Since we first started in 1986, STOPAIDS has advocated for a human rights-based approach to ending AIDS. We have particularly focused on promoting the human rights of key population groups who are disproportionately impacted by HIV including men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people and people who use drugs.
To end AIDS as a public health threat, we need to tackle the inequalities that fuel HIV transmissions and AIDS related deaths. Key population groups face high levels of stigma, discrimination and violence. The criminalisation that key populations often face exposes people to hate crimes, police abuse, torture and family violence. Globally 65% of new HIV infections are among key populations and their sexual partners.
In line with supporting efforts to realise the Global AIDS Strategy, which aims to reduce these inequalities that drive the AIDS epidemic and prioritise people who are not yet accessing life-saving HIV services, STOPAIDS undertakes work to reduce HIV-related structural barriers. This includes our work to:
Advancing LGBT+ rights
With the risk of acquiring HIV globally 25 times higher amongst men who have sex with men, and 34 times higher for transgender women, HIV remains one of the greatest healthcare challenges for LGBT+ communities.
69 countries, almost half being Commonwealth jurisdictions, have laws that criminalise same-sex sexual activity. Until LGBT+ identities are fully decriminalised, these communities will continue to have a heightened vulnerability to acquiring HIV.
STOPAIDS is proud to be members of The UK Alliance for Global Equality – a coalition of UK based civil society organisations working together to promote and support progress in global LGBT+ rights. By working together with other organisations who are part of the coalition, the U.K Alliance for Global Equality uses its collective resources and influence to promote the human rights and equality of LGBT+ individuals and communities outside the UK, to end persecution and discrimination.
Decriminalisation and support for community led services
STOPAIDS supports the reform of legislation that hinders our HIV response and fuels inequalities. This includes supporting the decriminalisation of the transmission of HIV, LGBT+ identities and sex work. In 2019 STOPAIDS published its Position Paper on supporting the full decriminalisation of sex work and looks forward to continue to support the sex workers’ movement that lead this work.
Despite key populations and their partners accounting for more than half of all the new HIV transmissions globally, research from Aidsfonds highlights that only 2% of money for HIV programmes targets these communities. Through our advocacy workstream on access to and funding for HIV services, STOPAIDS is committed to supporting resource mobilisation for the Robert Carr Fund and ensuring greater funding for community-led HIV programmes.
The Global Fund
Through our work with the Global Fund, there is an unwavering focus on achieving health equity, solidarity and meeting the needs of key, vulnerable and poorest populations wherever they are.
The Global Fund prioritises and strengthens its work on human rights and gender, helping to dismantle structural barriers and protect human rights by using its political voice, funding and championing community and civil society led initiatives that monitor and advocate for human rights, and by recognising the shifting landscapes that threaten human rights, such as digital health transformation and narrowing civic space.