Larry Mantle |

Safer Sex and Safer Voting

We opened this morning's program by acknowledging World AIDS Day and the progress made in medications for those who're HIV-positive. However, Dr. Michael Gottlieb also talked about the difficulties many HIV/AIDS patients have with side effects from the drugs and the virus. That's sometimes lost in the coverage of how HIV can now often be managed as a chronic illness.

We also talked about whether fewer people are using condoms, given that HIV/AIDS isn't seen as terminal anymore. One caller who works in the gay adult video industry mentioned the increase in unprotected sex he's seen in the videos he distributes. Dr. Gottlieb cited the rise in certain STDs as likely related to decreasing condom usage.

Though we didn't have many callers this morning respond to the question, I'd still like to know whether you're less likely to use, or insist that your partner use, condoms. Has diminished fear of AIDS translated into any changes in your sexual practices?

This morning we also talked about whether it's time to move to voting almost exclusively by mail. One of our guests, and a caller, raised concerns about whether election fraud was a bigger threat by mail than in-person voting. Fred Smoller, who is arguing for doing trials of all-mail elections in California, said the evidence is that there's no greater risk inherent in mailing ballots than collecting them at a polling place. What do you think about dropping most polling locations and switching to vote-by-mail? We had a couple of polling place workers who supported making the change.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about the specifics of President Obama's plan for Afghanistan, as well as the logistical challenges it entails.

Also, do you support closing one of Los Angeles' biggest streets once a week to create a long stretch for only bicyclists and pedestrians? Supporters of the move have met with Mayor Villaraigosa's staff to talk about the idea. Let's use Wilshire Boulevard as an example. What would you think of closing it to cars every Sunday?