Daily News header

Punitive Laws Limit Access To HIV Services for MSM and Transgender People World-

By  

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released a study analyzing evidence in Asia-Pacific on how punitive and discriminatory laws and human rights violations limit access to HIV prevention and care services are for men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and transgender people. The study report "Legal environments, human rights and HIV responses among men who have sex with men and transgender people in Asia and the Pacific: An agenda for action" is co-published by the UNDP and Asia Pacific Coalition for male sexual health (APCOM).

There is an improving body of evidence that HIV prevalence rates are much higher in MSM and transgender people compared to those in general populations" said John Godwin, Human Rights Lawyer from Australia and key author of this study. According to the data in this study, HIV prevalence was up to 50% in MSM and transgender communities compared to low prevalence in general population.

HIV prevalence among transgender people in few major cities in Asia presented in this study is: 49% in Delhi (India), 42% in Mumbai (India), 37% in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), 34% in Jakarta (Indonesia), 30.8% in Bangkok (Thailand), and 29.3% in Yangon (Myanmar).

HIV prevalence rate among general population is obviously quite low in Asia-Pacific like India estimates it to be 0.2-0.3%.

According to the Commission on AIDS in Asia report released in 2008, by the year 2020, 50% of new HIV infections will be in MSM and transgender communities, said Shivanand Khan, who was conferred upon the Order of British Empire (OBE) by the British Queen in recognition of his contribution to HIV prevention among sexual minorities. Shivanand Khan is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Naz Foundation International (NFI). NFI is the first Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) recipient for regional work in south Asia.

"Punitive laws and law enforcement practices exist in majority of countries. In Asia-Pacific, such punitive laws and law enforcement practices exist in 19 countries, and that doesn't include India which is awaiting Supreme Court confirmation of decriminalisation" said John Godwin.

"Interestingly where we have criminalisation (of same sex behaviour) we also have prioritisation" said John Godwin. The governments in Asia-Pacific increasingly include MSM in national policies and 22 countries in the region list MSM as a priority - "and also criminalise at the same time" said John Godwin.

"Countries that criminalise have English common law or Islamic Sharia traditions" said John Godwin. Sixteen countries that were British colonies in this region include: Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Naura, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa among others.

Speaking about indirect impact of criminalising policies, John Godwin said: "stigma drives MSM and transgender populations away from existing services as MSM and transgender people are reluctant to go to these services."

"Such punitive laws and law enforcement practices lends legitimacy to discriminatory and unethical healthcare practices" said John Godwin.

Two countries that have ended discrimination against MSM and transgender people in the region are Australia and New Zealand.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related India News

For someone who had always planned on making her mark in the courtrooms as a lawyer, destiny's sketch for UK-born Indian Devika Dass has turned out to be pretty fashionable.
call for the World Bank to end its destructive promotion of water privatization under the guise of development. After a week of meetings, including high level events on water, no action has been taken to address the coalition's concerns.
Delhi, the largest Indian city and the second most populous city in the world has an estimated 1.27 crore voters to decide the fate of 150 candidates of several political parties.
A new research done by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), at the University of Washington, indicates that globally the total development assistance for health (DAH) hit an all-time high of $31.3 billion in 2013
Article by Manoj who is living with HIV since over 20 years now...
Only a few days remain before India's parliamentary elections are held. Political parties are working on their campaigns and shops are selling campaign material.
...More India  

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site