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To the Editor

April 22, 2009

Recently, Health Services offered free HIV testing to women, in honor of Women's HIV Awareness Day.  We learned that 25 percent of new HIV carriers are women.  The normal situation is one where anyone can walk into Health Services and pay $23 for HIV testing.  That includes men and women, and always has. 

My complaint, as is my usual complaint, is that there are many more opportunities for women available than for men, just because they are women. Every events calendar one can find will have events exclusively for women, with none exclusively for men.  Here, we have a situation where there is no men's HIV awareness day, and no free testing for men - who make up 75 percent of new cases.

The notion has been, and still is, that there are many more opportunities for men, and that all the opportunities for women are in compensation for that.  For a long while now, there have been many more opportunities for women, with the above scenario being one of a myriad of examples.  So, that effectively means there are many more opportunities for women, because all the opportunities for women keep our culture focused on women.

Our cultural meme at present is that we need to focus exclusively on women, even when they have advantages that men have never dreamed of, driven by a culture in which more and more women want only to know more and more about women.  I don't see any end in sight.  I wonder how many more people will be infected with HIV, because some guy didn't have an extra $23 that month.

Mike Gauthier
Dimond Library


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