Imagine a pill that could eradicate hate in our communities. How much faster could we end AIDS with Post-Hate Exposure Prophylaxis (PHEP)?
“Imagine “Post-hate exposure prophylaxis,” allowing people to self-medicate after exposure to hateful, homophobic or transphobic language, whether from religious fundamentalists, Fox News or family. (Excerpt from Garcia AIDS2014 Plenary Session Speech)
During AIDS2014 Laurindo Garcia said that we are not only living amongst an epidemic of HIV infection, but an epidemic of hate. What does this mean for us?
Living in this epidemic of hate, means that access to basic HIV prevention services is limited, so that the artillery that we have to fight HIV infection such as HIV testing, pre-exposure prophylaxes (PrEP) or treatment as prevention is unlikely to have much impact. Garcia says, “In 81 countries around the world, the idea of a health intervention for trans people, gay men and other MSM is to beat us up or throw us in jail.”
Scientific and medical advances in HIV prevention, care and treatment stand little chance of reaching MSM, transgender and other key affected populations if there are no parallel efforts to address human rights.
The UN Report ‘HIV in Asia and the Pacific: Getting to Zero’ (2013) finds the rates of new HIV infections are growing fastest amongst MSM men. Could this disproportionate burden be linked to homophobic laws, HIV criminalization laws, and the violence, persecution that MSM and LGBTI faces from the state, families and societies? Amidst this environment, HIV and STIS rates remain stubbornly high amongst MSM and transgender populations. It is estimated that within the next three years, up to 50 percent of new HIV infections in Asia and the Pacific will occur within MSM communities.
Amongst youth, hate- -fueled bullying, stigma and discrimination contribute to risk of social isolation, suicide and HIV infection. While we dream of a pill that can neutralize hate, help us end HIV now by building awareness and empathy in your community for transgender people, gay men and other groups most affected by HIV.
The HIV Advocates platform shares game-changing, community-led advocacy from around the world.
Grupo Pela Vidda releases cultural advocacy products such as books, which document the experiences of discrimination, injustice and vulnerability to HIV of tansgender people in Brazil. In Mexico, a group of journalists, lawyers and activists under the banner of Letra S. use innovative mix of media advocacy and provision of legal assistance in order to contest HIV stigma. Meanwhile, organizations such as E.V.A in Russia join global call for action against homophobia and transphobia #May17IDAHOT to protect LGBT expression, and end intimidation and violence.
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