Progress and the Peril: HIV and the Global De/criminalization of Same-Sex Sex
24 November 2023
Progress and the Peril: HIV and Global De/criminalization of Same-Sex Sex documents the reversal on laws criminalizing same-sex sex in the context of the HIV pandemic. The joint report by Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) explores this ongoing global trend toward decriminalization, with more countries removing punitive laws in 2022 than in any single year in the past 25 years. Just a decade ago, the landmark Global Commission on HIV and the Law report called on countries to repeal criminalizing laws undermining the AIDS response - today 129 out of the world's 194 countries tracked by the HIV Policy Lab do not criminalize same-sex sex. While providing caution amidst a dangerous countertrend toward harsher criminalization and anti-LGBTI+ legislation in some countries, the report includes case studies on decriminalization in Angola, Mauritius, Singapore, Botswana, India, Cook Islands, Gabon and Antigua and Barbuda, demonstrating that progress is possible across a range of contexts. The data and case studies from the report suggest important lessons for the AIDS response. They underscore the impact of investing in policy-change and law-reform efforts of decriminalisation. These efforts will be critical to deliver on HIV-related SDGs, the 10-10-10 targets of the 2021 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS and the commitment to reach those furthest behind.