quarta-feira, dezembro 21, 2005

Activistas denunciam abusos de direitos humanos

People living with HIV/AIDS start documenting Human Rights Violations

World AIDS Day 2005 saw a series of human rights violations against people living with HIV/AIDS, including murders of AIDS activists in Jamaica and Honduras. Today, a broad coalition of people living with HIV/AIDS has decided to collect documented events of social injustice, stigma and discrimination, criminalisation, (sexual) violence and other Human Rights violations involving people living with HIV/AIDS. The events will be analysed and the collection published on the occasion of World AIDS Day 2006.

Thursday December 1, 2005 was the 18th time the world celebrated World AIDS Day: a day where people from around the world express their solidarity and support for people living with HIV/AIDS. However, 25 years into the epidemic there is still little to celebrate.

Worldwide the community of people living with HIV/AIDS, our allies and all who care about us, have reacted shocked at the atrocities which happened around this 18th World AIDS Day.

In Jamaica prominent AIDS activist Steve Harvey was abducted and shot dead. Steve was a brave and committed activist, representing the interests of all people living with HIV/AIDS. In Honduras gay AIDS activist Amed Baraona was brutally stabbed to death. Amed was 25 years young.

In Swaziland - the country with the highest HIV-prevalence in the world - absolute monarch King Mswati III cancelled World AIDS Day by Royal decree. In Harare, Zimbabwe, police halted a World AIDS Day demonstration and arrested 164 participants. Five organizers were held until December 2.

"Keep the Promise" was the slogan of this World AIDS Day. The promise of providing 3 million people living with HIV with ARV by 2005. The promise of reducing the number of new infections. The promise of combating and reducing stigma and discrimination, the main fuel for HIV propagation. But in past weeks it has become clear most of these promises are hollow rhetoric. The most vivid example is in the 3 by 5 initiative. Sadly, "3 by 5" appears not to refer to treatment, but to mortality. In 2005, 3 million people died of HIV/AIDS. This year an estimated 5 million people became HIV-positive, more than ever in one year - and there appears to be no slowdown.

People living with HIV and their advocates have fought for 25 years for the right to live full, productive and healthy lives, they fight for social justice, tolerance and universal access to treatment and care. Yet these rights continue to be denied.

China has chosen to dose fuel the fire with kerosene, by first announcing detainees with HIV will be isolated in separate prisons, and subsequently proposing nation-wide mandatory testing.

In Europe, governments make the same mistake by repeatedly prosecuting positive people who had unsafe sex with consenting partners. Luckily some governments have turned back from this path, realizing criminalization of HIV transmission would greatly hamper their prevention efforts.

In South Africa, 1 in 9 people now is living with HIV/AIDS. Infection rates rose from 27.9 percent to 29.5 percent. Nevertheless, at her World AIDS Day speech, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang claimed that South Africa is on the right path, and advised people living with HIV/AIDS to eat lots of vegetables and garlic.

These are just a few examples of violations towards people living with HIV/AIDS. But they are not isolated, they are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Everyday, everywhere, people living with HIV are being discriminated, stigmatised, violated, raped, murdered - sometimes by direct violence, but mostly by neglect and the unwillingness of the international community to provide anti-retroviral treatment universally.

In a message on World AIDS Day 2005 the Nairobi Think Tank called for the global movement of people living with HIV/AIDS to revitalize our ways of taking action in the global AIDS response. The events of World AIDS Day can only reinforce this call for a widespread radical mobilization of HIV positive communities.

In spite of all efforts AIDS is still far from a normalized disease. It seems the battle needs to be fought over and over again, but the global movement of people living with HIV/AIDS will never be silenced. We will not be silenced.

A revitalisation of AIDS Activism is needed in this time of increasing human rights abuses against PLWHA. A coalition of people living with HIV/AIDS, has taken the initiative to gather information on a wide range of human rights violations committed against people living with HIV/AIDS. The information will be collected and analysed in a Black book on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights and published on World AIDS Day 2006.

The database is expected to go online in January 2006 at www.gnpplus.net . More information on the Nairobi Think Tank is also available at this site.

African Network of Religious leaders living with and closely affected by HIV and AIDS (ANERELA+)
European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG)
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)
Global Network of People living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+)
International Community of Women living with HIV/AIDS (ICW)
International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO)
International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC)
Young Positives

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