Human Rights Day: LGBT activists discuss barriers to rights and HIV services with UN agencies and member states

Published: December 18, 2014

Original Article:

Last week, The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) brought together more than 50 LGBT activists from around the world in New York City to mark this year’s International Human Rights Day. The delegation included 10 activists from Zambia, Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as other activist from Asia, South America and the Caribbean. The group attended several UN agency meetings and met with member states to raise their voices about the issues most important to them.

AVAC Policy and Program assistant Micheal Ighodaro was part of the delegation and facilitated the HIV/AIDS discussions during the activist planning sessions and was part of the delegation that visited UNICEF, UNDP and UNIADS.  In these sessions the activists shared their lack of full understanding of the different UNAIDS targets and lack of African LGBT representation during development of these targets. Below is Micheal’s account of more advocacy discussions throughout the day.

Despite gains in controlling the spread of HIV in Africa, the disease has continued to spread at an alarming rate among its LGBT communities. This, the activists say, is becoming even more severe. They report that HIV programs targeting gay men are only available in big cities and do not reach the many men living in rural areas.

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