[REPORT] Employment Discrimination Against People Living with HIV/AIDS and Injection Drug Users (2012)

Employers in China’s Yunnan Province openly discriminate against former drug users living with HIV/AIDS, according to a
joint report released by Asia Catalyst and Kangxin Home, a Chinese community organization.

Staff and volunteers of Kangxin Home interviewed community members and found that many had been fired multiple times from their jobs at small businesses such as auto repair shops, tobacco shops and supermarkets.


[NEWS] China’s First Lawsuit against HIV-related Privacy Infringement

Source: China AIDS Email Group

According to the Chinese NGO Zhengzhou City He’rbutong (郑州和而不同), which runs the Aibo Legal Hotline, a district-level court in Wuhan, Hubei Province, has accepted the first case of privacy rights infringement brought forward by a person living with HIV/AIDS. 

The case of 28 year-old plaintiff, Xiao Su, was formally accepted on April 16, 2012. Xiao Su alleges that after renting out an apartment, he was blackmailed by his tenant, Peng, over Xiao Su’s status as a person living with HIV/AIDS, or PLWHA Xiao Su’s court case alleges significant impacts on his personal life after being exposed as a PLWHA in the local community. Xiao Su filed this case with the Han Yang District People’s Court, Wuhan City, Hubei Province, to stop the infringement of his private property and privacy rights. He has demanded an apology and CNY 10,000 RMB [approximately US $1,590] in compensation for psychological damages.


[REPORT] Marching on Wall Street

Thumbnail image for ACT_UP_25.JPG

By Mike Frick

On April 25, 2012, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) celebrated its 25th Anniversary by joining forces with Occupy Wall Street to demand a 0.05% tax on financial  transactions to raise funding for the fight against HIV/AIDS. The small tax on Wall Street transactions and speculative trading (also known as the Robin Hood tax) could generate up to 400 billion dollars annually. A broad coalition of activists has called for this money to fund global public goods, including HIV/AIDS treatment, health services, and action against climate change. ACT UP, which emerged in the 1980s to break the silence on America’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, pioneered many of the direct action, non-violent protest tactics that have influenced the more recent Occupy Wall Street movement. Several hundred activists from ACT UP, Occupy Wall Street, Housing Works, and other organizations marched from City Hall to Wall Street, chanting “act up, fight back,” “housing is a human right,” and “we are unstoppable, the end of HIV/AIDS is possible.” Toward the end of the march, police caged demonstrators behind barricades in front of Trinity Church, one block from Zuccotti Park, the site of Occupy Wall Street’s former camp in NYC’s financial district. Earlier in the day, nine ACT UP activists dressed as Robin Hood were arrested for chaining themselves together and disrupting traffic outside the New York Stock Exchange. In a separate demonstration, the police arrested several protestors who set up a mock apartment in the middle of Broadway outside City Hall to call attention to homelessness and HIV/AIDS.


[COMMENTARY] Sex Work is Work, Plenary Speech by Kaythi Win

By Kthi Win

Plenery speech by Kaythi Win, Chairperson of Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers, at Association of Women in Development Forum forum in Istanbul on April 21,  2012. See the exciting video here.

Hello everybody,

I am Kthi Win from Myanmar and I am a sex worker. I manage a national organization for female, male & transgender sex workers in Burma & I am also the chairperson of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers.  Until now, organizing anything in Myanmar has been very difficult.  And people ask, “how did you set up a national program for sex workers?”  And my answer to them is “Our work is illegal.  Every night we manage to earn money without getting arrested by the police.  We used to work and organize together, so we use this knowledge in order to work out how we can set up the National Network without making the government angry”.

This topic is about transforming economic power.  I want to say to you, that when a woman makes the decision to sell sex, she has already made the decision to empower herself economically.  What we do in organizing sex workers, is we build on the power that the sex worker has already taken for herself – the decision to not be poor.


[COMMENTARY] Consent of the Networked

For the past few weekends, I’ve been gradually deleting information from my Facebook account. Each Sunday, a few more photos come down. That’s because I read Rebecca MacKinnon’s call to arms, Consent of the Networked, which shows that Facebook, Twitter, and Google are acquiring the size and power of nation-states, but without the democratic accountability or transparency citizens may demand of the states that govern them. Mackinnon asks, “How do we make sure that people with power over our digital lives will not abuse that power?”