HIV Advocates Invites You To Observe Zero Discrimination Day On March 1

February 18, 2015

 

Join the fight against discrimination. Stop the stigma! March 1 is Zero Discrimination Day and HIV Advocates invites you to join this movement. Open up and reach out!

 

HIV Advocates, a global initiative that aims to share news, experiences, strategies and new tools that aim to energize human rights movements and communities fighting HIV/AIDS, is encouraging everyone to share their thoughts about the fight against discrimination. What does discrimination mean to you? How important is zero discrimination in your life? How does discrimination impact your life as well as the lives of the people who matter to you? What do you think society should do in order to stop this?

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By joining the Zero Discrimination Day celebration on March 1, people will be more aware of the ongoing battle that denies people of their human rights or social participation. One way to take part on March 1 is to thank somebody who has inspired you through tolerance and diversity. HIV Advocates also urges people to show how they want to fight the stigma.

 

“Be inspired by the butterfly, the transformative symbol for zero discrimination and take part in an activity to express your support for zero discrimination. You might swim like a butterfly, bake a butterfly cake, sing a butterfly song. Be as creative as you like,” according to HIV Advocates.

 

Supported by Levi Strauss Foundation and powered by B-Change Foundation, HIV Advocates encourages existing and would-be activists to explore the power of social media and other Internet avenues to help spread the message across – that discrimination and stigma against people with HIV/AIDS no longer have any place in society!

 

Join the advocacy. Follow HIV Advocates via their social networking accounts:

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HIV Advocates Denounce Laws That Criminalize HIV Status – Here’s Why

January 25, 2015

 

Laws that criminalize HIV status should be denounced as these pose a major threat to the human rights of people living with HIV including transgenders. This is one of the battle cries of HIV Advocates, a global initiative that aims to share news, experiences, strategies as well as new tools that will energize communities fighting HIV/AIDS.

HIV Advocates believes that laws against HIV transmission, for instance, encourage discrimination and threats against patients. In truth, more often than not, people living with HIV do not even realize that there is HIV transmission at the time of sexual intercourse. Both the carrier and the recipient are not aware of the HIV transfer. Hence, the laws that prosecute people who do not disclose their HIV status, for example, can disparately impact the LGBT (lesbian / gay / bisexual / transgender) community. In fact, according to the National HIV Criminalization Survey, 58% of transgenders living with HIV tend to avoid HIV testing due to fear of criminal prosecution.

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HIV Advocates wants to push for these laws to be reconsidered by lawmakers. They want to urge stakeholders to speak up and let their local government leaders see the impact of such laws. HIV Advocates wants to re-establish that trust in the justice system.

 

Do you share our views? Visit HIV Advocates and let us know. Share your opinions, be updated with the latest campaigns against HIV around the world and be a passionate ally of the group in fighting against stigma, discrimination and even abuse.

 

Join HIV Advocates online for advocacy resources, news and advice.

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Intercambios presents 3 ways to Support. Don’t punish People who Use Drugs in Argentina.

June 26, 2014

 

On the Global Day of Action, June 26thThe Support Don’t Punish campaign focuses on how people who use drugs (PUDs) continue to be abused, stigmatized, tortured, beaten and even killed in the name of the ‘war on drugs’.  Civil society organizations around the world work on this issue year round to challenge the stigma and discrimination against PUDs, and overturn discriminatory laws and policies.

Intercambios, an organization in Argentina contributes to the construction and application of knowledge to drug related issues and people who use drugs (PUDs) with a human rights approach.

With the support of Levi Strauss Foundation, Intercambios designed and distributed three postcards in the local language, that aim to improve upon knowledge and attitudes towards PUDs and ultimately lead to health and human rights centered approaches in Argentina.

These three postcards are targeted at three audiences; the general public, support teams working with drug users, and people who use drugs. They were distributed during training sessions with government, civil society and activist organizations throughout Argentina.

Salutation urges the general population to challenge the personal attitudes and behaviour towards PUDs. A self-administered survey is included that aims to check the perceptions of PUDs that each person has.

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“If in your neighborhood there are boys and girls who use drugs, let them know that they are not invisible for you.”

 

Giving the First Step is targeted at health workers, teachers or other community organizations who have contact with PUDs to inspire them to re-think and re-evaluate about what can be done differently in their approach.

