[health-vn] NEW UN PLAN TO BOOST HIV SERVICES TARGETS GAY MEN AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE
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Sat May 16 05:22:16 EST 2009
Subject: NEW UN PLAN TO BOOST HIV SERVICES TARGETS GAY MEN AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE
Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 14:01:27 -0400
From: UNNews <UNNews at un.org>
To: <news9 at secint00.un.org>
NEW UN PLAN TO BOOST HIV SERVICES TARGETS GAY MEN AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE
New York, May 15 2009 2:01PM
Two United Nations agencies are launching a plan to provide increased
HIV-related information and health services to men who have sex with men and
transgender populations, while stressing the need to make universal access to
treatment, care and support a reality for all.
The initiative, spearheaded by the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS
(<"http://www.unaids.org/en/">UNAIDS) and the UN Development Programme
comes ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia, observed on 17 May.
“The case is clear and urgent,” said Jeffery O’Malley, Director of UNDP’s HIV
group. “If we are going to make universal access for sexual minorities a
meaningful reality, we must work towards ending homophobia and transphobia. We
must address the legal and policy barriers.”
In a news release issued today, the agencies noted that in many parts of the
world, HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men is more than 20 times
higher than in the general population.
In addition, studies show that HIV prevention services reach only one tenth to
one third of people who engage in male homosexual activity. At the same time,
there is growing evidence that the majority of new infections in many urban
areas are among men who have sex with men.
“Yet, these same groups have limited access to HIV-related information and
health services due to discrimination, violence, marginalization and other human
rights violations,” the agencies stated. “In many countries, they still face
criminal sanctions and lack access to justice.”
Paul De Lay, acting Deputy Executive Director at UNAIDS, stressed the need for
rigorous monitoring by countries of the evolution of their epidemics, and for
tailoring national responses to the needs of those most at risk.
“In many settings this will be men who have sex with men,” he said, adding that
responses must be based on local epidemiological and social realities to be
The plan being launched – the UNAIDS Action Framework: Universal Access for Men
who have Sex with Men and Transgender People – outlines several factors that
impede access to HIV services, such as unwillingness on the part of governments
and donors to invest in the sexual health of sexual minorities.
It also sets out how UNAIDS will work towards achieving universal access through
three main objectives – improving human rights, strengthening the evidence base
through better data, and reinforcing capacity and promoting partnerships to
ensure broader and better responses.
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
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