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Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The linkage of AIDS with homosexuality has created serious barriers to prevention and education initiatives since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The criminalization and marginalization of gay men and other sexual minorities in many countries handicap national AIDS responses.

Examples of the impact of homophobia on responses to HIV/AIDS, on HIV prevention, and on the care, support, and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS include the following:

  • Because HIV/AIDS has primarily affected gay men and other marginalized populations, governments have been, and continue to be, less committed to fighting the disease.
  • Because many school systems remain reluctant to provide positive education about sexuality, young gay men are more vulnerable to contracting HIV.
  • Because of a fear of being identified as gay, some people may not seek (or may not seek early enough) testing for HIV, or care, support and treatment for HIV-related illnesses.

Our work includes making recommendations to legislators, policy-makers, UN human rights bodies, and other stakeholders on how discrimination against gay men and other sexual minorities — including, but not limited to, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, and two-spirited people — could be decreased, and prevention and care efforts in the area of HIV/AIDS improved.

Learn more:

  • Aboriginal Communities
  • Criminal Law
  • Discrimination
  • Drug Policy and Harm Reduction
  • HIV Testing
  • Immigration and Travel
  • Income Security
  • Microbicides and Vaccines
  • Prisons
  • Privacy
  • Sex Work
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

  • Women's Rights

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network is a non-governmental organization in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
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