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.
Action for REACH OUT (青鳥)
Comrade Zone (同志特區)
For My Colours (還我本色)
Gayfunhk.com (蒲精) Gender Concerns
Happy Together (樂同部)
Jei Jei Jai Association (姐姐仔會)
Midnight Blue (午夜藍)
Nutong Xueshe (女同學社)
Queer Straight Alliance
Rainbow of Hong Kong (香港彩虹)
Teen’s Key (青躍)
Transgender Resource Center (跨性別資源中心)
Women Coalition of HKSAR (香港女同盟會)
Zi Teng (紫藤)
Enquiry: For Mycolours (還我本色)
Please support/sign this petition
before we submit to ACA on 8 Mar 2011