HAPPY (ish) WORLD AIDS DAY!

1 12 2010

India is in general denial and secret promotion. We spent the day in the secret promotion camp – at an out-of-the way train station with the HIV Express info train! A good photo op for a few local dignitaries without them having to disturb the general Delhi populous too much – a great chance to look like you are doing something about HIV awareness without actually doing anything.

‘Male ego’ Nanda swished at us. A ripple of agreement wobbled through the crowd of trans, male, and female sex workers– ‘our biggest problem is male ego. They just don’t think condoms are what real men do!’. Yet it is this tough, world-weary little faction who are being targeted by the HIV Express; it is the powerless who are being asked to carry the responsibility, those who go hungry if they say no. The male ego won’t go hungry – it’ll just go elsewhere. After a hundred rounds of photos, a few cheeky propositions, much hugging and shaking of hands we moved onto our next engagement – trying to convince a top Delhi school to let us talk to their students about HIV/AIDS. As we made our way though the imposing marble gates we were struck by the distinct lack of red. World AIDS day obviously hasn’t hit the education system.

Sadly it was the same old story – teachers are positive but no one is willing to face the potentialmaybe wrath of parents who maybemight object to their innocent spawn talking about *sex* maybe. It is a significant and dangerous disservice that is being afforded to our young people – the world over. If our journey has taught us anything it is how grievously underestimated and blinded are our young people. And how afraid the world is of sex. (shh)

On an up note we did get interviewed for Night and Day News channel – which gave me (Catherine) the perfect opportunity to talk honestly about the biggest killer – fear and ignorance.

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