Protesters demonstrated in Brussels on Saturday against new legislation that is meant to reduce sexually transmitted infections in the European Union. More than a hundred demonstrators confronted police in the city center, according to a report by the BBC. Activists say the measure, codenamed “Covid-19,” is a punitive measure that undermines individual freedom. It denies people crucial healthcare, while failing to adequately address the current acute crisis in sexually transmitted infections. The regulations, which went into effect Saturday, prohibit people aged over 50, from receiving free contraception or being treated for contraception.
The strict restrictions are said to mostly affect immigrants. The legislation imposes annual tests for sexually transmitted infections to determine which people over 50 have symptoms, and who is eligible for free treatment. The World Health Organization says that only four percent of people over 50 carry HIV and hepatitis, while nine percent of people have some type of STI. Nevertheless, opposition has mounted. Commenting on the legislation, the head of the European Federation of Young Doctors, Rémi Lavigne, told BBC, “If you want to live healthy and pleasure filled life, your sexual rights are with you at all times.” Additionally, the complaint is directed at the law’s reliance on STI testing without a medical examination, as well as other possible inequities within it.
While the legislation is aimed at helping reduce the number of STIs in Europe, a survey from 2018 found that rates of HPV and chlamydia have increased since 2015. In addition, the 2017 sexual assault conviction of “Love Island” star Niall Aslam, shows just how pervasive sex pests are in the entertainment industry.
Anti-sodomy protesters have said that the legislation is the “Necessity of the (pseudo) epidemic,” to punish older women for sexually active men who might have old chlamydia. In a comment to the Washington Post, Dr. Anne Jager, an adolescent health expert, decried the law as a “so-called healthcare initiative that would cost millions and would actually have an irreversible impact on existing curative and preventative measures.”
Read the full story at BBC.
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