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“If we want to approach a person with problematic drug use, accept that they may want something different from what you think is best for them”

The third brochure, There are no reasons for discrimination, has been distributed amongst PUDs where positive affirmation is given to the experiences of PUDs, their families and community organizations. The postcard higlights the potential of collective organization for better drug treatments.

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“Do not be a prisoner of other people’s prejudices. The fact that you use drugs is no reason to be discriminated”.

 

Join HIV Advocates online for advocacy resources, news, and advice.

 

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Human Rights Violations Continue for People Living with HIV in Asia

June 27, 2013

 

Weak laws and giant gaps in protection against discrimination have left people living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific facing human rights violations. Because of fear of discrimination and stigma, many of those most vulnerable don’t access the legal protections available to them. A report released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) explores these issues in depth.

Countries in Asia and the Pacific, including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Fiji, Mongolia, and more, have added laws meant to protect people living with HIV. However, the effectiveness of these laws is questionable. The UNDP report highlights specific gaps in these laws and law enforcement practices. One example given is that none of the countries in South Asia have national HIV laws, despite the fact that HIV bills have been in existence in Pakistan, Nepal, and India. This creates an unnecessary grey areas for HIV testing rights, informed consent rights, and confidentiality rights.


The UNDP report also looks at gaps between laws that exist and what actually takes place. many countries have laws in place to protect people living with HIV, but obstacles in gaining access to justice prevent these people from seeking legal help. Many of the findings in the report show that people living with HIV in socially marginalized communities lack the money or access to state justice systems to challenge large institutions in legal proceedings.

It’s not all bad news in the report, though. Some countries in the region have taken to using alternative legal approaches to seek justice and enforce rights. Viet Nam has taken advantage of mediation and negotiation to resolve discrimination cases, allowing both parties to avoid the costly fees of going to court. People living with HIV in Thailand have received a great deal of support from NGOs in fighting for better access to treatment.

It’s important to know where legal protections for those living with HIV around the globe stand. The only way we can collectively advocate for better treatment of people living with HIV is to educate ourselves and others about current gaps in the system. For more HIV advocacy resources, news, and advice, visit HIV Advocates online.

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HIV Organizations Team Up to “Know It, Prove It, Change It”

May 1, 2013

While many organizations focus on education and safe-sex awareness,  HIV Advocates knows that advocacy is crucial for the cause. This is why HIV Advocates features the accomplishments of grassroots organizations around the world and highlights advocates’ stories. A group of three organizations in Asia have come together to create a three-part publication discussing HIV advocacy.

Asia Catalyst, Thai AIDS Treatment Action Group (TTAG) and Dongjen Center for Human Rights Education and Action lead the creation of the publication, while consulting 120 Asia-based organizations for their input. TTAG is based out of Bangkok, Thailand with the goal of achieving equal access to HIV treatment for all, especially highly marginalized groups like drug users and those in prison. Dongjen Center for Human Rights Education and Action, from Beijing, China, aims to defend the rights of people living with HIV and change Chinese law to protect those living with AIDS. Asia Catalyst, based out of New York in the United States, is a nongovernmental organization (NGO) that provides resources, coaching, and technical assistance to new NGOs.

Each part of the series has a manual that discusses the steps to take as well as a trainer’s supplement that includes lesson plans, sample exercises, and templates to be used for instructional workshops. “Know It,” the first publication in the series, is rich with human rights information for HIV advocates and those living with HIV to use. The second portion, “Prove It,” teaches grassroots organizations and those living with HIV about how to properly document human rights abuses to stay legally protected. The most recent publication of the three-part series, “Change It,” focuses on helping other grassroots organizations know how to how to launch successful advocacy campaigns. It aims to educate with key terms used and case studies of creative advocacy campaigns.

TTAG, Asia Catalyst, and Dongjen Center for Human Rights Education and Action is always looking for input from other grassroots organizations. To help improve the series, email Asia Catalyst at info@asiacatalyst.org. For more HIV advocacy resources, news, and advice, visit HIV Advocates online.

 

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IDAHO Rally in Hong Kong

May 21, 2008

Homophobia is a crime and over 300 peoples rallied in a busy street of Causeway bay in Hong Kong on May 18 to mark the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO). The rally was full of songs, story telling and even a “die-in” action to protest against homophobia and fight for equal rights for sexual minorities. The SO-U.TV team filmed the joyful protest. Go to http://www.so-u.tv to watch the highlights.

IDAHO Hong Kong