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Author Archives: John Stephens

03.01.19

UNAIDS gives and gets advice on “Zero Discrimination Day”

By John Stephens

Today, the United Nations marks “Zero Discrimination Day,” an annual day of celebration that they made up in 2014. The day is meant to promote equality in all aspects of life, but in practice it seems to be a UNAIDS affair focused on discrimination against people living with HIV. Every member of the United Nations […]

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01.11.19

A legal fight against Kenya’s discriminatory HIV laws kicks off in the Nairobi High Court

By John Stephens

With the support of their loved ones and a sharp legal team from KELIN, a group of brave Kenyans living with HIV has challenged some of the world’s harshest HIV criminalization laws. Galvanized by the Positive Justice Campaign, their petition asks the Nairobi High Court to strike down as unconstitutional section 26 of Kenya’s Sexual […]

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12.13.18

Bringing human rights and the law to the fight against TB in prisons

By John Stephens

The world over, prisons provide ideal conditions for TB transmission—globally, TB incidence in prisons is 33 times that in the general population; and new data confirms that TB in prisons spills over into communities. In other words, prisons are like TB factories that drive TB epidemics all over the world. This November and December, the […]

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11.09.18

Swift legal intervention mitigates a drug-resistant tuberculosis outbreak in Malawian prisons, but the worst could still be ahead

By John Stephens

A recent outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Malawian prisons should be a wake up call. It shouldn’t be a surprise that six people in Malawi’s nightmarishly congested prisons contracted drug-resistant TB—the prisons provide ideal conditions for the bacteria to thrive and spread. This is true of many prisons throughout the world, especially in countries with high […]

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10.09.18

We need new laws: new report shows the nature of coercion and criminalization in TB-related laws

By John Stephens

On September 26, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly approved a Political Declaration that sets out the first globally coordinated response to one of the greatest public health and human rights crises of our time, tuberculosis (TB). United Nations documents are typically structured by two main elements, “preambular paragraphs” and “operative paragraphs;” the former provide context […]

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07.16.18

The incivility of (too-) civil society in the tuberculosis response

By John Stephens

Anyone who knows the world of the global tuberculosis response knows, too, its refrain: “We must do for TB what we did for HIV!” It is less rallying cry than lament.  Those of us who form part of “civil society” at the international level in the TB world attend the big TB conferences, but mostly […]

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06.18.18

What happens today matters: a last chance to save the Political Declaration of the United Nations High Level Meeting on Tuberculosis

By John Stephens

Today, the United Nations General Assembly will, for better or worse, shape the next decade of the global response to the world’s deadliest infectious disease. Millions of people will feel the decisions made today. Millions of lives will be won or lost as member states barter and jockey over the content of the Political Declaration […]

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05.20.18

A New and Unsettling Force for Health and Beyond—The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

By John Stephens

In the year before his murder in April 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King embarked on a new era of justice work in which he aligned with organized labor and the poor to unite a movement across racial, gender, ethnic, religious, and geographic lines. King’s “Poor People’s Campaign” marked the connections between the various […]

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04.30.18

Who will lead the TB response?

By John Stephens

“We will have to put poor people from affected communities at the centre of our response. We will have to organise and mobilise. And then be willing to hold our governments to account.” ~ Anele Yawa, General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign   A turning point for tuberculosis? This could be a big year […]

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The views reflected in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.

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