End sodomy laws!

The Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) is renewing its call for an end to sodomy laws, which it said were getting in the way of attaining the goal of 100 per cent treatment for persons living with HIV.

PANCAP Director Dereck Springer said since same sex activities can be penalized by imprisonment under these laws, vulnerable groups such as gays and lesbians were reluctant to come forward to access vital treatment.

“[With] the legislation in many of the countries in the region, same sex relations in private is criminalized. People might be saying, ‘yes it’s criminalized but why would that prevent someone from accessing services particularly when the legislation is not enforced?’

“Just knowing that it is criminalized several of our health care providers and others who encounter, and have to provide services to key members populations like men who have sex with men, take it upon themselves to discriminate because they feel that the law is saying that this is not legal,” Springer told Barbados TODAY.

However, sodomy laws were not the only ones of concern to the regional partnership.

Springer also pointed to laws which allow teenagers at the age of consent, usually 16, to have sex, yet restrict their access to sexual or reproductive health services.

“They cannot access [these] until they are 18 years old. If they are below that they have to be accompanied by their parent or an adult. That prevents many young people from being able to access prevention services,” he stressed.

PANCAP was established by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government in 2001 in response to the threat of HIV to the region’s human development.

It is a partnership of governments, regional civil society organizations, regional institutions and organizations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners.

PANCAP provides a voice to the community and civil society, including people living with HIV and key population groups such as men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who use drugs, migrants and youth, at the highest level of decision making.

In addition, the organization focuses on policy coordination in relation to human rights, advocacy, stigma and discrimination reduction, civil society, harmonization of donors and technical agencies in HIV.

Earlier this year the organization praised Barbados for its efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic here by 2030.

It made special mention of the Ladymeade Reference Unit and the Treat All approach to HIV as programmes the region should emulate.

5 Responses to End sodomy laws!

  1. Dré DeCarlo
    Dré DeCarlo September 27, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    More like amend. Being sodomized (rape) and what two consenting adults do with each other are two different things. You don’t have to agree with homosexuality to know that rape and sex are not the same thing.

    Reply
  2. Kaiser Sose
    Kaiser Sose September 27, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Really that’s the dumbest argument I have ever heard to end sodomy laws really.

    Reply
  3. Cow boy September 28, 2017 at 2:51 am

    Really, that to achieve 100% access to medical treatment is being prohibited by a country’s law? Huh sounds more as those providing healthcare are discriminating.

    Reply
  4. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner September 28, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Frigging b/s argument what do treatment got to do with sodomy laws just another damm backdoor attempt to impost a certain lifestyle on Bajans,let’s be real it’s here and have been here for many moons but trying to change laws is another thing.

    Reply
  5. Thunder September 28, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Just for the record if two people decide to be gay who takes them to court, this is just another attempt to legalise homosexuality in this country,if they are bold enough to be gay,they should be bold enough to access medical care,yet I speak to those who are still in the closet and living the best of both worlds,you are at risk for getting H.I.V and also spreading H.I.V,keep doing your tests,so that you will know if your positive or negative.

    Reply

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