Saturday, March 13, 2010

Annie Lennox trying to get world to see changing face of AIDS. On CNN Christiane Amanpour Show

By Tom Evans, CNN
March 13, 2010 12:50 p.m. EST

Watch Annie Lennox on "Amanpour" at 2100 CET Sunday on CNN International, at 2 p.m. ET Sunday on CNN, or podcast @

(CNN) -- Singer and activist Annie Lennox wants the world to know that the HIV virus and the debilitating condition it causes, AIDS, are the leading killers of women of reproductive age in the world.

"The world needs to wake up and realize that the HIV/AIDS pandemic has changed its face since the 1980s. It has been affecting women and children at an enormous rate," Lennox told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an interview aired Friday.
"As a woman and a mother myself, I want to contribute to keeping this issue on the table. HIV is invisible," she added.

"You have swine flu, you have bird flu, and everybody is up in arms. But this has been a killer for years and it's not getting any better."

Lennox this month went to the United Nations headquarters in New York to help launch a five-year action plan to provide recommendations on how to address the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls worldwide.
Health officials acknowledge that great strides have been made addressing HIV/AIDS as a whole. But they say when it comes to women and girls, the world has made little progress.
Lennox said her intention is not to shock, but to break stigmas on the subject, by using the power of her music.

"Music is a great vehicle for communications, and I have a certain platform. I have an opportunity and I have to take it," she said. "As a woman, and as a mother and as an artist, it's something that I feel compelled to do. Otherwise it would be a complete waste."
Lennox said she has been very focused on this issue since she heard former South African President Nelson Mandela describe HIV/AIDS as "genocide" in 2003.
"To hear Mandela describe the HIV pandemic as a genocide really almost knocked me off my chair," she said.

"You know in South Africa, post-apartheid, one in every three pregnant women is carrying HIV. That is hugely significant. If they don't have intervention, the baby will be born with the virus. That baby will probably last, maybe a year."

Lennox added that a woman is raped every minute in South Africa, a country that is believed to have more people infected with HIV/AIDS than any other nation.
"You're seeing women especially, and young girls and young children, right at the front of the devastation. And it breaks my heart."

Asked whether she thinks the next generation will take up the HIV/AIDS issue as energetically as she has, Lennox said, "Unless people campaign in civil society, unless governments and leaderships campaign and keep the issue on the table, it's very hard to say."

You call me ‘denialist,’ I call you ‘believer,’ a dissident person tells the average person who belie...

FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2010
7 of 8 - What's in a Word? Dissidence, 'Denial,' and Health on a Poly Planet - From The G Tales

You call me ‘promiscuous,’ I call you ‘dishonest,’ a poly person tells the average person who believes that monogamy is the only natural way to love.
You call me ‘denialist,’ I call you ‘believer,’ a dissident person tells the average person who believes that HIV is the only cause of AIDS.

When you call AIDS Dissidents by their own name you exercise leadership in the sexual freedom movement.

Alternative lovestyle communities ignore AIDS Dissidence at their own peril.
From private conversations
Part Seven

“If AIDS was just as simple as the Swine Flu, don’t you think that a simple vaccine would have been produced already?  Don’t you remember when we talked about Echinacea?” G asked as we resumed the conversation.

“Yeah, you were flabbergasted that the government would not openly recommend this indigenous remedy,” I commented.
“The vaccine was produced immediately, remember?  So quickly that I felt a time-tested indigenous remedy would be safer if one used it ahead of time, as a preventative.”
“Yes G,” I said.  “It took a few weeks to produce a flu vaccine, and it’s been twenty five years since the beginning of AIDS,” I reflected. “One can’t be too surprised that scientists--as well as a large portion of the general public--dissent from the simple explanations that are the basis for comparing AIDS Dissidence with denial of the Holocaust.  Is that your point?”
“Exactly!” G exclaimed.  “Do you know what dissidents call those who believe in the official explanations?”
“No.  What do they call ‘em?”
“Believers,” G said.
“Believers--as in a church?” I asked.
“Yeah,” G said.  “Believers as in a church, because dissenters realize official science is full of dogmas that serve to keep the power structures in place.”
“But that’s quite offensive,” I commented.
“Just as offensive as being called a ‘denialist’ when you’re a dissenter.”
“Point taken, G,” I replied, “but the problem seems to be that these two groups are not hearing each other--they’re not communicating.”

