MAHA reports on victories for Third World communities organizing against AIDS
11 septembre 1997 (MAHA)
PARIS, 11 September 1997 (MAHA)
MAHA covers the latest developments related to AIDS, immigrant rights, and health care across Europe. This issue’s contributors write from the frontlines of today’s AIDS struggles in France, Great Britain, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United States, and elsewhere. Articles include practical advice you can use in developing your own HIV prevention and care projects, or in learning how other people and communities elsewhere in Europe have taken on the challenges brought by AIDS.
For the first time, the European Court of Human Rights recognized that to deport a man gravely ill with AIDS would violate the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment. Yet, in France, Ali B., who had just started combination therapy, was deported to Tunisia, where he languished for nearly two months before winning his appeal to return to France.
In August, two asylum seekers living with HIV won back basic welfare rights not only for themselves but for thousands in Britain’s refugee communities.
MAHA’s September 1997 issue reports on these and other important court victories won in France and in Britain, albeit at great cost in suffering and hardship for those involved. MAHA revisits last year’s campaign in the streets to kill the Asylum Bill which denied such benefits and other basic rights. MAHA’s reporting explains what happened and reframes these victories in the context of on-going debates across Europe over immigration rights, AIDS, and health care.
When Norway’s African community took to the streets last July, to protest an openly racist public health campaign, MAHA was there. One year later, MAHA correspondent Moussa Awuonda reports on the aftermath.
But Norway’s campaign was no isolated incident. MAHA exposes a secret anti-immigrant motion passed by the European Federation of Academies of Medicine drawing attention to "the risks presented by immigration, especially clandestine, by bringing and propagating certain diseases."
"The trajectory of immigration law and procedure," argues one MAHA contributor, "is in the direction of the internal control and surveillance of migrants, immigrants and refugees, including people with HIV/AIDS." As internal controls tighten, mandatory HIV testing has become a weapon in the broad arsenal used to enforce immigration controls at Europe’s borders. MAHA reports on one campaign in Spain to stop illegal HIV testing used to deny asylum.
Across Europe, as cutbacks are made in health care, immigration controls move into hospitals and clinics, making people living with HIV/AIDS more vulnerable than ever. MAHA’s reporting highlights the urgent need to demand health care based on need, not status.
For example, a Swiss medical insurance which requires insurance companies to check on immigration status, passed without raising any public protest. MAHA looks at such legislation which exists or is in the works in France, Sweden, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere.
September 1997 contributors include :
Steve Cohen analyzes how the racist prejudices on which immigration controls are founded often coincide precisely with prejudice and discrimination with respect to HIV/AIDS.
Bernadette Rwegera responds to a recent French proposal to impose mandatory HIV testing for pregnant women and exposes the current, illegal practices of uninformed HIV testing of African and Maghrebi women in French hospitals.
David W. Webber reports on new U.S. laws which have legalized such mandatory HIV testing.
Juan Walter calls on our communities to participate in the AIDS Quilt, to "let the world know that we too are affected by AIDS."
Keefa Kiwanuka tours London’s hospitals to assess whether combination therapy has "halted the tide of death in London’s African community."
MAHA also talks with K.A. Adanse Pipim and John Hammond in Amsterdam, in the first of a series of interviews which commemorates how Third world communities across Europe came to the frontlines of AIDS organizing.
Nabil Azouz calls for a real European network of solidarity to link up our common struggles in the harb (war) against AIDS...
9 September 1997 (c) MAHA 1997