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[Update] US: North Dakota woman receives 10 years sentence, with 8 years and 6 months suspended, for alleged HIV exposure

Woman facing HIV charge
December 19, 2019

Published in Williston Herald, December 18, 2019

Woman sentenced to 18 months in prison for not telling a sex partner she was HIV positive

A woman who pleaded guilty to transfer of body fluid that may contain HIV has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

S.A. pleaded guilty to the class A felony in April and was sentenced Wednesday, Dec. 18. Northwest District Judge Daniel El-Dweek imposed a sentence of 10 years in prison, with 8 years and 6 months suspended. A. will have to serve three years of supervised probation after her release.

A. was accused of having unprotected sex with a man who she hadn’t told she was HIV positive, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Northwest District Court. She did eventually tell the person that she was HIV positive and that she was taking medication for the illness.

The case is the second in the region in recent years. In 2017, A.R. was accused of having unprotected sex with a woman without telling her he had HIV. He was sentenced in April 2018 to 8 years in prison.


 Woman facing HIV charge

A 28-year-old Watford City woman has been charged with spreading bodily fluids that may contain HIV, a class A felony.

S.A. was charged Monday and ordered held on $15,000 bond. Police said that on Friday they spoke to her and a person with whom she’d had unprotected sex.

During the interview, A told police that she hadn’t told the person, who was not named in court documents, that she had HIV before they had sex, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Northwest District Court. She did eventually tell the person that she was HIV positive and that she was taking medication for the illness.

Earlier this year, a 43-year-old man pleaded guilty in Williams County to transfer of bodily fluids that may contain HIV. A.R. was originally charged in January 2017 with having unprotected sex with a woman without telling her he had HIV.

He was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Published in the Williston Herald on October 15, 2018

[Update]US: Case of New Jersey man charged with alleged HIV non-disclosure reassigned to new County Prosecutor

AG’s office intervenes in case of man accused of knowingly spreading HIV to partners
December 19, 2019

Source: NJ.com, December 19, 2019

AG’s office intervenes in case of man accused of knowingly spreading HIV to partners

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office has taken the unusual step of superseding the prosecution of an Atlantic County case for a man accused of knowingly spreading HIV by having unprotected sex.

Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for the AG’s office, said the office reassigned the prosecution of A.X., 37, of Galloway Township, to the Cape May County prosecutor to “avoid any potential conflict or appearance of conflict” with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.

Aseltine would not say what led to the decision.

An alleged victim in one of the A.X. cases asked the AG’s Division of Criminal Justice to get involved in the case in August, arguing that the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office could not be trusted to handle the case fairly due to a conflict of interest, according to the complaint.

In a statement Wednesday, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said it made the request that the Attorney General supersede all matters involving that victim.

His complaint, obtained by NJ Advance Media, claims that Prosecutor Damon Tyner has a long-standing relationship with the defendant’s father. The complaint also alleged bad blood between Tyner and the complainant from past dealings.

A.X. was charged on May 23 with committing an act of sexual penetration while knowingly infected by HIV without the other’s consent, as well as counts of aggravated assault and endangering another person for the same incident in August 2016, according to the criminal complaint.

He was charged Oct. 3 with committing an act of sexual penetration while knowingly infected by HIV in connection with an encounter with another man a year earlier, police records show. A court official said both cases would no longer be prosecuted by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.

Reached Wednesday, A.X.’s former attorney said he no longer represented him and did not know if he had a new lawyer.

The complaint to the AG’s office claims that Tyner and his office’s victim witness coordinator, Raymond Royster, both have personal relationships with A.X. and his father. Tyner, Royster and A.X.’s father also collaborate as members of the Coalition for A Safe Community, the complaint said.

Earlier this year, when three current and former prosecutor’s office staffers sued Tyner alleging gender discrimination and other misconduct, a committee of community leaders held a rally to support him.

The complainant told the AG’s office that X and his family have used Tyner’s name in attempts to intimidate him into dropping the charges against A.X.

Those attempts, he wrote, included telling him that pressing forward with the charges “won’t go well” for him and that Tyner will “get back at [him] and handle him.”


 

Source: Breaking AC, October 12, 2019

 Galloway man charged with exposing second man to HIV

A Galloway Township man already charged with knowingly infecting a man with HIV is now accused of failing to disclose his medical history before having unprotected sex with a second man.
AX, 36, was charged last week with committing “an act of sexual penetration without the informed consent of the other person while knowingly infected…,” according to a complaint obtained by BreakingAC.
He is scheduled to be in court Oct. 30.
He already faces charges filed this past May, after another man was allegedly infected in 2016.
It is not clear whether the second man became infected.


 Source: Breaking AC, my 24, 2019

Galloway man charged with knowingly infecting man with HIV

A Galloway Township man is accused of giving a man a sexually transmitted disease after failing to disclose he was HIV positive.
X, 36, was charged Thursday with three criminal counts, including aggravated assault.
X was arrested last month in a separate case in which he allegedly punched and threatened a man outside the Cathedral Grace Family Church.

The victim in that case said he was in a relationship with X but the two have had issues, according to the complaint obtained by Breaking AC. He was released from jail as those charges go through the system.
Now, X is accused of failing to disclose he was HIV positive before having sex with a man, who was infected.
X is accused of committing “an act of sexual penetration knowing that he is infected with a sexually transmitted disease” and for “knowingly acting in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical welfare of the victim.”

