Mr. Tomlinson was quoted as saying "While we hope the conference participants enjoyed their stay at the luxurious resort, we, therefore, question their commitment to the populations they purport to serve," yet when they practice the same purposeful exclusions to the lgbt community, influentials and dissenting voices some talk about it it is ignored as well, the groups have no moral authority to cry for inclusiveness when just look at how the organizations treated with the msm homeless matter as the latest glaring example, the same persons demonstrating here have pushed away the least amongst us as they are an impediment to the superstar staus quo that must be maintained, have a read of the piece below and decide for yourselves.
Lamenting the absence of Jamaican men who have sex with men (MSM) from an international HIV/AIDS workshop that was on at the Hilton Rose Hall, Montego Bay, gays here staged a peaceful stand outside the gates of the resort last Wednesday.
Bearing placards which read "Homophobia breeds homelessness", "Homelessness breeds HIV & AIDS", and "Stop Homophobia", "Stop HIV & AIDS", the small group sought to draw attention to the plight of homeless Jamaican men who have sex with men and are vulnerable to HIV.
The men stood outside the Hilton Rose Hall, which was the site of the Caribbean HIV/AIDSRegional Training Network, Caribbean Cytometry & Analytical Society (CCAS), Centers for Disease Control Third Joint Meeting and Eighth CCAS HIV/AIDS Workshop.
The workshop was held under the banner, "Harmonising Quality Clinical Care and Laboratory Diagnostics on Behalf of Persons Most at Risk of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean, however, international NGO, AIDS-Free World, and local partners from Jamaica AIDS Support for Life and the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays were not invited to attend.
"No members of the Jamaican MSM community were invited to participate in this conference, despite the 2009 UNAIDS findings that the HIV prevalence rate among Jamaican MSM is 32 per cent against 1.6 per cent in the general population," lamented Maurice Tomlinson, legal adviser, Marginalised AIDS-Free World Group.
Tomlinson criticised the organisers, stating that the way they had gone about the workshop flew in the face of the internationally accepted principle requiring the Greater Involvement of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS in designing and implementing HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support interventions.
"While we hope the conference participants enjoyed their stay at the luxurious resort, we, therefore, question their commitment to the populations they purport to serve," said Tomlinson.
The event reportedly boasted a top-notch programme with internationally acclaimed speakers, yet claims that it remains relevant to the everyday practice of HIV/AIDS care providers in the Caribbean and beyond.
The meeting opened on August 21 and ended last Friday, August 26.
The hypocrisy continues as for overseas matters especially in Belize these same Jamaican advocates talk about bringing everyone to the table but locally they DO NOT practice what we preach.
from the debate in Belize on the Buggery Law:
Maurice Tomlinson, AIDS Free World
"This is about bringing everybody to the table, not leaving anybody out. Because when you exclude people, that is when you provide an opportunity for harm and hate and disease to spread. And these diseases don’t generally stay within the vulnerable groups."
Also what is also of interest is the seeming competition with all kinds of agencies including governmental arms outside of the LGBT advocacy structure now jostling for creating programs for this group, all of a sudden homeless msms are now the next big thing to use as lightening rod for funding. This kind of opportunistic way or advocacy is just a disgrace.
Let us also put into perspective the 2007 MSM survey that suggested homelessness and HIV were closely related issues:
Another instance of the hypocrisy was when we unfortunately lost diva Charms who was found dead, the J released some press release at the time, go here for a post entitled "And The Machinery" for more. A pilot housing project called the "Safe House Project" which was closed due to "bad behaviour" by the occupants led to the present major problems we now see with very little done by JFLAG to stop the implosion of the project hence leading to ostracism by the advocacy structure itself.
also see: MSM Homeless Issues from 2010 on this blog and The Quietus (safe house project closes)
and Response to the Shelter issue from a concerned advocate
Think on these things people, listen to the audio commentary
UPDATE September 23
Peace and tolerance