ARASA and SADC PF to host Regional Policy Dialogue on Increasing Access to HIV and SRHR Services for LGBTI persons 01 - 02 April

Posted by Mutaleni on March 30, 2015

The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) and the Southern Africa Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) will be hosting a regional policy dialogue on ‘Increasing Access to HIV and SRHR Services for LGBTI persons’ from 1 to 2 April 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons in southern Africa face disproportionately high rates of HIV, with studies showing 10 to 50% prevalence amongst men who have sex with men in South Africa, 21% in Blantyre and Lilongwe, Malawi and 20% in Gaborone, Botswana. They also have limited access to sexual and reproductive health services due to various factors, including the lack of an enabling social, legal and policy environment. The Regional Policy Meeting on Increasing Access to HIV and SRHR Services for LGBTI persons will bring together policy makers, government representatives, parliamentarians, representatives from civil society and LGBTI community representatives from 10 countries in southern Africa

The objectives of this meeting are to:

1. Assess progress made in the implementation of commitments made by governments (including the AU Roadmap, ICPD and other critical regional instruments and Declarations) to increase access to HIV and SRHR related services for all populations, including LGBTI persons;

2. Identify opportunities, challenges and gaps in implementing regional human rights standards and political declarations such as African Commission on Human and People’s Rights Resolution 275 on Protection against Violence and other Human Rights Violations against Persons on the basis of their real or imputed Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity as well as the AU Roadmap; and

3. Explore progress made over the past year at regional and national levels in southern Africa in addressing barriers to access to HIV and SRH for LGBTI persons, and facilitate sharing of good practices and lessons learned in regards to removing barriers and increasing access to quality HIV and SRH services for LGBTI persons;

We will be live tweeting during the meeting so please connect with us on Twitter @ _ARASAcomms for updates on the meeting.