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23-Oct-2019 08:51

Human Rights Watch, Hated to Death: Homophobia, Violence, and Jamaica's HIV/AIDS Epidemic, 16 November 2004, B1606, available at: https:// 1 September 2019] Jamaica's growing HIV/AIDS epidemic is unfolding in the context of widespread violence and discrimination against people living with and at high risk of HIV/AIDS, especially men who have sex with men. Many Jamaicans believe that HIV/AIDS is a disease of homosexuals and sex workers whose "moral impurity" makes them vulnerable to it, or that HIV is transmitted by casual contact. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Gender identity: a person's internal, deeply felt sense of being male or female, or something other than or in between male and female.

Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States. Heterosexual: a person attracted primarily to people of the opposite sex.

LGBT: lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; an inclusive term for groups and identities sometimes also associated together as "sexual minorities." Men who have sex with men: men who engage in sexual behavior with other men, but do not necessarily identify as "gay," "homosexual" or "bisexual." Sexual orientation: the way in which a person's sexual and emotional desires are directed.

The term categorizes according to the sex of the object of desire – that is, it describes whether a person is attracted primarily toward people of the same or opposite sex, or to both.

Jamaica's growing HIV/AIDS epidemic is unfolding in the context of widespread violence and discrimination against people living with and at high risk of HIV/AIDS, especially men who have sex with men. Many Jamaicans believe that HIV/AIDS is a disease of homosexuals and sex workers whose "moral impurity" makes them vulnerable to it, or that HIV is transmitted by casual contact.

Pervasive and virulent homophobia, coupled with fear of the disease, impedes access to HIV prevention information, condoms, and health care.

In a 2003 case, a police officer told a person living with HIV/AIDS that he must be homosexual and threatened to kill him if he did not "move [his] AIDS self from here." Discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica poses serious barriers to obtaining necessary medical care.

In interviews with people living with HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Watch found that health workers often mistreated people living with HIV/AIDS, providing inadequate care and sometimes denying treatment altogether.

Such actions violate fundamental rights to privacy and also drive people living with HIV away from services.Both state and private actors join violent threats against gay men with threats against HIV/AIDS educators and people living with HIV/AIDS.