Also In Global Health News: HIV Prevention In China; Global Fund In Philippines; Drug-Resistant TB; U.S. Stance On Anti-Gay Legislation

Government-Backed Gay Bar Opens In China Aims To Educate About HIV Prevention

“A gay bar partially funded by the government of a Chinese city heavily affected by AIDS has finally opened after a delay caused by intense media interest which the owners felt may scared off potential patrons,” Reuters Life! reports. The bar in the southwestern city of Dali is a collaborative effort by the city’s health department and two NGOs, according to the news service (12/21). “The venue aims to provide a place where homosexuals can meet in a relaxed atmosphere and get information about HIV/AIDS prevention,” Agence France-Presse reports (12/20). ChinaRealTimeReport/Wall Street Journal adds: “For the bar’s opening night, 10 volunteers staged a play that included information on HIV prevention. Customers also received free condoms,” according to the news service (12/21).

Global Fund Unblocks Aid To Philippines

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced Monday it has resumed all funding for four of its suspended grants to the Philippines after the funds were transferred to new administrators, Reuters reports. The grants were suspended in September “due to misdirected funds,” the news service writes. According to the Global Fund, malaria grants worth $31.4 million and HIV/AIDS grants totaling $1.9 million had been placed back into the control of Philippines organizations; the transfer of a tuberculosis grant worth $95 million is being negotiated, the news service writes (MacInnis, 12/21).

AP/Miami Herald Examines Rise In Drug-Resistant TB

The Associated Press/Miami Herald examines the rise in drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, malaria and HIV, through the story of the U.S.’s first reported case of extensively drug-resistant TB, which was found in a 19-year-old Peruvian student living in Florida. The article details the factors contributing to a rise in drug-resistant infections and the global scale of the problem, and features comments by several TB experts (Mason/Mendoza, 12/21).

U.S. Officials Continue To Speak Out Against Uganda’s Pending Anti-Gay Legislation

Johnnie Carson, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, on Friday said the U.S. has made several appeals to the Ugandan government to stop the passage of anti-gay legislation currently under review, Reuters reports.  “We are concerned that if this legislation passes that it could in fact encourage others to do this,” Carson told reporters after a meeting with gay and lesbian advocates at the State Department. “We will not have a double standard on human rights. We are opposed to this kind of legislation whether it is in Rwanda or any other country in Africa,” he said (Quinn, 12/19). Carson also voiced concerns that the passage of such legislation would “‘undermine the fight’ against HIV and AIDS by stigmatizing homosexual acts,” Agence France-Presse/ reports (12/19). Carson added that despite concerns over the issue, the U.S. has not threatened to cut U.S. aid to Uganda, according to Carson, VOA News reports (Gollust, 12/19).

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