HIV/AIDS

Homophobia: Impeding Access to Health Education and Services in Guyana

SASOD joins with other organisations and countries (including Cuba and Costa Rica) around the world to commemorate May 17 as International Day Against Homophobia. This day is the anniversary on which the World Health Organisation removed ‘homosexuality’ as a mental disorder marking a formal end to medical homophobia.

SASOD's Comments on UNGASS Country Progress Report for Guyana

The approach to health promotion targeting vulnerable sub-populations of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) is still based on narrow, technical public-health strategies of outreach and referral to “friendly” services. The programmatic response needs to be holistic by improving the quality of client services across the board through training to mitigate same-gender and HIV-related stigma by addressing homophobia among health care workers.

World AIDS Day

This December 1st, around the globe, we commemorate together the 20th World AIDS Day by focusing on ‘leadership’, which is required in strong and unyielding fashion if we are to reverse the spread of the epidemic. Guyanese civil society organizations have taken leadership in responding to the epidemic at the community level. Government leadership, especially in ensuring legal protection for people made vulnerable by HIV, is critically needed.

Stigma & Discrimination Lecture Event

Overcoming stigma and discrimination is the gravest difficulty towards achieving universal access to HIV-AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support services. This is highlighted under Section 2.3 Determinants and Dynamics of the Epidemic of the National Strategic Plan on HIV-AIDS 2007-2011 [NSP] (page 34) which reads “stigma and discrimination is the major barrier to achieving universal access to prevention, treatment and care services.” What the NSP fails to recognise is that homophobia is at the root of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, most severely affecting vulnerable populations.

SASOD Embarks on Spectrum Net

SASOD has signed an agreement with the Minsitry of Health in Guyana to embark on a project of educational outreach to men who have sex with men. The Spectrum Healthnet project with the Ministry of health has the following objectives:

World AIDS Day

The Network of Guyanese Living with and Affected by HIV-AIDS (G+) and Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) join the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and the Caribbean Treatment Action Group (CTAG), two regional groups bringing together organisations working in HIV and AIDS, in calling for greater access to HIV medication, care and support for all persons infected with HIV in the Caribbean, particularly for those from socially marginalised groups. Among these groups are sex workers, men who have sex with men, drug users, prisoners, youth in especially difficult circumstances, and children who have lost one or more parent to AIDS-related illnesses.

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