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Homosexuality is an invention of the West and is a disgrace to humanity. This statement reflects the attitude among several African leaders who also share the belief publicly that homosexuality does not exist in Africa. Joseph was treated as a prince. Being the first son, the family pride, he was to be the tribal leader after his father. No one questioned that. He was taken really good care of and was not allowed to play with the other children out of fear that he would get seriously hurt. When the young African was 17, his life changed dramatically – from one day to the next. In 85 countries throughout the world, sex between men is forbidden by law and in several countries homosexuals are punished with torture, Homoseksualitet er opfundet i vesten og er en skændsel mod menneskeheden. Dette er holdningen blandt flere afrikanske ledere, der også deler påstanden om, at homoseksualitet ikke findes i Afrika. Joseph* blev behandlet som en prins. Han var den første søn, familiens stolthed, og ingen satte spørgsmålstegn ved, at han skulle være høvding efter sin far. Han blev passet rigtig godt på, og måtte ikke lege med de andre børn af frygt for, at han skulle komme alvorligt til skade. Da den unge afrikaner var 17 år, ændrede hans liv sig dramatisk - fra den ene dag til den anden. I 85 lande verden over er sex mellem mænd forbudt og flere steder straffes homoseksuelle med tortur, lange fængselsdomme eller dødsstraf. I Tanzania, som er et af de lande, Danmark yder ulandsbistand til, straffes sex mellem mænd med op til livsvarigt fængsel.


long-term sentences or even the death penalty. In Tanzania, one of the countries that receive development aid from Denmark, men who have sex with men risk lifelong imprisonment. Most people think that homosexuality is a sin or a disease to be cured. This is why punishment of men who have sex with men is allowed. And they do get punished. By the police, by their neighbours, by random people, and by their families. Joseph behaved like any other teenager and tried his luck with girls, as is expected of any guy his age. But it didn’t work out, because it wasn’t the girls who caught his attention. On the contrary, a guy his own age caught his attention. Langt de fleste mener, at homoseksualitet er en synd eller en sygdom, der skal kureres. Derfor er det tilladt at straffe mænd, der har sex med mænd. Og det bliver de. Af politiet, af naboen, af tilfældige. Og af familien. Joseph opførte sig som alle andre teenagere og forsøgte sig med piger, som det forventes af en fyr i den alder. Men det fungerede ikke, for det var ikke pigerne, der tiltrak hans opmærksomhed. Det gjorde til gengæld en jævnaldrende fyr. Nogle af stammens ældre mænd opdagede forholdet og fortalte Josephs far om sønnens helt uacceptable opførsel. På farens ordre forsøgte mændene at tæve denne dyriske tilbøjelighed ud af sønnen, men trods mishandlingen, ydmygelserne og farens afvisning, var Joseph homoseksuel. Anden gang han blev taget på fersk gerning, var farens raseri ustyrligt.


Some of the tribe’s elder men found out about the relationship and told Joseph’s father about the son’s totally unacceptable behaviour. On the father’s orders, the men tried to beat this bestial propensity out of the son, but despite the abuse, humiliation and the father’s rejection, Joseph was homosexual. The second time he was caught red-handed, his father’s rage was uncontrollable. The loathing and fear of homosexuals is so great that politicians use any means in the fight against them and attempt to conceal even the smallest signs. And the media follow suit. The Guardian is one of Tanzania’s largest independent newspapers. The journalists are well aware of the homosexuals in Africa and that they are forced to live in hiding, loathed and hidden away. And yet the homosexuals receive no mention in the newspaper. Afskyen og frygten for homoseksuelle er så stor, at politikkerne bruger alle midler i kampen for at nedkæmpe og fortie selv de mindste tegn. Og medierne følger trop. The Guardian er en af Tanzanias største uafhængige aviser. Her ved journalisterne godt, at der også er homoseksuelle i Afrika, og at de lever under jorden, lagt for had og gemt af vejen. Alligevel skriver avisen ikke om homoseksuelle. Faren bestak politiet og fik smidt sønnen i fængsel - efter farens mening det sted, man opholder sig, når man har sex som dyr. Her tog de indsatte alt hans tøj og voldtog ham på skift, som det nu passede dem. Gjorde han modstand, fik han tæsk og besked på, at han blev behandlet som faren havde beordret.


