*Age Of Consent & Legal Sexual Activity for the State of Queensland, Australia - A campaign to remove our Sodomy Law (which was enacted in 1990).

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10th October 2007 Email to Premier Anna Bligh (C.c. Attorney- General Kerry Shine and the Editor of the Courier Mail) referring to newly published data on increased incidence of HIV infection in Australia. I again urge the announcement of a fixed time-frame for equal age of consent law reform and I also ask for the exact reasons for the Government’s ongoing delay of reform.

 

The Government has been refusing to commit to reform, and has also been refusing to declare why they won’t act - claiming that “The issue of the age of consent is a vexed one and one in which there are deeply held and opposing views.” (Attorney-General 22nd  March 2006 )

 

 

----- Original Message -----

From: John Frame

To: cmletters@qnp.newsltd.com.au ; Premier Anna Bligh ; Attorney-General Kerry Shine

Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 6:15 PM

Subject: Dramatic upswing in number of HIV cases affecting Qld youth

 

To: Premier Anna Bligh, Attorney-General Kerry Shine and Editor of the Courier Mail.

 

I refer to my 24th September 2007 email http://www.queerradio.org/AOC240907.htm in which I beg your attention to enacting urgent law reform for a truly equal age of consent at 16 in order to allow, among many vital areas of equity, the delivery of adequate and relevant safe sex education on HIV regarding the potentially high risk activity of anal intercourse.

 

The article below was published today in the Sydney Morning Herald, highlighting the fact that annual national HIV/AIDS infections have increased by 30% in half a decade. This is further proof that current Queensland law places our state's 16 and 17 year olds at dramatic and escalating risk. 

 

Previous correspondence from the offices of the Attorney-General and Premier have merely stated as a reason for inaction,  that some (unspecified) persons have "strongly held opinions" against a truly equal age of consent. How does the value of a "strongly held opinion" compare to the value of the health, well being and life of even one Queensland youth?  

 

Can you please advise exactly why the Queensland Government chooses to leave our state's youth at unacceptable and avoidable risk, when every other Australian state or territory chose to amend their Criminal Codes at least four years ago?

 

Can you please also advise an exact time-frame for equal age of consent reform?

 

Yours sincerely,

 

John Frame
jvframe@ozemail.com.au
www.queerradio.org/JohnFrame.html
Ph: 07 3350 1562 / mobile: 0409 501 561
Post: 82 Main Avenue, Wavell Heights 4012, QLD, Australia.
 
----"There is no substitute for equality"----

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Dramatic upswing in number of HIV cases

Bellinda Kontominas Medical Reporter
Sydney Morning Herald, October 10, 2007

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/dramatic-upswing-in-number-of-hiv-cases/2007/10/09/1191695910502.html

( or go to http://snipr.com/1rzkj )

THE number of Australians diagnosed with HIV has increased by about a
third in the past few years, despite an earlier decline.

A report by the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology found that new HIV
diagnoses increased from 763 cases in 2000 to 998 in 2006, following a
steady decline in the decade to the late 1990s.

NSW was the only state where rates of HIV infection remained stable
and even decreased to 5.9 infections per 100,000 people. Newly
diagnosed infections in Victoria increased significantly, from 2.9 per
100,000 people in 1998 to 5.6 in 2006, according to the report, which
is being presented today at the Australasian Sexual Health Conference
at the Gold Coast.

The executive director of the Australian Federation of AIDS
Organisations, Don Baxter, said the decrease in NSW was because it was
the only state to continue investing heavily in HIV prevention programs.

"Victoria started disinvesting in AIDS from the mid '90s [and] there
is now general consensus that [a reduction] in funding for AIDS in
Victoria has contributed to the rates being higher nationally."

HIV and AIDS diagnoses were higher in homosexual men than in any other
group and at least five times higher among those born in sub-Saharan
Africa, when compared with the Australia-born population.

The report also found that chlamydia remained the most frequently
reported notifiable condition, with 232 diagnoses per 100,000
population. Most reported infections were among the 20 to 29 year age
group.

Professor John Kaldor, the chairman of the surveillance program at the
National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, said the
problem needed to be tackled by encouraging general practitioners to
do more testing for the sexually transmissible infection.

National hepatitis C rates declined 25 per cent per head of population
in the past five years, with most of those infected having a recent
history of drug use.

Professor Kaldor said the reason fewer people were being diagnosed
with hepatitis C was because most people had already been tested and
diagnosed in the early 1990s.

He said a decrease in the number of people injecting drugs had also
contributed to the decline.

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