Location: Zoom
Date: November 15, 2023

At the start of the AIDS epidemic, most countries in the world criminalized same-sex sexuality. As of this year, 129 countries — two thirds of states — do not criminalize same-sex sex, representing a significant reversal. However, despite this critical milestone, anti-LGBTQ+ persecution is on the rise in some countries, undermining progress to end AIDS.

Recognizing the key role that activists and advocates have played in driving progress against criminalization, we are pleased to invite community members to join the O’Neill Institute, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), Uganda Key Populations Consortium (UKPC), and the Centre for Health Equity Law & Policy (C-HELP) for a conversation on “Progress and the Peril: HIV and the Global Decriminalization of Same-sex Sex,” the new HIV Policy Lab report.

Experts will discuss the recent historic decriminalization of same-sex sex, the link between decriminalization and progress in the global AIDS/HIV response, and the troubling reverse trend of anti-LGBTQ+ laws, prosecution, and discrimination. Drawing from case studies, the panel will also focus on the legal pathways that countries can pursue to decriminalize same-sex sex.

The event will include a Q&A for community members to ask questions.


– Matthew Kavanagh, Director, Center for Global Health Policy & Politics, O’Neill Institute; Department of Global Health, School of Health, Georgetown University
– Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director, HIV and Health Group, UNDP
– Florence Riako Anam, Co-Executive Director, GNP+
– Umunyana Rugege, Head of Human Rights, UNAIDS
– Richard Lusimbo, Director General, UKPC
– Vivek Divan, Head and Coordinator, C-HELP