Realities in Global Treatment of HIV: A refreshing read on the heels of a series of global health funding proposals (from the President, from the Senate State and Foreign Operations subcommittee, from the House Appropriations Committee) that essentially tell global AIDS fighters “keep up the good work with less money,” this New York Times editorial spells out the disconnect between the new World Health Organization HIV treatment guidelines and what is actually going to happen next. “The missing ingredient,” the editorial points out, “is enough financing by international donors and many afflicted countries to make treatments widely available. With seven million of the roughly 16 million people needing treatment by the previous conservative guidelines going untreated, that gap will grow under the new guidelines, which will make 26 million people eligible for treatment to prevent illness and transmission. Which means making the most of diminishing AIDS-fighting funds is more crucial than ever. There’s a way to do that, according to other pieces we’re reading this week.
The fatal flaw in anti-AIDS strategies: This chapter in the book mentioned in Wednesday’s post about the last year in the life of gay rights and HIV activist Eric Lembembe examines that question in light of the “Washington, DC Declaration” at the 2012 AIDS Conference. The chapter was adapted from a 76 Crimes blog post in the week leading up to the conference, examining the impossibility of implementing its nine strategies in nations where criminalization of homosexuality and institutionalized discrimination and neglect stand between services and many who need them most.
Violence Against LGBT People and Its Impact on HIV, Calling for a Coordinated Response: This call for adequate protection, support, and emergency responses for HIV programs serving sexual minorities cites the toll of deadly antigay violence in one week alone: the death of Eric Lembembe in Cameroon, the killing of two gay activists in Haiti, and the stabbing death of a nongender-conforming teenager in Jamaica. It also cites the article that follows, which shows the toll doesn’t end there, but also that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Access to Basic HIV-Related Services and PrEP Acceptability among Men Who Have Sex With Men Worldwide: The importance of community based organizations that can provide appropriate services to men who have sex with men is underscored by the research presented here showing how barriers to information and care fuel the epidemic among sexual minorities and, on the other hand, the impact of safe, connected, relevant responses.
Gay Rights in Developing Countries, a well-locked closet: In the meantime, we revisited this 2010 Economist article, which notes “Gays are under attack in poor countries — and not just because of “local culture.” While anti-gay laws undercuts AIDS-fighting efforts, the article quotes a chilling and astonishing response to the notion of protecting the human rights of gay people: “Bishop Joshua Banda, chairman of Zambia’s National AIDS Council, said that donor countries’ efforts to speak out against violations of gay rights were against Zambia’s ‘traditional values,'” according to the article. Not so fast, the author writes: not only were at least half of Africa’s anti-gay laws British Colonial imports, but a newer, harsher, even less tolerant tone across Africa owes much to “an influx of conservative Christians, mainly from America, who are eager to engage African clergy in their own domestic battle against homosexuality.”