Durban Pride will be celebrating legal equality for the South African Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) communities on Saturday, 29 June at Gugu Dlamini Park from 10am.

LGBTQ will be remembering the lives lost to hate crimes, discrimination and stigma, and expressing resistance to and outrage over violence against it’s community.

The global leaders in HIV care, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), are headline sponsors of Durban Pride for the second consecutive year, reaffirming their commitment to ‘Keep the promise’ to the LGBTQ community.

“We recently celebrated the decriminalisation of consensual same-sex relations in Botswana. This battle is part of the larger war that still rages, as 29 African nations consider same-sex relations as unlawful. These laws make it harder to combat HIV because people are afraid to ask for help for fear of prosecution. That is why AHF is supporting Durban Pride.

“HIV continues to disproportionately affect trans people and men who have sex with men and AHF wants to make sure that members of the LGBTQ community have access to stigma-free HIV prevention, treatment and care,” said Hilary Thulare, AHF South Africa, country programme director.

“AHF keeps the promise to the LGBTQ community to ensure stigma-free healthcare for all. We stand together with the community against homophobia and discrimination. Phrases used in the media like ‘sexual preference’ perpetuate the mistaken belief that being gay is a choice. It isn’t. People with diverse gender identities and sexual orientations must be welcomed in our healthcare facilities and treated with dignity. AHF commits to doing just that,” said Larissa Klazinga, regional policy and advocacy manager, AHF South Africa. The march is open to all citizens.