Surge in anti-gay laws in Africa imperil progress on HIV/AIDS, experts say

The International AIDS Society (IAS) and UNAIDS are condemning Ghana’s parliament for passing legislation that would criminalize homosexuality. IAS president Sharon Lewin stated that this law, along with similar ones in Africa, would hinder progress in ending the HIV pandemic. Research shows that anti-gay laws are linked to lower use of HIV preventive services and a higher prevalence of HIV among gay men in jurisdictions where homosexuality is criminalized. The IAS and UNAIDS are urging governments to collaborate with vulnerable communities instead of criminalizing them, as such laws can have detrimental effects on public health efforts.

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