Homophobia and punitive laws continue to threaten HIV responses and human rights

Published: August 28, 2012

In many regions of the world, punitive laws and practices against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex (LGBTI)[1] individuals continue to block effective responses to HIV. A range of human rights violations have been documented, from denial of health services and freedom of association to harassment, violence and murder.
Last week, a youth organization in Cameroon is reported to have held an anti-LGBT rally; the news followed a series of arrests and detentions in recent years of Cameroonian men who have sex with men based on their sexual orientation.
In Zimbabwe, where sex between men is illegal, police officers arrested and later released 44 members of the organization Gays and Lesbians Zimbabwe (GALZ) on 11 August 2012 following the launch of a GALZ report documenting human rights violations of LGBT individuals.
In Europe, a report on the human rights situation of LGBTI people—published in May 2012 by the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe)—documented many cases of violence, hatred and discrimination against LGBTI people.

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