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HIV criminalisation

Frederick L Altice, Lyuba Azbel, Jack Stone, Ellen Brooks-Pollock, Pavlo Smyrnov, Sergii Dvoriak, Faye S Taxman, Nabila El-Bassel, Natasha K Martin, Robert Booth, Heino Stöver, Kate Dolan, Peter Vickerman
Despite global reductions in HIV incidence and mortality, the 15 UNAIDS-designated countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) that gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 constitute the only region where both continue to rise. HIV transmission in EECA is fuelled primarily by injection of opioids, with harsh criminalisation of drug use that has resulted in extraordinarily high levels of incarceration. Consequently, people who inject drugs, including those with HIV, hepatitis C virus, and tuberculosis, are concentrated within prisons...
September 17, 2016: Lancet
Kate Dolan, Andrea L Wirtz, Babak Moazen, Martial Ndeffo-Mbah, Alison Galvani, Stuart A Kinner, Ryan Courtney, Martin McKee, Joseph J Amon, Lisa Maher, Margaret Hellard, Chris Beyrer, Fredrick L Altice
The prison setting presents not only challenges, but also opportunities, for the prevention and treatment of HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis. We did a comprehensive literature search of data published between 2005 and 2015 to understand the global epidemiology of HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and tuberculosis in prisoners. We further modelled the contribution of imprisonment and the potential impact of prevention interventions on HIV transmission in this population. Of the estimated 10·2 million people incarcerated worldwide on any given day in 2014, we estimated that 3·8% have HIV (389 000 living with HIV), 15·1% have HCV (1 546 500), 4·8% have chronic HBV (491 500), and 2·8% have active tuberculosis (286 000)...
September 10, 2016: Lancet
Michele R Decker, Carrie Lyons, Serge Clotaire Billong, Iliassou Mfochive Njindam, Ashley Grosso, Gnilane Turpin Nunez, Florence Tumasang, Matthew LeBreton, Ubald Tamoufe, Stefan Baral
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Female sex workers (FSWs) are at risk for HIV and physical and sexual gender-based violence (GBV). We describe the prevalence of lifetime GBV and its associations with HIV risk behaviour, access to health services and barriers in accessing justice among FSWs in Cameroon. METHODS: FSWs (n=1817) were recruited for a cross-sectional study through snowball sampling in seven cities in Cameroon. We examined associations of lifetime GBV with key outcomes via adjusted logistic regression models...
June 8, 2016: Sexually Transmitted Infections
Lydia Kapiriri, Wangari Tharao, Marvelous Muchenje, Khatundi I Masinde, Fanta Ongoiba
Over 60 countries criminalise 'the "willful" transmission of HIV'. Such a law has the potential to hinder public health interventions. There is limited literature discussing the perceptions of this law and the impact, it has had on HIV-positive women. This paper describes the knowledge of and attitudes of this law by HIV-positive women living in Ontario; and their experiences with its application. Three group discussions (n = 10) and 17 in-depth interviews with HIV-positive women age: 21-56 years. Data were analysed using a modified thematic approach...
December 2016: Global Public Health
Glenn-Milo Santos, Keletso Makofane, Sonya Arreola, Tri Do, George Ayala
OBJECTIVES: Men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately impacted by HIV. Criminalisation of homosexuality may impede access to HIV services. We evaluated the effect of the enforcement of laws criminalising homosexuality on access to services. METHODS: Using data from a 2012 global online survey that was published in a prior paper, we conducted a secondary analysis evaluating differences in perceived accessibility to health services (ie, 'how accessible are ____' services) between MSM who responded 'yes'/'no' to: 'have you ever been arrested or convicted for being gay/MSM?' RESULTS: Of the 4020 participants who completed the study and were included in the analysis, 8% reported ever being arrested or convicted under laws relevant to being MSM...
March 4, 2016: Sexually Transmitted Infections
Britton A Gibson, Shan-Estelle Brown, Ronnye Rutledge, Jeffrey A Wickersham, Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Frederick L Altice
Transgender women (TGW) face compounded levels of stigma and discrimination, resulting in multiple health risks and poor health outcomes. TGW identities are erased by forcing them into binary sex categories in society or treating them as men who have sex with men (MSM). In Malaysia, where both civil and religious law criminalise them for their identities, many TGW turn to sex work with inconsistent prevention methods, which increases their health risks. This qualitative study aims to understand how the identities of TGW sex workers shapes their healthcare utilisation patterns and harm reduction behaviours...
