Monthly Archives: February 2014

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

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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 […]

HIV response advocates to Senate Foreign Relations heads: Speed confirmation of next PEPFAR leader

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Signers from 28 organizations advocating for global HIV responses called on United States Senators Robert Menendez and Robert Corker to schedule a confirmation hearing in the next week for Dr. Deborah Birx, nominated by the White House last month to serve as the next U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and lead the President’s Emergency Plan For […]

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

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“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 […]

Integrated TB and HIV treatment adds up to increased survival, improved efficiencies, and new funding focus

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Around much of the world where rates of HIV-tuberculosis co-infection are highest, one of the challenges killing patients has been the wait to discover if their TB would respond to the most common treatments. A four-year South Africa study of co-infected patients showed starting treatment for HIV during the course of anti-tuberculosis treatment, rather than […]

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

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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 […]

Treatment as Prevention once again shown to lower incidence of illness, infection, death, in British Columbia findings consistent with Kwazulu Natal, other settings, authors say

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The idea was to document and demonstrate the effectiveness of the “Treatment as Prevention” strategy in fighting HIV and AIDS, but a population-wide study of data spanning 16 years in British Columbia’s HIV epidemic scored points for harm reduction and accessible, publically funded health care as well, it turned out. The PLOS One article on […]

HIV and law commission risks and rights report followup highlights actions

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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 […]

HIV responses and challenges in Sri Lanka, Honduras, Thailand, and — a new one in Uganda . . . We’re reading about health and human rights around the world

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HIV on a Dangerous Threshold in Sri Lanka – The Indian Ocean island nation was considered a “low-prevalence country,” this article says, but is facing a “much more explosive and complex situation — the risk of an epidemic within high risk groups.” High-risk groups, the article goes on to clarify, means populations at high risk […]

Nigerian official who called anti-gay law “democracy in action” served on International AIDS Society’s governing council

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When Nigeria acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs Viola Onwuliri defended President Goodluck Jonathan’s signature on the country’s brutal new anti-homosexuality law, the couple of weeks preceding had to have been a tough time to answer for her country. The law, for reasons obvious to donors, doctors, advocates and others involved in global efforts to combat […]

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

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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 […]