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COVID-19 and the Human Rights of LGBTI People

United Nations Human Rights
Office of the High Commissioner

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people may be particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. People living with compromised immune systems, including some persons living with HIV/AIDS, face a greater risk from COVID-19. Homeless persons, a population that includes many LGTBI people, are less able to protect themselves through physical distancing and safe hygiene practices, increasing their exposure to contagion.

LGBTI people regularly experience stigma and discrimination while seeking health services, leading to disparities in access, quality and availability of healthcare. Laws that criminalize same sex relations or that target trans persons due to their gender identity or expression, exacerbate negative health outcomes for LGBTI people, as they may not access healthcare services for fear of arrest or violence. Examples of health care discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression have been extensively documented in many countries. This discrimination can elevate the risk for LGBTI people from COVID-19.

To access the complete syllabus, please click on the online version of the COVID-19 and the Human Rights of LGBTI People report.

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