Each week we like to share with our readers what we’ve been reading, but we also like to hear from our readers about what they’re reading. Please let us know what you’re reading this week by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Missing the Target – In the 11th of its Missing the Target report series, the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition examines the barriers to treatment in Uganda And Kenya. In Uganda, it looks at obstacles and lack of coordinated services that stand between children and antiretroviral treatment in a country that is home to 2.3 million orphans, nearly half of whom lost one or both parents to AIDS-related illnesses. In Kenya, where data indicates sex workers and their clients account for at least 14 percent of new infections, the report looks at failures to accurately define sex work, accurately estimate needs, and determine the extent to which those needs are met.
Good Practice in Sex Worker-Led HIV Programming – Case studies in Kenya, Cameroon, South Africa, India, Malaysia, and Kyrgyzstan are among those collected in this report that show what people who have been disproportionately affected by HIV, and who know their own needs can do to protect and care for themselves when given the chance.
Good Practice Guide: HIV and Human Rights – When human rights abuses continue to fuel the HIV epidemic, good responses demand consideration of the political, economic, and social environment in which responses take place, efforts to address stigma and discrimination, and the greatest possible access to HIV treatment and prevention. This guide breaks down how to put programs together that address those challenges.
AIDS 2014 Melbourne Declaration – “Nobody left behind” is the theme of this year’s International AIDS Conference declaration, calling for opposition to laws and policies that serve as discriminatory barriers between people and public health programs. It takes a stance against criminalization and discriminatory practices on the basis of gender, age, race, ethnicity, disability, spiritual or religious beliefs, national status, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, use of illicit drugs, or status as sex worker, prisoner, detainee, or person living with HIV.
Uganda: Raided clinic reopens with scaled-back services – The 76 Crimes blog continues its comprehensive coverage of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Law with an update on the status of services at the Makerere University Walter Reed Project, a U.S. funded program that, the blog notes, was one of the few places that men who have sex with men, and members of other sexual minority populations could turn to for health care. Anyone who doubts the impact of the new law on HIV responses in Uganda should read this piece, which reports that while most of the project’s services have resumed, it offers fewer services to men who have sex with men, and moved some services to another location, lessening access to HIV prevention commodities, including condoms and lubricants.
Confusing coverage of Ugandan nurse case continues – This story on Time.com presents a puzzle: Can you figure out what happened in the case of Rosemary Namubiru from reading this? The headline of this piece says she was jailed for “attempting to spread HIV.” The next lines say authorities “accused her of malice.” The next sentence says she was sentenced for “intentionally spreading HIV.” The story goes on to say that she was found guilty of negligence (isn’t that the opposite of “attempting” to do anything?), that the child was not infected (uh-oh — doesn’t that contradict that she was “spreading HIV”?), and that Uganda is one of 60 countries that criminalizes HIV (it is not; the president has not signed the bill Parliament passed that would do that, and HIV treatment advocates are continuing to urge him not to make the bill law). One good read and a fact check could have avoided this credibility-compromising, fear-inducing and downright nonsensical piece. Good journalism, and the tragedies that 30 years of prejudice surrounding HIV have generated, demands more than this reader challenge that literally presents more questions than answers. Incidentally, the piece also references an earlier story by the Associated Press as a source for one of its statements, but AP, which makes a point of taking accuracy seriously, has already issued a correction to that story.
Phumeza Tisile, XDR-TB survivor, at the World Health Assembly – Phumeza Tisile, a co-author of the “Test Me, Treat Me Manifesto”, took more than 20,000 pills and permanently lost her hearing before she was cured of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, and in this talk at the 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva, she reminded Ministers of Health what the manifesto asked: access to quick and accurate TB diagnosis for all, accessible, timely and tolerable treatment, and funding for TB research to develop new treatments and diagnostic tools. To have your say on U.S. TB priorities, see the next link, below.
U.S. Government TB Strategy 2015-2019: Stakeholder Questionanaire – The U.S. government strategy that began in 2009 is entering its last year, and development of the next five year plan is beginning. As part of that, those with a stake in the priorities of the next plan are invited to share their thoughts in the roughly 30-minute survey at the link above.
Reaching our 20 millionth woman -The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation reached its 20 millionth woman with services to prevent parent to child HIV transmission this spring, organization President Chip Lyons writes in this Huffington Post blog piece, but success is not complete until the barriers to the women yet unreached are addressed — whether they were long roads away from clinics, stigma, or stock outs of antiretroviral medicines.