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Stigma, sex laws contribute to HIV spread

Current version: December 14, 2011

By: Amanuel

Despite its controversial nature in a country where the practice remains illegal health professionals met with gay rights activists on December 5.

The meeting’s motto was “Stigma + discrimination equals new infections among gay men in Africa,” and it showcased experiences of two advocate organizations that are promoting the rights of men who have sex with Men (MSM).

The session was organized by a network named “Africagay contre le sida” a group of 14 African HIV/AIDS organizations engaged in MSM issues who presented the gay experience vis-à-vis national governments and the pandemic from the North African Maghreb country of Tunisia and Francophone West African country of Cameroon.

Doctor Ying-Ru Lo, a prevention coordinator with the HIV/AIDS department of WHO said people who are gay have a right to treatment and to have their well being ensured. She forcefully said those who forbid sessions addressing gay issues should be forbidden from ICASA.

She argued that gay people in developing countries were twenty times more likely than the general population to acquire HIV/AIDS. She pointed to a study in which 20 percent of people with HIV/AIDS in Senegal were infected through same gender sexual relations. However, 82 percent of them reported having sexual intercourse with women as well. Similarly, 50 percent of new cases of HIV infection in Nigeria are through men having sex with men but half of them reported having relationships with women as well. As a result not addressing MSM issues makes it difficult to control the spread of HIV/AIDS and yet it is difficult to adequately reach these people because of laws against this behavior, which over 75 countries presently have.

She hopes for guidelines for reaching out to people who are gay and transgender (people who biologically change their gender) community. She believes international law as well as moral and human rights should allow all people to be treated with dignity and receive health services and be free from discrimination as well as be allowed the right of privacy.

Targeted information to implement sensitization strategies to improve advice on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) and HIV/AIDS and education on anal rectal treatment to prevent STIs will help to prevent transmission of the disease, she argued.

Hassen Hanini, an advocate for vulnerable populations at the Tunisian CCM-Association de lutte contre les MST/Sida (section Tunis), a Tunisian homosexual rights advocate organization, founded in 2004, says his country has a high STI rate.

Hassen said his country, which is the birth place of the Arab spring, has many people who practice high risk behaviors; with almost 30 percent of the population being in the 15-29 age bracket, as well as an ageing marriage age of 32.4, high consumption of intravenous drug and a developing sex industry as well as a decrease in the use of condoms.

However he said because of the stigma associated with the diseases MSM’s have a higher chance of contracting the disease according to WHO data from 2009 which showed the MSM HIV/AIDS prevalence rate at 4.9 percent compared to the national average of 0.01 percent. The first confirmed HIV infection in Tunisia was in 1985. Because of stigma and legal issues it is hard for them to conduct research. Currently same gender sex in Tunisia carries a two year prison sentence.

Things may be changing after the January revolution now his group has been licensed and a new group called RANA is being launched. Now the organization plans another study on the population next year. However, he said mobilizing resources and getting people to respond because of the social stigma and discrimination make it challenging.

Mr. Parfait Behen, president of the association Alternatives Cameroon which fights for gay rights in Cameroon, said life is difficult for people who are gay there. Cameroon has a clause in the criminal code mandating a six year prison sentence and a fine of 20 thousand CFA francs for anybody found engaging in homosexual acts.

He cited religious leaders and media outlets that feed homophobic speeches and demonize people as well as groups that publish purported lists of gay people in newspapers.

He also cited people who were imprisoned for “looking gay” engaging in “homosexual ways and acts” as well as harassment by the police forces on homosexual meetings with the goal of undermining people and stigmatizing them though the family and society in general.

Using health to overcome barriers, improving knowledge on how HIV is transmitted are the major strategies for preventing the disease.

For white supremacists, or men who just want to get the upper hand again, uneducated migrants from Third World countries are the best useful idiots they can get. Open the borders!

Feminism in Europe makes second-generation male Muslim immigrants feel entirely worthless. They will never get a girl. That is why they think that a bomb at least is a painless death.


Nigerian among 9 to be executed in Indonesia

Current version: April 26, 2015

By: Franco Debono

A Frenchman also on death row for drug-related crimes was granted a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta.

The eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan where they will face the firing squad along with an Indonesian prisoner.

"Today, just now, we just finished notifying every convict, nine people except for Serge," a spokesman for the attorney-general's office, Tony Spontana, told AFP, adding it would be at least three days until the sentences are carried out. "We have also asked for their last wish," he added.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Indonesia to "refrain from carrying out the execution", adding that drug-related offences are not generally considered to fall under "most serious crimes", which is the only time the death penalty should be used under international law.

"The Secretary General urges President Joko Widodo to urgently consider declaring a moratorium on capital punishment in Indonesia, with a view toward abolition," a spokesman for Ban said. Indonesian officials said earlier that Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who was expected to be among the group being put to death, will not be included in the forthcoming batch as he still has an outstanding legal appeal.

