Watch a short video featuring three MSMGF Steering Committee Members from Sub-Saharan Africa: Samuel Matsikure, Joel Nana and Paul Semugoma, released on World AIDS Day, 2011. This is the first clip from a forthcoming series of regional profiles.
The MSMGF encourages you to share your thoughts – upload your video here!
Universal human rights are essential to an effective global response to HIV. The videos, testimonials, reports and resources collected on this page illustrate the range of individual-level complexities and major overarching priorities necessary to ensure that laws and policies facilitate access to HIV services for men who have sex with men (MSM).
It is critical that advocacy to address laws and policies moves forward in a manner that is respectful of and focused on the priorities identified by gay men and other MSM as informed by their local, national, legal, socio-cultural and political strategies and realities. In all cases, we must acknowledge, honor and respect local human rights movements, which may adopt a broad range of goals and strategies that are specific to local conditions.
In some places around the world, work is underway to repeal punitive laws that criminalize homosexuality and HIV non-disclosure, exposure or transmission. This is deeply challenging work in countries where governments are silent or hostile to human rights campaigning, but it is fundamental to our collective humanity and to advancing effective programming to address HIV.
Policy makers, parliamentarians and advocates should take necessary steps to:
1) Repeal laws that criminalize or punish consensual same-sex behaviors among adults, preferred gender identities and non-conforming gender expressions so that everyone, irrespective of sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender identity or gender expression can realize their basic health and human rights, including access to HIV-related and other health services without fear of ridicule, blackmail, harassment, arrest or violence.
2) Repeal laws that criminalize HIV non-disclosure, exposure or transmission, which are often used as proxies for human rights abuses against gay men and other MSM and which have absolutely no public health value.
It is important to note that the repeal of punitive laws is not in itself a pre-requisite for the advocacy work necessary to ensure equitable access to HIV and health-related services. Both are important and should be realized along a trajectory that makes sense at the country level as determined by local advocacy movements.
The MSMGF submitted a Specialist Submission to the Global Commission on HIV and the Law on September 30, 2011. This written submission attempts to detail the ways in which legal barriers undermine public health responses to HIV among gay men and other MSM worldwide. It also provides a roadmap for how legal responses can address the health and human rights of MSM when countered by such barriers. To read the report, click here.
The Global Commission on HIV and the Law was formally launched in June 2010 by UNDP on behalf of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. The Commission is charged with developing actionable and evidence-informed recommendations for effective HIV responses that respect the human rights of people living with HIV and those most vulnerable to it. The Commission will focus on some of the most challenging legal and human rights issues in the context of HIV.
To ensure that it is informed by and responding to country needs and perspectives, the Commission hosted a series of Regional Dialogues. The Regional Dialogues are an important opportunity for the voices of civil society affected by human rights issues related to HIV to be heard. Regional dialogues were held in seven world regions. Click on the following links to the access each of the Regional Dialogue web pages:
For further information visit the website for the Global Commission on HIV and the Law at: www.hivlawcommission.org
Documentation of MSM experiences with HIV and the Law
MSMGF advocacy on MSM, HIV and the Law in other arenas