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GayLatino faced up the exclusion in the HLM

GayLatino faced up the exclusion in the HLM

access_timeJune 05, 2016 02:30 pm

On paper 193 countries of the United Nations (UN) aim to end the HIV epidemic. This would be an ambitious target for 2030 by which representatives of all these countries meet in the High Level Meeting on HIV (HLM) that takes place until Friday June 10 in New York.

The 90-90-90 targets, which are still spreading along time, stipulate to reduce new infections of 2 million per year to less than 500,000, reducing HIV-related deaths of 1.2 million to less than 500,000 and eliminate discrimination, while increasing resources for the response to HIV 19,000 million to 26,000 million dollars annually.

 

However, in a setback that we noted as alarming, the position of some member states seems to propose something else that with the stroke of a pen, we, everyday players, who have put the body -and life in many cases, who in some of our countries are the most excluded, we who had the worst part in previous years, we continue to be denied as interlocutors and our political praxis is covered. In a clear idea: we are invisible, pushing us aside as a phrase in the best case, and sometimes we’re not even mentioned.
 
In the drafting of the Political Declaration of the HLM, pressure from countries like Russia, India and Indonesia (countries which criminalize LGBT people) relegated to a minimum place references to gay men and other men who have sex with men, and directly deleted any reference to the trans population, drug users and sex workers.
 
Members of GayLatino who were attending those previous meetings, are trying to change the wording of the document and warn about the role of these countries in the invisibility of key populations and the complicit silence of some countries in other times considered allies as well as the complete disinterest of some others.

 

The intention of GayLatino is to open to document to further revisions in order to change it and improve it. Make it part of all key peopulations, as it was in previous years.

 
We regret the disagreement of these states about breaking the silence at the UN and enabling the opening of the discussion. Staging a panic consensus about the identity of gay, lesbian, transgender, sex workers and drug users, our network regrets the exclusion of our communities in these diplomatic agreements, ignoring the historic relevance we have had as political bodies in the strongest responses HIV worldwide.
 
From New York, Javier Hourcade Bellocq, Argentine Regional Representative of International HIV / AIDS Alliance and member of GayLatino says that "the first and only time a reference is made to the people by name and surname is a tangled and pernicious text presents us as populations that have a certain number of probabilities more to receive the virus with respect to the general population. "
 
Paragraph 42 of the draft of the Political Declaration states:

"(...) Alarmed at the slow progress in reducing infection in women, girls, migrants and key populations, the evidence of the epidemic show a higher risk of HIV, especially for people who use drugs, globally who have 24 times more chances of HIV risk compared with adults in general population, female sex workers who have 10 times more chances of acquiring HIV, men who have sex with men are 24 times more likely to acquire HIV, trans women they have 49 chances of living with HIV and persons deprived of liberty are 5 times more likely to acquire HIV than the general population. "
 
"So the United Nations, to accommodate the needs and expectations of the most fundamentalist, fanatical and violent states is ready to only name key populations in a blurry manner, placing our communities only in the place of risk and transmission," adds the companion from Argentina.
 
GayLatino believes that these alarming references about people "at increased risk" and other "presumed to be living with or affected by HIV" with estimated from 200% to 500% higher prevalence than in the general population, make gay men invisible by not being explicitly named outside the framework of risk, as subjects of rights especially in Central and Latin America but also in the rest of the world.
 
A what is not named is not applied political importance. Or what is the same: it ignores specific public policies for these communities.

 

 
Countries as powerful and influential as the United States will not give in and reopen the document to improve it. The US representative has stated that the country "will ignore pressure from some activists to break the silence, we believe that this will be harmful to the process we are building and it’s not considered good in diplomacy to come to a meeting and not have a Political Declaration".
 
This dangerous situation requires more involvement of our most earthly activist spirit. They must listen to our voice.
 
In the General Assembly of the UN coexist countries where LGBT people gained rights and legal developments and countries where there are laws and policies criminalizing relationships between people of the same sex, or where people living with HIV are relegated to the lowest social and human conditions as outcasts.

 

We must redouble our complaint. There is a correlation between the curtailment of human rights and exclusion. Our strong militant voice must be heard. It's difficult but not impossible.

 
In a few hours, members of GayLatino and other activist groups in Latin America will be added to an emergency mobilization against the United Nations to protest the silence that continues to criminalize and leaves behind entire communities and thousands of gay men and transgender women around the world.
 
"We will take up our claims, flags and posters to reflect our concerns, and our absolute rage over this situation," said Sergio Lopez, activist SOMOSGAY in Paraguay. "We believe the evidence and guarantee of human rights can be extended to all responses to the epidemic but only if our representatives and States are willing to work with us and to speak out against exclusion. We no longer have time for political games while our people are dying. "
 
Again, our bodies are battlegrounds willing to not let ourselves be overcome. Response to HIV activism is back to the front of the claim: as years ago we claim medication and treatment, we demand today that we are not left behind. We break the silence. Leave no one behind. This time, for real.
 
More information: contacto@gay-latino.org # HLM2016AIDS #wearetheepidemic

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Simón Cazal

Co-Fundador y Director Ejecutivo, SOMOSGAY