Estimated Total Population:

17.25 million

World Bank, 2018

Estimated SGM Population:



Estimated Total SGM Adult Population:



Estimated % of SGM Adults (18+):



There is little research done into the sexual and gender minorities living in Guatemala and even less that is not related to HIV. The culture in Guatemala is shaped largely by religion, mostly Catholic and Protestant, which leads to discrimination towards sexual and gender minorities who have little to no protection under the law. Despite this, LGBTQ+ people in Guatemala have slowly gained support, and in 2018 Guatemala was bound by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling to recognize same-sex marriage. The Catholic church in Guatemala has, however, been outspoken about its opposition to this ruling. Political groups in Guatemala reflect the conservative, religious beliefs held by many in the country. Even the more liberal parties tend to dismiss LGBTQ+ rights and remain largely silent on the issue. A poll performed in 2010 showed that 85% of the population in Guatemala was opposed to same-sex marriage. Younger generations, however, are challenging the stigma that surrounds the LGBTQ+ population in Guatemala.

Guatemala's Laws and Policies from ILGA World Report (2019)

Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
Civil Unions
Joint Adoption
Second Parent Adoption
Employment Nondiscrimination Laws
Broad Protections
Criminalization of Violence
Ban of Conversion Therapy
Consensual Same-Sex Acts are Legal?
Does Not Apply
Max Penalty (Yrs in Prison)
Does Not Apply

Selected Published Studies, Reports, and Other Documents

Alexandra J. Munson, Dirk A. Davis & Clare Barrington (2020): ‘There are no other options for us because of who we are’: employment and retention in care among gay and bisexual men and transgender women living with HIV in Guatemala, Culture, Health & Sexuality, DOI:

A mobile electronic system to monitor mode, content and duration of health navigation services for people living with HIV in Guatemala. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Badgett, L., Nezhad, S., Waaldijk, K., & Van der Meulen Rodgers, Y. (2014, November). The Relationship between LGBT Inclusion and Economic Development: An Analysis of Emerging Economies. Retrieved from

Barrington, C., Knudston, K., Bailey, O., Aguilar, J. M., Loya-Montiel, M. I., & Morales-Miranda, S. (2016). HIV Diagnosis, Linkage to Care, and Retention among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women in Guatemala City.Journal of health care for the poor and underserved, 27(4), 1745–1760.

Barrington C., Galindo Arandi C., Aguilar-Martínez J.M., Miller W.M. (2018) Understanding HIV Disparities Among Transgender Women in Guatemala: Linking Social and Structural Factors to HIV Vulnerability. In: Kerrigan D., Barrington C. (eds) StructuralDynamics of HIV. Social Aspects of HIV, vol 4. Springer, Cham doi:

Davis, D. A., Aguilar, J. M., Arandi, C. G., Northbrook, S., Loya-Montiel, I., Morales-Miranda, S., & Barrington, C. (2017). “Oh, I'm Not Alone”: Experiences of HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men in a Health Navigation Program to Promote Timely Linkage to Care in Guatemala City. Retrieved from

Ikeda, J.M., Racancoj, O., Welty, al.Risk Behaviors and Perceptions Among Self-identified Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM), Bisexuals, Transvestites, and Transgender Women in Western Guatemala.AIDS Behav 22, 45–56 (2018). Doi:

Miller, W.M., Miller, W.C., Barrington, al.The Where and How for Reaching Transgender Women and Men Who Have Sex with Men with HIV Prevention Services in Guatemala.AIDS Behav 21, 3279–3286 (2017). Doi:

Novel Approaches to HIV Prevention and Sexual Health Promotion Among Guatemalan Gay and Bisexual Men, MSM, and Transgender Persons. (n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2020, from

Paz-Bailey, G., Miller, W., Shiraishi, al.Reaching Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Comparison of Respondent-Driven Sampling and Time-Location Sampling in Guatemala City.AIDS Behav 17, 3081–3090 (2013). Doi:

Sabrina Boyce, Clare Barrington, Herbert Bolaños, Cesar Galindo Arandi & Gabriela Paz-Bailey(2012)Facilitating access to sexual health services for men who have sex with men and male-to-female transgender persons in Guatemala City,Culture, Health & Sexuality, 14:3, 313-327,

Scott D. Rhodes, Jorge Alonzo, Lilli Mann, Mario Downs, Mario Andrade, Cindy Wilks, Florence M. Simán, Omar Martinez, Claire Abraham, Guillermo R. Villatoro, Laura H. Bachmann, The ecology of sexual health of sexual minorities in Guatemala City, Health Promotion International, Volume 30, Issue 4, December 2015, Pages 832–842,

Tucker, C., Arandi, C.G., Bolaños, J. H., Paz-Bailey, G., & Barrington, C. (2014). Understanding social and sexual networks of sexual minority men and transgender women in Guatemala city to improve HIV prevention efforts.Journal of health care for the poor and underserved, 25(4), 1698–1717.

William M. Miller, William C. Miller, Clare Barrington, Sharon S. Weir, Sanny Y. Chen, Michael E. Emch, Audrey E. Pettifor & Gabriela Paz-Bailey (2019): Sex work, discrimination, drug use and violence: a pattern for HIV risk among transgender sex workers compared to MSM sex workers and other MSM in Guatemala, Global Public Health, DOI: