A major report by UNAIDS - the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS - into how Covid-19 public health orders and restrictions on movement have impacted the response to HIV and human rights, has revealed a massive spike in reports of gender-based violence.
In a statement about its report, titled Rights In A Pandemic, UNAIDS said: “A major concern has been safety during lockdowns, particularly for people most affected by HIV including... lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. In many countries, reported incidents of gender-based violence increased by 40 to 70%, with even greater spikes in certain cities and regions. Transgender people were harassed and arrested for leaving their home on the “wrong day” under gendered lockdown policies.”
Commenting on the report’s findings, UNAIDS’ Felicita Hikuam said: "This report is coming at a critical time. Sadly, it seems that we have not learned the lesson HIV has tried to teach us: epidemics expose and exacerbate existing inequities and impact most negatively on those who are already marginalised.”
Image: The cover of UNAIDS' Rights In A Pandemic features Twinkle Paule, a transgender activist who migrated from Guyana to the US two years ago.
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