Johannesburg — Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says the newly launched National Sex Worker HIV Plan is about citizens' rights and affirming the equal worth of every citizen.
"It is about affirming the rights of all South Africans to life, dignity and health, regardless of their occupation, sexual orientation and circumstances," said the Deputy President on Friday at the launch held in Johannesburg.
The Deputy President launched the plan in his capacity as the chairperson of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC). The National Sex Worker HIV Plan is a coordinated national sex worker HIV prevention, care and treatment plan. It includes the provision of pre-exposure and early treatment for sex workers as core components of the health care package, as advocated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“I had a friend in Atlanta who died in the hospital last year of Pneumocystis pneumonia as if it was 1986. He died because he was afraid to take an HIV test.”
HIV is more treatable and more preventable than ever before, but public perception of the virus is not keeping up. In fact, some advocates argue that because people living with HIV are less visible — because they’re leading healthy, functional lives like everybody else — stigma against people living with HIV is actually as problematic as ever.
In many ways, the growing body of knowledge about the virus should be alleviating this stigma:
DES MOINES, Iowa — As the Democratic primary heats up, Hillary Clinton and Bernard Sanders are seeking to gain traction by expressing support for LGBT rights — and to some extent by vowing to combat HIV/AIDS. But one related issue that remains untouched by either candidate is HIV criminalization laws.
In 32 states, there are laws criminalizing perceived exposure to HIV, regardless of the actual risk of transmission, and 13 states have laws criminalizing certain acts — like spitting — by people with HIV/AIDS, even though they can't transmit the disease through saliva. These laws have resulted in lengthy jail sentences for people with HIV, and in some cases forced those convicted onto the sex offender registry.
Following the recent launch of the series 'Harm reduction in Asia and the Pacific', Dr. Alex Wodak, President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, here writes a very honest account of efforts to control HIV among and from people who inject drugs in Asia.
A quarter of a century ago, Asia and the Pacific, home to almost half the population of the planet, were at great risk of a generalized HIV epidemic starting among people who inject drugs.
Just imagine what the health, social and economic costs of that would have been! Thailand had already become the first developing country in the world to experience a generalized HIV epidemic.
A study comparing the sexual behaviour of American gay men living in states with or without laws that criminalise HIV transmission has found very little variation by state, suggesting that legislation has minimal impact on public health. Or the law may be counter-productive – men who believed they lived in a state which criminalised HIV transmission were slightly more likely to have sex without a condom, the researchers report in AIDS & Behavior.
A handful of previous studies have shown that laws make little impact on the frequency with which people with diagnosed HIV disclose their status.