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Last July, I spoke with Sky H., a 20-year–old who identifies as non-binary and grew up in a very conservative rural town in the Black Belt region of Alabama. In school, Sky received abstinence-only…
Desks in an empty classroom
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When Abba M. learned that a sexual partner had exposed her to the human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV, she did “a bunch of Googling.” The 21-year-old Alabama resident knew very little about it. Turning to her friends proved…
A billboard by the Alabama Department of Public Health in Eutaw, Greene County, raises awareness of recommended adolescent vaccines, including the HPV vaccine.
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What does it mean to be a human rights voter? Support candidates who want the government to adopt and enforce laws that promote and protect human rights. This means candidates who defend people from abusive systems, officials, individuals, and…
201911us_2020_election_voting
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In late 2018, Sierra Leone's First Lady, Fatima Bio, opened a national campaign "Hands Off Our Girls."   Her campaign made big promises to reduce child marriages and teenage pregnancies in the country, in part to tackle the…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
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Susana, 25, was breastfeeding when she became pregnant with a second child in Recife. It was unplanned. Her son was born with microcephaly–a condition in which the infant’s head is smaller than expected.   She was among the nearly 100…
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Clara is a community health worker’s dream client—she has absorbed all the training offered on preventing mosquito breeding in her home and implements it to perfection. I spoke to her last October in a favela in downtown Recife. She described how she…
Mother holding her child in Brazil.
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South Koreans With HIV Are 10 Times More Likely to Commit Suicide

The South Korean government considers people living with HIV morally unfit to teach English and medically unfit to receive government scholarships to study at South Korean universities. But the UN and governments around the world have long recognized that…
Participants work on a campaign for World AIDS Day in Seoul, South Korea, December 1, 2011.
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President Barack Obama has announced a National HIV/AIDS strategy designed to carry the country’s policy through to 2020. The updated policy, positive in many ways, lacks one crucial element:  the criminal justice system’s role in fueling HIV and AIDS.…
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“Who has AIDS, who has AIDS? Is it you?” That’s what a police officer shouted to an outreach worker during a stop-and-search I witnessed in downtown Athens, in May 2014. It was my first night out with a team of outreach workers from Athens Checkpoint, an…
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A few years ago, I met a man from Miami who used to be hooked on heroin. Jose — not his real name — was living with HIV and hepatitis from sharing needles with other people. When I met him, Jose was helping other drug users avoid that fate by handing out…
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Today, Gordon Goodwin is in federal prison in Atlanta.  Not too many years ago, he was a student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on track for law school. He enjoyed tennis and mountain biking. Today, his future looks bleak—failed by prison…
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 Jane is a young Zambian mother with a physical disability in Lusaka, who uses a wheelchair to get around. She does not let clinics without ramps or without wheelchair accessible toilets and equipment stop her from claiming her right to health care,…
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People say, someone who has a disability should not indulge in sex,’ Inocente, a blind man in his 40s, told a Human Rights Watch researcher in Zambia. This is a widely held view in the country, where stigma regarding the sexuality of people with…
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There is no one solution to eradicating HIV, but PrEP is a tool that not enough can access.

Recent attention has focused on innovative medical developments that could dramatically reduce the number of new HIV infections. But ensuring access to health care and medication so that people can benefit from these developments is equally important.…
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On June 4, Justice Minister Peter MacKay tabled an anti-prostitution bill that he claimed was not anti-prostitute. According to the minister, the target of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Person Act, Bill C-36, was “the perpetrators, the…