“How could they possibly communicate better?” I asked.
“One way is offer them scapegoats, sacrificial lambs, na├»ve foreigners like myself who end up rocking the boat.”

“And that’s been done apparently.  What else?”

“Another way is to make comparisons on a different register.  For example, one can compare ‘believers’ to flat-Earthists back in the Renaissance, or to those who still deny global warming today.”
“How does that help?” I asked.

“It helps to get the point across that dissenters are widely aware of the historical existence of AIDS. That they know its effects have been and continue to be felt by the vast majority of the population, either because they have succumbed to the epidemic, or because their loved ones have, or because their personal and public lives have been affected in significant ways.  There is an entire new generation whose sexual, emotional, and personal lives have been organized around AIDS and the fear of ‘getting it.’  There is a healthy ‘poz’ population whose lives take place under the aegis of being considered both an anomaly and a public peril.”

“What’s your point G?”

“The point is that calling things by their name is science, it is a form of knowledge that helps to unveil the direction we need to take if we want a problem to be solved.”
“I still don’t get it, G.”

“Those in the hard sciences often do not have the humanistic skills to bring their voice to the wider public in incisive, respectful ways.  It is up to those in the humanities to do that.  For example, this young man, Brent Leung, a documentary film director, journeyed all over the world to interview scientists who’ve worked on AIDS, of all schools and perspectives.  House of Numbers, his film is called.  He also interviewed healthy ‘poz’ people, including now-adult ’AIDS babies,’ who’ve refused conventional treatments and are absolutely vital and healthy.  Don’t you think that if we want to find a solution to the AIDS problem, we should encourage science to go there?  To find out how these ‘poz’ people made it?  How they kept vital and healthy?  How they healed themselves?”

House of Numbers, by Brent Leung, Trailer

“Ok.  So what I hear you saying is that AIDS Dissidence is a form of science, that it indicates possible paths authentic scientific inquiries would explore.”

“Yes, and you see that silencing all that effort as ‘denialism,’ really denies its value, its potential to produce knowledge that is very valuable, especially to those, like us, who practice love in alternative ways.  Dissident science produces knowledge that helps in understanding the complexity of immune-related syndromes especially in relation to environmental problems, like contamination of food, water, and air supply.”

“So would you say that polys and other sex-positive people ignore AIDS Dissidence at our own peril?”
“I’d certainly agree with that.  Plus,” G continued, “by now, this movement includes several world renown scientists, some honored with a Nobel Prize, and has produced countless self-funded experiments, conventions, and other knowledge producing venues.”

“Oh.  For example?” I asked.

“The latest ‘Rethinking AIDS Convention’ in Oakland, Ca, November 2009.  Countless books, articles, investigative reports.  The latest important name is Dr. Henry Bauer, of Virginia Tech, who recapitulates the whole Dissidence theory, saga, and data, in its fierce logic and relates it to the concerns for global health and ecology that dominate climate change activism today.”

“As polys,” she continued, “we ignore the AIDS Dissidence Movement at the risk of becoming complicit with the institutional project of reducing our wonderful ability to expand love beyond monogamy to what, in mainstream society, registers as mere ‘promiscuity’.”

“What do you mean?  Explain.”

End of Part Seven, G Tale # 5

Disclaimer:  This Tale does not constitute medical advice in any way.  Readers are invited to consult their own healers and health care providers.
References: For scholarly and scientific references to contents and theories referred to in this dialog, refer to Gaia & the New Politics of Love, whose bibliography lists all sources involved