Flashback Tuesday: “A Very Sick Business”

In this week’s flashback, we’re taking you to 1994 with Rachel Giese’s piece on the shady cross-border trade in life insurance policies. Giese introduces readers to the sleazy world of so-called “viatical” companies, businesses that turn a profit buying life insurance policies from the terminally ill at reduced value and then auctioning them off to… More »

42 years on, the freedoms that Bill C-150 affirmed can't be taken for granted

Tomorrow, let’s take a moment to reflect on the 42nd anniversary of the passing of Bill C-150, the omnibus bill that decriminalized abortion, contraception and homosexuality. The rights that Canadians have because of this historic bill are crucial to remember as those same rights come under attack elsewhere: on Wednesday, Indiana became the first state… More »

Here's what will happen to 5 bills that died when the election was called

We profile five legislative initiatives that died on the docket—and find out which of them will be re-attempted after the election Compiled by Dylan C. Robertson & Victoria Salvas This election means death. Not only have Ottawa scrums, filibusters, and drawn-out committees been killed, pieces of legislation making their way through parliament have all met… More »

Concrete slabs and plaques with names at the AIDS memorial at 519 Church Street Community Centre, Toronto. Photo courtesy of Kenn Chaplin at Flickr.

Interview: Kay Roesslein of the AIDS Candlelight Vigil

Although Pride Toronto decided to reschedule its week-long festivities in light of the G20 circus coming to town, the committee for the AIDS Candlelight Vigil, an event associated with Pride Week, decided it would take advantage of the politically charged atmosphere. We took the opportunity to speak with Kay Roesslein, co-chair of the AIDS Candlelight… More »

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Body Politic #11: Race, gender, and the life and death of Henrietta Lacks

Chances are Henrietta Lacks has been a part of your life. Without actually seeing her, Lacks could have helped you recover from surgery or a rare medical treatment. And while you might not know who she is, you may have heard of her alter ego: HeLa. Henrietta Lacks lived only to the age of 31,… More »

Aids Ribbon - World Aids Day

World Aids Day by the numbers

Year by which G8 countries pledged “universal access” for HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and care: 2010 Estimated number of people, globally, currently receiving that care: 4,000,000 Estimated number of people, globally, still waiting on that pledge: 5,000,000 * Percentage of Canada’s population that is Aboriginal: 4% Percentage of new Canadian HIV/AIDS patients who are Aboriginal: 10%… More »

How Science Journalism Works. Courtesy T. Ryan Gregory, Click for the full comic at his website.

Friday FTW: When it comes to HIV-AIDS, a "modest success" is still welcome

When the news came out yesterday that the largest-ever HIV-AIDS vaccine drug study had concluded with modestly positive results, there was certainly reason to be glad. There was not, of course, any reason to call the damn thing a “miracle vaccine,” as the Dallas Fort-Worth NBC affiliate did. The actual announcement from the U.S. National… More »

A kid's-eye view of HIV/AIDS in Africa

Toronto-based NGO Africa’s Children—Africa’s Future, which runs programs and advocates for HIV/AIDS orphans and other children in sub-Saharan Africa, has an interesting photography exhibit on right now as part of the annual Contact festival. AC-AF provided cameras to African kids, aged 12-18, and asked them to document the world around them, particularly the consequences of… More »