|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
AIDS-related concerns of the middle aged
Seiron, December By Mark Schreiber
Nearly all new cases of AIDS transmission come from sexual contact.
Although sexually active young people constitute the group of highest risk, statistics compiled from the“AIDS 110”telephone counseling service started from January 1993 have determined that about one caller in four is age 40 or above.
Writing in Seiron, opinion magazine of the Sankei-Fuji media group, medical researcher Ueda Mizue describes some of the key differences in the range of questions and topics discussed between the middle aged and younger group.
Ms. Ueda notes that some middle-aged callers have appeared overly concerned with the possibility of infection by the disease through such unusual routes as transmission by the fleas on their cats and often refuse to believe the counselor when told this is impossible.
The four points concerning middle-aged callers that stand out in particular are; 1) the resistance by such callers to discuss sexual matters; 2) the high degree of complexity concerning relationships with their wives and peripheral matters; 3) the confusion of symptoms of AIDS with other conditions; and 4) the increase in number of callers who bring up the subject of homosexuality, swapping and sadomasochism.
Ms. Ueda then presents Seiron with five case studies,including one involving a 55-year old woman who had earlier developed a yeast infection after one of her husband's business trips overseas.
Might her husband, after some tryst with a foreign prostitute, have infected her with AIDS? One aspect of Japan's corporate culture is that many wives feel they must turn a blind eye to their husband's behavior when abroad, and indeed, this was the most numerous of all concerns by middle-aged female callers.
Ms.Ueda nonetheless points out that such problems involving matters of trust between marriage partners long predated the emergence of AIDS.
In any case, they are a feature not found among younger callers seeking advice.
Another case reported for Seiron involved a 69-year-old who had developed diabetes while in his 40s.
He had recently developed a skin condition on his arm, and when it failed to respond to treatment by a dermatologist, he began to wonder whether or not he might have AIDS.
Several blood tests came out negative for HIV, but the failure of his skin condition to improve convinced him that he was suffering from an incurable condition.
This so-called "AIDS neurosis," i.e., a refusal to believe evidence of no AIDS and repeated requests for tests to prove otherwise, may be said to be a characteristic complaint of older people.
Other callers were so embarrassed that even over the telephone, it took them a minute or longer before they could bring themselves to utter sexually related terms like "fellatio."
Judging from the tone of callers in general, Ms. Ueda remarks that the greatest AIDS-related concern seems to be not so much the dread of the sickness itself as fear of social isolation and abandonment by others.
But the numerous obstacles that middle aged callers have posted around themselves --- at least in terms of their willingness to discuss the problem with telephone counselors --- stand out as a particular contrast with the attitudes of younger people. (MS)