Joint-Response to the consultation on Hong Kong HIV/AIDS Strategies 2012-2016
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香港愛滋病顧問局策劃的社區持份者諮詢會議，把高危社群再仔細分類，不但偏離國際間對處理愛滋病議題的革新，同時侷限於現時民間團體的工作，或部份公民社會的視野，都未能聚焦現時政策分類下，被普遍忽略的議題。我們認為，為了更有效推動愛滋病防治項目，諮詢的範圍必須包括(但不限於)１）全面普及的安全性教育；２）跨境流動性的對策；３) 法制改革及執行；４) 社會歧視及污名化對防治工作的衝擊；５）新媒體的發展、趨勢及大眾媒體策略；６）其他被乏略的重要議題 (如：緩害、藥物政策、性病政策)。
愛滋病政策的持份者除了包括現行政策的對象，必須讓他們有意義地參與項目研究、設計、實施和監測， 亦應包括現行政策被忽略的人士 (如中港家庭、長者、殘障、有經濟困難人士、女同志、已婚婦女)；以及 對愛滋病政策及實施具既有影響力人士 (如媒體人、研究者、勞工團體、娛樂場所負責人、政策倡議者、醫護界)。
Gender Concerns、Queer Straight Alliance
To: Hong Kong Advisory Council on AIDS.
the consultation on Hong Kong HIV/AIDS Strategies 2012-2016
As we all know, health policy is for everyone, with no exception of the HIV/AIDS issue.
The civil society and the Hong Kong government are currently working towards formulation of its next set of HIV/AIDS Strategies for year 2012 – 2016. In the past few years, voices of the community members have significantly contributed to the formulation of Hong Kong HIV/AIDS Strategies on prevention, treatment and support service. In face of intensified stigma in the society, concerted effort is much needed to ensure the priority of marginalized issues. Your contribution will shape the future of HIV/AIDS strategy as it has our past.
Though the Hong Kong Advisory council of AIDS is now calling for community consultation, we are skeptical of its proposition. The existing consultation reference materials narrowly focus on reviewing epidemical situations and the cost-effectiveness of its funded programs. The framing of these documentations are indications of the government’s lack of critical consciousness to think and act out of the existing mechanism. For the sake of a better future, courage to be the vanguard in formulating forward looking, adaptive and inclusive HIV/AIDS policy is much needed.
The scope of the consultation: Unveiling the defects of the current policy
In the name of “public health”, ACA has selectively focused on so-called “at-risk community” on the consultation agenda. We are not here to quarrel the role ACA played in indirectly institutionalizing marginality, yet operationally speaking, communities or issues that have been currently overlooked on the agenda will keep losing its edge under the existing mechanism of this rigid categorization. Divorcing itself from the globally insight, this fundamental misjudgment limits the development of a forward-looking policy. To effectively respond to the HIV/AIDS situations, we strongly demand ACA to include (but not limited to) the following items on the consultation agenda: 1) universal and comprehensive sex education 2) cross-border population policy 3) Legal revamp and its enforcement 4) the traumatic impact of social discrimination and stigma on intervention work development 5) new media strategy 6) other vital issues yet been overlooked, for example, harm reduction and drug use policy, sexually transmitted infection policy.
The definition of stakeholders: Including those overlooked under the current policy
All stakeholders mentioned on the ACA’s proposed agenda should have opportunity to meaningfully participate in program research, design, implementation, evaluation and monitoring. The consultation should also include those have been overlooked under the current policy, for example, cross-border family, the elderly, people with disability, people with financial difficulties, same-sex-attracted women, married women. Other key influencers of HIV/AIDS strategy should also be included, for example, the media, researchers, labor unions, entertainment venue in charge, policy advocates, and medical professionals.
The process of the consultation: Striving for bottom up and direct participation
We staunchly believe that a bottom-up policy making process is of vital importance. We need to assure that the voices of those most affected constitute the core essence of the mentioned policy. It is only through developing mutual communication and monitoring as well as sharing caring criticism among parties of different backgrounds and expertise that we can generate better public policy.
In order to develop a comprehensive, effective and innovative HIV/AIDS strategy that can genuinely benefit the communities, we strongly urge ACA to proceed the policy making process based on the above-mentioned principles. The upcoming 5 years HIV/AIDS strategies have long-lasting impact and the communities will definitely take a pro-active role in giving inputs throughout the process.
* Please support and sign this Joint Declaration before it submits to Hong Kong Advisory Council on AIDS on 8th March 2011.
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