15 January 2007

A few good men

Gentle readers, scattered around the world, we are all part of the same fabulous social circle, for my little bloguette has made us all come together... sometimes in joy, sometimes in laughter, and sometimes wondering why we all bother.

While continually hoping for an occasional calling card, one has a little extra something else to ask of you… trust me, it will make you feel so much better; consider it your good deed for the week.

Amnesty International is a little organisation to which one devotes a considerable time each year. Until 31st January, my readers are encouraged to join me in support by sending out a message of hope.

Card-carrying members of the gay league occasionally lose sight of the fact that many parts of the world do not grant rights to their members. In El Salvador, discrimination is commonplace, with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people regularly facing attacks and intimidation; impunity for those who commit these human rights violations is the norm.

Despite this, an excessively handsome gentleman has taken a stand, providing sex education and speaking out against human rights violations, risking his own life in order to advance the cause. In the last five years, his office has been vandalised seven times; he had been threatened on numerous occasions, most recently on 1st June last year by an unknown gentleman who put a gun to his head, whispering unrepeatable things in his ear. Gentle reader, you are a click away from providing this man of integrity with appropriate protection and support, expressing disapproval of those who are trying to stop this work.

Meanwhile, in one of the poorest countries in the world, approximately 88,000 people live with HIV/AIDS. It receives considerable international funding to helping those people, but the government still provides the necessary treatment to less than one-third: the poor and marginalised are left without, while activists who work to protect the rights of these people are threatened.

Testing HIV positive in 2004, one gentleman was provided with anti-retroviral treatment only after going to the media with his story. Since then, he has been target of intimidation: according to Amnesty International, his wife and five children (aged between one and twelve) are also in grave danger. Despite these adverse circumstances, he works as a HIV/AIDS treatment counsellor and campaigns on this issue. Watch a video of him speaking about the challenges faced by HIV/AIDS activists in the Dominican Republic, and one urges you to click here and insist upon the appropriate authorities taking action to protect his life.

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