HIV treatment ‘hindered by anti-gay laws’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Treatment for HIV around the world is being hindered by anti-gay laws, an independent report says.

The Global Commission on HIV and the Law said that countries were wasting valuable resources by pursuing “archaic” laws against gay people.

The commission’s chair, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who is the former president of Brazil, said: “Too many countries waste vital resources by enforcing archaic laws that ignore science and perpetuate stigma.

“We have a chance to free future generations from the threat of HIV. We cannot allow injustice and intolerance to undercut this progress.”

More than 70 countries around the world still criminalise homosexuality. A handful punish gay sex with the death penalty.

The commission also pointed to more than 60 countries which have laws criminalising HIV. According to the commission, these laws deter people from coming forward for HIV testing. In the US, 34 states retain such laws.

Other concerns included a lack of help for injecting drug users, female genital mutilation and laws against prostitution and sex education.

The commission includes former heads of state and HIV experts. More than 30 million people worldwide are thought to be living with HIV.