Homophobic attacks have reached dangerous levels in sub-Saharan Africa and must stop, Amnesty International has said in a report.
Governments are increasingly criminalising "homosexual acts" by seeking to impose new laws and draconian penalties, it adds.
This sends the "toxic message" that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are criminals, the report says.
Some of the continent's leaders say homosexuality is un-African.
In 2011, the US and UK hinted that they could withdraw from countries which did not respect homosexual rights on the socially conservative continent.