 

Mexico: Mexican Anti-Criminalisation Network asks Secretary of Health of Veracruz for transparency

Organizaciones Contra la Criminalización del VIH exigen sensibilidad y transparencia al Secretario de Salud #Veracruz
December 17, 2019

Google translation. For article in Spanish, scroll down. 

Cdmx, December 16, 2019.- The Mexican Network of Organizations Against HIV Criminalization issued a statement on the dismissal of the HIV problem in Veracruz during the appearance of the Secretary of Health of Veracruz, Roberto Ramos Alor,

“We believe that the little time invested in his presentation did not allow detailing the epidemiological and sociocultural situation of HIV in the entity and the strategy to respond in the short, medium and long term, considering that Veracruz is in the top national places by number of accumulated cases and new cases of HIV and AIDS, of mortality due to AIDS, in the contribution of women to the national context, of girls and boys born with the virus, of the tuberculosis-HIV binomial, of maternal mortality with HIV and of other factors that increase vulnerability and the risk of acquiring HIV such as the migratory phenomenon ”.

They also point out that the figures for the purchase of condoms are imprecise and did not report any investment in the purchase of antiretroviral drugs, nor for opportunistic diseases, so they demanded transparency.

“We consider it important that the Secretariat in charge, as part of the best practices of proactive transparency, report what the precise figure is, the nature of these resources, whether federal or state, the source of funding by item, the state of execution and the strategic indicators of these resources ”demanded.

PRONUNCIATION

Mexico as of December 15, 2019

On November 4 of this year, Dr. Roberto Ramos Alor, Secretary of Health and General Director of Health Services of Veracruz, had his first appearance before the Veracruz State Congress, which was heard carefully by the Mexican Network of Organizations Against the Criminalization of HIV, made up of 30 civil society organizations and subscribed to the HIV Justice Worldwide global movement to end the criminalization of HIV.

Against this we manifest:

1. Advances in the approach, prevention, care and treatment of HIV have not completely permeated due to popular beliefs about the epidemic. Prejudices prevent all people who have active sex lives from being tested for HIV and go to medical services accordingly, hindering the dynamics of the epidemic; They are also causes and consequences of stigma, discrimination and criminalization that have affected people with HIV and AIDS for years.

2. Given these challenges, it is essential that public servants, especially those who develop in the field of health, place emphasis on their constant professionalization and awareness for the provision of services in accordance with the methods, principles and operating criteria of the components of the National Health System set forth in the Official Mexican Standard NOM-010-SSA2-2010, for the Prevention and Control of Infection by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, from the approaches of human rights, inclusion and non-discrimination, Weighting the description of the infection pathways and risk factors to avoid messages of a negative nature.

3. We consider that the little time invested in its presentation did not allow to detail the epidemiological and sociocultural situation of HIV in the entity and the strategy to respond in the short, medium and long term, considering that Veracruz is in the first national places by the number of accumulated cases and new cases of HIV and AIDS, of mortality due to AIDS, in the contribution of women to the national context, of girls and boys born with the virus, of the tuberculosis-HIV binomial, of maternal mortality with HIV and of other factors that increase vulnerability and the risk of acquiring HIV such as the migratory phenomenon.

The information was not precise in reference to the amount of 6 thousand, 662 million and finally 6 million, 662 thousand pesos as the investment to face the HIV epidemic and AIDS in the State. Discordant with the request for Transparency to the Health Secretariat of Veracruz of folio 04279019 dated August 22, 2019, on the amounts invested in the purchase of male and female condoms, maternal formula and medications for opportunistic diseases, which responded that 5 million 452 were spent thousand pesos in male condoms and, 4 million 519, 397 pesos in maternal formula; but it does not report any investment in the purchase of antiretroviral drugs, nor for opportunistic diseases.

4. We consider it important that the Secretariat in charge, as part of the best practices of proactive transparency, report what the precise figure is, the nature of these resources, whether federal or state, the source of funding by item, the state of execution and the strategic indicators of these resources.

5. Also, detail the important areas of opportunity of the State Program on HIV / AIDS and STIs of the Ministry of Health and the collaboration of individuals, communities and civil society organizations.

Mr. Secretary, you have stated that you have commitment and strategies to face the HIV epidemic in Veracruzana, which we celebrate and will continue to support from the coordinated work as individuals, communities and civil society organizations experienced and committed to the health and life of to those owed by choice, that is to say with people and families affected by HIV and AIDS.

As a Multisectoral Group on HIV, AIDS and ITS of the State of Veracruz, a member of the Mexican Network of Organizations Against HIV Criminalization, we trust in their commitment, congruence and political will and endorse our availability to continue working in a coordinated manner and thus face the HIV epidemic in Veracruz.

The protection of health is a constitutional human right.

Let us redouble our efforts and commitments to respect this right and achieve a life free of stigma and discrimination.

