Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Only mandatory vaccines are equitable

No one likes the goverment stepping into your family and saying what should and should not be put into your kid. But, if they don't, then only the folks who can afford it will be safe from HPV. A real catch. This editorial in the SF Chronicle really sums it up for California. California cannot end up like Michigan (failed to pass the vaccine) or like New Hampshire (passed but did not make mandatory). If passed, Bill AB 16 would require vaccination of young girls as early as July 2008. Starting with the logical target group, young girls, can only pave the way for other at risk groups (gay men at risk for anal cancer for example).

Monday, January 29, 2007

Come on, eavesdrop

When you hook up with someone for the first time, how do you decide how safe to be? How does being super high affect your ability to protect yourself? How do you wade through the guys who all want to party if you would rather be stoned than rubbing yourself raw all night? ISIS, Inc. and the SFDPH have partnered to ask a few gay/queer/bi men these questions, record them, and spit it back at you.

To our surprise the podcasts have already reached number 14 on itunes in the sexuality section, so we're happy. Not all of the story tellers are posted yet, so there's something to look forward to if this is your thing.

HIV/AIDS Video Game

Kaiser Family Foundation and mtvU are offering $75,000 in development and marketing support and a $5,000 prize to a college student who can pitch the best HIV/AIDS awareness viral video game (application here).

"Successfull ideas must:

1. Raise awareness about the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among 15-24 year olds in the United States and educate about key methods of prevention and risk reduction.
2. Identify ways to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, with a focus on personal action.
3. Address the silence, stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS.
4. Be interactive and able to live and be spread online.

Keep the following in consideration:
1. Be hopeful and empowering.
2. Entertain and engage the audience.
3. Not stigmatize or stereotype high risk groups.
4. Be unique and not afraid to push the envelope.
5. Be original to entrants and not have been released commercially in order to be eligible for consideration in this contest."

To my knowledge, no video game has been shown to be an effective public health intervention. By taking advantage of the target audience, and harnessing their promotion powers (read: ability to click send) there may be a shot at creating some buzz. If the problem with most interventions aimed at youth has been that no one sees it, the viral approach a la "Where the Hell is Matt" or "Darfur is Dying" or any Snakes on a Plane hubbub is a good start, as well as partnering with MTV. Anything that says, in not as many words, "from your health department" will never be cool enough to share.
A game that could visualize kids' social/sexual networks with a creative HIV transmission dynamics overlay would keep my attention. But a 15 year old...? Who knows.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

If you prick me, do I not bleed?

Computer chess expert, David Levy's new book, Robots Unlimited: Life in the Virtual Age explores the ethical issues we have to look forward to once (and if) people start having sex with robots (check out this great interview). These advanced 'dames de voyage' will apparently incorporate new technologies alloying the robot to distinguish between different levels of pressure and thus respond accordingly. Levy says that the sex bots could potentially serve as real-time sex educators, based on the same technology currently being researched in Japan and The States that would allow robots to be caretakers for the elderly (Look out!).

But he warns, we can't anticipate the reactions this potential practice will have. Will sex with a robot be adulturous? Will a culture of robot-swapping emerge? Will robots be off limits to minors? Will mom and dad promote abstinance by placing these virtual lovers under the Christmas tree?

I'm not too worried, especially if they look like this.

So, how did your date go Area Man?

Monday, January 22, 2007


You have to love sex dorks. You really do. Folks at Good Vibrations in San Francisco (Berkeley too) started a serious of Youtube shorts, with topics ranging from my personal favorite, Puppet Explain Fetishes to the Basics of Harnesses to Pot Meet Kettle. In Pot and Kettle, Good Vibes Bloggers, Pot and Kettle, answer eachother's questions about being a 'gay girl' or a 'gay boy,' which was how their blog was born (which actually shares some space on Carol Queen's blog).