Debrief

Young activists bring HIV back on the agenda of the LGBTI movement in Europe

17 July 2014

The high and increasing burden in Europe of HIV among gay men and other men who have sex with men and transgender women and the implications for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people was discussed at the consultation Nothing for Us Without Us—Unleashing Youth Leadership to Address the Challenge of HIV and LGBTQI Rights in Europe, organized jointly by UNAIDS, ILGA-Europe and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation in Geneva on 15 and 16 July.

Participants

Twenty LGBTI rights activists aged between 18 and 30 years from European countries attended the consultation.

Key messages

  • Across Europe the dual and intertwined crisis of HIV and human rights affecting gay men and other men who have sex with men, as well as transgender people, persists.
  • Young gay men and other men who have sex with men are particularly affected by a new wave of HIV infections in the past decade in many European countries. This is also affecting gay men and other men who have sex with men who live in rural areas and smaller cities and who were previously at lower risk.
  • The LGBTI rights movement has a significant potential to leverage its momentum and regain its role as a strong political voice and a force for the HIV response.

The HIV response must be anchored in a broader agenda for health, equality and inclusion of LGBTI people.

Quotes

"The new generation of activists is experiencing a remarkable political and public support of human rights of LGBTI people in Europe, but the legacy of the movement must be revived to confront the expanding HIV epidemics and support the growing number of gay men and transgender people living with HIV."

Tim Martineau, Director, UNAIDS Executive Office

Quotes

"Nothing for us without us! The dual crisis of HIV and human rights of LGBTQI people in Europe can only be solved with the full involvement of the LGBTQI movement."

Sophie Aujean, ILGA-Europe

Quotes

"Whilst HIV is now no longer a death sentence, and can be managed with one pill a day, it's no walk in the park. The complications, side-effects and social stigma can be unbearable."

Tom Hayes, beyondpositive