Excerpt of statement by Dr. César Núñez, UNAIDS Latin America and Caribbean Regional Support Team Director:
[IDAHOT] comes at a critical time for Latin America and the Caribbean. This year the world started its 15-year journey toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with their emphasis on dignity, equality and security for all. Yet recent events in the region demonstrate that entire communities remain degraded, discriminated against and excluded.
[...]Here’s an idea of the fallout. According to UNESCO almost half of LGBT students in Latin America do not finish secondary school. Global AIDS Response Progress Report data show that in some countries HIV rates among men who have sex with men and transgender women are as much as twenty times the national average. Globally, there were more than 1300 reported killings of transgender people between 2008 and 2013. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights notes that four of every five such murders occurred in this region.
Discrimination increases the vulnerability of entire communities by driving them away from life-saving services like health. Our words, actions and attitudes really do hurt. We have learned over the last three decades that HIV is not just about sex. Social exclusion, gender-based violence, poverty, unemployment and unmet health needs are among the contributing factors. Read his full statement via UNAIDS Caribbean