Punitive laws limit access to HIV prevention and care services in Asia Pacific

Published: May 17, 2010

Punitive laws limit access to HIV prevention and care services in Asia Pacific

Hong Kong – More than 90 percent of men having sex with men in the Asia Pacific region do not have access to HIV prevention and care services. HIV prevalence has reached alarming levels among men who have sex with men and transgender populations in many countries of Asia and the Pacific. If countries fail to address the legal context of the epidemic, this already critical situation is likely to become worse. The implementation of effective, human rights-based national HIV responses requires governments to consider the effect of laws and law enforcement practices on the health of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender persons.

Coinciding with the International Day against Homophobia, this warning came as a key finding in the report on “Laws affecting HIV responses among men who have sex with men and transgender persons in Asia and the Pacific: an agenda for action”. This forthcoming report with its key findings were reviewed today during the “High Level Dialogue on Punitive laws, Human rights and HIV prevention among men who have sex with men in the Asia Pacific Region” convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) and the Center for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) at the Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong.  

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