This post is one of a series of previews of what people at this July’s International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., will hear from activists from the 76 countries where homosexuality is illegal. Dozens of activist witnesses will attend the conference under the sponsorship of the Spirit of 76 Worldwide project to tell about how AIDS services are denied to people who are unjustly categorized as criminals.
Below is an edited excerpt from the successful Spirit of 76 application submitted from Ethiopia. At this point, the activist visitors’ names are being withheld to shield them from harassment or worse in their homophobic home countries.
LGBT in Ethiopia? No AIDS services for you
Homosexuality is illegal in Ethiopia. LGBT people face a lot of stigma, mob violence, arrest and other forms of private and state-sponsored degrading human right abuses.
They don’t have the right and the chance to get appropriate HIV- and other health-related information or access to services because of their lifestyle.
HIV and other STI are common in the LGBT community because of low awareness of the risks they face.
Stigma related to HIV is also still common in Ethiopia. The stigma and the burden is doubled for people who are both members of the LGBT community and HIV-positive.