Archbishop Tutu: End Gay Stigma To Fight HIV

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for homosexuality to be decriminalised to help tackle HIV. His comments come in an analysis in The Lancet journal of why incidence of the virus continues to grow among men who have sex with men. Dr Tutu said anti-homosexuality laws would in the future be seen as “wrong” as apartheid laws are now.

Writing in The Lancet, he said: “In the future, the laws that criminalise so many forms of human love and commitment will look the way apartheid laws do to us now – so obviously wrong… Never let anyone make you feel inferior for being who you are. When you live the life you were meant to live, in freedom and dignity”.


Also writing in The Lancet, an international team of researchers, led by Prof Chris Beyrer of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US, said men who have sex with men (MSM) bore a “disproportionate burden” of HIV. The fact HIV was first identified in gay men has “indelibly marked the global response” and “stigmatised those living with the virus”, they said.

The paper, published on the eve of the international Aids 2012 conference, adds that by the end of 2011, only 87 countries had reported prevalence of HIV in MSM. Data is most sparse in the Middle East and Africa, where homosexual activity is a criminal offence. The researchers call for same-sex relations to be decriminalised in all countries, so that a true picture of the scale of HIV in men who have sex with men can be ascertained.

Do you agree with Archbishop Desmond Tutu? Is gay stigma a major reason why HIV is not addressed as it is supposed to be? Share your thoughts and opinions with us!

Source: BBC News

Image: Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Comments

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