Ebola backlash has familiar impact, why understanding sex work is good for everyone, and why advocacy matters . . . We’re reading about demarginalizing public health

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NewWWRWe’re reading about Ebola . . .
Physicians and other health practitioners returning from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone looking forward to sharing their experiences and receiving updates from fellow attendees of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene annual meeting in New Orleans this week instead got this disinvitation from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindhal and the State Department of Health and Hospitals, days before the conference began. While the letter concludes with a welcome to visit the city when they can be welcomed “appropriately,” it’s hard to imagine a more appropriate time than during a conference where updates on treatments and vaccines were being shared, and where talk in the hallways as well as sessions were dominated by a historic humanitarian crisis on which the disinvited could shed light. Reminiscent of the two-and-a-half decades that the U.S. HIV travel ban kept International AIDS Conferences from convening in the country that leads policies and funding for responses to the global epidemic, and of entry restrictions that still keep sex workers and people who inject drugs from sharing challenges and successes at U.S.-based conferences, the result of this letter was the sidelining of at least 30 people with recent experiences in the three countries, ASTMH President Alan Magill said Wednesday.

Panic, Paranoia and Public Health — the AIDS Epidemic’s Lessons for Ebola – This perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine, like the missing participants in New Orleans this week, highlights the role that advocacy and activism must play, alongside science to defend public health responses.

Why Cuba is So Good At Fighting Ebola – Recognition of health as a human right, solidarity with marginalized people, and development of its health workforce are some of the reasons this article gives for Cuba’s strong response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

We’re reading about evidence and advocacy . . .
How can we get close to Zero? The potential contribution of biomedical prevention and the investment framework towards an effective response to HIV – Another argument for evidence-based responses to public health challenges, this time adding up the impact that acting decisively with proven measures would have on the HIV infection rates and AIDS deaths globally.

Sex Work and Trafficking: Can Human Rights Lead Us Out of the Impasse? This article in Health and Human Rights Journal looks at how policies on sex work have been entangled with policies on sex trafficking, the difference between the two, and how inclusion of those who know the difference, could make a difference.

Indonesian brothel closures hit HIV prevention
– And this Irin News article explains why understanding sex work is important. Following raids on an Indonesian city’s sex work complexes, when asked where the red light district is now, “we have to say everywhere,” an HIV outreach worker says. A sex worker, in turn says, the crackdown on sex workers had the effect of challenging their safety and ability to negotiate condom use.

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