author archive

analogue wednesday #135

one more from R4R-24 — dandelions everywhere to celebrate spring! :)

pre-exposure prophylaxis

did you know that there’s a pill that prevents HIV infection?

my mom used to work on the infectious diseases infirmary at a big hospital, and the horror stories coming out of that department would leave me speechless, heartbrokean and infuriated in turns — especially people finding out they’re infected after years of being married to someone who had never disclosed their HIV-positive status to them. so my mind was blown when i read about PrEP (or pre-exposure prophylaxis) on a listserve email a couple of weeks ago. though not legal everywhere yet, it’s super effective — and such a game changer, for so many people.

while i’m amazed that this thing exists, i’m also dismayed that i had never even heard of it before, and neither had most of the friends i asked about. so to help spread the information, i’m copying Faith’s email below.

read about it and spread the word!

“Did you know there is a medication approved by the FDA and some Euro countries that prevents HIV infection? There is! And it’s incredibly effective. The concept is called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. Right now, one drug is approved, but a lot of other medications are being tested for approval.

I’ve been working in the field of HIV research for 28 years. I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve watched a lot of people, including a lot of friends, die. I know that every one of these friends would be throwing this medication off the rooftops if it meant that one person was prevented from getting HIV. There is no controversy. This is a proven medical intervention to a public health crisis. Go learn, then inform your friends and family.

Gay men, especially white gay men, are using it with enormous successes. Feel free to look up PrEP effectiveness for more information. Unfortunately, the message that this medication is available hasn’t really gotten out to gay men of color or women at risk for HIV. Why?

Well, stigma for one. We don’t want anyone knowing what we do behind closed doors for fear of discrimination. We might also have some shame about our activities, even if they’re no one else’s business. Also, no one really wants to admit that they might be exposed to HIV during a relationship. So PrEP is for “other people” but not “me.” The fact is, if you are having sex with someone and you don’t know (really KNOW, not just assume) their HIV status, HIV infection is a possibility. And PrEP is as effective, if not more effective, than condoms! Don’t you think that’s something you should know about, even if you never take it? I do. That’s why I have been planning this since I signed up for the listserve more than 5 years ago. I think you should know ALL of the tools available to you in your toolbox.

Pass it on.”

walking on history, XIII: roman roads

over 400,000 kms of roads connected the roman empire and it’s amazing that many of them still survive to this day. famously straight and featuring big slabs of polished rock, they were used for centuries to move troops around, trade goods, spread messages quickly… and even transport the animals that would fight humans and each other in the colosseum.

it’s fun to spot them throughout europe. the ones above are in rome, while the one below is in italica (near seville)… and yet, they look remarkably similar, despite being over 2000km apart.

it’s quite a feat of engineering!

pain de sucre

everyone has seen the famous sugarloaf mountain in brasil, but do you know where its name comes from? here’s a clue…

it’s sugarloaf, or pão de açucar! we found them in carrefour in morocco, and i had never seen one in my life. apparently, this is how sugar used to be sold in most places up until the 20th century, and they still sell it there. the cones are big (around 2kg each) and can be grated or chiseled, breaking off small pieces to use.

we probably had it on the numerous cups of mint tea we consumed there!

analogue wednesday #134

probably my favourite photo from R4R-24 is this portuguese seagull, perched on a light above the australian succulents that kathryn shot.