Organization State

1. AHF Mexico AC

National
2. Potosino Friends in the Fight against AIDS AC APLCS AC

San Luis Potosi
3. AC Balance

National
4. Brisa Gómez, journalist Veracruz

Veracruz
5. Street Brigade to Support Women “Elisa Martínez” AC

National
6. Carlos Ruíz López

Colima
7. Casa y Vida AC HIV Care Center

Sonora and Sinaloa
8. Youth Development and Research Center AC CDIJ AC

Campeche
9. Coatza HIVve AC

Veracruz
10. Binni Laanu AC Collective

Oaxaca
11. AC Metropolitan Community

New Lion.
12. Comunik AC

Chihuahua
13. Multisectoral Group on HIV / AIDS and STIs of the State of Veracruz

Veracruz
14. Equal Social Circle AC

Quintana Roo
15. Fatima IBP

Chihuahua
16. Javier Vidal – Multisectoral Group on HIV / AIDS and ITS-Poza Rica, Veracruz

Veracruz
17. Jumaltik Equidad Sur AC

Chiapas
18. Karuna Health and Development AC

Mexico City
19. Letter S, AIDS, Culture and Daily Life AC

National
20. Inn of Mercy

Jalisco

21. Macuco for Life AC

Tabasco
22. Oasis San Juan de Dios

Yucatan
23. Free People

Oaxaca
24. AC Partners Program

Chihuahua
25. Social Diversification Network

San Luis Potosi
26. Redisex

Nayarit
27. Rubén Muñoz Professor-Researcher CIESAS

Mexico City
28. Yes to Life AC

Veracruz
29. As rare as the other AC

Veracruz
30. A helping hand in the fight against AIDS AC

Chiapas
31. Positive Life AC Beach

Quintana Roo
32. Ensenada Seropositive Integral Management Program, of the Autonomous University of Baja California. PROMISE UABC

Baja California
33. Interdisciplinary Research Program Acción Feminista, AC

Morelos

1 HIV Justice Worldwide (HIV JUSTICE WORLDWIDE) is an initiative composed of national, regional and global civil society organizations, working together to end the criminalization of HIV. The founding partners are: AIDS and the Alliance for Rights for South Africa (ARASA); Canadian Legal Network for HIV / AIDS; Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP +), Justice Network for HIV; International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW); Seropositive Women’s Network-USA (PWN-USA); and Project Sero (SERO). The initiative is also supported by Amnesty International, the International Alliance for HIV / AIDS, UNAIDS and UNDP.


Cdmx, 16 diciembre 2019.- La Red Mexicana de Organizaciones Contra la Criminalización del VIH emitió un pronunciamiento sobre la desestimación del problema del VIH en Veracruz durante la comparecencia del Secretario de Salud de Veracruz, Roberto Ramos Alor,

“Consideramos que el poco tiempo invertido en su exposición no permitió detallar la situación epidemiológica y sociocultural del VIH en la entidad y la estrategia para darle respuesta a corto, mediano y largo plazo, considerando que Veracruz se encuentra en los primeros lugares nacionales por el número de casos acumulados y nuevos casos del VIH y de sida, de mortalidad a causa del sida, en la aportación de mujeres al contexto nacional, de niñas y niños nacidos con el virus, del binomio tuberculosis-VIH, de mortalidad materna con VIH y de otros factores que incrementan la vulnerabilidad y el riesgo de adquirir el VIH tales como el fenómeno migratorio”.

Además apuntan que las cifras destinadas para compra de condones es imprecisa y no reportó inversión alguna en la compra de medicamentos antirretrovirales, ni para enfermedades oportunistas por lo que exigieron transparencia.

“Consideramos importante que la Secretaría a su cargo, como parte de las mejores prácticas de transparencia proactiva, informe cuál es la cifra precisa, la naturaleza de dichos recursos, sean federales o estatales, la fuente de financiamiento por partida, el estado de ejecución y los indicadores estratégicos de dichos recursos” demandaron.

PRONUNCIAMIENTO

México a 15 de diciembre de 2019

El día 4 de noviembre del presente año, frente al Congreso del Estado de Veracruz tuvo su primera comparecencia el Dr. Roberto Ramos Alor, Secretario de Salud y Director General de Servicios de Salud de Veracruz, misma que fue escuchada con atención por la Red Mexicana de Organizaciones Contra la Criminalización del VIH, conformada por 30 organizaciones de la sociedad civil y suscrita a la iniciativa HIV Justice Worldwidei movimiento mundial para poner fin a la criminalización del VIH.

Frente a ello manifestamos:

1. Los avances en el abordaje, prevención, atención y tratamiento del VIH no han permeado por completo debido a las creencias populares acerca de la epidemia. Los prejuicios evitan que todas las personas que tienen vida sexual activa se hagan la prueba de detección del VIH y acudan a los servicios médicos en consecuencia, dificultando la dinámica de la epidemia; además son causas y consecuencias del estigma, la discriminación y la criminalización que durante años han afectado a las personas con VIH y con sida.

2. Ante estos retos, es indispensable que los servidores públicos, especialmente aquellos que se desarrollan en el ámbito de la salud, pongan énfasis en su constante profesionalización y sensibilización para la provisión de servicios de acuerdo con los métodos, principios y criterios de operación de los componentes del Sistema Nacional de Salud enunciados en la Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-010-SSA2-2010, Para la Prevención y el Control de la Infección por el Virus de la Inmunodeficiencia Humana, desde los enfoques de derechos humanos, inclusión y no discriminación, ponderando la descripción de las vías de infección y los factores de riesgo para evitar los mensajes de naturaleza negativa.

