State Department objects to Tanzania LGBT persecution without noting health impacts; IAS delineates damage to HIV responses

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The U.S. Department of State today issued an expression of concern over Tanzanian government actions targeting its LGBT population, noting that the violence, oppression and intimidation recently unleashed “inhibits development, economic prosperity, peace and security.” Missing from those cited global goals is health, although health is a driver of all of them, while discrimination, bias, stigma, criminalization, violence and institutionalized barriers to services are recognized threats to health and drivers of significant disease burden.

The International AIDS Society fills the gap in a statement signed by its governing council of regional representatives, citing the direct impacts of a deteriorating rights environment that includes the closure of HIV clinics, and citing the disproportionate impact of the epidemic on men who have sex with men in Tanzania. The statement notes that the government’s current actions run counter to its commitment to control the epidemic by 2030, including its own stated intention to reach more of its most marginalized people with comprehensive, proven and effective health services.

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