What We’re Reading: Cutting aid, cutting human rights, cutting disease-fighting efforts, and more . . .

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WWR520UK to cut direct aid to South Africa – AIDS Alliance Response: While news that Britain plans to end direct aid to South Africa by 2015 was met with concern in opinion columns around the world, this piece from AIDS Alliance spells out why this will risk investments in the HIV response to date: the country may have the largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, but it also has the biggest burden of HIV, in a setting of extreme inequity that keeps health resources from reaching those most in need.

Zambia: Drama at Kapiri Court as ‘Gays’ Appear for Plea: This story in the government-owned Times of Zambia gives an account of a court appearance of two men accused of having sex with each other — in violation of Zambia’s colonial-era law, and mentions two other men also are in jail because they were “allegedly found kissing.” In the wake of the jailing of Zambian HIV treatment advocate Paul Kasonkomona for speaking on television about the importance of eliminating barriers between gay Zambians and health services, you have to hope that global health diplomacy is going to start making a difference, soon, so the goal of “country ownership” doesn’t lead to the people being permanently disowned from the strides in HIV prevention, treatment and healthcare that continue to be made.

Zambia Urged to Release Two Men Charged with Same-Sex Sexual Conduct: More on the dehumanizing treatment of the arrested men, and how it violates treaties ratified by Zambia.

Food Insecurity Opens Door to TB in Madagascar
: Aside from the euphemism of “food insecurity,” for “people not knowing where their next meal is coming from” this article brings attention to the critical, sometimes ignored role that ensuring adequate nutrition and sustenance must play in tuberculosis prevention and treatment, while some programs, in recent years, have jettisoned the provision of food supplements from TB screening and treatment adherence support programs.


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