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27 Oct 2008

Singapore's biannual AIDS conference to be held Nov 8

Themed "Fight the Disease, Fight the Stigma", the 6th Singapore AIDS Conference will be held on Nov 8, 2008 at the Suntec Convention Centre.

Keynote speakers of the conference include Prasada Rao, Director of UNAIDS Support Team for Asia and the Pacific, and Andrew Grulich of Australia's National Centre in HIV Prevention and Clinical Research who will the Australian Experience in HIV prevention programmes.

The sixth biannual AIDs conference is organised by Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Health Promotion Board and Action for AIDS, a non government organisation that recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

The conference will be held concurrently with the National Healthcare Group's annual scientific meeting.

Aside from healthcare professionals, the event is targeted at business leaders, community groups and concerned community members, faith-based leaders, infected and affected persons, media representatives, policymakers and youth.

In a landmark testing project conducted by AfA at venues and establishments frequented by MSM between December 2007 and February 2008 using the OraQuick test, 30 (3.1%) of 960 men who have sex with men (MSM) were found to be HIV-infected.

Although HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Singapore is one of the lowest in the region, MSMs are at the highest risk of HIV infection, compared to heterosexual males and females. According to a press release issued by AfA in July, about 30 percent of new and cumulative HIV infections among Singaporeans and Permanent Residents have been reported among MSM.

A MSM and HIV Symposium will be held from 3.30pm to 5pm featuring the following speakers:

- Andrew Grulich, National Centre in HIV Prevention and Clinical Research, Australia
Advancing the Research Agenda in HIV Prevention

- Daniel Tung
Strategies for HIV/AIDS Prevention among MSM in Singapore

- Dr Stuart Koe, CEO, Fridae
Sex, Internet and HIV

- Arthur Lim, Action for AIDS
MSM+ and the Positive Prevention Programme

6th Singapore AIDS Conference
Nov 8, 2008
8.30am to 5.30pm
Suntec Convention Centre
Registration fee: $150 (includes lunch and tea)

For the latest information about the conference programme and registration, visit http://www.afa.org.sg.


Reader's Comments

1. 2008-10-27 23:22  
i hope they find the cure for this disease soon. People are dying!
2. 2008-10-28 01:07  
"Fight the disease, Fight the stigma"? The Spore govt should fight the stigma. I have been deported for sometimes now, packed and left the republic for good. Move on with my life, living healthy and happy back in Malaysia.
Kudos to AFA for what they have done to help promote the AIDS awareness
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7. 2008-10-28 07:10  
I was deported from Asia back to America, and thought Asia was so monstrous for doing so. Then I learned that many countries in the world reserve the right to deport HIV+ foreigners from their countries, including the United States. Here in NYC, that supposed enlightened cosmopolitan center of the world, I have encountered so much hostility from fellow gays because of my status. I learned to give up on sex, but I was surprised when so many people said that they couldn't be friends with me either. After all, gay men are rarely looking for "just friendship"--there's always got to be sex involved, if at all possible.

I don't tell people about my status anymore. I only get my heart handed back to me in a filthy garbage can. It has now gotten to the point where I feel I am totally justified in freely lying to other guys about my status and infecting everyone possible. Hey, I'm gonna die, so why not take out whoever I can while I still can. I hate that it has come to this, but after you get rejected hundreds and hundreds of times (for being honest about your HIV status) you start getting angry.

To all you HIV- people out there who never gave an HIV+ guy a chance to be your friend just because he was HIV+, shame on you. You're all hypocrites, dying to come out of your own little gay closet, but forcing HIV+ people into an even darker closet of shame and guilt. Screw it. The days of me living in the dark all by myself are over. I'm going to be dragging as many of you as I can into my hideous, ghastly world.

It's not to late to start being supportive of HIV+ individuals. Just pray you never run into me. Because as far as you're concerned, I'm not HIV+ anymore. I'm not even human anymore. I'm your death sentence that was richly deserved.

Wake up people! You were reading these words while in a nightmare!!!

8. 2008-10-28 09:49  
Hi #about1in300

I am truly sorry about your status. Here again I beg to differ your perception of all the gay people out there. True , most of the time we encounter , self centred , selfish and plain bitchy and arrogant sistas out there. I know it's a cruel world.