August 2016: Global Public Health
Brigitte Tenni, Jenae Carpenter, Nicholas Thomson
In many countries around the world sex work is criminalised and its regulatory control is therefore often in the hands of the police. In addition to the impact of this criminalised legal environment, much literature describes the negative impact that certain police practices can have on the ability of sex workers and the programs that work with sex workers to access essential HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. This situation has resulted in persistent concentrated HIV epidemics among sex workers in many countries of the world...
2015: PloS One
Ashley Grosso, Owen Ryan, Khai Hoan Tram, Stefan Baral
Despite reductions in the number of new HIV infections globally, the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM) is expanding. This study characterises financing of HIV programmes for MSM and the impact of criminalisation on levels of funding, using data from five countries that criminalise same-sex sexual practices (Ethiopia, Mozambique, Guyana, India and Nigeria) and three that do not (China, Ukraine and Vietnam). For each country, all publicly available documents from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for approved HIV/AIDS grants in Rounds 5-9 and Country Operational Plans detailing investments made through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) from US fiscal year (FY) 2007-2009 were examined...
2015: Global Public Health
Sheree R Schwartz, Rebecca G Nowak, Ifeanyi Orazulike, Babajide Keshinro, Julie Ake, Sara Kennedy, Ogbonnaya Njoku, William A Blattner, Manhattan E Charurat, Stefan D Baral
BACKGROUND: In January, 2014, the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act was signed into law in Nigeria, further criminalising same-sex sexual relationships. We aimed to assess the immediate effect of this prohibition act on stigma, discrimination, and engagement in HIV prevention and treatment services in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Nigeria. METHODS: The TRUST cohort study uses respondent-driven sampling to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of engagement of MSM in HIV prevention and treatment services at a clinical site located with a community-based organisation trusted by the MSM community...
July 2015: Lancet HIV
Andrew Scheibe, Brian Kanyemba, Jennifer Syvertsen, Sylvia Adebajo, Stefan Baral
Despite consistent evidence, effective interventions and political declarations to reduce HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM), coverage of MSM programmes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains low. Punitive legal frameworks and hostile social circumstances and inadequate health systems further contribute to the high HIV burden among MSM in SSA. The authors use the Modified Social Ecological Model to discuss economic influences in relation to HIV and MSM in SSA. Nigerian, South African and Ugandan case studies are used to highlight economic factors and considerations related to HIV among MSM...
September 2014: African Journal of Reproductive Health
Wolfgang Hladik, Irene Benech, Moses Bateganya, Avi J Hakim
Monitoring the cascade or continuum of HIV services - ranging from outreach services to anti-retroviral treatment - has become increasingly important as the focus in prevention moves toward biomedical interventions, in particular, 'Treatment as Prevention.' The HIV continuum typically utilises clinic-based care and treatment monitoring data and helps identify gaps and inform programme improvements. This paper discusses the merits of a population-based survey-informed continuum of services. Surveys provide individual-level, population-based data by sampling persons both in and outside the continuum, which facilitate the estimation of population fractions, such as the proportion of people living with HIV in care, as well as the examination of determinants for being in or outside the continuum...
January 2016: International Journal of STD & AIDS
I Young, P Flowers, L M McDaid
OBJECTIVES: There is a clear need to understand the factors that might prevent and/or facilitate the effective use of HIV treatment as prevention (TasP) at an individual level. This paper reports on findings from the first qualitative study in the UK exploring the acceptability of TasP among gay, bisexual and/or men who have sex with men (MSM) and migrant African communities in Scotland. METHODS: We conducted seven exploratory focus group discussions (FGDs) with convenience samples of MSM (five FGDs, n=22) and mixed-gender African (two FGDs, n=11) participants...
June 2015: Sexually Transmitted Infections
Jessica Flanigan
In this essay, I argue that any legal framework that addresses sexual transmission of HIV should be sensitive to the way that culpability can be mitigated by moral and factual ignorance. Though it is wrong to transmit HIV, public officials should be wary of criminalising transmission because people with HIV may be excused if they suffer from blameless moral or factual ignorance. I begin with the widely shared premise that blameless ignorance about one's HIV status is an excuse for sexual transmission of infections...
