hiv and aids
Petition to Kate Brown
Is having HIV a crime?
There is a man in prison right now, who has been there over 20 years, who received a life sentence for failing to disclose his HIV status to a woman with whom he had sexual relations. It was the unfortunate effects of alcohol that caused both of them to "jump in the sack" and not tell her the truth. Charges were pressed, and he was convicted and given a life sentence. Although the woman never became positive for HIV, he was treated the same as a murderer. This was in the early 1990's when it was believed that having HIV was an automatic death sentence. Nowadays we all know that is not true and, in fact, most people with HIV can live a normal, healthy life with the proper medications. His name is Timothy Hinkhouse and he is in Two Rivers Correctional Institution. I am starting a petition to ask others to support him and help him become a free man. He is not in any way a menace to society and in fact is using his time to educate other inmates about HIV and other STD's. Please sign this petition so that we can get the message to Gov. Kate Brown, or write to her at the following address: Office of the Governor160 State Capitol900 Court StreetSalem, OR 97301-4047 To get more details directly from Tim Hinkhouse you can write to him at: Timothy Hinkhouse #7632447, T.R.C.I., 82911 Beach Access Rd., Umatilla, OR 97882 or follow his blog on thebody.com.
Petition to Sec. Enrique T. Ona
Abandon plans to enforce compulsory HIV testing #NoWitchHunt @DOHgovph
Compulsory testing is illegal, ineffective, and dangerous. Our current legal framework allows for various modes of HIV testing, but they have to be voluntary and confidential. This is clearly rights-based, but this is also informed by existing evidence that coercive modes of HIV testing reduce the take up of testing services. Those who need to get tested fear discrimination and abuse and hide underground once authorities make testing compulsory. The fear is not unfounded; we still have not addressed HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Compulsory testing is problematic, costly, and encourages human rights abuses. In a concentrated epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgenders, how do you intend to find those who will be required to get tested? Your Department has evidence that shows the complexity of the Filipino sexual behavior. By definition, men who have sex with men include those who engage in sexual acts with other men but do not consider themselves as gay. The DOH also has data that shows a significant portion of men who have sex with men have female sexual partners, too. Will you require all of these individuals to get tested? How do you fund this? This could easily be translated into a witch-hunt, and going by the statements of some LGU officials, it seems that this is precisely what will happen. The alternative to compulsory testing is community-led HIV testing, which is legal, cost-effective, evidence-informed, and human rights-based. For the last four years, collaboration between community groups and government-run HIV testing facilities has intensified, resulting into the increase in the uptake on HIV testing, which partly accounts for the increase in new HIV infections recorded by the Philippine HIV/AIDS Registry. In a recent review, international and local HIV experts cite this model as an effective approach in a concentrated epidemic, a review that you have accepted on behalf of the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC), which you chair. The same review has already warned against compulsory HIV testing, which is why I wonder why you are pushing this policy despite accepting the findings of the review. Abandon your plans to enforce compulsory HIV testing and focus instead on addressing existing issues. There is an ongoing shortage of life-saving anti-retroviral drugs, there is a lack of funding for local HIV programs, there are gaps in resources and services, and HIV-related stigma and discrimination is still preventing people from getting tested and from accessing crucial HIV services. Why resort to unlawful, dangerous, and ineffective interventions, when you should be exercising leadership to deliver evidence-based and human rights-informed solutions?