News / Asia

Study Links Discrimination of Homosexuals With Rising HIV Cases in Asia

Angela Dewan

The United Nations says discriminatory laws and human rights violations against homosexual men in Asia limit access to health care services and contribute to rising HIV infection rates.

At the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, the U.N. Development Program and the Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health presented a study that linked the criminalization of homosexual behavior to an increase in the infection rate of HIV and AIDS in Asia.  The study says 19 Asian countries still criminalize men who have sex with men and the prevalence of HIV in these groups has reached alarming levels.

More likely to contract HIV

According to UNAIDS, in China, homosexual men are 45 times more likely to contract HIV than the average Chinese person.  And the report says more than 90 percent of homosexual men in the Asia-Pacific region do not have access to HIV prevention and care.

The report points to a range of laws, such as public order and vagrancy offenses, that are selectively enforced against men who have sex with men and transgender people in many countries of the region.

And some homosexual men and transgenders feel uncomfortable accessing health services because they fear being reported to authorities said UNDP HIV policy specialist Edmund Settle.

"If MSM (homosexual) or transgender people are carrying condoms, either because they are outreach workers or they use condoms in their sexual practices, than the local authorities would use the possession of a condom as evidence of either being in prostitution or having access or going to approach prostitutes.  And again these laws are specifically enforced on MSM and transgender persons in many of the local communities," Settle said.

High risk group

According to the report, 22 countries in the Asia Pacific region now list homosexual men in Asia as a high-risk group for contracting HIV.  Settle said some countries such as India are beginning to address this growing problem.  
In 2009 the Delhi High Court ruled that the Indian Penal Code unfairly discriminated against homosexual men.

"What it has done, which has given us a better opportunity to address it, is it has actually opened the discussion within the region as a whole.  So it is no longer the United Nations speaking to community groups or the U.N. speaking to ourselves," said Settle. "Rather, it has created a momentum that this topic specifically can be addressed in an open forum."

The report says that all countries should ensure its citizens have access to health services to prevent unnecessary infection, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid