Press statement

UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima responds to the passage of the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill in Ghana’s parliament

Responding to the passage of the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill in Ghana’s parliament, UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said:

“The Human Sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, a private member’s bill passed by parliament, has not yet become a law in Ghana. 

If the bill does become a law, it will affect everyone. 

Ghana is respected as a stable country where the rule of law prevails, a member of the Human Rights Council, and a global leader in fighting inequality. African values and principles of Ubuntu, dignity, non-discrimination, equality, empathy, protection from violence and care for each other shaped Ghana’s independence struggles, and have continued to be at the heart of Ghana’s society and constitutional democracy. Approaches rooted in inclusion of all people have been crucial to Ghana’s progress in the HIV response. To achieve the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, it is vital to ensure that everyone has equal access to essential services without fear, stigma or discrimination, and that providers of life-saving HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care services are supported in their work.  

If Human Sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill becomes a law, it will exacerbate fear and hatred, could incite violence against fellow Ghanaian citizens, and will negatively impact on free speech, freedom of movement and freedom of association.

If it becomes law, it will obstruct access to life-saving services, undercut social protection, and jeopardize Ghana’s development success.

Evidence shows that punitive laws like this Bill are a barrier to ending AIDS, and ultimately undermine everyone’s health.”


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


Sophie Barton-Knott
tel. +41 79 514 6896
Michael Hollingdale
tel. +41 79 500 2119

Press centre