Monday, March 19, 2007

Aids in Asia -Susan Hunter

Aids in Asia notes

I have, while taking the time to read the book AIDS in Asia, written down many quotes and summaries of statements. While a 6% infection rate sounds small it is important to understand that these individuals are vital to the entire community, as farmers, and productive hard working young people. Without this group the entire population is crippled.

Px ‘Not only is the [HIV/AIDS] epidemic huge and growing unrestrained in most Asian countries, but when the underlying social, political and economic patterns that fuel its growth are brought together and analyzed, it is quite clear that there is little standing in the way of catastrophic impact.’

Px ‘To respond to the disease and its impact, individuals must literally rethink and restructure the societies in which they live and confront and change long-standing social institutions and relationships, often at great personal expense.’

P7 ‘As you finish each sentence of this book another person will have been infected with HIV.’

P10 Nicholas Eberstadt- expert in demographic and predicting population change

P11 ‘…India and China refuse to acknowledge the extent of the disease within their borders nor set up reliable means of monitoring and controlling it.’

P11 China’s estimates are 20 times lower than external estimates for same country.

P11 the reason of keeping data hidden is that it would expose the inequality of the population’s social and economic conditions.

P13 talking about western economies high cost it is pointed out that Netherlands needs an area 15 times it size to support it’s population at the level they are accustom.

P15 ‘Asian societies were shaped by a series of nomadic incursions and peasant rebellions that continue today in other guises.’

P27 In 2003 4% of Africa population is infected while only .3% of Asia, where the population is much larger. Estimates are that 5% of china will be infected 7% of India and 10% of Russia’s population will be infected when stable.

P33 STDs increase the transmission of aids by open soars, and the virus load increases in semen when a STD is present.

P34 STD levels are on the rise because of non-condom pregnancy prevention methods. The book gives many pages explaining the effectiveness of condoms and why governments and religious organizations have dissuaded them.

P34 ‘STD contribute to …and Alzheimer’s’ [I would like to see proof of that link]

P35-36 circumcision significantly lowers the rate of HIV transmission from individual to individual. ‘A majority of Asian males are not circumcised.’

P44-46 talks about the large migrant population moving about china and India and other states. Both legal and illegal to mines, construction projects farms etc. If someone is courageous enough to travel they have a more outgoing lifestyle.

P49 ‘poverty that drives migration is so fundamental that it turns life into a constant struggle to survive. “Poverty means working for more than eighteen hours a day, but still not earning enough to feed myself, my husband, and my two children,” says a poor woman in Cambodia. Poverty means loss of freedom, loss of dignity, loss of control over the fundamental course of your life.’

P50 the climb out of poverty is slow because disposable income is so small and could be lost by chance to natural disasters, poor crops, loss of employment, or a family illness.’

P55 In Hindu tradition if you have a disease you are sent far away.
P55 ‘Gita laughed, “Do you think it is any better for Islam?” Patwani … The shy young Pakistani woman said, “… My best friend was stoned to death because her brother raped another girl. The families agreed she should be sacrificed for his transgression. He was not even reprimanded.”

P59 ‘history and tradition are important to Asians themselves, esp. the years before colonial domination, when Asia lead the world in economic, political, scientific, and artistic achievement.’

P60 ‘the Asia continent was united by all of its great nomadic empires Hun, Muslim, Mongol, Mogul, and Manchu’

P63 ‘To Islam’s first raiders, (637ad) Europe was remarkably unattractive prey, a primitive backwater with few opportunities for trade, little booty and bad climate. The had headed east instead, across Persia and through central Asia to India, and remarkably rich city states fell to their sway all along the way.’

P65 in 1206 Genghis Khan united the Mongol people. Just like Muhammad six centuries earlier it was by uniting formally fighting tribal groups to a common cause, expansion to the whole world. [To unite people you need a common cause, else in-fighting will be the result, look at today’s examples, America, the Church, your family.]

