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.