3. Consideramos que el poco tiempo invertido en su exposición no permitió detallar la situación epidemiológica y sociocultural del VIH en la entidad y la estrategia para darle respuesta a corto, mediano y largo plazo, considerando que Veracruz se encuentra en los primeros lugares nacionales por el número de casos acumulados y nuevos casos del VIH y de sida, de mortalidad a causa del sida, en la aportación de mujeres al contexto nacional, de niñas y niños nacidos con el virus, del binomio tuberculosis-VIH, de mortalidad materna con VIH y de otros factores que incrementan la vulnerabilidad y el riesgo de adquirir el VIH tales como el fenómeno migratorio.

No fue precisa la información en referencia al monto de 6 mil, 662 millones y finalmente de 6 millones, 662 mil pesos como la inversión para enfrentar la epidemia del VIH y el sida en el Estado. Discordante con la solicitud de
transparencia a la Secretaría de Salud de Veracruz de folio 04279019 de fecha 22 de agosto del año 2019, sobre los montos invertidos en la compra de condones masculinos y femeninos, fórmula materna y medicamentos para enfermedades oportunistas, misma que respondió que se gastaron 5 millones 452 mil pesos en condones masculinos y, 4 millones 519, 397 pesos en fórmula materna; pero no reporta inversión alguna en la compra de medicamentos antirretrovirales, ni para enfermedades oportunistas.

4. Consideramos importante que la Secretaría a su cargo, como parte de las mejores prácticas de transparencia proactiva, informe cuál es la cifra precisa, la naturaleza de dichos recursos, sean federales o estatales, la fuente de financiamiento por partida, el estado de ejecución y los indicadores estratégicos de dichos recursos.

5. Asimismo, detalle las importantes áreas de oportunidad que tiene el Programa Estatal en VIH/sida e ITS de la Secretaría de Salud y la colaboración de las personas, las comunidades y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

Señor Secretario usted ha manifestado tener compromiso y estrategias para enfrentar la epidemia del VIH en la entidad Veracruzana, lo cual celebramos y seguiremos apoyando desde el trabajo coordinado como personas, comunidades y organizaciones de la sociedad civil experimentadas y comprometidas con la salud y la vida de a quienes se deben por elección, es decir con las personas y las familias afectadas por el VIH y el sida.

Como Grupo Multisectorial en VIH, sida e ITS del Estado de Veracruz, miembro de la Red Mexicana de Organizaciones Contra la Criminalización del VIH, confiamos en su compromiso, congruencia y voluntad política y refrendamos nuestra disponibilidad para continuar trabajando de manera coordinada y así enfrentar la epidemia del VIH en Veracruz.

La protección a la salud es un derecho humano constitucional.

Redoblemos esfuerzos y compromisos para respetar este derecho y lograr una vida libre de estigma y discriminación.

Organización Estado

1. AHF México A.C.

Nacional
2. Amigos Potosinos en Lucha contra el Sida A.C. APLCS AC

San Luis Potosí
3. Balance A.C.

Nacional
4. Brisa Gómez, periodista Veracruz

Veracruz
5. Brigada Callejera de Apoyo a la Mujer “Elisa Martínez” A.C.

Nacional
6. Carlos Ruíz López

Colima
7. Centro de Atención al VIH Casa y Vida A.C.

Sonora y Sinaloa
8. Centro de Desarrollo e Investigación sobre Juventud A.C. CDIJ AC

Campeche
9. Coatza VIHve A.C.

Veracruz
10. Colectivo Binni Laanu A.C.

Oaxaca
11. Comunidad Metropolitana A.C.

Nuevo León.
12. Comunik A.C.

Chihuahua
13. Grupo Multisectorial en VIH/sida e ITS del Estado de Veracruz

Veracruz
14. Círculo Social Igualitario A.C.

Quintana Roo
15. Fátima IBP

Chihuahua
16. Javier Vidal – Grupo Multisectorial en VIH/sida e ITS-Poza Rica, Veracruz

Veracruz
17. Jumaltik Equidad Sur A.C.

Chiapas
18. Karuna Salud y Desarrollo A.C.

Cd. México
19. Letra S, Sida, Cultura y Vida Cotidiana A.C.

Nacional
20. Mesón de la Misericordia

Jalisco

21. Macuco por la Vida A.C.

Tabasco
22. Oasis San Juan de Dios

Yucatán
23. Personas Libres

Oaxaca
24. Programa Compañeros A.C.

Chihuahua
25. Red de Diversificaciones Sociales

San Luis Potosí
26. Redisex

Nayarit
27. Rubén Muñoz Profesor-Investigador CIESAS

Cd. México
28. Sí a la Vida A.C.

Veracruz
29. Tan raro como los demás A.C.

Veracruz
30. Una Mano Amiga en la lucha contra el SIDA A.C.

Chiapas
31. Vida Positiva Playa A.C.

Quintana Roo
32. Programa Manejo Integral Seropositivos de Ensenada, de la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. PROMISE UABC

Baja California
33. Programa Interdisciplinario de Investigación Acción Feminista, A.C.

Morelos

i1 HIV Justice Worldwide (JUSTICIA POR VIH EN TODO EL MUNDO) es una iniciativa compuesta por organizaciones de la sociedad civil nacionales, regionales y mundiales, trabajando en conjunto para terminar con la criminalización del VIH. Los socios fundadores son: SIDA y Alianza por los Derechos para Sudáfrica (ARASA); Red Legal Canadiense de VIH/SIDA; Red Mundial de Personas Viviendo con VIH (GNP+), Red de Justicia para el VIH; Comunidad Internacional de Mujeres Viviendo con VIH (ICW); Red de Mujeres Seropositivas-E.E.U.U. (PWN-USA); y Proyecto Sero (SERO). La iniciativa también es apoyada por Amnistía Internacional, la Alianza Internacional de VIH/SIDA, ONUSIDA y PNUD.