The father bribed the police and had his son thrown in prison – according to the father, the only place to be when you have sex like animals. Here the inmates took his clothes and took turns raping him as they saw fit. If he put up resistance, he was beaten and told that he was only being treated according to his father’s orders. On several levels it can be potentially fatal to be found out to be homosexual. In Tanzania, punishment of homosexuality can be as severe as life-long imprisonment. Rape, humiliation and abuse are part of everyday life – and no one would consider helping. After three weeks, Joseph was released from prison because he became seriously ill. Hoping that the son could be “converted” and thus fit to lead the Det kan på flere planer være livsfarligt at blive opdaget som homoseksuel. I Tanzania straffes homoseksualitet med op til livsvarigt fængsel. Voldtægt, ydmygelser og mishandlinger er dagligdag – uden at nogen kunne drømme om at hjælpe. Efter tre uger blev Joseph løsladt, fordi han blev alvorlig syg. I håbet om at sønnen kunne omvendes, og dermed lede stammen videre, blev Joseph sendt til behandling hos stammens respekterede præst, der skulle forsøge at rense hans sjæl og gøre ham heteroseksuel. Efter syv dage med faste, straf og bøn var behandlingen gennemført, men før Joseph blev sendt hjem til sin bedstemor, lagde præsten an på Joseph og havde sex med ham på kontoret. Joseph fortalte sin bedstemor om episoden. Hun nægtede at forholde sig til sandheden og bad ham holde det hemmeligt.


tribe, Joseph was sent to the tribe’s well-respected priest, who tried to cleanse his soul and make him a heterosexual. After seven days of fasting, punishment and praying, the treatment was completed. But before Joseph was sent home to his grandmother, the priest made a pass at him and they had sex in the office. Joseph told his grandmother about the incident. She refused to acknowledge the truth and told him to keep it a secret. Criminalisation of homosexuality means that men who have sex with men (MSM) are extremely vulnerable to HIV infection. And many MSM, also have sex with women. They do not necessarily consider themselves homosexual. And as long as they are having sex with women, they cannot be accused of being homosexual.

Kriminalisering af homoseksualitet betyder, at mænd, som har sex med mænd (MSM) er ekstremt sårbare over for hiv-smitte. Mænd, der har sex med mænd, er også mænd, der har sex med kvinder, og de betragter sig dermed ikke nødvendigvis som homoseksuelle. Og så længe man er sammen med kvinder, kan man ikke blive hængt ud som homoseksuel. Joseph blev i stammen, men da tilråbene og mishandlingerne blev uoverkommelige, flygtede han som 19-årig til storbyen, hvor en ven gav ham husly. Her fortsatte kampen for overlevelse, lige indtil en agent tilbød dem begge en billet til Europa, lokkede med et nyt liv og muligheden for at tjene gode penge. De endte på et hotel i Gambia sammen med andre drenge og piger, og blev tvunget ud i prostitution for at tjene penge til agenten.


Joseph stayed in the tribe. But as the taunts and abuse became too unbearable, he escaped, at the age of 19, to the nearby city, where a friend gave him shelter. Here, they continued to struggle to survive until an agent offered them tickets to Europe, with the prospect of a new life and the opportunity to earn good money. They ended up, however, in a hotel in Gambia with other boys and girls and were forced into prostitution to earn money for the agent. On a worldwide scale, less than 1 out of 20 MSM has access to HIV prevention, treatment and care.The majority of earmarked development aid from the West is paid to national governments that do not acknowledge the existence of sex between men or the needs and rights of MSM. If those governments do launch an HIV/AIDS effort, it is targeted at men and women in heterosexual relationships. And they make no effort to address the HIV epidemic in MSM, even though their rate of infection is much greater. Both managed to escape from the life of rent boys, but when travelling home, Joseph again became very ill. He was diagnosed with gonorrhoea and received treatment. But when he was later diagnosed with HIV, and at the same time admitted to the doctors that he was homosexual, they refused to treat him. He repeatedly went to his doctor to get his HIV medicine, but the doctor would not see him. Stigmatisation and discrimination of homosexuals throughout the world is one of the biggest barriers for stemming the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As long as homosexuality is not accepted, the world is stuck in an incredibly vicious circle, where the lack of acceptance and access to information, prevention and treatment results in explosions of HIV infection in large parts of the world.


