HIV/AIDS Could Be ‘Change Agent’ in Indian Society To ‘Yank Social Thinking, Institutions Forward,’ Opinion Piece Says
HIV/AIDS "could be a good thing" in India, serving as a "change agent" to "yank social thinking and institutions forward," columnist Marshall Kilduff writes in a San Francisco Chronicle opinion piece. The "devastation" of the disease has "brought on a frank brand of reverse thinking" in areas such as women's rights, domestic violence, sex education and political and governmental responsiveness -- all "taboo" subjects that "go along with any serious effort to curb AIDS," Kilduff says. The country, which otherwise has been "skittish about sex ed," has started to teach sex education classes to prevent the spread of the disease, Kilduff says. However, the "challenge," lies in giving women the "social support" to ask their husbands to avoid extramarital sexual partners and use condoms, which are a "cheap and simple-sounding" method of preventing HIV and could become a "powerful symbol of male responsibility and women's rights," according to Kilduff. In addition, the government cannot "escape blame" for its reaction to the epidemic, and programs must target the country's "notoriously obstructive bureaucrats," Kilduff says. He concludes, "[I]f a country like India can find a response, it will be a huge victory over AIDS and the injustices that allowed it to spread" (Kilduff, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/27).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.