World AIDS Day, December 1st 2014

World Aids DayLeave no one behind.

The fight against HIV/AIDS cannot be won until gays and other MSM are decriminalized by all nations.

MSM in Sub-Saharan Africa… 30 out of 48 countries in the sub-Saharan region criminalize same sex sexual acts – thus severely impacting the ability of gays and other MSM to access health-care services, the ability of clinics to offer services tailored to the needs of gays and MSM, and the ability of gays and MSM to participate openly in national planning processes that dictate funding and programs… gays and MSM must be fully involved in the AIDS response. When treated fairly and equally and when freely able to access health services, they can drive HIV incidence downwards.   MSM in Sub-Saharan Africa: Health, Access, & HIV

So how do we close the Gap? This is what The Gap Report suggests:

  • Protective legal environments and decriminalization
  • Access to quality and discrimination-free health care
  • Collection of data on MSM
  • Strengthening community support systems

There will be no ending AIDS without putting people first, without ensuring that people living with and affected by the epidemic are part of a new movement. Without a people-centered approach, we will not go far in the post-2015 era, says UNAIDS M. Sidibé.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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