P66 ‘The Kahn ravaged a good part of northern India in 1222’

P69 ‘Kublai had inherited Sung paper money and credit banking, streetlights, city sanitation, fire protection, hospitals, orphanages, and homes for the poor and aged financed by the inalienable trusts, smallpox variolation [inoculation], and textbooks in medicine, forensics, architecture, mathematics, geography, horticulture, and archaeology.’ [1270’s when Marco Polo was visiting Xanadu the capitol of the Mongolian empire.] [During the time of the Mongolian empire the leader of Europe was the pope.]

P72 Timur the last great nomadic leader attacked India in a quest to rid the world of the Hindi religion in 1398.

P75 “the most significant commodity carried along the Silk Road was religion” Oliver Wild. ‘The Mongols promoted religious tolerance so Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity easily spread.’

P76 ‘in India many Ethiopian slaves rose to positions of power and influence in armies and governments.’ [Castration of slaves was common throughout the world at the time]

P100 when sir James Brooke return from Asia to England in 1838 he argued that Britain should own territories in Asia rather than rely on treaties.

P102 ‘in 1820 Asia’s first economic crisis – colonialism – hit causing sustained economic decline that lasted until the 1950’s’

P103 in 1998 the majority of illiterate people are found in former Asian and African colonial locations.

P103 infrastructure, railroads, roads, etc were only developed in colonial area as suited to the owners.

P104 In reality what we worry today of Asia taking over the world is them just returning to their natural place. Up until the 1800 they produced 60% of the worlds GDP during colonialism that fell to 17% and now it is recovering to 60%; estimated to be complete about 2025. ‘Asia is doing in decades what the rest of the world did in centuries’ At the same time the governmental systems that were effective were destroyed by colonialism, and the current systems are still greatly affected by this dark period.

Transitioning to recent times, in china blood drawing is a support structure for the poor. The system is to have blood removed by ‘handlers’ from a group of people, the plasma removed, and the cells returned to the group. The donors are often corralled, and have the blood drawn several times a day. Their supply bolster by the use of drugs. Blood banks are also used as welfare means in other countries also. But due to the technique if one person is infected, quickly everyone in the entire area is infected.

P106 ‘almost ¼ of the people living with HIV/AIDS in Asia are Indian.’

P107 ‘India is “one of the great migration centers of the world,” says writer Michael Specter, because it has an excellent system of national highways.’

P107 ‘India’s 750 million strong rural population [would be] the second largest “country” in the world.’

P107 the higher infection rates are found in the southern states of India.

P107 ‘AIDS deaths are so frequent in southern India that locals erected a shrine to India’s new AIDS goddess, Aidsamma, at a temple near Mysore. [Reading more on this it was erected by an Indian science teacher, and a Harvard student Anna Portnoy going to study it for her thesis she gave it edification]

P108 HIV rose from 1.5% in 1995 to 6% in 1997 in Tamil Nadu, the reaction is the best response by government in all of India.

P109 India’s economy is growing, a middle class of 250 million ‘But an ever richer India lacks compassion for its poor, critics say. India has one quarter of the world’s absolute poor. … Most in the lower castes and tribes.’

P110 There are four castes the highest Brahmins, priestly teachers, the soldier-nobles, then merchants, Dalits or untouchables who were darker skinned and did all the work except cremations which were carried out by the lowest of the low, the chandals. [Dalits are called Sikkaliars in Tamil Nadu]

P110 ‘Ethnic discrimination in India is compounded by the Hindu Caste System, the world’s oldest form of social stratification, dating from the Aryan expansion into India in 1500 B.C.’ [yes the lighter the skin the higher the status, but also religion plays in, I have seen reference that becoming a Christian makes you a Dalits]

P110-120 There is way too much information here about India and the basic history and why there are so many people groups. The gist is that money and power moved these different groups into the area and out. Most came from the north pushing people south.

P110-120 Much of the extreme poor in Asia was caused by the colonization from European countries, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, and England each in turn. They encouraged further stratification of people, removed resources and product, such as spices, silk, and copper ore without compensating the locals. The goal was to amass as much wealth in the home country as possible. Much was done to control the native populations, withholding education being major.

