The Commonwealth Foundation has released a report warning member states that laws criminalising at risk groups including GLBTs “are seriously increasing peoples’ risk of getting HIV”.

The “Enabling legal environments for effective HIV responses” report was produced by the International HIV & AIDS Alliance and the Commonwealth HIV & AIDS Action Group and calls for “greater leadership from governments and civil society around the Commonwealth to create an enabling environment for those living with HIV and AIDS.”

Commonwealth Director Mark Collins said, “By pushing people living with HIV and AIDS underground, we put their lives and those of others at risk.”

“This report sets out an agenda for change which could make a very real difference for those who remain marginalised, discriminated against and deprived of their rights.”

A majority of Commonwealth countries retain anti-gay laws including Nigeria which retains the death penalty for homosexuality in its northern Muslim states and Uganda which is currently considering its own death penalty bill.

The Commonwealth Foundation is an intergovernmental organisation tasked with strengthening civil society in Commonwealth nations.

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