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

Kavitha Kuruganti reports real change for the dalit women of Tivsala village. More women now own land, and this trend needs to be studied more closely.
The deadline for the realization of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by countries of the world is drawing to a close in 2015. The progress on MDGs might have been with mixed results, but lot of lessons need to be learnt while we frame n
In the year 2000, countries of the world had agreed to meet the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. Numerous consultative processes have been taking place around the world on what should be the development goals post-2015.
The headquarter town of Hamren subdivision in west Karbi Anglong autonomous district has remained in an archaic condition since independence.
Bodo militants, who have been demanding a separate state for Bodoland, released a horrific video after killing a girl in Assam's Chirang district.
The Journalists' Forum Assam expressed shock at the murder of James W. Foley, an American photo-journalist who was abducted in November 2012 in Syria.
...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