Every month we look at news briefs from around the world — courtesy of Equal Eyes, a news source produced in collaboration with UNAIDS and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. In good news, thanks to PrEP, England’s seen a 21% decrease in HIV. We’ve also got stories about Indonesia’s continued war on the LGBTQ community and the continued abuse Chechen refugees face today.
England invests in PrEP and sees a 21% decrease in HIV
Public Health England announced there has been a 21% decrease in new HIV infections among gay and bi men. Calling it “the most exciting development,” representatives from the National Health Service attributed the decrease to a major investment in PrEP services.
Namibia has expanded PrEP availability to roadside clinics. HIV Scotland called for mandatory sex education in secondary schools that includes PrEP in the curriculum. Some US providers are discussing how to better include adolescents in PrEP coverage. And at the UN Social Forum, porn star Jason Domino urged for broader access and lower PrEP prices for all people.
Meanwhile, new research described problems with the “PrEP cascade” that keep those at risk from maintaining adequate coverage.
Indonesia is banning positive portrayals of LGBTQ people in media
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s House of Representatives said it will pass a new law to ban all positive representation of LGBT people on television, including films, TV shows and adverts.
Taiwan drags its feet on marriage equality
Taiwan advocates held a press conference to draw attention to the government’s delay in drafting a marriage equality bill. In June, the Constitutional Court ruled lawmakers must set in motion new laws to legalize same-sex marriage.
The Brazilian prison system now is taking care of trans prisoners
The Brazilian Court of Criminal Executions and the Penitentiary System Secretariat signed a work order ruling that trans prisoners should be identified by their preferred name, will be allowed to keep long hair and should be allowed separate cells from other prisoners.
58 gay men were arrested in an Indonesian sauna raid
Indonesian police raided a sauna and arrested 58 men, including six foreigners, under charges of providing pornographic services. Although homosexuality is not criminalized in the country, police routinely use charges of debauchery and prostitution to detain assumed gay people.
The Philippines is making headway on full LGBT rights
From the Philippines, where the House of Representatives unanimously passed a comprehensive LGBTI nondiscrimination bill last month, Congresswoman Geraldine Roman confirmed a slate of issues will be addressed one at a time, including civil partnerships, adoption, gender recognition and the ability to join the military and the police force.
European police are threatening Chechen refugees
Despite finding refuge in Europe, those who escaped Chechnya’s mass purge of gay men are still being threatened, according to interviews given to the Human Rights Watch. The men say police are also threatening their families to demand they return and face punishment.
Kenya and Tunisia come out against forced anal exams
The Kenyan Medical Association released a statement condemning the use of forced anal examinations. And in Tunisia, the Minister for Human Rights, Mehdi Ben Gharbia, announced that the government will ban forced anal exams; though a judge could still request the exam, it will only be conducted with a person’s consent. The practice is used by some officials to determine a person’s sexual orientation but has been deemed “medically worthless” by UN experts and has long been condemned by the UN Committee Against Torture.
Doctors need to take better care of our trans and gender-nonconforming youth
In Scotland, medical centers reported that the number of children seeking care for gender identity issues has increased by 300%. Meanwhile, US pediatrician Daniel Summers argued that the majority of medical professionals are not providing adequate care for trans and gender nonconforming youth. And journalist Nora Caplan-Bricker provided a careful examination of the health challenges and choices facing US intersex people.
Kyoto, Japan prepares to be the most LGBT-friendly city in Olympics history
As Japan prepares for the 2020 Olympics, Dr. Nancy Snow of Kyoto University explored how the country is working to become the “most LGBT-friendly host city in Olympics history.” Meanwhile, the president of Fuji TV apologized for the revival of a popular 1980s comedy program featuring an offensive gay character. Many groups and business leaders complained and others took to social media to recall how the original character had encouraged bullies when they were children.
Hornet brings attentions to global issues of significance for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Our partnership with Equal Eyes, a news source produced in collaboration with UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, is part of that effort. To learn more, visit their site at Equal-Eyes.org.
This coverage promotes sexual and gender equality while highlighting issues of health, violence, culture, and legal and human rights. Equal Eyes provides advocates and allies a common frame of reference for the realities of global LGBTI communities. Through followup reporting and disseminating this coverage, our effort is to ensure we have a representation of the global stories that matter most or may have under-reporting.