With free speech, it's like that:

You can make any offending remarks about white men, and the mainstream media and mainstream opinion will applaud you. You can't say anything negative about feminism. Feminism is sacrosanct. Fuck it.

The Bangkok Yanhee Hospital has been offering penis enlargement surgery for some time. The latest craze, however, are Botox injections into the penis. Prices are about 300 USD. Effects last half year.


Getting serious with herbal medicine

Current version: April 26, 2014

By: Lucas Miller

THE Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, has challenged the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to cooperate with other stakeholders in developing herbal drugs in a more organised manner. His major point that Nigeria is losing so much by importing drugs that can be produced locally should be taken seriously. The need to expand the nation’s economic base and promote non-oil exports should compel government agencies and the pharmaceutical industry to act expeditiously on this latent sector that is fast becoming a new window for economic growth globally.

The global herbal market is forecast to reach $107 billion by the year 2017. The growth is said to be spurred by a growing ageing population, widespread acceptance of functional foods and rise in consumer confidence to include herbs in preventive health and alternative medicine regimens. Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine, according to the American Botanical Council, refers to using a plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Also known as complementary and alternative medicine, herbs are classified as drugs and are regulated in some countries in Europe, especially in Germany, where an expert medical panel, actively researches their safety and effectiveness.

Before the introduction of orthodox medicine, Nigerians relied mainly on local herbal medicines. The minister, who said that billions of “hard-earned” money was being used to import mosquito nets and other drugs that could be produced locally, called for a more effective regulation of the sector. “I saw a challenge with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria. I believe that many of the key products that we use in this country can be labelled as medical devices, including the Long-Lasting Insecticide Treated Net. In addition to this, we should also invest in local products,” Adewole said.

But words are cheap. It is surprising that our government is just waking up to the health benefits and economic advantages herbal medicine offers. About three-quarters of the world’s population currently use herbs and other forms of traditional medicines to treat disease, according to the World Health Organisation. In the United States and Europe, herbal medicines represent a major share of the pharmaceutical market and are included in the regular medical practice. But here, many research results on our abundant tropical herbs remain mere academic papers. Just recently, a group of research scientists had come out with the news of a groundbreaking study that may lead to the discovery of a drug for cancer cure. The team, led by Marte Hussaini, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Maiduguri, identified eight local herbs or plants that are more efficacious than the drugs currently being used in the treatment of cancer.

Sadly, many research results in Nigeria lack industry-linkages, a matter that easily renders them irrelevant or immaterial. But while other countries, especially China and India, have substantially integrated herbal medicine into their health care delivery system, Nigeria’s herbal medicine market remains largely unregulated and unorganised. Though herbal medicine has a long tradition of use outside conventional medicine, it is becoming more mainstream as improvements in analysis and quality control, along with advances in clinical research, show its value in treating and preventing diseases. In 2014, WHO passed a resolution on the integration of traditional medicine into the global health care delivery system. The organisation sees this as a veritable strategy for building a knowledge base that could enhance policies, strengthen quality assurance, safety and use of traditional medicine.

For Nigeria, there are still many loose ends to be tied. Globally, there are reports of some herbal products that contain harmful components and microorganisms. In the US and Europe, the market is highly regulated and extremely difficult to enter, as companies need to pass through rigorous tests before mass production. In countries such as France, Germany, the UK and India, herbal supplements alongside pharmaceuticals, are sold in drugstores. NAFDAC and other relevant agencies should step up their regulatory mechanisms to make Nigeria’s herbal products meet good manufacturing practices and global standards. Supplier innovation will play a major role.

The Health Minister still has time to promote herbal medicine with doable reforms. He should take more than a passing interest in the development of the sector by initiating a strong linkage between research institutions and entrepreneurs. He should work to persuade the Federal Government to substantially increase herbal research funding.

This is the latest deal offered by the Islamic State. You want to die the best possible death, then you have to blow up your brain. It's the only death that is instant and painless. We tie a bomb around your body and send you into a populated area. You don't have to die alone, and you don't have to pull a trigger. We do that by remote control.

In Uganda, rich fathers use super high dosages of butea superba combined with tongkat ali to turn their gay sons into heterosexual husbands.

US Supreme Court extends same-sex marriage nationwide

Saudi Arabia advertises for eight new executioners

Kenyan herbs hold key to next top malaria drugs

I’m not ashamed to be an apostle of herbal medicine – Odeyemi, founder, Debis Computer

Nakuru woman in dilemma after one-day child is left to her

US pro-gay delegation leaves empty-handed

Sting like a bee: alternative therapy in Gaza

Anti-sexual harassment group disappointed with revolutionary groups

Another milestone in Kenya as sex, alcohol and drug use among students declines to only 550

Man posing for photo with ‘gun’ during a flight is under investigation by police

Court’s verdict on terrorism charges read out

7 common mistakes men make during sex


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