However , amongst them , I am sure you will encounter some Mother Theresa . Take me for example. I have 2 friends who were down with that sentence. When I heard it , I flew all the way from Tokyo ( where I was based then ) to be with him in Paris. I called a few friends and together we went to be with him. To console him and to give him strength. Can we help him ? No , but the least we can give him warmth and moral support. Today we are still best of sistas. No judgement whatsoever. Being gay does not have to always be about sex sex sex. I know many out there begs to differ. but I am sure if you sit back and look back , I am sure everything has a reasons. Do not be disheartened and do not give up. Fight that battle alone if there is no one there for you. This is a cruel world and why do you have to be like the main stream. be bold and be different.

Another sista who was based in London was later also down with that sentence. he told us only when it was really at a late stage. Guessed what ? a few of us also packed our bags and flew over. I was then based in Sydney . Some of us spent his last few moments with him in the hospital. In the end , he left a void in our lives. There was no anger , there was no revenge. It was just a phase that some unfortunate ones have to go through.

What I want to share with you is to be more at peace with yourself. make the best of things . I remembered what one of my fren used to say to me. When we come into this world , we are the one crying, but when we leave this world , the ones around us should be crying ....( that's if we leave a void and vacumn in their lives ). Like I say , I cannot help you but the least I can do as a cyber friend is to wish you well and you know there will always be someone out there who is there for you.

If you smile , the world smile at you , if you cry , the world cry with you. If you hate , I am sure the world hate with you :)

My 2 cents worth. God bless :)

Matahari :)
9. 2008-10-28 09:55  
Yes , find a cure and people are dying ....
We all have to unite and first of all fight the discrimination !!!

All of us ( THE PLU ) must unite and live as one. We have to speak with one voice and treat each other fairly and sincerely. ( I know it's tough ) but we must try. If within us we are already so dis united , how then can we represent and speak up ????

Remember being gay is not all about sex sex sex and being promiscuous and challenging how many btms we hv conquered ???? get a life please :)

If being gay is ok to be so horny , why dun get a bitch !
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12. 2008-10-28 12:43  

Thanks for your words--I know they were sincerely meant. And I know that not all HIV- men are evil, heartless beings. But I will take issue with something you said: "Be more at peace with yourself. Make the best of things." I am sorry to say this, but that advice is really quite meaningless. The world will not let me be at peace with myself because it wants to keep persecuting me because I have this virus.

A while ago, there was talk of requiring all HIV+ individuals to register with the government. It reminded me of what the villains were trying to do in the X-Men movie--require all mutants to register; find out what they are capable of; strip them of their freedom and dignity. If you saw the movie, then you know that many of the mutants DID make peace with themselves. The problem was the world--which kept thinking all mutants were dangerous and sought the extinction of regular humans.

Because of my HIV, I am a mutant of sorts. I have a very lethal superpower--given the right circumstances, I can kill anyone with my semen and blood. But I choose not to use my power this way. I know I should not use it this way. But when "non-mutant" people insist that I am dangerous and can't be trusted, there can be no environment for making peace, only fear and war. And that's why I warned all you HIV- non-mutants to be wary of me. I wonder what Magneto would have thought of all you HIV- people. Are you not the weak ones, the powerless ones, the ones without the virus coursing through your veins?

Sorry if this analogy became unwieldy. I think I am most like Storm. She made peace with herself to an extent. But she also knew the power of anger, and how it can help a person survive. I am able to admit that I have yet to evolve. This virus is not done with me yet. Nor am I done with it. I would only hope that people could be more aware of the struggles that all HIV+ mutants go through every day.
13. 2008-10-28 23:50  
Does anyone know if HIV positive people can travel freely and openly to Singapore? I'm not sure if I could swing going this year but I am happy to learn what I can when I can, and tell my own HIV story when it is of service ot do so.

Nicholas Snow, Founder, www.ActionEqualsLife.com
PositiveLove on Fridae
14. 2008-10-29 10:41  
Dear about1in300:

So sorry to read about the awful treatment that you have been getting in Asia and elsewhere, although I am sure that the last thing you need from others is pity.

Like matahari_gar wrote, there are definitely nice and caring people out there. Perhaps you just have not met them yet, but you should not give up hope of finding them!!

