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Joe Amon
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Blog Entries by Joe Amon

One AIDS March That Should End

Posted October 31, 2011 | 17:16:12 (EST)

On Saturday, Oct. 29, thousands of people in Washington will walk to raise attention and money for HIV/AIDS. AIDS walks in cities throughout the world are an occasion to remember those who have died and to renew our hopes for an end to the epidemic.

There was an AIDS walk...

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National Cashew Day: More Than Nuts

4 Comments | Posted October 3, 2011 | 22:44:52 (EST)

You've heard of blood diamonds, but how about "blood cashews"?

NEW YORK -- Vietnam is the world's largest exporter of cashews. But in the south, where cashew production is common, some of that production occurs in so-called drug "treatment" centers. Forty-thousand drug users are detained at any one time in...

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'Utterly Irresponsible': Donor Funding in Drug 'Treatment' Centers

Posted September 14, 2011 | 12:40:27 (EST)

Rehab here may be hard but it has nothing on drug "treatment" in Vietnam, where tens of thousands of unfortunate users are detained in forced labor camps and tortured and beaten. Even worse, international donors and aid groups actually work inside these detention centers, providing funding and a fig leaf...

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It's a Hard Life in Ugandan Prisons

Posted July 15, 2011 | 16:43:00 (EST)

President Museveni's proposal to eliminate bail for certain nonviolent crimes is a challenge to the constitutional rights of Ugandans. But it also raises an interesting question: where would more prisoners go?

Prisons are crammed to over 200 percent of installed capacity; food and water are sometimes scarce; and health...

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China Is Hurting Its Future By Not Acting on Lead Poisoning

Posted June 22, 2011 | 16:31:41 (EST)

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post on June 20, 2011.

Another village was poisoned last month. More than 300 people, including 99 children, were diagnosed with acute lead poisoning in Zhejiang province. Unfortunately, entire villages being poisoned by lead from battery factories or lead...

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World AIDS Day: Prevention, Treatment for Prisoners

Posted December 3, 2010 | 10:14:13 (EST)

This article originally appeared in the Zambia Post on December 1, 2010.

Today is World AIDS Day, and the theme this year is 'Universal Access and Human Rights.' Zambia is ahead of much of the world on the first half of this theme: In August 2005 the Ministry...

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Lead Poisoning in Nigeria "Unprecedented"

Posted December 2, 2010 | 10:19:18 (EST)

This article originally appeared in the Global Post on December 2, 2010.

Lead poisoning usually causes life-long debilitating illness, not immediate death. Yet in the state of Zamfara, a poor, arid region in northern Nigeria, lead poisoning has killed more than 400 children in the past six months....

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Rights Abuses Belie Success in AIDS Fight

Posted December 1, 2010 | 12:18:47 (EST)

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post on December 1, 2010.

In September, Premier Wen Jiabao attended a UN Aids sponsored summit on HIV/Aids. "We cannot turn a deaf ear to the call of life," he said, while announcing a China-Africa strategic partnership on health...

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The Beginning of the End for the War on Drugs?

Posted November 22, 2010 | 10:18:32 (EST)

This article originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on November 21, 2010.

A report to the U.N. General Assembly at the end of October about the need for better sex education was met with a flurry of angry voices. African nations rejected the report. Caribbean countries said...

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Why Democracies Don't Get Cholera

Posted October 29, 2010 | 15:14:10 (EST)

This article originally appeared in Foreign Policy on October 25, 2010.

Amartya Sen famously said that famines do not occur in well-run, democratic countries. The same is almost always true for cholera epidemics.

Not long after Haiti's earthquake in January, public health officials warned that poor...

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Rights and Health, Right Now, for Migrants

Posted October 27, 2010 | 12:06:05 (EST)

This article by Joseph Amon and Kanae Doi originally appeared in the October 27, 2010 edition of Africa Japan Forum "Africa Now" No. 89.

The South African health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, took the stage recently in Vienna to address the nearly 20,000 attendees at the 2010 International AIDS...

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Jailing TB patients not remedy for the disease

Posted September 17, 2010 | 12:15:36 (EST)

This article originally appeared in the September 17, 2010 edition of Kenya's National Star newspaper.

Daniel Ng'etich and Patrick Kipng'etich Kirui are not crooks or con artists, but they have now spent more than a month in Kenya's Kapsabet prison. They will spend another seven months there if the magistrate's...

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The HIV and TB Prison Crisis in Southern Africa

Posted July 23, 2010 | 10:51:04 (EST)

In 1988, while Nelson Mandela was in prison, he contracted tuberculosis (TB). TB is common in prisons, with overcrowded cells and poor ventilation facilitating transmission. Mandela is now long free, but TB remains a threat to all prisoners - and to all South Africans.

South Africa has one of the...

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HIV and Human Rights: Here and Now?

Posted July 19, 2010 | 17:26:46 (EST)

The 18th International AIDS Conference kicks off this week here in Vienna. Twenty-five thousand people are expected to attend sessions focused on the latest in HIV science, policy and programs, and the city is decked out, with a red ribbon adorning Parliament, a planned fashion show and Cotillion,...

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HIV Behind Bars

Posted July 15, 2010 | 12:12:17 (EST)

This post originally appeared in the July 11 editions of the Zambian daily newspaper The Post

International AIDS Conferences -- like the one planned for next week in Vienna -- can be strange affairs. On the one hand, there is a reason to celebrate: scaled up treatment campaigns...

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The Truth About China's Response to HIV/AIDS

Posted July 13, 2010 | 12:28:04 (EST)

This post originally appeared in the July 11 edition of the LA Times

China has made some strides in the fight against AIDS. But the government should be held to account for stifling the work and voices of Chinese AIDS activists and nongovernmental organizations.

The man who may...

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18th International AIDS Conference: Action not Rhetoric on HIV and Human Rights

Posted July 2, 2010 | 14:58:28 (EST)

The following is based upon a press release by Human Rights Watch.

The upcoming 18th annual International AIDS Conference should focus on reaching the most vulnerable populations and removing barriers to their treatment. With its theme of "Rights Here Right Now," the conference, which opens in Vienna on...

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When a Problem Comes Along, You Must Whip It

Posted June 26, 2010 | 15:14:17 (EST)

"[H]e started to whip me on my back with twisted electrical wire," said Kakada, recalling his detention in a so-called "youth rehabilitation center" in Cambodia. "I was in such pain. Sometimes I cry alone, after the beating, because it was so painful. I did not commit any mistake: why did...

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Uganda AIDS Policy: from Exemplary to Ineffective

Posted June 24, 2010 | 18:51:21 (EST)

This post first appeard in the June 24 eidtion of The Observer

In mid-July AIDS experts from around the world will gather for the 18th international AIDS conference. The focus will be on where AIDS is being defeated and where it is re-emerging. Unfortunately, Uganda will be discussed...

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As Kenya locks up people without condoms, Aids and TB are breaking out of prisons

Posted June 7, 2010 | 11:58:27 (EST)

This post originally appeared in the June 7, 2010 edition of The East African

Kenya has shown an impressive commitment to combating HIV and tuberculosis. It developed an ambitious programme for voluntary HIV counselling and testing, and was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to reach global targets...

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