Globalt set har mindre end én ud af 20 mænd, som har sex med mænd, adgang til hiv-forebyggelse, behandling og omsorg. Hovedparten af de øremærkede udviklingsmidler fra vesten udbetales til nationale regeringer, som ikke anerkender sex mellem mænd. Det vil sige, at hvis der er en hiv/aids-indsats, er den målrettet mænd og kvinder i heteroseksuelle forhold. Indsatsen over for en stadig større gruppe smittede mænd, der har sex med mænd, er ikke eksisterende. Det lykkedes dem begge at flygte fra livet som trækkedrenge, men på rejsen mod hjemlandet, blev Joseph igen meget syg. Han fik diagnosen gonoré og blev sat i behandling. Men da han efterfølgende blev testet hiv-positiv og samtidig indrømmede over for lægerne, at han var homoseksuel, ville de ikke behandle ham. Gentagne gange mødte Joseph op for at få sin hiv-medicin, men lægerne kaldte ham aldrig ind. Stigmatisering og diskrimination af homoseksuelle rundt om i verden er en af de allerstørste hindringer for effektivt at standse hiv/aids-epidemien. Så længe homoseksualitet ikke accepteres, hænger verden fast i en afsindig ond spiral, hvor manglende accept og adgang til information, prævention og behandling betyder, at hiv-smitten eksploderer i store dele af verden. Hvordan skal vi kunne målrette indsatsen over for en udsat gruppe af mennesker, som ikke findes åbenlyst i samfundet? Efter sit tredje selvmordsforsøg blev Joseph i sidste øjeblik reddet af sin ven, der fik ham til udpumpning på hospitalet. Her ville lægerne gerne hjælpe med at redde hans liv, men de nægtede at give ham hiv-medicin.


How are we to target our efforts to help a group of vulnerable people, whose existence in society is not acknowledged? After his third suicide attempt, Joseph was saved at the very last minute by his friend, who brought him to the hospital. Here the doctors were willing to help save his life, but they refused to give him HIV medicine. The way forward Since 2007, the Danish AIDS Foundation has collaborated with amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, on The MSM Initiative. The aim of the Initiative is to support and help NGOs working with MSM on issues related to HIV in developing countries. In particular, The MSM Initiative works to provide needed financial support for these NGOs and to advocate for policy changes that will improve the lives of MSM. Vejen frem Siden 2007 har AIDS-Fondet samarbejdet med AmFAR (Fondet for aids-forskning i USA) om The MSM Initiative. Formålet er at støtte og hjælpe græsrodsorganisationer, der arbejder med MSM og hiv i udviklingslande. Initiativet arbejder for effektiv politisk og økonomisk hjælp. Det er allerede nu lykkes MSM Initiativet at skabe forandring, og en effektiv metoder er at uddele mindre legater til lokale græsrodsorganisationer. I Danmark har AIDS-Fondet sat problemstillingen på regeringens dagsorden og samler nu ind til legater. Med legaterne bliver kendskabet til hiv og aids, forebyggelse, behandling, støtte og hjælp til mænd, der har sex med mænd udbredt og styret netop af de mennesker, der lever med problemerne.


Already, The MSM Initiative is successfully making a change by awarding small grants to local community-based organizations. In Denmark, the AIDS Foundation has managed to place the issue on the government’s political agenda and now collects donations for grants. With these grants, there is increased awareness of HIV/AIDS and more access to prevention, treatment, and support services for MSM. What’s more, this information and these vital services are created and provided by people who are most familiar with the problems that MSM face in their communities. Today Joseph has been granted a permanent residence permit in Denmark and for the first time he is receiving medical treatment and supportive care. He now has the opportunity to be himself, speak his mind freely, and meet good friends – things he never dared to dream about before. But even in Denmark, there is still a lot of stigma about HIV and AIDS. Because of this, Joseph decided to tell his story using a name other than his own. It requires both will and courage to promote this agenda and no one says it is going to be easy. Each country has its own specific issues and challenges to overcome, and what leads to success in one country might not work in another. Joseph dreams about going back home to fight for rights, humanity, treatment, and, not least, acceptance. Today MSM do not have access to condoms, and they are not even given the most basic information about the risk of infection or that condoms are the best protection available. Joseph is optimistic and there is a chance that he might be reconciled with his father. * Joseph is a pseudonym, but the true identity of Joseph is known to the editor. The photos are of a model.


