Parliamentary Hearing: Achieving the right to health of LGBTI people

06/11/2013 -06/11/2013
The LGBT Intergroup, the Working-group on reproductive health, HIV-AIDS and development in the European Parliament, UNAIDS and ILGA-Europe

Parliamentary Hearing: Achieving the right to health of LGBTI people

How can we reverse the HIV, health and human rights crisis affecting LGBTI people in Europe?

WHEN? Wednesday 6 November 2013, 15:30 – 17:30 (coffee served from 15:00)

WHERE? European Parliament, Altiero Spinelli, 3G2, Brussels

Chaired by Michael Cashman CBE, MEP


  • Tom Hayes, young HIV+ activist
  • Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy
  • Luiz Loures, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director
  • Laurette Onkelinx, Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health, Belgium

Panel debate:

  • Morten Kjaerum, Director, Fundamental Rights Agency
  • Ferenc Bagyinszky, European AIDS Treatment Group, Hungary
  • Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director, ILGA-Europe
  • Trans activist (tbc)

In Europe and beyond the LGBTI rights movement is making headway, pushing successfully for decriminalisation of homosexuality, antidiscrimination legislation and recognition of marriages and partnerships of same-sex partners in many countries. In spite of the progress, major gaps and challenges remain, including in achieving the right to health and addressing the specific and diverse health needs of LGBTI people. Across Europe, the dual and intertwined crisis of HIV and human rights among gay and bisexual men as well as transgender people persists. There are indications of a resurgence of the epidemic among gay communities in the western parts of Europe, and a strong growth rate of 25-35% of the epidemic in the eastern and south-eastern parts of Europe. Studies among transgender women in Europe indicate a very high prevalence of HIV. Stigma and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity as well as HIV status remain rampant. The double and mutually reinforcing stigmas also affects access to health services and treatment outcomes – homophobia, transphobia and HIV related stigma are correlated with late testing, less effective treatment of HIV and thereby also longer periods of high infectiousness.

This hearing will bring together leading European policy makers, experts, LGBTI human rights activists and HIV organizations for a discussion on how the dual health and human rights crisis can and should be addressed. How can LGBTI communities again become mobilized to address HIV and HIV stigma? How can barriers of stigma and discrimination be addressed to ensure the right to health and other human rights for LGBT people? What can the EU do? What is the role of governments? What are the roles of civil society, respectively LGBTI organizations and HIV and Health organizations?

Objectives of the event:

  • Assess and raise awareness about health inequalities and higher risks of HIV infection faced by LGBTI people in the EU and its neighbouring countries.
  • In the context of the new vision of ending AIDS, discuss strategies to:
    • radically impact and reverse the resurgence of HIV among LGBTI people, and in particular, gay men and trans persons in western parts of Europe and the strong growth of the epidemic in the Eastern and South Eastern European Member States and neighbouring countries.
    • remove barriers of HIV stigma, homophobia and transphobia for access to testing and treatment
    • support the empowerment and mobilization of LGBTI communities in response to HIV
  • Clarify the roles, responsibilities and leadership required from EU institutions, governments and civil society organizations

Please register by 30 October by contacting Renaud Savignat at - +32 2 2847759. If you need an access badge to the European Parliament, please indicate your name, surname, date of birth, nationality and passport number.

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