Press statement

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Message from UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé

GENEVA, 14 May 2012—In the last year, we have seen greater acceptance of diversity. A new dialogue of openness and tolerance has emerged.

Yet in 79 countries, territories and areas, we still have laws that criminalize same-sex relations between consenting adults. These laws are serious barriers to an effective AIDS response and are driving lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people underground where they cannot access life-saving services.

A society’s value should not be based on money or power. It must be measured by the way it values people, regardless of their sexual orientation or social status. A prosperous society is one that ensures inclusiveness and respects all people.

To our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friends, UNAIDS stands with you.

Your engagement is essential to achieving our vision of Zero new HIV infections, Zero discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.

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Sophie Barton-Knott
tel. +41 79 514 6894