US: Man charged in Wisconsin with 6 felonies for alleged HIV transmission and non-disclosure

HIV–positive man charged after sex with 6 women
December 17, 2019

Source: Denton Daily, December 16, 2019

HIV-positive man charged after sex with 6 women

(MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL) — An HIV-positive Waterford man was charged with six felonies after six women told police the man repeatedly had unprotected sex with them after saying he was “clean.” At least one of the women has now tested positive.

J.T., 42, faces six counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety, all as a habitual, repeat offender. He had been convicted of similar charges in other counties more than a decade ago.

According to the criminal complaint, J.T. was investigated on similar charges in Jefferson County in 2006 and admitted he was HIV-positive. He was convicted and sentenced to prison and released in 2015 on extended supervision.

US: Health and policy experts talk about efforts to reform HIV laws in Ohio & Indiana

All IN: The HIV Modernization Movement
December 13, 2019

All IN: The HIV Modernization Movement

Public health experts, including the American Medical Association, are calling for an end to so-called HIV criminalization laws, which require people with HIV to disclose their status to sexual partners, IV drug users, and other specific groups.

The thought behind these laws is that they deter HIV positive people from spreading the virus. But today’s treatment regimens can bring the virus down to near undetectable levels in some patients, and many critics of disclosure laws say they create a culture of fear among the HIV positive population.

We’ll talk to health and policy experts about efforts to reform HIV laws, and we’ll hear about a “one-stop-shop” model implemented at an HIV treatment center in Indianapolis, designed to offer a host of services for those in need. 

 

Dominican Republic: National Council for HIV asks for a review of HIV laws & drug laws, including HIV criminalisation provisions

Conavihsida asks to modify the HIV–AIDS law in the country
December 13, 2019

Source: Diario Libre, December 12, 2019 – Google translation, scroll down for article in Spanish

Conavihsida asks to modify the HIV-AIDS law in the country

In the country there are 12,000 people who have VHI and do not know it

The director of the National Council for HIV (Conavihsida), Víctor Terrero, asked the authorities to review and adapt laws and policies that affect drug users in HIV prevention and care programs.

It proposed the modification of Laws as 135-11 in its articles 50.78 and 79, as well as the Drug Law 50-88. He argued that sometimes a mother is sentenced to eight and ten years in prison for occupying a small portion of prohibited drugs and forgets that this woman has three and four small children to care for and maintain and that this type of case should be considered In the law.

“We are raising our voice in favor of injecting drug users living with HIV status and who are 22% more likely to get the virus,” he said.

He said that according to UNAIDS data these users often share needles, syringes and other supplies for injection, with which they contract the disease. He said that type of restrictive policy has failed elsewhere. He called to change the restrictive policy that is currently applied by a water utility so that drug use is not criminalized and is seen as a public health problem.

Third, the policies should focus on working with the person to avoid consumption, but also the spread of HIV through the use of syringes and other instruments. He recalled that there are about 12,000 people in the country who have HIV and do not know it.

By participating in the conference on “Drug, HIV and Human Rights Policies,” Terrero said that the most vulnerable population to contract HIV are the LGBTI population, Haitian migrants, low-school children in the bateyes who are the ones They provide the most new cases.

The director of Conavihsida reported that more than 79,750 people live with HIV in the country, of which they work with almost 69,000 for a missing 10,000. Retrovirals are supplied to all those identified, for which the State invested 17 million dollars this year.

On his side, Mauricio Ramírez Villegas, coordinator of the United Nations System in the Dominican Republic also advocated comprehensive policies on the issue of drugs and HIV.

He said that public policies must be more humanized to respond effectively to the fight against drugs and said there is scientific evidence from the United Nations, specialized agencies that demonstrate that a more humanized public policy is more effective than restrictive and criminal They deepen drug problems.

The items in dispute

Article 50.- Mandatory evidence . The tests for the detection of HIV or its antibodies are mandatory when:

1) It is required for the purpose of evidence in a criminal proceeding, upon order of the competent judicial authority; However, the accused refuses to carry out the test for detection

of HIV or its antibodies.

2) It involves donating blood, blood products, breast milk, semen, organs and tissues.

3) It is a pregnant woman, as part of the examinations prescribed by the attending physician, in order to ensure the best interest of the unborn child.

Article 78.- Obligation to inform the sexual partner. Any person who, knowing his HIV seropositivity, does not communicate his serological condition to the person with whom he is going to

Having sex will be punishable by imprisonment for two (2) to five (5) years.

Article 79.- Transmission of HIV intentionally. Any person who, by any means, transmits HIV intentionally to another, will be punished with imprisonment for twenty (20) years.


Conavihsida pide modificar ley de VIH-SIDA en el país

  • En el país hay 12,000 personas que tienen VHI y no lo saben

El director del Consejo Nacional para el VIH(Conavihsida), Víctor Terrero, solicitó a las autoridades revisar y adaptar legislaciones y políticas que afectan a los usuarios de drogas en los programas de prevención y atención del VIH.

