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GCWA: Statement on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) 2014

16 May, 2014

17 May marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). On this day, and every day, the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) stands firmly against all forms of injustice and prejudice towards the LGBTI community.

It is unacceptable that in 2014, stigma and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is widespread - propagated by homophobic laws in 78 countries. Criminalization and discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity is catastrophic in the context of HIV. Social division, inequality, and exclusion undermine key populations' ability to access care and treatment, violates their human rights and increases their risk of contracting HIV.

No one should be marginalized on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people have courageously incited a social revolution to secure that human rights are everybody's rights. We must stand together, calling for the upholding of rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The GCWA supports the IDAHO Committee’s efforts to secure freedom of expression for those marginalised on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity, and implores our membership and supporters to appeal for much-needed improvements of gender identity recognition laws worldwide.

Harmful cultural norms, and gender and sexuality-based violence obstruct the social transformations that are needed to reduce HIV infections. It is crucial that we recognize the need for change and speak out alongside the LGBTI community, as silence only fuels the invisibility of lesbians, gays, transgender women and men, bisexuals and intersex in the HIV response.

Together, we can push forward to eliminate the forces that put key populations at risk of HIV, and to secure health and human rights for all.

Please join the movement at