LGBTQ Africa Initiative

A Matter of Life and Death: African LGBTQ Organizations Tackle HIV & AIDS in Perilous Times

Support community-based LGBTQ organizationsLGBTQ communities in sub-Saharan African countries are under attack. In country after country, they are persecuted, discriminated against, harassed, beaten, jailed, subjected to ‘corrective rape’, and their very lives are criminalized and threatened. In 34 out of 54 countries in Africa, laws are maintained that criminalize consensual sex between men, and 24 maintain laws that apply to women.

It is against this backdrop of hostility and violence that LGBTQ communities struggle to survive, to claim and secure their Human Rights, to live with dignity and without fear, and to address the scourge of HIV & AIDS.

African LGBTQ organizations are engaged in one of the most urgent Human Rights struggles today.

They work with tenacity and courage to combat discrimination and stigma, using the law and advocacy to claim their Human Rights. They deliver life-saving services: from mobile HIV clinics, to peer support groups and care for HIV positive members of their community. They often have to use ‘code numbers’ to identify clients and members, in order to protect them from being identified and subjected to harassment, detainment or beatings, and store staff information (CVs, names, and so on) offsite, to preserve anonymity and security in case their offices are raided. And in the midst of the struggle, despite inadequate resources and real danger, indefatigable activists simply refuse to give up on the struggle for freedom and justice.

The SLF is determined to stand with them.

With your support for this urgent initiative, $1 million over the first 2 years will ensure 25 LGBTQ communities receive critical support for HIV & AIDS prevention, counselling, testing, treatment support, psychosocial and nutritional support, as well as healthcare outreach, and vital anti-stigma work.

About the SLF's LGBTQ Africa Initiative

The Stephen Lewis Foundation is responding with a sense of urgency to the need for HIV & AIDS services for LGBTQ communities in sub-Saharan Africa with the LGBTQ Africa Initiative, launched in 2017.

Many LGBTQ organizations are, by necessity, forced into the position of using the majority of their budget on the struggle for Human Rights and on security. This leaves critical HIV & AIDS services for their vulnerable populations severely under-resourced.

The SLF’s LGBTQ Africa Initiative will ensure that determined and courageous LGBTQ organizations are able to provide their communities with desperately needed programmes and services by:

  • Providing funding for life-saving and life-enhancing HIV & AIDS-related programmes run by these grassroots organizations
  • Providing operational/administrative costs for organizations to support their security and sustainability
  • Providing opportunities for peer-to-peer mentoring, learning, and strategizing in a safe environment for all participating community-based LGBTQ organizations, and
  • Providing emergency resources for organizations that need support in order to continue their work

Act Now to Support African LGBTQ Organizations!

Help us reach our goal! Your contribution will have a concrete and vital impact in the lives of LGBTQ communities in Africa on the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic.

Here's how to get involved:

  • Make a contribution to the LGBTQ Africa Initiative (make the selection in the 'Fund Allocation' dropdown)
  • Organize a fundraiser in your community
  • Mobilize and inspire your networks for increased support

If you would like to explore ideas about how to get involved, please contact


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