Planteó la modificación de Leyes como 135-11 en sus artículos 50,78 y 79, así como la Ley de Drogas 50-88. Sostuvo que en ocasiones se condena a una madre a ocho y diez años de prisión por ocuparle una pequeña porción de droga prohibida y se olvida de que esa mujer tiene tres y cuatro hijos pequeños que cuidar y mantener y que ese tipo de caso se debe contemplar en la ley.

“Estamos levantando nuestra voz en favor de los usuarios de drogas inyectables que viven con la condición de VIH y quienes tienen un 22% más de posibilidades de contraer el virus”, sostuvo.

Manifestó que de acuerdo con datos ONUSIDA esos usuarios muchas veces comparten agujas, jeringas y otros suministros para inyección, con los cuales contraen la enfermedad. Aseguró que ese tipo de política restrictiva ha fracasado en otros lugares. Llamó a cambiar la política restrictiva que se aplica actualmente por una sanitaria para que no se siga criminalizando el uso de drogas y se vea como un problema de salud pública.

Terrero que las políticas deben enfocarse en trabajar con la persona para evitar el consumo, pero además, el contagio de VIH a través de uso de jeringas y otros instrumentos. Recordó que en el país hay unas 12,000 personas que tienen VIH y no lo saben.

Al participar en la conferencia sobre “Políticas de Drogas, el VIH y los Derechos Humanos”, Terrero señaló que la población más vulnerable para contraer VIH son la población LGBTI, los migrantes haitianos, los niños de baja escolaridad en los bateyes que son los que aportan la mayor cantidad de los nuevos casos.

El director de Conavihsida informó que más de 79,750 personas viven con VIH en el país, de los cuales trabajan con casi 69,000 para un faltante de 10,000. A todos los identificados se les suministran los retrovirales, para lo cual el Estado invirtió este año 17 millones de dólares.

De su lado, Mauricio Ramírez Villegas, coordinador del Sistema de Naciones Unidas en República Dominicana también abogó por política integrales en el tema de las drogas y el VIH.

Dijo que las políticas públicas deben ser más humanizadas para responder con efectividad a la lucha contra las drogas y aseguró que hay evidencias científicas por parte de Naciones Unidas, organismos especializados que demuestran que una política pública más humanizada es más efectiva que las restrictiva y criminales que profundizan los problemas de las drogas.

Los artículos en disputa

Artículo 50.- Pruebas obligatorias. La realización de las pruebas para la detección del VIH o de sus anticuerpos, son obligatorias cuando:

1) Se requiera para fines de prueba en un proceso penal, previa orden de la autoridad judicial competente; no obstante el imputado se rehúse a la realización de la prueba para la detección del VIH o de sus anticuerpos.

2) Se trate de donación de sangre, hemoderivados, leche materna, semen, órganos y tejidos.

3) Se trate de una mujer embarazada, como parte de los exámenes prescritos por el médico tratante, con la finalidad de asegurar el interés superior de la criatura por nacer.

Artículo 78.- Obligación de informar a la pareja sexual. Toda persona que, conociendo su seropositividad al VIH, no comunique su condición serológica a la persona con la que vaya asostener relaciones sexuales, será castigada con la pena de reclusión de dos (2) a cinco (5) años.

Artículo 79.- Transmisión del VIH de manera intencional. Toda persona que, por cualquier medio, transmita el VIH de manera intencional a otra, será castigada con pena de reclusión de veinte (20) años.

US: Bipartisan group of Missouri Lawmakers working to change HIV Laws that date from the 1980s

Missouri Lawmakers Want To Bring HIV Laws To The 21st Century
December 12, 2019

Missouri Lawmakers Want To Bring HIV Laws To The 21st Century

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is working to change current Missouri law on HIV that they say hasn’t been updated since the 1980s. 

Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, said current laws now actually discourage people from being tested. She said if someone knowingly exposes their partner to HIV and they contract the disease, it’s a class A felony. This is the most serious of felony crimes which include murder, rape and forcible kidnapping. 

“If you don’t know your status, there’s no way in Missouri you can be charged with that class A felony,” Rehder said Wednesday in announcing the proposed legislative change. “Not knowing your status in Missouri, unfortunately, keeps people from having that concern, which, in turn, keeps people from getting tested.” 

In comparison, driving intoxicated and causing someone’s death is a class C felony. 

Rehder’s legislation would reduce knowingly exposing someone to HIV who then contracts it to a class C felony. Her bill also reduces the penalty of knowingly exposing someone to the disease who does not contract it from a class B felony to a class D felony. 

Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St. Louis, filed separate legislation that completely eliminates felony charges and reduces all transmission offenses to misdemeanors. 

“That’s based on input that we received from experts around the country,” she said. “It puts it more in line with other kinds of disease transmission, as well.” 

Jeanette Mott Oxford, executive director with Empower Missouri, said it gets it out of the area of disclosure altogether. Both of these laws focus on intent. 

“Were you intending to transmit HIV? Because right now our law says condom use is no defense,” she said. “So you could be trying not to transmit HIV and still be charged with a crime in Missouri.”

There were roughly 13,000 people living with HIV in Missouri in 2018, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Missouri has also been categorized as one of seven states in the U.S. with a rural HIV epidemic. However, with adequate treatment, those who are HIV-positive can avoid getting AIDS. Medication can also suppress the virus and reduce the risk of transmitting it to another person. 

“HIV is no longer a death sentence if you’re being treated,” said Rehder. 

Rehder’s bill and McCreery’s bill have been pre-filed, but full language has not been made available yet. Sen. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls, D-Kansas City, plans to file similar legislation in the Senate next week. 

