What we’re reading: Do forbidden words, restrictive policies compromise leadership of infectious disease responses?

By on .

Trumps State Department eyes ban on terms like “sexual health” – Whether this could or will actually happen, leaving programs for “sexual and reproductive health services,” as just “reproductive health services” remains unclear. This Politico report notes, however, that one of the current administration’s first moves in 2017  was to reinstate, expand, and rename the global gag rule, also known as the Mexico City Policy, barring any overseas groups receiving U.S. funds from providing information about terminating a pregnancy. The piece also notes that the administration already has removed language about women’s access to contraception from its annual human rights reports. Finally, it notes that Secretary of State Pompeo, who would have to sign off on the ban and whose anti-abortion views and opposition to LGBT rights protections were demonstrated during his days in Congress, reiterated some of those views during his confirmation hearing.

Thousands live in fear after Tanzania calls on public to report gay people – In the meantime, this article about a Tanzanian official’s crackdown on gay people, notes the impact the country’s colonial-era introduced “anti-sodomy” laws, and its current administration’s heightened homophobia have had on LGBT communities and HIV efforts. This, from Human Rights Watch notes that the government bans pregnant girls from attending school (multiplying their vulnerability to poverty and sexually transmitted diseases).  Tanzanian foreign affairs officials have denied a stepped up enforcement of its laws, but the official has maintained that he has formed a team that will scrutinize social media in search of people to arrest and said he would rather run afoul of other countries’ views of human rights “than anger God.” In turn, the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania has effectively reiterated the official’s warning, advising people there to “remove or protect images and language that may run afoul of Tanzanian laws regarding homosexual practices and explicit sexual activity.”

American global health leadership starts in Ohio and Georgia – Among the issues putting U.S. leadership of global health security in question, this Hill opinion piece notes, are obstacles to health care in this country, including barriers to health insurance, and particularly in states facing the brunt of an ongoing crisis of substance use disorders.

AIDS 2020: A letter of concern – Ongoing restrictions on who can enter this country (including bans against people who have earned income through sex, or who have used illegal drugs) as well as proposed new restrictions, are among the concerns prompting the questions asked here, about whether the United States is an appropriate host for the next International AIDS Conference.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.