitting hairs in the most “PC” of ways. However, it seems that by coding a disease as a “gay” disease (or any other group), you’re likely to lose the attention of people who might be engaging in certain behaviors but don’t embrace the identity generally associated with them…I’m looking in your general direction former senator Larry Craig. This is probably a little unrealistic and naive position to take all the time, but in this instance it just seemed like coding this as a “gay” infection was a little unnecessary and misleading. Although it is worth noting that gay people(it seems implied that they are gay) quoted in the article didn’t take any offense to that characterization of the infection…

    All that said… I’m not sure if this line of reasoning holds up to any scrutiny. That’s the deep fear connected to blog comments made in the spur of the moment…I hope I don’t realize after an hour how unsound my reasoning is!

  4. laurabethnielsen says:

    CDF: Interesting. I am such an outlier that I thought immediately “since it is affecting a marginalized group, it must be way more serious than they are letting on.” I totally get your point and think you probably are right — I have learned to accept that I am not the “average reader” — Sometimes I forget how distorted I am compared to regulat americans.

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