HIV and STI Testing and Treatment Policies – Mandatory, coercive unconsented and nonconfidential HIV testing for sex workers, periodic presumptive treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and “strategic” programs for “key populations” are among the policies and practices discussed in this briefing paper that stand between people in vulnerable circumstances and the health services they need. The stigmatizing effects and associated dangers of these practices are some of the reasons people who earn income through sex work report unmet health needs in more than 165 countries, and why, while sub-Saharan Africa is home to the highest rates of HIV among sex workers, only a fraction of sex workers there have had an HIV test in the last year, the authors, from the Global Network of Sex Work Projects say.
The City at the Heart of the Philippines’s HIV Epidemic – This Atlantic article describes the unfolding of a preventable public health crisis in vivid detail, as people who inject drugs share syringes in a place with rising HIV rates and where places to get and inject drugs are plentiful, but a clean needle is hard to find.
39 Commonwealth nations still have anti-LGBTI laws – Imagine the exultation of the citizenry of nations colonized by the British as each achieved independence, and, in charge of their own destinies, seized opportunities to shed the shackles of inequities that had come with their subjugated status . . . Except that, putting demagoguery over democracy, a majority of Commonwealth countries once owned by the British Empire retain the anti-homosexuality laws their colonizers foisted upon them. The 76 Crimes blog provides links here to its coverage of the impact of those laws, in many of the countries, offering an opportunity in most cases to follow the connection between discriminatory policies and politics that deny the rights and existence of a country’s own citizens and less effective responses to HIV.