Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Dr Gallant - what is my fate?

Joel Gallant MD seems like a very nice guy. He works at Johns Hopkins University, and he has been answering online queries about AIDS since 1999 at least: week in week out for years, for free. This site is where he posts his 'favourite' questions, with his answers.

Things I like about this site

- Most of all: Joel Gallant's personality. He is obviously very generous to give and give of his time in this way, but he isn't a softy. His answers are acerbic, witty, sometimes exasperated. I like him enormously. In one of his answers he explains why he uses 'crude' language. 'Which is more important, that I avoid offending people, or that I communicate with the people who need to know this information in a way they can understand?'

- The insight into human thought processes. I think these questions demonstrate how widespread 'magical' thinking is. By which I mean, the belief that the universe is parental, and can be placated. Why do people think for example that they might have contracted HIV from looking at nudie pictures in a magazine? Because, whether they realise it or not, they think AIDs is some sort of punishment for sexuality, from a parental universe. I also - you may disagree - think that many of them are casting Dr G in a parental role, and unconsciously asking for him to 'forgive' or 'condemn' them, which he resolutely refuses to do.

- I must admit, the sheer prurient interest of reading about other people's sex lives (you did what with 50 intimate friends in a swimming pool?)

- Some of the questions are quite funny. "Who can you contact if you know the cure for Aids? Could'nt a cure be given to just an orginary person with know Medical background?", "Is it risky to have unprotected sex on Long Island?" However, there is no making fun of sexual practices or genuine fears - I wouldn't link if there were.
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