Push For Access as an Human Right on 21st World AIDS Day
World AIDS Day was globally commemorated today with more than awareness events and free HIV testing sites. Those honoring World AIDS Day were asked to a push for universal access to treatment and prevention. HIV/AIDS rates have globally increased this year and an estimated 33.4 million are currently living with AIDS. Of that figure, 15.7 million people are adult women.
Some progress in achieving more universal access has already been achieved. According to UNAIDS' 2009 AIDS Update (see PDF), there has been a 35 percent increase throughout the world in access to Antiretroviral therapy from 2003 to 2008. South African President Zuma, announced his plan today for a national prevention and testing initiative, which will include guaranteed treatment of all children under the age of one who test positive for HIV.
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe said in a speech (see PDF), "From today, we reject all excuses for failure, we tolerate no more injustice, and we bond together in a wedge of activism, slicing through complacency to achieve our goal of universal access."
While most World AIDS Day events are face-to-face gatherings, social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter have created applications that link to fact sheets for the occasion.
Media Resources: World AIDS Day Website; 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update Report; Michel Sidibe Speech 12/1/09; UNAIDS 12/1/09; Facebook World Aids Day Page; Twitter World AIDS Day Page
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .