Global Fund welcomes U.N. campaign for LGBT equality

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced on Friday that it welcomed a United Nations decision to launch a global public education campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights launched the Free & Equal campaign in an attempt to raise awareness of transphobic and homophobic discrimination and violence and to encourage greater respect for the rights of LGBT individuals.

"This campaign will help remove obstacles that are fueling the spread of the three diseases and affecting the ability of LGBT people across the world to access health care," Marijke Wijnroks, the chief of staff of the Global Fund, said. "Discrimination, inequality and violence towards LGBT people only contribute to the HIV, TB and malaria epidemics. A freer and more equal world means a world with better health."

The Global Fund recognizes the significance of attempts to stop inequality and sigma faced by transgender, bisexual, gay and lesbian people around the world to fight malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. LGBT individuals face disproportionate rates of HIV infection.

The Global Fund supports policies and strategies that remove human rights barriers to health services, in particular for the most vulnerable.