Welcome to the 18th edition of the ARASA newsletter.
In this edition, we update you on emerging HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and human rights advocacy issues as well as activities we have been involved with since the previous edition.
On 3 November, the Namibian Supreme Court affirmed the 2012 judgment by the High Court, finding that three women living with HIV were subjected to sterilisation without informed consent at public hospitals across the country. This is a great victory for the members of the “Non-negotiable: My body. My womb. My rights” campaign coalition, including ARASA. In this edition we update you on the latest judgment and why there remains cause for concern in this regard.
The nullification of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act by the Constitutional Court in August was hailed as a major victory. In this edition, ARASA partners in Uganda reflect on the impact that the enactment of the law has had on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people across the country. They further reflect on the possibility of a re-introduction of the law in Parliament.
Since the beginning of the year, the ARASA Annual Training of Trainers (ToT) programme has hosted four workshops and trained 36 representatives of civil society organisations from 18 countries on HIV, TB and human rights advocacy. A participant of the ToT shares her experience during the 3rd module and reflects on why advocating for harm reduction services for injecting drug users is crucial to the AIDS response in the region.
In 2010, ARASA partnered with Human Rights Watch and Prisons Care and Counselling Association (PRISCCA) to launch a report entitled ‘Unjust and Unhealthy: HIV, TB and Abuse in Zambian Prisons’. Since then, the recommendations contained in the report have informed advocacy activities by PRISCCA and other ARASA partners in Zambia. Read more about the success of these interventions in this edition.
We also update you on the findings of the mid-term evaluation of the Regional Programme on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) People in Southern Africa also known as the DiDiRi programme, which is implemented jointly by ARASA, Hivos, COC and Positive Vibes in 10 countries in Southern Africa.
On 28 August, Lynette Mabote, ARASA’s TB, HIV and Human Rights Advocacy Team Leader attended the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) TB Partnership meeting held in Johannesburg. She shares her reflections of this meeting and the TB and human rights agenda in the region.
We hope you enjoy reading this edition!
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Until next time!