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New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2008 Apr. 44 p. (1-56432-302-1)Five years into the armed conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, women and girls living in displaced persons camps, towns, and rural areas remain extremely vulnerable to sexual violence. Sexual violence continues to occur throughout the region, both in the context of continuing attacks on civilians, and during periods of relative calm. Those responsible are usually men from the Sudanese security forces, militias, rebel groups, and former rebel groups, who target women and girls predominantly (but not exclusively) from Fur, Zaghawa, Masalit, Berti, Tunjur, and other non-Arab ethnicities. Survivors of sexual violence in Darfur have no meaningful access to redress. They fear the consequences of reporting their cases to the authorities and lack the resources needed to prosecute their attackers. Police are physically present only in principal towns and government outposts, and they lack the basic tools and political will for responding to sexual violence crimes and conducting investigations. Police frequently fail to register complaints or conduct proper investigations. While some police seem genuinely committed to service, many exhibit an antagonistic and dismissive attitude toward women and girls. These difficulties are exacerbated by the reluctance-and limited ability-of police to investigate crimes committed by soldiers or militia, who often gain effective immunity under laws that protect them from civilian prosecution. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2006. 15 p. (WHO/HIV/2006.05)In August 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a coordinated global effort to address a major and often overlooked barrier to preventing and treating HIV: the severe shortage of health workers, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Called 'Treat, Train, Retain' (TTR), the plan is an important component of WHO's overall efforts to strengthen human resources for health and to promote comprehensive national strategies for human resource development across different disease programmes. It is also part of WHO's effort to promote universal access to HIV/AIDS services. TTR will strengthen and expand the health workforce by addressing both the causes and the effects of HIV and AIDS for health workers (Box). Meeting this global commitment will depend on strong and effective health-care systems that are capable of delivering services on a scale much larger than today's. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2006. 35 p.Marriage is widely regarded as a place of safety to shelter from the risks of adolescence. In many parts of the developing world, parents and policy makers see marriage as a walled garden where cultural and family values protect young girls from defilement and stigma. Particularly in poorer and rural areas, there is pressure on parents to marry off their daughters while they are very young before they become an economic liability. Millions of girls reluctantly enter into marriage while they are still children, just sexually mature but unready in every other way for this profound change in their lives. Typically, an adolescent bride knows little of her new husband or new life, has little control over her destiny and is unaware of the health risks that she faces. When an adolescent girl starts a sexual relationship with a man 10 years older than she is, he may be sexually experienced. If he is infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or with HIV, a marriage certificate offers no protection. In the context of the AIDS pandemic, it is a chilling fact that the majority of unprotected sex between an un-infected adolescent girl and an infected older man takes place within marriage with the blessing of parents and community. Neither AIDS nor STIs respect marriage as a place of safety. (excerpt)
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2004 Aug 11. 35 p. (Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper)The government of Sudan is hardly a credible actor when it comes to protecting its citizens given its record of human rights abuses against Sudanese civilians in other areas of Sudan and its responsibility for the campaign of terror in Darfur. Khartoum seeks to have it both ways—it claims it cannot control or disarm the Janjaweed militias but at the same time refuses to permit international forces to be deployed to protect civilians and bring the situation under control. If the Sudanese government were serious about protecting civilians, it would welcome an increased international presence to help it stop the violence and put in place the conditions necessary for the voluntary and safe return of civilians to their home villages. This report documents and analyzes the ongoing violence and the government’s claims of progress to address the human rights crisis in Darfur in more detail based on recent Human Rights Watch research in Chad and Darfur. In some cases, the precise locations of incidents and other identifying details have been withheld to protect the security of the victims and witnesses. (excerpt)
New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2004 Nov.  p. (Human Rights Watch Vol. 16, No. 13(C))For Tamil families in the North and East of Sri Lanka, the February 2002 cease-fire that has brought an end to the fighting between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has brought little relief from one of the worst aspects of the twenty-year conflict: the LTTE’s recruitment and use of children as soldiers. Despite an end to active hostilities and repeated pledges by the LTTE leadership to end its recruitment of children, the practice has continued not only in LTTE controlled areas, but now reaches into government areas in the North and East where the LTTE previously had little access. This report focuses on continued LTTE recruitment of children during the cease-fire period, including re-recruitment of children released from the LTTE’s eastern faction in 2004. (excerpt)
