Summary of event: Achieving the right to health of LGBTI people
On 6 November 2013, ILGA-Europe co-organised a high-level hearing on the challenges and obstacles lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people face in the field of health and healthcare, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS. Among the speakers were EU Health Commissioner, Tonio Borg; Luiz Loures, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director and Laurette Onkelinx, Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health, Belgium.
Stigma and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity on the one hand, as well as HIV status on the other hand remain rampant and mutually reinforce one another. It affects access to health services, and the outcome of treatment. Homophobia, transphobia and HIV-related stigma are correlated with late testing, less effective treatment of HIV, as well as longer periods of high infectiousness.
But how can policy address these barriers to ensure LGBTI people’s right to health? During this hearing leading European policy-makers, experts, LGBTI human rights activists and HIV/AIDS organisations discussed the dual and intertwined health and human rights crisis, and how it should be addressed.