Russia Leads Effort To Strip Decriminalization Of Homosexuality From UN Resolution

Russia, Iran, Poland, and several Gulf states successfully got the wording removed from the statement.

Russia led efforts to remove language calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality worldwide from a UN resolution last week.

As world leaders, activists and medical experts gathered at the High-Level Meeting To End AIDS, the push is to reframe the pandemic as a human rights issue as part of the campaign to stop AIDS globally by 2030.

We have the resources to stop new infections and keep HIV-positive people healthy, but stigma—both cultural and legal—is still a major barrier.

The former Soviet Union was joined by Poland, Iran and several other Middle East countries in insisting that language calling for the end of anti-LGBT laws be stricken from the resolution.

The Russian delegation also balked at calls for needle-exchange programs, even though most HIV transmission in Russia is linked to intravenous drug use.

Health official Dilyara Ravilova-Borovik insisted governments have a "sovereign right" to decide their own public health strategy.

According to Radio Free Europe, Russia sought other changes in the resolution, but they were rejected over fears it would allow countries with anti-LGBT laws to deny antiretroviral treatment to gay men.

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