Category Archives: U.S. Policy and Funding

Zambian activist acquittal brings hope to health and human rights landscape

By on .

When police seized Paul Kasonkomona outside a Zambia television station last April, he had been arrested before and was ready to be arrested again. Kasonkomona, who had fought to make second line treatments for HIV accessible to all who needed them in his country, and who had stood up for the rights of the poorest […]

Hepatitis C and HIV co-infection highlight need for equitable treatment access, amfAR brief says

By on .

The new issue brief from amfAR highlights a peculiar global health conundrum —  people living with HIV, a disease for which no cure yet exists, survive with treatment only to die of a disease that can be cured. One example has long been tuberculosis. This brief puts the spotlight on Hepatitis C and HIV: Addressing […]

Anti-gay laws, rhetoric, impact, response: Good news, bad news and no news

By on .

Physician activist released, Ugandan, Nigerian groups call  for action, Uganda government responds, and homophobic rhetoric escalates First the good news: after urging by civil society leaders in South Africa and around the world, Ugandan-born physician and gay rights advocate Paul Semugoma has been ordered released from immigration officials’ custody, and will receive the work permit […]

Fears for gay rights advocate, physician facing deportation to Uganda heighten concerns over that nation’s human rights environment

By on .

“Yes, there are many times I’ve been afraid. There are times when we are told that we are going to be arrested. Those are times you can really be afraid. You cannot be out and open as a gay Ugandan.” Physician, gay rights advocate Paul Semugoma, 2012, International AIDS Conference, interview On the eve of […]

“Scientists” presentation leading to Uganda anti-gay law decision leaves questions

By on .

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni’s announcement this weekend that he would sign the country’s new anti-homosexuality law may have seemed all the more puzzling in light of his assertion in late December that his decision on the legislation would be guided by science. That plan, and the conclusion it would point to, seemed to settle the […]

HIV and law commission risks and rights report followup highlights actions

By on .

A year and a half ago the Global Commission on HIV and the Law put out its report, HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights and Health with recommendations addressing the discriminatory practices that fuel HIV epidemics. Problems the report pointed to included overreaching patent protections and criminalization of HIV transmission, as well as abuses of […]

Follows on “Pharmagate” plot: South Africa activists picket Merck office, while two drug companies leave pharmaceutical association

By on .

In the days following a leaked plan from a U.S.-based public relations firm to derail proposed patent reforms in South Africa, those involved indicated that the plan, dubbed “genocidal” by South Africa Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, was the product of a misunderstanding. The U.S.-based firm, Public Affairs Engagement released a statement saying that when firm […]

Gilead hepatitis C drug price deal leaves global treatment access advocates underwhelmed

By on .

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved sofosbuvir for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in early December, it was a step that was “expected to dramatically improve outcomes for many patients,” as one report put it. But how many was a big question, as we noted here. While the drug shortens treatment for […]

With Uganda anti-gay bill alive, clinicians, researchers seek to answer President Museveni’s questions on science, homosexuality

By on .

When Uganda President Yoweri Museveni considered the latest version of an “anti-homosexuality bill” the nation’s parliament passed just before Christmas, he had, as the cliche has it,  more questions than answers. Some of his questions concerned the correctness of the parliamentary procedure with which the bill was passed, some with how much, or how little, […]