I want to share with you two dramatic contradictions in the fight against HIV. In the U.S., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has set a groundbreaking agenda for the recognition of the equal human rights of gay, bisexual and transgender people. Her speech on this issue can be accessed in full here.
In Uganda, a bill that would make the death sentence mandatory for gay ‘repeat offenders’ has been reintroduced in the Uganda parliament.
This issue is critical to us at the Foundation because men who have sex with men are up to 20 times more likely to contract HIV, but much less likely to know they are infected or to access proper medical treatment. This means they are more likely to get sick, and to unknowingly pass on the virus. Rates of undiagnosed infection are much higher amongst the 37 African countries where homosexuality is illegal.
Our position is simple: no one should be punished for their sexuality or excluded the opportunity to save their life and the lives of others. Demonising homosexuality drives HIV infection underground and puts more lives at risk.
I urge you to watch Hilary Clinton’s speech, and listen to David’s interview with Gaydar radio in the UK about how we are funding efforts to reduce the numbers of undiagnosed gay men living with HIV in the UK.
Banishing the stigma associated with HIV is the only way we will truly make the work AIDS free.
Thank you for your support.