A community forum on the criminalization of HIV in Canada Thursday, September 30, 2010 Toronto, Ontario Presentations by: Edwin J. Bernard, British HIV-positive writer, editor and activist; editor, HIV and the Criminal Law and “Criminal HIV Transmission” blog Richard Elliott, Executive Director, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network Eric Mykhalovskiy, Associate Professor, York University, Department of Sociology Tim McCaskell, The Ontario Working Group on Criminal Law and HIV Exposure Rai Reese, Women’s Prisons Program Coordinator, Prisoners’ HIV/AIDS Support Action Network
The global economic crisis has raised tough choices about spending for countries around the world. At times like these, its often women and children who fare the worst. The crisis comes at a time when theres been great progress in the fight against AIDS. More women are receiving treatment to prevent HIV transmission to their babies, and new infections among children are down. For the first time, the goal of ending paediatric HIV seems possible. But to stay on track toward an AIDS-free generation, its essential to protect funding for the fight against the epidemic. This short video leads us through some of the issues involved, as well as the potential consequences of cutting back on funding when so much has already been achieved. Link: www.uniteforchildren.org
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The ILO/USDOL Workplace Education program in China developed a short film to reduce stigma and promote condom use among the 200 million rural migrants in China, who travel from rural areas to seek work in urban industrial areas. The film targets lower income, male migrants working in construction, mining and transportation industries who face higher HIV transmission risk due to unprotected casual and commercial sex behaviors. Using a light hearted, Charlie Chaplain style format, the film tells a simple, humorous story of a famous actor who visits his hometown fellow who has HIV and is facing isolation and ridicule from his co-workers . The story emphasizes that HIV cannot be spread through casual contact and encourages workers to accept their co-workers who are HIV – positive. The film also promotes condom use and recommends voluntary HIV testing and counseling for those who have engaged in risk behaviors. The film was produced and directed by Gu Changwei, who is winner of the 2005 Berlin Film Festival for his film, Peacock. The lead actor, Wang Baoqiang, plays himself in the film and is now serving as a spokesperson for the ILO USDOL project. Baoqiang is Chinas leading film star and is a former migrant construction worker, who was discovered while working as an extra for a popular television series.
Over the past year, new technologies have been proven including a microbicide gel that could help prevent HIV transmission in women. On November 29th, 2010, USAID Administrator Raj Shah convened a high-level meeting of global health professionals, experts, and policy makers at USAID headquarters to work on the aggressive roll out microbicide treatments to those most in need.
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Mathato Notsi discovered that she and her baby have HIV six weeks after giving birth. She did not test for HIV when she was pregnant, so neither she nor the baby received the drugs Nevirapine or AZT to prevent HIV transmission at birth. As a result, the baby was born with the virus. They are receiving ARV treatment. In the African kingdom of Lesotho almost one in every four adults is living with HIV, the third highest HIV prevalence rate in the world. One in three pregnant women in antenatal care is HIV positive, meaning that every year thousands of children risk being born with HIV, passed from mother to child during pregnancy or birth. UNICEF has helped to increase the number of clinics and hospitals offering Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) services that reduce the chances of babies being born with HIV. In these clinics, every pregnant mother is tested for HIV, given counselling and advice and if necessary, put on a life-saving anti retroviral (ARV) drug regime. Within eight hours of the birth, the newborn is also given a dose of the ARV Nevirapine. All of this increases the chances of the baby being born free from HIV. However, despite ongoing efforts, today only 20% of all HIV positive women in the country can access PMTCT. As a result, one in ten of all babies are born with HIV in Lesotho. Photographer Gideon Mendel travelled to Lesotho in November 2007 and the resulting Lesotho Voices films, images and words tell the personal stories of several …
Video Rating: 4 / 5
Botswana currently faces one of the worst HIV/AIDS epidemics in the world with 17.6 percent of the general population infected with HIV, translating as one in four Batswana between the ages of 15 and 49 are living with HIV. Morwalela, a TV series developed by PSI/Botswana weaves a number of key themes such as high-risk sexual behaviours and alcohol abuse into its storylines with an overall goal of reducing HIV incidences in Botswana. The TV series was written by local writers – Wame Molefhe and Lauri Kubuitsile and has a predominantly Batswana cast and crew. Filmed entirely in Setswana, the cast portray characters living in a small fictional village called Morwalela in Botswana. They are faced with the same difficult decisions, as many Batswana and show the impact of their choices on their lives and the lives of loved ones. The series illustrates many of the issues around HIV-transmission such as the emotional and health risks of multiple concurrent partners, the dangers of excessive drinking, the value and need of HIV-testing, the importance of condom use and the importance of honest communication. It also highlights the importance of healthy living and the necessity for HIV positive individuals to commit to their anti-retroviral (ARV) drug regime in order to remain healthy.