[Ip-health] Urgent: we need support in Brazil!!
pvillardi at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 11:44:35 PDT 2012
The Ministry of Health of Brazil is about to publish an ordinance that
allows states and municipalities to use, for "general health purposes",
those funds that had been originally transferred by the Union for the
exclusive use of AIDS programs but were not used until december 2011,
because of either inefficiency or lack of commitment.
For two years now, AIDS activist have denounced that specific HIV/AIDS
funds had been kept for months or even years – without clear justification
- in the coffers of states and municipalities across the country. We have
tirelessly demanded the creation of a mechanism to compel States and
Municipalities to spend these AIDS federal funds as required. In August
2012, the amount of these funds accumulated at decentralized levels was
around 135 million Reais (US$70 million.)
Instead of positively responding to civil society claims, the recent
decision by the Ministry of Health is but another indicator of the
continuous dismantling of the Brazilian AIDS response, which we cannot
accept. To worsen matters, the Brazilian government has also issued a new
decree determining that, in 2013, the so called "incentives' policy ” that
earmarks amounts of the general health budget to specific programs will be
terminated. This new rule, if approved, will mean the final blow to the
Brazilian AIDS policy as we have known it.
Unilateral decisions are being taken by the executive branch without any
discussion with civil society organizations, what will decidedly have
detrimental effects on the lives of affected and infected populations.
There are 700.000 AIDS cases recorded in Brazil, country with a long
history of high social exclusion that, despite poverty-reduction, have not
been fully resolved. If the funds transferred via the incentive policy were
not properly used even when they were earmarked, it is difficult to believe
that local public health managers will prioritize AIDS programs.
Furthermore the new policy frames make it increasingly difficult for civil
society to monitor and track the use of public health resources.
The experience tells that the majority of public health decision-makers at
local level simply do not care and are not interested in people infected
and affected by HIV. Many of them consider transvestites, whores, fags,
junkies, and the homeless people that could be literally excluded from
society. They cannot understand why these marginal populations have “dared”
to try influencing social policies to get benefits. Or, why and how NGOs
and academia have “dared ” to dialogue and work with these groups and
defend their rights and self-determination.
Gone is the time when the Brazilian AIDS policies were built in
partnership with civil society. We are now living in an era when public
policies are dominated by private companies, when epidemiological analysis
and the mapping of needs of PLWA has been eroded or is exclusively directed
by economic interests. The Brazilian Public Health System is being
increasingly privatized. And, very clearly, in what regards HIV and AIDS,
specifically what is prevailing is a climate of cleansing. Recent states'
policies suggest that what is at stake is silencing and hiding of those
“people” who may maculate the image of a successful new global player, the
country that will host the World Cup and the Olympics. This is combined
with the systematic and insidious influenced of dogmatic religious forces
on public policy formation in all areas, in particular those sectors, such
as HIV/AIDS, where issues of gender and sexuality are prominent.
The new MoH decision comes at a time when NGOs and academia have been
systematically denouncing the serious setbacks observed in the Brazilian
AIDS response that, as all know, had been considered one of the best in the
*Please write to the Health Minister, Mr. Alexandre Padilha *
alexandre.padilha at saude.gov.br, *and ask him not to sign this new
ordinance. He must fulfill his mandate, which is to work towards ending
AIDS in Brazil, not killing the Brazilian National AIDS response.*
*twitt @padilhando saying that: MoH in Brazil must fulfill its mandate:
work towards ending AIDS, not killing the Brazilian National AIDS response.
*We thank you in advance for the solidarity and help.*
*Greetings from Brazil,*
Grupo de Trabalho sobre Propriedade Intelectual - GTPI/REBRIP
Associação Brasileira Interdisciplinar de AIDS - ABIA
Av. Presidente Vargas, 446/13° andar - Centro
Rio de Janeiro - RJ
tel +55 21 2223-1040 - fax +55 21 2253-8495
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