December 2014: Journal of Medical Ethics
Gary Reid, Mukta Sharma, Peter Higgs
The South-East Asia Region contains an estimated 400,000-500,000 people who inject drugs (PWID). HIV prevalence among PWID is commonly 20% or higher in Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and some regions of India. Opioid substitution therapy (OST) is an important HIV prevention intervention in this part of the world. However, key challenges and barriers to scale up of OST exist, including: pervasive stigma and discrimination towards PWID; criminalisation of drug use overshadowing a public health response; lack of political will and national commitment; low financial investment; focus towards traditional treatment models of detoxification and rehabilitation; inadequate dosing of OST; and poor monitoring and evaluation of programmes...
March 26, 2014: Journal of Public Health Research
Michele R Decker, Anna-Louise Crago, Sandra K H Chu, Susan G Sherman, Meena S Seshu, Kholi Buthelezi, Mandeep Dhaliwal, Chris Beyrer
We reviewed evidence from more than 800 studies and reports on the burden and HIV implications of human rights violations against sex workers. Published research documents widespread abuses of human rights perpetrated by both state and non-state actors. Such violations directly and indirectly increase HIV susceptibility, and undermine effective HIV-prevention and intervention efforts. Violations include homicide; physical and sexual violence, from law enforcement, clients, and intimate partners; unlawful arrest and detention; discrimination in accessing health services; and forced HIV testing...
January 10, 2015: Lancet
Stefan David Baral, M Reuel Friedman, Scott Geibel, Kevin Rebe, Borche Bozhinov, Daouda Diouf, Keith Sabin, Claire E Holland, Roy Chan, Carlos F Cáceres
Male sex workers who sell or exchange sex for money or goods encompass a very diverse population across and within countries worldwide. Information characterising their practices, contexts where they live, and their needs is limited, because these individuals are generally included as a subset of larger studies focused on gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) or even female sex workers. Male sex workers, irrespective of their sexual orientation, mostly offer sex to men and rarely identify as sex workers, using local or international terms instead...
January 17, 2015: Lancet
Deanna Kerrigan, Caitlin E Kennedy, Ruth Morgan-Thomas, Sushena Reza-Paul, Peninah Mwangi, Kay Thi Win, Allison McFall, Virginia A Fonner, Jennifer Butler
A community empowerment-based response to HIV is a process by which sex workers take collective ownership of programmes to achieve the most effective HIV outcomes and address social and structural barriers to their overall health and human rights. Community empowerment has increasingly gained recognition as a key approach for addressing HIV in sex workers, with its focus on addressing the broad context within which the heightened risk for infection takes places in these individuals. However, large-scale implementation of community empowerment-based approaches has been scarce...
January 10, 2015: Lancet
Catherine Stanton
This paper considers whether section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which has been used to prosecute those who transmit the HIV virus in sexual relationships (eg, R v Konzani), could be used to prosecute women (in England and Wales) who transmit the virus to their child during pregnancy, delivery or via breast feeding. The discussion concludes that prosecution for transmission in pregnancy/delivery is unlikely. However, it is argued that there might be scope to prosecute the transmission of the virus via breast feeding in the event that there was sufficient evidence...
May 2015: Journal of Medical Ethics
A Krüsi, K Pacey, L Bird, C Taylor, J Chettiar, S Allan, D Bennett, J S Montaner, T Kerr, K Shannon
OBJECTIVES: To explore how criminalisation and policing of sex buyers (clients) rather than sex workers shapes sex workers' working conditions and sexual transactions including risk of violence and HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STIs). DESIGN: Qualitative and ethnographic study triangulated with sex work-related violence prevalence data and publicly available police statistics. SETTING: Vancouver, Canada, provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the impact of policies that criminalise clients as the local police department adopted a sex work enforcement policy in January 2013 that prioritises sex workers' safety over arrest, while continuing to target clients...
2014: BMJ Open
Tonia Poteat, Carmen Logie, Darrin Adams, Judith Lebona, Puleng Letsie, Chris Beyrer, Stefan Baral
Despite the high prevalence of HIV and STIs among women in Africa and the growing literature on HIV and STIs among women who have sex with women, research on the sexual health of women who have sex with women in Africa is scant. This study used mixed methods to describe sexual identity, practices and health among women who have sex with women in Lesotho. Most respondents (48%) described themselves as lesbian, 29% as bisexual and 23% as heterosexual. Almost half (45%) had disclosed their same-sex attraction to family, but only 25% had done so with healthcare workers...
2014: Culture, Health & Sexuality
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