amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, May 17

May 17 marks the eighth International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), an annual day of action to end discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  Hundreds of events around the globe will bring together lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and their supporters to raise awareness and demand respect and equal rights for all .

Eric Castellano
Eric Castellano, president of
In recognition of IDAHO 2012, amfAR’s MSM Initiative will host representatives from two of its Caribbean-based grantee organizations: Eric Castellano, president of Collaborative Network of Persons with HIV in Belize (C-NET+/Belize), and Luke Sinnette, president of Friends for Life in Trinidad and Tobago.  According to UNAIDS, HIV prevalence in the Caribbean is approximately one percent; however, rates amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender individuals are much higher.  amfAR─along with UNAIDS, the United Nations Development Program, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)─has organized two IDAHO events to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among gay men, other men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender individuals in the Caribbean, with a specific focus on how stigma and discrimination impede efforts to reach these marginalized populations. 

Mr. Castellano and Mr. Sinnette will share their experiences and discuss homophobia and transphobia among Caribbean populations in New York City and throughout the Caribbean at a community forum on Tuesday evening May 15 at GMHC.  On May 17, they will participate in a panel discussion with representatives from UN member states to identify strategies for increasing access to HIV services among gay men, other MSM, and transgender individuals.  For additional information about these events, please contact Kent Klindera (

On May 15, in recognition of IDAHO, amfAR is co-sponsoring a panel discussion on strategies for overcoming stigma and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity among Caribbean communities in New York City and the greater Caribbean. For details, click here.

For more information on IDAHO 2012 events around the world, click here