Gay communities around the world as as diverse as they come, with factions within each community having their own concerns and insecurities.

I highly suspect that those who rejected you did so out of fear and ignorance. Hopefully, with improved education and outreach efforts by the various NGOs, everyone (gay or otherwise) will have a better understanding of HIV transmission, thereby reducing the prejudice against and discrimination of PLWHA....

As for Nicholas' query, as far as I know, Singapore's CIQ does not do mandatory checks on HIV status of visitors and tourists. As such, there should not be any problems for you to "swing by" here. Complications arise only during the application for and renewal of work permits....

Perhaps you can consider tying up with AFA to do a talk/sharing session, especially considering that World AIDS Day is around the corner....

Thanks for wanting to help, and all the best to you and about1in300! Take care!

15. 2008-10-29 11:02  
hmm, looks interesting, you never know who will pop into town with an entourage, how to register?
16. 2008-10-30 23:51  
There will not be a cure for HIV
Prevention is key
Ice is responsible for 2/3 of new HIV in USA
In Fridae survey in 2006, 50% of gay men who regularly test for HIV still bareback
Blame no one
Take personal responsibility
17. 2008-11-01 16:07  
There are many out there who particpate in orgy party. It a personal choice. But when there is drugs involved, such as ice.

There always tendancy to loose jugdement and be careless. That when you will be take advantage of.

18. 2008-11-02 23:53  
it takes two hands to clap...Blame yourself if youfor contracting hiv when you play unsafe sex.. I never blame the person for getting it to me.
19. 2008-11-03 20:04  
Understanding the factors that influenced my own exposure in August of 2007 has been important to me. I do accept responsibility, and I think a key to turning this around is for people who have the ability to do so to tell their stories about being HIV positive as broadly as possible. I stress, people who "have the ability to do so." I do realize that for many the costs of such a disclosure is way too high, but the cost of the INVISIBILITY of HIV positive people is also devastating.

I am continuing to tell my own story, and I am so proud of Fridae.com for the work they do!

Big Hugs,

Nicholas Snow
Founder, ActionEqualsLife.com http://www.ActionEqualsLife.com
20. 2008-11-04 16:30  
the only way to lower the Hiv spreading ,if law makes people more conscious about themselves and the own responsability we have . u can not let yourself go with drugs and other things and not care and after blame someone if u got infected .
each single educated person can choose them self where they hang out and what kind of people they play with in darkrooms and dirty toilets etc .
21. 2008-11-04 16:38  
there is many alternative cures abt hiv and the fact that aids is a name for many different illnes i guess abt 30 + means u can die on aids without having hiv just needs one of these sickness what have been around much longer than we know abt hiv . its all abt what urself believe in or let yourself by fear of media and pharma industry .
i suggest u to check out diffrent points of view .

22. 2008-11-04 16:40  
or check this out

23. 2008-11-04 16:54  
i believe we all connected with higher levels in universe we just need to be aware of them.it will challenge us but if we bring our mind in balance feel our body what he needs no matter what other people say we can be free n healthy in our mind and body . and i honestly believe with a mind in body in inner peace there is no such as sickness as energy flows where attention goes
just be aware guys if u think i don't want this wil get it but if u have faith n believe all the good things will come to me the surely will come too .its ur choice what u focus on
24. 2008-11-05 20:01  
Post #2 versatiletop, sad to read your story. Being HIV+ is not the end of the world and the condition be be managed, unlike in the eighties and early nineties. I know of many who are + and those who didn't made it are those who chooses not to know. I have friends who are + for more than 10 years. However, the cost of their triump is about USD 150 a month on HAART.

I just lost a friend two months ago. He succumb to brain cancer and lung infection as his CD4 was just 45. He gambled and chooses not to know, and he lost.
25. 2008-11-05 22:27  
well i am sorry to hear that but its his choose not to know and how much we care for our body its never to late. i lost a friend with bad kidney problems but last time i saw him he was doing his transfusion before party and taking drugs 3 days one week later he died so what, it is his choice .
as u say its not the end and u dont need to be on medication or anything just be aware of healthy mind and body trough life changes etc .life can be challenging but for me its a big plus to experience a fully positive
consciousness trough everything and I will survive as long as others do .or even longer :-)

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