Editorial: Living with HIV/AIDS

In observance of World Aids Day 2006, the Guyana Chronicle begins a series of six articles on the programmes used here to fight the disease. We begin, though, with a story of a university student, 24, currently employed at a commercial bank, who sees hope after testing positive for HIV/AIDS. His name has been withheld. HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death in Guyana in the 15-44 age group.

Editorial: Homophobia and Voluntary Blood Donation

On the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, we are pleased to note that the National Blood Transfusion Service has asked the media to work with them to encourage more voluntary donors. Please permit us to highlight, through the media, a serious case of stigma and discrimination which the NBTS indulges in , which perhaps would prevent voluntary blood donations. The NBTS it seems, has a public policy of refusing blood from the following persons.

Report on Participation in 26th World Conference of International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)

Guyana's debate on the rights to sexual orientation started in 2001 after President Bharaj Jagdeo refused to assent to a vote by the Parliament which would have modified Article 149 of the Constitution of Guyana to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. In 2003, this debate resumed as the final amendments to the Constitution were passed through the parliament.

News Report: Guyanese Religious Community's Stance on Homosexuality and Condom Use

Religious bodies disagree, sometimes vehemently, on matters pertaining to their faiths, but, not surprisingly, they are united on many of the so-called taboo issues including homosexuality and the use of condoms. Religious leaders from the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, Hindu, Pentecostal and Seventh Day Adventist faiths all agree that homosexuality is wrong and that the use of condoms encourages fornication.

Press Release from National AIDS Committee on the Murder of Gay Jamaican HIVAIDS Advocate Steve Harvey

The National AIDS Committee strongly condemns the brutal killing of Jamaican, Steve Harvey, a gay HIV/AIDS outreach worker on November 30th. 2005. The NAC is calling for a prompt and thorough investigation of his death. Steve Harvey was taken by unidentified armed men from his house on November 30, the eve of World AIDS Day, and later found dead from gunshot wounds.

World AIDS Day

At the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) held in June 2001, a declaration of commitment with regards to HIV/AIDS was drawn up and signed by all the United Nations memberstates. This declaration states that governments will strive to “enact, strengthen or enforce, as appropriate, legislation regulations and other measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination and to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by people living with HIV/AIDS and members of vulnerable groups…and develop strategies to combat stigma and social exclusion connected with the epidemic”.