Main | Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Plight Of Gays Across Africa Worsens

As the campaigns against gays in Uganda and Malawi continue to garner international headlines, many LGBT people across Africa are retreating further into the closet, fearful for their lives. This retreat effectively cuts many off from HIV/AIDS prevention outreach and life saving medications. Via PlusNews:
More than two-thirds of African countries have laws criminalizing homosexual acts, and despite accounting for a significant percentage of new infections in many countries, men who have sex with men tend to be left out of the HIV response. "[They] are going underground; they are hiding themselves and continuing to fuel the epidemic," UNAIDS executive director Michél Sidibé told IRIN/PlusNews recently. "We need to make sure these vulnerable groups have the same rights everyone enjoys: access to information, care and prevention for them and their families."
In addition to the well-known recent situations mentioned above, PlusNews has compiled a list of recent campaigns against gays in Egypt, Senegal, Burundi, South Africa, Tanzania, Gambia, Cameroon, and Nigeria. HIV/AIDS activists have been imprisoned in some places, other men have been subjected to forcible HIV tests and anal exams before being imprisoned as well. Fueled by religious fanaticism, the flames of anti-gay hatred are being fanned across the continent with no end in sight to this nightmarish downward spiral for tens of millions of LGBT people.

(Tipped by JMG reader Mike in the UK)

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