Tag Archives: HIV Aids

Caribbean Governments must remove laws criminalizing homosexuallity

“Public health academia has known for decades that to effectively curb the global crisis of HIV/AIDS we have to remove institutionalized oppression that re-enforces homophobia. It is not a panacea but it is a major part of the solution…

Twelve of the fifteen CARICOM member states still criminalize homosexuality…

Harassment, silence, intimidation and homophobic laws are a major hindrance on the efficacy of HIV outreach and prevention. It compromises the fight against HIV and AIDS.”

by Sean Macleish for Barbados Free Press

The Caribbean is second in the world to Sub-Saharan Africa in the rate of HIV infection. The primary mode of transmission in the region is heterosexual intercourse with high risk groups to include men who have sex with men (MSM) and there is intersection between the two.

Public health academia has known for decades that to effectively curb the global crisis of HIV/AIDS we have to remove institutionalized oppression that re-enforces homophobia. It is not a panacea but it is a major part of the solution.

Countries that criminalize homosexuality marginalize MSM which pushes them underground and helps to fuel the HIV epidemic. Treating people with dignity and respect facilitates effective HIV education and prevention. It reduces the discrimination many Caribbean Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender experience when accessing health services. Studies and the resulting data have consistently demonstrated that homophobia contributes to higher HIV infection rates and that internalized homophobia also increases your risk of HIV infection.

People who place a high discount rate on their lives tend to participate in higher risk behaviours. The decriminalization of homosexuality to reduce the global crisis of HIV/AIDS is a policy endorsed by the United Nations, World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, and many non-governmental organizations. This is the consensual public health approach. Twelve of the fifteen CARICOM member states still criminalize homosexuality as of date.

SVG Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves gets it wrong…   Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Health, Human Rights

Prince Harry, Prince Seeiso launching Sentebale Polo Cup – coming to Barbados in January

Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso focus on children as HIV/Aids ravages Lesotho

Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso are coming to Apes Hill Polo Club in Barbados on Sunday 31st January 2010 for the first Sentebale Polo Cup.

Prince Harry will play for the Sentebale team in the match to raise money for Lesotho’s orphans, abused, disabled, ill and most vulnerable children.

“Prince Seeiso and I are incredibly proud of what Sentebale has achieved. But HIV and AIDS are killing more people every year, and poverty and drought afflict many more people than we currently are able to help. The situation is critical. It is the children who are suffering the most from this crisis. Without help, the future of this beautiful country and its unique people is very bleak. We believe Sentebale can change this.”

from a December 18, 2009 story posted on the Prince of Wales’ official website

Life expectancy in Lesotho has plummeted to 34 years

Have a look at the video above, and you can also check out the following website for more information…

Sentebale.org

Our mission is to transform the lives of Lesotho’s orphans and vulnerable children. Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso to help the forgotten victims of poverty and of the HIV/Aids epidemic ravaging this kingdom.

Sentebale is a new charity with a new approach. We combine thoughtful aid giving with effective businesslike methods. We are committed to the long term funding and support of small but dynamic organisations in Lesotho that are really making a difference in their communities.

Lesotho is fighting for survival. Nearly one third of Lesotho’s people are infected with HIV/AIDS – the third highest rate in the world. There are an estimated 400,000 orphans and vulnerable children in a country of 1.8 million. Life expectancy has plummeted to 34 years.

4 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Health, Human Rights, Polo, Royal Family

Why Is Barbados HIV Infection Rate 50% Higher Than The Caribbean Average?

“In the Caribbean the infection rate is 1.2% and here in Barbados it’s around 1.8%,”

…Dr Carol Jacobs, Barbados National Aids Commission talking to BBC (link here)

Barbados HIV Infection Rate Is 50% Higher Than Regional Average!

Once in a while we see an interesting convergence of news on the internet and this week it is happening with HIV-Aids news.

First we had the head of the Barbados Family Planning Association saying that medical professionals should not notify spouses if their husband or wife has been diagnosed HIV positive. The vast majority of our readers were appalled at George Griffith’s idiocy and many said so commenting on our article Barbados Family Planning Association Head: If The Husband Has HIV/Aids, Don’t Tell The Wife !

In Barbados, George Griffith thinks that the priority is protecting the man with HIV at the expense of his women partners. In Canada, they just locked up a man with HIV for having unprotected sex. He got 18 years in prison!

Then we had Barbados Government Minister Sinckler having to defend Barbados’s human rights record before the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process in Geneva, Switzerland. Sinckler stated that Barbados would not be decriminalising homosexual acts or distributing condoms in prison “until such time as a full and proper national discourse on the issues can be engaged,

Such time for a national discourse on these subjects being NEVER according to successive Barbados governments – and the DLP Thompson government is no different.

Barbados Free Press long ago addressed the issue of condoms in prison in our article Barbados Government Hypocrisy: Condoms, AIDS, HIV and Dodds Prison. As we said again in May of this year…

The hypocrisy, lies and horse manure being spread by Dr. Byer-Suckoo and the Barbados Government would be humorous – except that real people are going to die because of it.

The truth is that the Government of Barbados does not wish to distribute condoms to the men in Dodds prison because homosexual sex is against the law in Barbados. The government cannot bring itself to distribute condoms in the prison knowing that the rubbers will be used by men for homosexual sex.

Nor can the government bring itself to legalise homosexual sex so that condoms could be made available to men in prison without any legal or political arguments about facilitating criminal behaviour.

That is the truth about why the government will not be distributing condoms to the prisoners.

With such policies, you can expect that our HIV infection rate will continue to be 50% higher than the rest of the Caribbean. The government knows it could do something about it in Dodds Prison but will not. Meanwhile we lock up healthy young men for years with only other men and tell them to control their urges because it would be immoral and illegal for us to give them access to condoms. I mean, our last Prime Minister dropped babies all over the place because he couldn’t control his urges, so how do we expect young men in jail to be celibate?

31 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Health