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PAHO Resolution On Health Disparities For LGBT Community A ‘Huge Victory’

“At the annual meeting of the Pan American Health Organization [in October], delegates from governments throughout the region unanimously passed a resolution [titled] ‘Addressing the Causes of Disparities in Health Service Access and Utilization for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Persons,’” HHS Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs Nils Daulaire writes in the Huffington Post’s “Gay Voices” blog. “By passing this resolution, health authorities in the Americas have pledged to promote equal access to health services for those in the LGBT community, taking into account the widespread stigma, discrimination, and persecution experienced by many in the population,” he states, adding, “This is a huge victory, as approval of the resolution marks the first time any United Nations body taken steps to address discrimination in the health sector against LGBT persons.”

“Unequal treatment against LGBT people exists both in and outside of the health sector in the Americas region,” Daulaire continues. “This resolution will improve norms and standards in the Americas to promote equal access to health services for all people” and “also creates an important precedent for other World Health Organization (WHO) regional bodies as well as for WHO itself,” he states. “The U.S. government stands firm in our resolve to capitalize on this significant step forward for LGBT health” and “will continue our work at WHO to raise these issues,” he writes, and concludes, “I am proud of the leadership role the United States continues to play to advance LGBT nondiscrimination, and we will continue to push ahead to provide equal and quality health outcomes for all citizens of the world” (11/12).