I dag har Joseph opholdstilladelse i Danmark og får for første gang medicin. Han har også fået opmærksomhed, taletid, omsorg, gode venner og har mødt en imødekommenhed, han end ikke sin vildeste fantasi havde forestillet sig fandtes. Men selv i Danmark er der stadig stor berøringsangst, når det gælder hiv og aids og Joseph har derfor valgt at fortælle sin historie under et andet navn. Det kræver vilje og mod at tage denne agenda op, og ingen påstår, at det bliver nemt. Hvert land har sine egne specifikke problemstillinger og det, der er en succes i det ene land, er det ikke nødvendigvis i det andet. Joseph har en drøm om at vende tilbage for at kæmpe videre for rettigheder, menneskelighed, behandling og ikke mindst accept. I dag har bøsser ingen adgang til kondomer, de får ikke helt basal viden om smitterisikoen, eller at kondomer er den bedste beskyttelse, der findes. Joseph er optimistisk og det bedste er, at han måske bliver forsonet med sin far.

* Joseph er et opdigtet navn, men hans identitet er kendt af redaktionen. Billederne er modelfotos.


Hiv-smitte blandt MSM i udvalgte lande

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MSM med HIV MSM-prevalence

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Voksne med HIV Adult prevalence

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Hiv prevalance among MSM in selected settings

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Sex mellem mænd er ulovligt i 85 FN medlemslande verden over Danmark yder udviklingsbistand til Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Egypten, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Uganda og Zambia. Alle lande forbyder sex mellem mænd Hiv stiger eksplosivt blandt homoseksuelle mænd (MSM) i Afrika, Asien og Østeuropa I Kenya er 38 % af MSM hiv-smittet, mod 6 % af resten af befolkningen Internationale medier rapporterer om stadig flere tilfælde af vold mod MSM – fra den gambiske præsident Yahya Jammehs udtalelse om, at han agter at skære hovedet af enhver homoseksuel i sit land, over massearrestationer af bøsser i Senegal og til fængselsstraf til fire egyptiske mænd, fordi de er bøsser og hiv-positive Hver gang to personer får adgang til livsnødvendig hiv-medicin, bliver fem nye smittet. Derfor må vi for alt i verden ikke slække på målet om, at alle skal have adgang til forebyggelse I udviklingslande er risikoen for at få hiv 19 gange større for mænd, der har sex mænd, end for den generelle befolkning I mange udviklingslande bliver mænd, der har sex med mænd forfulgt og må ofte leve skjult. De får sjældent information om risikoen ved usikker sex og har ingen adgang til kondomer eller glidecreme. Find kilder og læs mere på www.aidsfondet.dk


Sex between men is illegal in 85 UN member countries Denmark provides development aid to: Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia; all of which forbid sex between men HIV soars among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe In Kenya, 38% of the MSM are HIV-positive, compared to 6% of the rest of the population International media report an increasing number of violence against MSM – ranging from the Gambian president Yahya Jammeh’s statement that he intends to cut off the head of every homosexual in his country, to mass arrests of gay men in Senegal and the imprisonment of four Egyptian men because they are gay and HIV-positive Each time two persons receive the vital HIV medicine, five new persons are infected. Therefore we cannot, on any account, lessen the focus on the aim that all should have access to prevention On average MSM in developing countries are 19 times more likely to be HIV positive than the general public In many developing countries, MSM are often hounded and have to live their lives in secret. They rarely receive information on the risks of unsafe male-male sex and have little or no access to condoms or lubricant Please visit our website for more information about the sources used for this article and to find other important information: www.aidsfondet.dk


Tekst: Pia Rathsach Foto: Stephen Freiheit Design: Rasmus Sigvaldi Tak til: Grafisk Rådgivning og til Anita Havmøller Buttenschøn (for oversættelsel)

AIDS-Fondet · Carl Nielsen Allé 15A · 2100 København Ø · Tlf: 3927 1440 www.aidsfondet.dk


Hiv eksploderer