P124 Britton used a divide and conquers system of encouraging animosity between groups to maintain control. [Once again the notion that people will always fight, either against each other or a common goal]

P128 the French were late to the colonization, started in the mid 1800’s and ended when forced to by an international conference in 1954. ‘By then France had convinced the United States, ridden with Cold War anti-Soviet paranoia, to bankroll its war for colonial restoration in North Vietnam…’

P142 ‘Nutmeg and mace may have driven the first phase of European colonization in Asia, but it was a different “spice” entirely that drove the second phase of colonial exploitation in the 19th and 20th centuries. This spice traded by early Asian merchant as medicine was opium.’

P175 the last numerous pages are talking about the drug trade with opium and heroin primary focus because both come from poppies. Heroin is injected, and needle sharing is a primary HIV path. It is amazing to see who was involved in growing drug use. The colonies used it to make the people complacent. Others supplied enemies with drugs to help their cause; this includes the US (CIA). Now to be smart it is only in the last 90 years has illicit drug use been banned, before that it was even common to give these addictive drugs to soldiers, government officials, and even schoolchildren to help with behavior issues. But the primary use was to place the workforce in bondage, addicts needing to work to get paid for the next fix.

P175 ‘the contemporary drug industry is fed by a commodities market created by European colonial powers that could “promote cultivation where needed (India) and suppress it where not (southeast Asia),” while integrating the whole into the global economy. Global prohibition beginning in the 1920s added another layer: “criminal syndicates emerged to link highland growers and urban addicts in a global illicit market.” Each subsequent effort to suppress production and use has had a chain of unintended consequences that has bolstered the drug trade and increased markets. Nearly 80 years of failed eradication efforts show that “the illicit drug market is a complex global system, both sensitive and resilient, that quickly transforms suppression into stimulus,” says McCoy.’

P185 ‘ The only reason women are not at the absolute bottom of the global feeding chain is because children are weaker.’

P186 ‘almost 70% of the 1.2 billion of the worlds extremely poor people are women.’

P207 ‘ 1/5 of humanity now follows Islam.’

P209 ‘The Positive Women’s Network of South India says that women rarely inherit property shared during a marriage, and may even lose the property they brought into the marriage when their husband die.’

P209 In Hindu culture women are not part of caste IE they are all untouchables.

P210 typical birth ratio is 5% more males than females. Because of preference towards males, and available technology the ratio in China and other parts of Asia can be 20% males.

P223 responses to growing orphan populations: 0 deny 1 state and charity orphanages 2 over flowing orphanages 3 search out community care solutions 4 paired community support with poverty relief, food support, education, healthcare for guardians and orphans

P233 Relatives usually confiscate the property of women in Africa and Asia.

P234 known trafficked people is about 1 million this is only people being brought unwillingly across firm country borders, not including in country nor unpatrolled borders.

P234 ‘there are 250 million child laborers under the age of 14, more than half in Asia “under appalling conditions, facing sexual abuse and even slavery”. Twenty percent are domestic laborers, mostly girls. … ‘

P234 ‘The same Hindu belief system that condemns women to permanently lower status provides a convenient philosophical underpinning for economic extortion of India’s youngest citizens. Human Rights Watch ways “one of the foundation of bonded labor is the caste system, through which a traditional expectations of free labor, lack of land, and the threat of violence and social and economic boycotts from upper castes conspire to keep many so called untouchables in bondage and perpetual state of poverty.” Vimali, a fifteen year old girl in Tamil Nadu bonded by her parents, to a silk loom owner for $167 says “this is the thing that god blessed me with, so I have to do work like this. It is written on my head. I don’t want to go to the looms, but there is no other way.” These children work 14 hours a day, sleep in the factories between the looms, rarely see their families, are beaten if they make mistakes and because of scurrilous accounting systems, the always stay in debt no matter how much the earn.’

P235 ‘Between 60 and 115 million children work in India’

P236 it is very bad karma to become an orphan

Conclusion: This book is written by someone frustrated by the common USA and Christian stance that only abstinence is the acceptable form of birth and disease control. Each of the major world religions frown upon the use of condoms. Add to this that though effective HIV treatment drugs could, and do, cost a dollar a day the US govt. is supporting its pharmaceutical companies in keeping prices at $10,000 to $20,000 a year. This book is very harsh on the reality, and while in some cases the numbers are being used sensationalize the HIV/AIDS epidemic that is coming to the Asian countries, it is at the same time factual.

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