First ever Mandarin AIDS Seminar held in Singapore

First Published-01 Jun 2006

A Mandarin seminar on AIDS has never been conducted in Singapore. Not even once. Well, until last night at least.

SGBOY and Oogachaga conducted a Mandarin AIDS seminar last night at Xpose Bar and Cafe located along South Bridge Road on how to protect yourself and at the same time, protect your partner.

You would think that AIDS being such a dreadful disease, that everyone would know what to do to protect themselves and their loved ones. But out of the number of people getting infected last year (255), bringing the total up to 2641 infections in Singapore, about 25% of the infections was within our community. This number is startling to say the least. In a gay community, say 10% of the total population in Singapore, we are not putting our community in a better light.

We give the homophobes ammunition to shoot ourselves down. What with the bans of gay parties, and the tight leash we’re on; we can scream foul for all we want and still not be taken seriously. The gay community must assume responsibility and show the rest of society how we are ready to take our places along them and stand against the fight against AIDS. The homophobes assume that an infected person is a product of homosexuality. Now, in the 21st century, it is time for us to change that notion. And to do so, we will have to change our mindset as well. Equipping ourselves with information at our fingertips, we can therefore help ourselves, and in doing so, give the rest of the world no chance to point their fingers at the community.

Sure, everyone knows that sexual intercourse with an infected person heightens your chances of contracting the disease. But the level of risks involved are kind of blurred down the lines. We know that infected blood and so forth are dangerous to a non-infected person. But what about saliva, or tears, or even sweat.

The speaker, Kian Seng of Oogachaga broke it all down and gave the participants last night an eye opener to what the disease does to you. Kudos to him, for taking a scary and taboo subject and turning it into a seminar that was filled with laughter and enjoyment.

But the disease itself isn’t quite so funny as found out by the participants last night. We are pleased to report that everyone walked out of Xpose with a clear idea on what AIDS could do to somebody as well as the precautions to take.

Those who have not signed up for the seminar can do so for the second installment.

Venue: Xpose Bar and Cafe located at South Bridge Road (opposite Kenko Wellness Spa)
Time: 7.30pm
Date: 29th June 2006

This seminar is brought to your by SGBOY and Oogachage and supported by Action for Aids (AFA).