Approximately every seven seconds, someone, somewhere in the world is being infected with HIV. That’s the same seven seconds that Don Cherry’s rants are now being delayed on Hockey Night in Canada. Think of it: in the time it takes a CBC producer to “bleep” one of Canada’s most crass cultural icons another human being, somewhere in the world, is becoming HIV-positive.
In the time American TV executives wish they could have back, when Bono decried the world’s response to AIDS on live television by saying “fuck”, someone has been infected with HIV – and most probably, ironically, while being fucked.
What seems to be the world’s response? “Oh well…”
Canada – rhetorically attempting to place itself among the leading nations fighting AIDS, particularly in Africa – has badly flawed legislation at the “committee stage” aimed at making HIV medications more easily accessible to some of the world’s poorest countries. Yet, as it stands now, it protects brand-name pharmaceuticals’ patent protection rights at the expense (literally) of making cheaper, generic drugs available.
If this legislation is changed – and one can only hope that it will be – it remains to be seen whether the scandal-absorbed government will retain the bill’s unofficial title “The Jean Chretien Pledge to Africa Act”.