Sexual Health Exchange. 2004; (2): p..Sex, death, prolonged illness, blood, drug use, poverty, race and ethnicity, promiscuity and homosexuality are all linked to HIV and AIDS. Not surprisingly, such a heady cocktail of judgement-laden associations can trigger strong and complex reactions, including frustration, aggression, denial and silence. HIV/AIDS – and the complex issues it represents – challenges our ability to reason, and amplifies existing inequalities, prejudices and human rights abuses. Individuals and communities already stereotyped, stigmatised and disadvantaged, are further marginalized by the fear, ignorance and intolerance generated by HIV/AIDS. "HIV/AIDS-related stigma is a real or perceived negative response to a person or persons by individuals, communities or societies. It is characterized by rejection, denial, discrediting, disregarding, underrating and social distance. It frequently leads to discrimination and violation of human rights." HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination pose a serious threat to the basic human rights for all people infected, affected or associated with the disease. The right to health care, the right to freedom of speech and movement, the right to services like housing and education, the right to confidentiality, dignity, liberty and security, and ultimately the right to life, are all threatened by stigma and discrimination. (excerpt)
AIDS Education and Prevention. 2003 Aug; 15(4):346-356.In the past decade, the resettlement of African HIV-positive refugees in New Zealand has meant dramatically changing patterns of new HIV infection. This increase in heterosexually acquired HIV has been met by mounting disquiet on the part of the public, politicians, and health officials. The voices of the refugees themselves have been lost in this debate. This article discusses the experiences of African refugees with HIV, being in New Zealand, and the establishment of the National HIV/AIDS Refugee Health Education Program, designed to meet the needs of African communities in New Zealand. (author's)
Positively Aware. 2003 Mar-Apr; 14(2):20-24.Developing and implementing a model HIV prevention program at the grass-roots level in the People's Republic of China is a very difficult undertaking, but this is the task we have agreed to with the Health Bureau of Zhejiang Province in China. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and various universities in the U.S. are actively involved with HIV/AIDS in China; but all of these undertakings are between professionals, usually physicians, or high level administrators on all sides. What has not been done, and what is unique to the relationship that Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) is developing, is to work directly with the people in China who will implement the treatment and prevention programs among the Chinese population. Getting out in the field among the Chinese populations most at risk-men who have sex with men (MSM), intravenous drug users (IDUs), and female sex workers-is a major milestone. (author's)
New York Times. 2003 Feb 8;  p..In this gritty township [Khayelitsha] near Cape Town, the relief agency Doctors Without Borders provides free triple-therapy treatment to about 330 people and reports remarkable results, Doctors treat even the sickest of the sick, patients who can barely walk or swallow. After six months of treatment, most people show dramatic improvements, gaining as much as 20 pounds and the strength to fight off killer diseases. (excerpt)
AIDS ASIA. 1996 Nov-Dec; 3(6):6-7.Peter Piot, head of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), told the World AIDS Conference in Vancouver that India had 3 million people infected with HIV. The Indian government, however, gave no estimate because it has no baseline data upon which a realistic projection can be made. The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) officially questioned Dr. Piot on the basis of his estimates. Piot attributes his figure to World Health Organization estimates made in consultation with NACO at the end of 1994 that there were 1.75 million people living with HIV in India. Alarmist reports have appeared in the media based upon Dr. Piot's comments. Some health experts, however, believe that the figures are being inflated by the West to pressure India into accepting vaccine trials and other research on HIV-infected people. For now, neither the Indian government nor the country's general population seem concerned about the reported statistics.
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 1992 Aug 8; 305(6849):325-6.The press widely publicized investigative findings at the international AIDS conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands about patients with signs or symptoms consistent with AIDS or AIDS-related complex but who did not have HIV-1 or HIV-2 antibodies or the viruses themselves. Yet the formal scientific sessions ignored this topic and the conference summaries only casually mentioned it. Tests used to try to detect HIV were antibody testing, virus isolation, or molecular detection techniques. The press suggested several emotive questions not based on clinical data such as the safety of national blood supplies. 4 of the 5 patients in New York City had HIV risk factors. The only clinical indications of immunodeficiency in 1 patient was Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and 2 somewhat low CD4 counts which may have actually been due to tuberculosis. Laboratory personnel have not yet reconfirmed reverse transcriptase activity of lymphocytes from 2 patients. So far these cases do not exhibit epidemiological criteria for a new transmissible agent. There has been no case clustering or a pattern of sexual or vertical association of cases. These cases may only be more detections of cases of rare spontaneous primary or secondary immunodeficiency disease. If epidemiological support does suggest a transmissible agent, laboratory personnel may find it difficult to isolate and identify agent. The US Centers for Disease Control and WHO wants to coordinate reporting and classification of cases so epidemiologists can quickly verify or reject laboratory findings based on a larger series of cases. Only with full evaluation of ongoing research and development of sensitive and specific detection systems for new pathogens can the scientific community address questions concerning the safety of blood supplies. This reaction of the press indicates a need for the peer review system to continue to establish the soundness of research before its release to the press to avoid undue concern.