On another health issue, Rehder will again attempt to pass a statewide prescription drug monitoring program. 

Many states across the nation experienced a decrease in drug overdose deaths in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But Missouri saw a 12% increase

Data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services shows that one out of every 65 deaths in Missouri in 2017 was caused by opioid overdose. Also, Missouri is also the only state without a PDMP.

Rehder said she believes she has the support to get it done this year. Approaching her final year in the House, she said it’s incredibly important to get it done this legislative session. 

“I was raised on welfare, single mom, multiple stepdads, multiple mom’s boyfriends in the home; one of my stepdads was a dealer,” she said. “I had quite a bit of a different lifestyle than many of my colleagues. You know, I had to quit school at 15 to help take care of my family and had my first baby at 16. I’ve seen some things that maybe some others haven’t.”

Rehder said she feels a personal responsibility to explain how policies affect the people that grew up in “her part of the community.”

Human rights are key to ending the epidemics

OPINION: End epidemics by breaking down human rights barriers to health
December 11, 2019

OPINION: End epidemics by breaking down human rights barriers to health

Access to healthcare is a right, not a luxury. We have an historic opportunity to rid the world of HIV, TB and malaria. Let’s seize that opportunity.

Peter Sands is the executive director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Antonio Zappulla is the chief executive of the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Among the many challenges involved in improving health services, one is both pervasive and largely hidden. Human rights-related barriers to health, some explicit, others expressed in behaviours and norms, prevent millions of people from access to lifesaving prevention and treatment.

Think of a girl who is forced to get married at 15 and needs her husband’s permission to undergo an HIV test, or to get a bed net to protect herself and her children from malaria. Or a gay man who is beaten up by police and charged with sodomy when he secretly visits the home of a community health care worker to obtain condoms. Or a group of miners working 14 hours a day deep in a mine without ventilation and health insurance despite widespread tuberculosis.

Money alone cannot ensure and protect basic human rights for people most at risk from infectious diseases.

If the media stokes the appetite for a witch hunt against LGBT+ people or condones violence against women, how will society behave? If laws allow abuse and discrimination to be justified, how can social justice be achieved?

Stigma, ignorance, prejudice and lack of opportunities are some of the toughest road blocks to remove. But the combined power of the law and the media can make a difference.

Fair and balanced news coverage is critical in informing public opinion. Respect for human rights is essential to ensure access to health services. Combined, they become the key to unlocking systemic change.

In sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls are twice as likely to be HIV-positive compared to young men. Contributing factors include gender inequality, violence and limited access to education. Meanwhile, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender people often lack access to health programmes. The root cause? Social taboos, punitive laws and fear of arrest.

Framing health as a human right creates an obligation on states to ensure accessible, acceptable and affordable health care of appropriate quality. But this conception of health as a human right is not shared around the world. You have only to look, for example, at how HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission is still criminalized in 86 jurisdictions worldwide.

We will never end the epidemics of HIV, TB and malaria –  which killed 3 million people in 2017 alone – unless we dismantle social and human rights barriers to health services.

Everyone has a right to healthcare, encompassing dignity and respect. Not only is this a basic human right, but it is critical to fostering social stability and boosting economic growth. It is predicted that drug-resistant TB will cost the global economy approximately US$17 trillion by 2050 if progress is not made fast enough.

The Global Fund and the Thomson Reuters Foundation are joining forces to combine the power of an international health financing organization with global media and legal expertise, to help break down barriers to health services.

Each year, the Global Fund mobilizes and invests more than US$4 billion to support health programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries. Through its “Breaking Down Barriers” Initiative, the Global Fund is working with countries to reduce human rights-related barriers to health services: to ensure that everybody, including the most marginalized, also have access to prevention, treatment and care services; to see that health care workers are trained not to discriminate against, turn away, or fear people living with HIV or TB; to ensure that police are sensitized to support LGBT people to access prevention and treatment, rather than subject them to extortion, arbitrary arrest and violence; and to inform women, girls and others most affected by disease and violence about their rights and access to legal support. In the last three years, over US$120 million have gone to these and other programs to reduce stigma and discrimination and increase access to justice, an unprecedented investment in human rights as a critical component of our efforts to end HIV, TB, and malaria.

But more needs to be done. In its new partnership with the Global Fund, the Thomson Reuters Foundation will facilitate legal services and support for civil society partners in key countries, including development of “know your rights” training, capacity-building for health practitioners, services providers and their clients, plus guidance for NGOs and civil society groups working in challenging social contexts. The Thomson Reuters Foundation will also train journalists on human rights and health issues, and support awareness-raising on human rights-related barriers to health. Our hope is that by combining forces, we can achieve real impact.

Access to healthcare is a right, not a luxury. We have an historic opportunity to rid the world of HIV, TB and malaria. Let’s seize that opportunity.

US: It’s time Ohio’s laws reflected our new understanding of the science of HIV

Ohio’s HIV laws should be based on science, not hysteria
December 6, 2019

Ohio’s HIV laws should be based on science, not hysteria

Even if you weren’t a fan of the National Basketball Association in 1991, you probably remember the day in November that Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the dazzling point-guard of the Los Angeles Lakers announced he was retiring from the game after testing HIV-positive. How many more years did you give Magic? Three, four, maybe five?

