where nicster rants on issues of local interest, global interest and of absolutely no interest at all...

Friday, June 03, 2005

All For Free Condoms And Needles For Addicts

To my detractors who say that I only ever know how to complain... hah!

Today, I pay tribute to Health Minister Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek who, in a report I read in the New Straits Times, said that the Government is considering a tried and tested method (although the NST called it 'radical approach') of curbing the spread of HIV.

Yes, the Government is thinking of offering free condoms and needles to drug addicts. Finally.

Dr. Chua was quoted to have said this: "Whether we like it or not, we are faced with this problem".

Indeed, those words could not ring any more true. In times when we have appalling figures in our country where more than 60,000 people are infected with HIV, and 75% of then are intravenous drug users (and that this figures will increse to a staggering 300,000 in a mere 10 years), this sort of action - any form of action - is most welcomed.

Interestingly enough, a variety of religious bodies have voiced out against the plan (surprise! surprise!) - their argument is that it will promote sex.

Good god, in this time with so much research being done, and with so much coverage in the media, I'm appalled to hear these kinds of comments still - it makes me wonder whether these religious leaders avoid reading any articles/features/etc on the topic, for fear it might infect them by just reading it?

It's sad that there is still opposition to such actions (and excused with such trivial and unresearched responses) in a time when even the U.N. is calling out for better acceptance and understanding. There was a report today that the U.N. fears that the numbers will not drop, and that hopes of reversing the pandemic by 2015 will not be possible.

It makes me think that these religious leaders want people to be infected as a punishment for their 'sins' - because between the possibility of savings lives through such action, and just allowing people to continue getting infected because they don't have access to condoms and needles - it doesn't take much to know which one saves lives.

To the religious leaders, all I have to say is shame on you. Go read more, research more and be a bit more accepting and understanding. And to the Government, I hope you don't chicken out. That would be extremely dissapointing.

5 Comments:

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