This is AMSHeR’s inaugural Quarterly Newsletter, a time capsule of everything MSM/LGBTI from May to July, the first quarter of AMSHeR’s Year 2012 -2013, as well as the latest developments in the month of August. As can be expected, it a mixed bag of the great and the-not-so-great developments that have occurred within our organisation and within the LGBTI movement as a whole, and is a chronology of the stories, events and developments in the movement’s and our struggle to attain an empowered and healthy life for MSM in Africa and human rights for all.
In the month of May LGBTI persons, organisations and their supporters celebrate the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia [IDAHO]. This one day paints the whole month pink, and our members took advantage and held a host of activities to celebrate and commemorate the day. Notable activities in our coalition were in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Nigeria. As AMSHeR, we launched a technical note, ‘No Response Without Rights: The Need for a Human Rights Approach to HIV Programmes Aimed At Men Who Have Sex With Men in Africa’ to serve as a resource for organisation and individuals working on the policy, legislation and programming around the sexual and reproductive health rights of men who have sex with men [MSM]. According to Joel Nana, AMSHeR’s Executive Director, “The Technical Note focuses on the importance of applying international human rights standards to the HIV response and provides key indicators for evaluating HIV interventions within the MSM communities.” Also in May, the Global Fund announcement that it would increase its funding by 1.6 Billion between 2012 and 2014 brought a sigh of relief amid fears of dwindling funds and resources to fight HIV. A futile attempt by homophobic traditional leaders in South Africa to have their country review and remove from its constitution, the sexual orientation and gender identity affirming and protecting sections added drama to an otherwise crisis free month. Click here to read more in our May Newsletter.
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