According to lead author John Bongaarts, the study—called “Has the HIV Epidemic Peaked?”—shows that although HIV/AIDS constitutes just 5 percent of disease prevalence in low- and middle-income countries, the epidemic receives about a quarter of global health aid. According to the article, Bongaarts says that HIV/AIDS funding would be better spent on inexpensive interventions to fight other diseases with immunizations, mosquito nets and family planning.
“AIDS should now be treated like any other disease, and the world community should look at its investments in health and prepare the most cost-effective interventions,” said Bongaarts. “I’m not advocating less money for AIDS treatment, but I want more spent on AIDS prevention and other diseases. We can save lives for a few dollars.”
AIDS activists warned at a meeting in Cameroon that violence against gay people in Africa jeopardizes efforts to combat HIV across all demographics, IRIN reports (irinnews.org 7/23).
Thirty-eight of the 53 African nations still consider homosexuality an offence deserving imprisonment. It is estimated that HIV infections are four to five times higher for men who have sex with men (MSM) than the population overall.
Dr. Steave Nemande, the president of the human rights organization Alternatives Cameroun, believes that by criminalizing homosexuality “social homophobia is legitimized and it increases fear among MSM, who take further risks to live their sexual life in secret.”
published: Thursday July 24, 2008
Athaliah Reynolds, Staff Reporter
Declaring that Jamaican men are in trouble, Father’s Inc chairman and university lecturer, Dr Herbert Gayle, says the country needs to readjust how males and females are socialised if it is to be saved from its downward drift.
The DELGA, the Lib Dem gay group, is calling for equal rights for the LGBT community.
It put forward the motion to discuss the state of LGBT asylum seekers facing deportation from the UK.
DELGA secretary Drian Trett said the motion “was on the preliminary list for the conference.”
While the motion is not set in stone, its hoped that it will be discussed in detail the Lib Dem conference.
Mr Trett said the DELGA would be campaigning for better protection of LGBT asylum seekers in the UK.
Harriet Harman, Labour’s Deputy Leader and Minister for Equality, was booed by the Pride crowd while delivering her speech.
The Independent Jamaica Council of Human Rights (IJCHR), in a press release yesterday, said the categories of capital and non-capital murder were abolished in 2005 following amendments to the Offences Against the Person Act.
“The [IJCHR] is perplexed by this proposal. the circumstances that defined the former categories of capital and non-capital murder are now only considered after conviction, during the sentence hearing, and then only by the trial judge. Therefore, a majority verdict is impossible,” the release said.
GOMES… says her organisation is trying to determine whether the prime minister’s suggested reform is applicable
Similar sentiments were expressed by chairman of Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), Dr Carolyn Gomes, who said her organisation was trying to determine whether the prime minister’s suggested reform was applicable.
“We don’t have a full position on that and there may be some problems with it because, as we understand, the law was altered to remove the distinction. It is supposed to be applicable when a person is charged and the verdict is arrived at, then the judge pronounces sentence on the basis of his assessment of the evidence. So we need to study that some more to see whether it is workable, and if it is workable, then whether or not we are in support of it,” the JFJ chairman said.
On Tuesday, Golding announced in Parliament several new measures to be implemented by the Government to tackle the nation’s soaring crime rate, including provisions for a majority of nine jurors out of 12 to decide on non-capital murders.
Golding also announced that criminal suspects could be detained for up to 72 hours without being charged, and that persons arrested and charged for serious crimes could be denied bail for up to 60 days. Both measures, however, drew the ire of the IJCHR.
“The council continues to reject the proposal for the detention of a person for any period without due regard to the provisions of the Constitution – particularly those in section 15(3), including the right to a trial within a reasonable period of time or to release.
“.The imposition of a mandatory remand undermines the constitutional provision of the presumption of innocence and the discretion of the judges, it mandates a judge to ‘sentence’ a person to 60 days imprisonment, without a trial or proof of wrongdoing – in breach of several rights guaranteed by the constitution,” the release said.
Gomes said, however, that the JFJ was ‘palpably relieved’ at the rule allowing for detention for up to 72 hours.
“We don’t have any objection to that; we are very relieved that it is not the suggested 28 days without charge. We are quite happy with the oversight of assistant commissioner (to authorise the detention), we would hope that this would mean that we would now get the police to actually follow the rules,” Gomes said.
She, however, said the JFJ had not yet taken a position on the 60-day period for detention without bail.
The IJCHR also described as breaching the constitutional mandate against mandatory imprisonment, the Government’s decision to impose a minimum mandatory imprisonment period of 10 years for persons on gun-related crimes.
Both Gomes and the IJCHR were in support of the use of DNA evidence, but said this depended largely on how the evidence was gathered
One of Jamaica’s human rights groups yesterday described the Government’s new anti-crime plan as reactive, saying it neglects how to ensure that criminals are caught.
“All of these legislation kick in after the person has been caught,” said Yvonne McCalla Sobers, convenor of Families Against State Terrorism, adding that the problem was with “catching the people”.
But McCalla Sobers said she felt more comfortable with the Government’s proposal to detain criminal suspects for 72 hours instead of the 28 days that was being considered.
However, she wants to know whether the Government would prescribe penalties for police personnel who breach a detainee’s rights.
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Prime Minister Bruce Golding outlining the new crime-fighting measures in the House of Representatives yesterday.
PRIME Minister Bruce Golding yesterday promised tough new legislative measures to reduce crime, including a minimum 10-year sentence for gun crimes.
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“Because families are defined by love not gender.
Because hatred is not a family value.
Because equal rights are not special rights.” – Anonymous
from Barbados Gays & Lesbians Against Discrimination