Over the last 28 years, we’ve watched Magic briefly return to the NBA, coach the Lakers, announce NBA games, host a talk show, open movie theaters and coffee shops, buy a stake in the L.A. Dodgers and serve as Lakers president.

It would have been impossible in 1991 to conceive of Magic cycling through all those career choices because we couldn’t have imagined him having the time. But now, it’s fairly common to hear of people who’ve lived for decades after a positive diagnosis.

Their longevity shouldn’t be used to minimize the seriousness of the virus. If left untreated, HIV will cause AIDS, and AIDS will kill. But the advancements in treatment and prevention are reason enough to reconsider some of the decades-old laws that were drafted to punish people who sleep with others without informing them that they’re HIV-positive. Those laws were largely based on the belief that there was nothing on the other side of an HIV diagnosis but sickness and death.

In Ohio, a person who is HIV-positive can be sentenced up to eight years in prison and made to register as a sex offender for engaging in sexual conduct without disclosing their status.

What if that person uses a condom?

It doesn’t matter.

What if the person is faithfully taking pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PReP, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%

That doesn’t matter, either.

What if long after the fact, the partner tests negative for the virus?

Not even that matters. The offense, according to the law, is not telling. The crime isn’t the transmission. The crime isn’t even the likelihood of transmission. Just the not telling. Even if the person is reasonably trusting the science that says transmitting the virus is virtually impossible.

Greg Cote told Columbus radio station WOSU last month that he has made himself into a walking billboard proclaiming that he’s HIV-positive. As a policy, everybody should be as honest as he is. Even so, Cote hasn’t been intimate with anybody, he said, because if a bitter lover claims they weren’t informed, it can be difficult for people with HIV to prove to the satisfaction of jurors that they were, indeed, honest and forthcoming about their status.

A 2004 episode of The Chappelle Show included a sketch about “The Love Contract,” which was described as a way that people engaged in casual sex could prove in court that their partners consented. As absurd as the idea of a pre-coital contract sounds, advocates for Ohio’s HIV-positive residents say that or something close to that is required for them to prove that they haven’t been dishonest with their partners.

The Ohio Health Modernization Movement advises sexually active HIV-positive people to do one of the following things: save email or text messages that indicate that a potential partner has been informed of the person’s status; take that potential partner to a doctor’s visit or a caseworker’s visit so a third-party can confirm a disclosure was made; discuss one’s status in front of a third-party who can attest that a disclosure was made; video a conversation of a disclosure or, lastly, do what Chappelle did in that comedy sketch and have a potential partner sign a document. This document would acknowledge the partner’s awareness of the positive person’s status.

The best way for a HIV-positive people to protect themselves from criminal prosecution for consensual sex is to not getting tested. After all, Ohio law doesn’t allow people who don’t know that they’re HIV-positive to be charged with not telling their partners that they are. And this, advocates say, provides a regrettable incentive for people to avoid finding out if they’re carrying the virus.

The advocates’ position lines up with the federal government’s. In a 2014 report, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice cited a CDC finding that the stigma associated with an HIV diagnosis discourages many from learning their status. That DOJ report notes that “intentional HIV transmission is atypical and uncommon” and suggests that states rewrite their laws to focus on two types of offenders: HIV-positive rapists whose crimes put their victims at risk of contracting the virus and people who intend to transmit HIV through behavior that carries a “significant risk of transmission.”

Such a focus is warranted. Prosecutors shouldn’t be pursuing those who aren’t trying to infect their partners, especially those who’ve been made to believe that they can’t. The American Medical Association has called for a complete repeal of HIV criminalization laws, but the Ohio Health Modernization Movement favors changing a failure to disclose one’s status from a felony to a misdemeanor.

After retiring in 1991, Magic tried to return to the court in 1992, but many players expressed a fear of playing against him. But in 1996, Magic did return with hardly anybody objecting. Players had a better understanding, then, about how the virus is transmitted. And we have an even better understanding of things in 2019. It’s time our laws reflected that new understanding.

Jarvis DeBerry is a columnist at Cleveland.com and a member of the editorial board. Reach him at jdeberry@cleveland.com or on Twitter at @jarvisdeberry.

Jamaica: Proposed amendment to criminalise willful transmission of HIV is unnecessary and already covered under general criminal law

Stakeholders Resist Proposal To Criminalize Willful Transmission Of HIV
December 5, 2019

Stakeholders Resist Proposal To Criminalize Willful Transmission Of HIV

Policy and Advocacy Manager at the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, Patrick Lalor says criminalising the willful transmission of HIV will negatively impact public health gains that have been made so far.

He made the argument while speaking on Nationwide this Morning with Patria-Kaye Aarons and Rodje Malcolm.  

A Joint Select Committee of Parliament has recommended that amendments be made to the Offences Against the Person Act to make it a criminal offence to willfully and knowingly transmit sexually transmitted infections including HIV.

The recommendation came from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP.

Assistant DPP Adley Duncan says this particular recommendation arose from a particular extradition matter.

He says it was challenged to mount an argument in relation to that case because the act of knowingly transmitting HIV isn’t an explicit crime in law in Jamaica.

But in responding Mr. Lalor maintained that he believes the current provisions in law can be applied to the transmission of HIV knowingly.

Country Director for UNAIDS in Jamaica, Manoela Manova says criminalising the willful transmission of HIV will not be an effective policy directive in preventing its transmission

She says proving the willful transmission of HIV will be difficult.

 

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