DOH, DepEd Nix Condom Distribution in Schools
The Manila Bulletin, Philippines, 1/31/2017
Both the Department of Health and Department of Education agreed not to push through with the condom distribution in schools. Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said on January 31 that the distribution of condoms in schools is no longer the primary consideration of her department. ‘The recommendation to involve schools to provide services to improve condom access is not anymore a primary consideration after DOH and DepEd agreed to take a different path but which shall still complement each other’s prerogatives. The DepEd will focus on HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) information and education where appropriate while DOH will work with other partners to ensure information is linked to service provision including but not limited to condom access,’ Ubial noted.
India’s Largest LGBT Pride March Held in Mumbai
The Indian Express - Mumbai, India, 1/30/2017
Queer Azaadi Mumbai organised India’s largest LGBT pride parade in Mumbai on January 28. Approximately 10,000 people walked from August Kranti Maidan as part of the parade. ‘The gay Pride is an occasion to celebrate the freedom to be who you are and feel proud of the sexual orientation you are born with. The Mumbai Gay Pride started almost a decade ago is the largest pride in India by the name of Queer Azadi March and has become like an international festival attracting lots of foreigners across the globe. It started from the August Kranti Maidan where the Quit India Movement started in 1942 signifying the freedom for the LGBT rights movement of India,’ said Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, Brand Ambassador of AHF India Cares. AHF India was one of many organisations to participate in this year’s parade.
Top Solon Seeks Repeal of AIDS Prevention Act
The Manila Standard, Philippines, 1/29/2017
A House leader has raised concern over the World Health Organization report that 70 million people have been infected with HIV since the beginning of the epidemic and about 35 million have died because of it. House deputy speaker and AAMBIS-Owa Rep. Sharon Garin said there is a need for Congress to take a drastic action to address the problem. Garin called for a repeal of Republic Act 8504 or the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act that was passed in 1998. Under RA 8504, minors are prohibited from accessing HIV testing and other related services without written parental or guardian consent - a legal barrier Deputy Speaker Garin wants removed.
Matibini Calls for Sustained and Contextualised Sexual Reproductive Health Response
The Lusaka Times, Zambia, 1/29/2017
Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has called for sustained and contextualised Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) response at national level. Dr. Matibini has since implored Members of Parliament (MP) to influence change to advance sexual reproductive health, HIV and AIDS and governance issues. ‘We have to endeavour to unpack the concept of SRH and present it to MPs in plain, simple terms as it will ultimately help the general public fully appreciate the concepts involved in sexual reproductive rights as well as matters of HIV and governance,’ he said.
Punjab Home to Majority of Pakistan’s AIDS Patients
The Express Tribune - Lahore, Pakistan, 1/28/2017
Due to the government’s lack of interest and public ignorance, HIV and AIDS has become a silent killer in most parts of Punjab. The majority of people diagnosed are at the last stage of the infection and that too after coming in contact with several people, The Express Tribune has learnt. According to data compiled by the Punjab Health department, a staggering 52,000 of the total 90,000 or so people living with HIV in the country are from the province. According to a government report, certain parts of Punjab, including Lahore, Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Faisalabad and Sargodha are among the vulnerable areas.