Referring to the discrimination and stigma that still continues to exist in health services centers towards the LGBTI community in Rwanda, especially in the Eastern province; mainly in districts that share boarders with countries like Uganda, and Tanzania where homosexuality is criminalized. Like Uganda where they are preparing a project to put in place a death penal code law in criminalizing homosexuality, this triggers and provokes hatred and increases stigma and discrimination at a evel that impacts LGBTI community in Rwanda where in health facilities stigma and discrimination is escalating by putting in danger community lives and also increases new infections of HIV/AIDS .
Hope and Care organization, is meanly focusing on doing advocacy for people who live with HIV, who are within the LGBTI community and help them to access antiretroviral (ARV) HIV drugs.
After the sensitization training against stigma and discrimination through human rights awareness, that has been conducted by Hope and Care with support of Frontline AIDS, One of the trainees from HIV services delivering at one of district health center in eastern province, argues that she is ready to treat any LGBTI individual without any kind of discrimination ,she continues saying she now acknowledges that being attracted to the same sex individual is not a mental illness and that isolating them from enjoying services puts their lives in jeopardize and is spreading new infections of HIV/AIDS, She continues by calling on her fellow health care providers to change their perception and stop harassing LGBTI community , and requested Hope and Care organization to continue their wonderful program of sensitizing service providers in different sectors including other health care centers in other parts of the country because they do not have enough information about the LGBTI community, that’s why they continue with stereotype stereotyping the community. Similar activities will reduce stigma and discrimination against the LGBTI community.
This remarkable activity brought joy inside the LGBTI community of the district, now that the organization is conducting a very important training in sensitizing health care providers to draw a way again into access health services at health care centers in their district, including HIV AIDS screening, taking antiretroviral (ARV) HIV drugs to people who live with HIV and counseling as other citizen for now that facilities are stigma and discrimination free.
Hope and Care Executive directory is thankful for the support from Frontline AIDS that strengthened HAC (Hope and Care) mission in the fight against HIV/AIDS especially inside LGBTI community, where they meet stigma and discrimination during times they need health care services ,as a domino effect those who are in need of antiretroviral (ARV) they stay off follow up ,and encourages new infections.
The executive Director with a closing remark of the day, argued that “here and today, is not the end of the training, but the starting activities of Hope And care where we are to seek funds and hands of many people to reach and sensitize service providers to help the LGBTI community to access health services and other sectors free from stigma and discrimination, We are thankful for Frontline AIDS for their help Hope and Care to realize this activity, and we look forward working together on these successful projects.” By NIZEYIMANA Selemani HAC Executive Director.