A lack of respect for human rights drives the HIV epidemic. The marginalisation, stigmatisation and criminalisation of some groups of people increases their vulnerability to HIV; gender inequalities can prevent women and girls from being able to protect themselves from HIV; and discrimination prevents equitable access to healthcare.

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  • Vigilante Raid on Indonesian HIV Group

    This week a militant Islamist group in Indonesia raided the offices of an HIV prevention organization on suspicion that the group had been conducting “LGBT activities.” The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) was joined by Indonesian soldiers and local residents in an incident that follows a disturbing pattern of similar vigilante raids across Indonesia.  Expand Sebuah kelompok yang menentang komunitas Lesbian, Gay dan Transjender (LGBT) sedang bersiap untuk menghadapi kelompok pro-LGBT yang melakukan protes tandingan di Monumen Tugu, Yogyakarta, pada 23 Pebruari. © 2016 Andreas Fitri Atmoko/Antara Mulyadi Anwar, a member of the city council in Pekanbaru in eastern Sumatra, orchestrated the raid and boasted about it in an anti-LGBT message on his re-election campaign Facebook page. Mulyadi acknowledged that the organization provides condoms and counseling for sex workers and waria (roughly translated as transgender women). However, he said: “[The organization] is for HIV prevention but we still cannot accept it. They still do vice activities. We are closing this place.” For three years Indonesia has been engulfed by a government-driven moral panic about gender and sexuality. Politicians, government officials, and state offices have issued anti-LGBT statements calling for criminalization of homosexuality, censorship of LGBT-related information, and other threats to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Tensions began across the country in January 2016, when Indonesia’s higher education minister, Mohammed Nasir, tweeted that he wanted to ban all LGBT student groups from university campuses. Within two months, dozens of public officials had joined a cascade of public anti-LGBT vitriol. Throughout 2017, police across Indonesia raided saunas, nightclubs, hotel rooms, hair salons, and private homes on suspicion that gay or transgender people were inside. Militant Islamists often tipped off police or accompanied them during these raids. Police apprehended at least 300 people in 2017 because of their presumed sexual orientation or gender identity. Raids and arrests continued throughout 2018. The combination of anti-LGBT rhetoric, the public flogging of gay men, and police targeting of private spaces has jeopardized Indonesia’s very limited public health infrastructure. Indonesia’s HIV rates in men who have sex with men, which have spiked five-fold over the past decade, could worsen as a result. Years of anti-LGBT rhetoric from public officials has effectively sanctioned and given political cover for violence and discrimination. To change course, the government needs to uphold its commitments to “unity in diversity” by halting and investigating unlawful police raids and by supporting inclusive public health programs – not sanctioning their attack.

    18 January 2019 | Human Rights Watch LGBT
  • William Barr, Trump’s Attorney General Nominee, Held Immigrants in ‘HIV Prison Camp’

    Under Attorney General William Barr, 310 Haitian immigrants became prisoners of the world’s first detention camp for refugees with HIV. Now, a key Democratic senator wants answers.

    17 January 2019 | Daily Beast
  • HIV 2020 - Community Reclaiming the Global Response

    An alliance of global key population-led networks, networks of people living with HIV, treatment activists, and our supporters, has formed to organize an alternative international community-led event. Titled, HIV2020: Community Reclaiming the Global Response, the event is scheduled to take place in Mexico City, July 6-8, 2020, and will run concurrently with the first half of the international AIDS conference. The HIV2020 alliance has decided to organize the community-led event to provide a safe alternative for individuals who cannot or will not enter the U.S. in 2020 or who cannot afford to attend AIDS2020. It will also offer new opportunities to reaffirm the leading role communities play in the global HIV response.

    10 December 2018 | HIV2020.org
  • Russian HIV Prevention Group Closes After Fine Under 'Foreign-Agent' Law

    A Russian nongovernmental organization focused on preventing the spread of the HIV virus that causes AIDS says it has closed its office in the Siberian region of Altai Krai because it has not been able to raise funds to pay a fine for refusing to register in Russia as a “foreign agent.”

    05 December 2018 | RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
  • Attorney General of Canada to issue Directive Regarding Prosecutions of HIV Non-Disclosure Cases

    The Directive to be issued by the Attorney General of Canada will reflect the most recent scientific evidence related to the risks of sexual transmission of HIV, as reviewed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, as well as the applicable criminal law as clarified by the Supreme Court of Canada. The Directive will state that, in HIV non-disclosure cases, the Director shall not prosecute where the person living with HIV has maintained a suppressed viral load (i.e. under 200 copies of the virus per millilitre of blood) because there is no realistic possibility of transmission.

    03 December 2018 | Government of Canada
  • Stigma means Russia risks HIV epidemic as cases rise

    Stigma around homosexuality and drug use means Russia and some former Soviet Union countries risk developing out-of-control HIV epidemics, experts have said, after data showed a record number of new cases last year.

    29 November 2018 | The Guardian
  • Italy orders seizure of migrant rescue ship over 'HIV-contaminated' clothes

    Italian authorities have ordered the seizure of the migrant rescue ship Aquarius after claiming that discarded clothes worn by the migrants on their voyage from Libya to Italy could have been contaminated by HIV, meningitis and tuberculosis. The Italian authorities have placed 24 people under investigation for ‘‘trafficking and the illegal management of waste,” including the captain of the Aquarius, Evgenii Talanin, and Michele Trainiti, deputy head of the Italy mission of Medecins san Frontieres (MSF) Belgium. The Sicilian prosecutors also fined MSF a total of €460,000 (£409,000) and froze some of its bank accounts based in Italy.

    20 November 2018 | The Guardian
  • Tanzania Crackdown On Homosexuality Fuels HIV Infections, Campaigners Warn

    "What on earth have I done to deserve this suffering?” weeps Joha* a gay transgender woman, tears blurring her eyeshadows after she was refused a dose of life-prolonging antiretroviral medicine for HIV/AIDS at a local clinic because of her ambiguous gender identity.

    15 November 2018 | Health Policy Watch
  • SA scientist honoured by HIV community

    South African HIV scientist Professor Linda-Gail Bekker was awarded the 2018 Desmond Tutu Award for HIV Prevention Research and Human Rights last night (21 October) at a conference in Madrid, Spain.

    23 October 2018 | Health-e News
  • My court case could see Jamaica follow India and make gay sex legal

    Lawyer and LGBTI activist Maurice Tomlinson is waiting for his day in court to strike down Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law

    03 October 2018 | Gay Star News
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Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap
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