New HIV infections increasing among homosexuals

March 16, 2010 By EDITH M. LEDERER , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- New HIV infections are increasing among homosexuals, drug users and prostitutes who don't seek help because of laws that criminalize these practices, the head of the U.N. AIDS agency said Monday.

Michel Sidibe, the head of UNAIDS, said "it is unacceptable" that 85 countries still have laws criminalizing same sex relations among adults, including seven that impose the death penalty for homosexual practices.

He called a proposed Ugandan law that would impose the death penalty for some gays "very unfortunate" and expressed hope it will never be approved.

At a time when UNAIDS is scaling up its program and seeking universal access to , Sidibe said he was "very scared" because bad laws are being introduced by countries making it impossible for these at risk groups to have access to services.

"You have also a growing conservatism which is making me very scared," Sidibe added.

"We must insist that the rights of the minorities are upheld. If we don't do that ... I think the epidemic will grow again," he warned. "We cannot accept the tyranny of the majority."

Sidibe told a group of journalists at a luncheon hosted by the United Nations Foundation that in countries from China to Kenya and Malawi, about 33 percent of new infections are in men having sex with men, a significant increase.

By contrast, he said that in the Caribbean where most countries don't have repressive laws, only between 3 and 6 percent of HIV infections are in male homosexuals.

Even in the United States, where laws are not restrictive and the gay community was the first to tackle AIDS, Sidibe said it is "shocking" that more than 50 percent of new HIV infections last year occurred among homosexuals. And he said in the 19-25 age bracket the infection rate was even higher.

"It seems like we have come full circle" in the United States, he said. "After almost no cases a few years ago we are seeing again this new peak among people who are not having access to all the information, the protection that is needed."

In addition to failing to adequately deliver the right messages about AIDS prevention, Sidibe blamed complacency in a new generation that has access to treatment.

He added that this was not just a problem in the U.S. but in Europe and in Africa as well.

Sidibe said drug users are also getting the HIV virus that causes AIDS in high numbers.

"You have 70 percent of new infections occurring in Eastern Europe and Central Asia among drug users, but they are criminalized," he said. "They don't have access to services. They have to hide themselves and go underground."

Of the 16 million people in the world who are injecting drugs, almost 3 million are HIV positive, and among them less than 4 percent have access to treatment and less than 8 percent have access to services, Sidibe said.

"It's the same for men having sex with men," he said.

In Nigeria, where there are 1,000 new HIV infections every day, over 30 percent are in vulnerable groups - drug users, sex workers and homosexuals, he said.

Sidibe called for "a prevention revolution" including a campaign in major cities around the world like the anti-smoking campaigns launched in recent years.


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2 / 5 (4) Mar 16, 2010
Is it logical to point out (correctly) that certain behaviors increase disease while simultaneously advocating making those behaviors easier to engage in and more acceptable socially?

Disease prevention and treatment should not be predicated on morality or social acceptance.
1 / 5 (3) Mar 16, 2010
Disease prevention and treatment should not be predicated on morality or social acceptance.

Many religious doctrines have advocated behaviour that has proven to be healthful: male circumcision, washing hands, washing food, avoiding toxins like nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, and advocating sex only among married couples.
Libertines may chafe and attack these groups for their advocacy, but its effectiveness cannot be denied.
1 / 5 (3) Mar 16, 2010
Governments believe they should control our eating behaviour: trans-fats, sugar, salt; our smoking behaviour, our drug use behaviour, but not sexual behaviour.
How inconsistent!
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 16, 2010
All I can say to this is good...get the sick ones who can't abide by our natural state (to be with the opposite sex) the hell off the will eliminate a large majority of all these sexual diseases at the same time....
4.3 / 5 (4) Mar 16, 2010
Good riddance, huh. Then let those left contract AIDS heterosexually and we all go. Way to go, Lucky Brandon.
3 / 5 (2) Mar 16, 2010
@marjon: Do you agree or disagree with LuckyBrandon? Instead of tiptoeing around the subject, why don't you just say what you think?
1 / 5 (3) Mar 16, 2010
@marjon: Do you agree or disagree with LuckyBrandon? Instead of tiptoeing around the subject, why don't you just say what you think?

My opinion is stated above.
Do you believe that attempts should by made to control behaviour that can spread deadly diseases?
Should anyone who knowingly risks the life of another be prosecuted for assault?
Much more attention was paid to the recent flu panic than HIV. Do you think any lobbying groups might have played a part?
3 / 5 (4) Mar 16, 2010
1) Heterosexual sex also spreads HIV.
2) There are laws that deal with this already, what is your point?
3) Prove it. Funding for HIV/AIDs research is massive and attention is spent on it. Right now the attention focused on Africa is massive, which you would have known if you were even the least bit aware of anything outside of your own little sphere.
1 / 5 (4) Mar 16, 2010

3) Prove it. Funding for HIV/AIDs research is massive and attention is spent on it. Right now the attention focused on Africa is massive, which you would have known if you were even the least bit aware of anything outside of your own little sphere.

The attention I meant was what government was willing to identify individuals and take extraordinary measures to stop the spread of H1N1. The only extraordinary measures taken by the government to keep HIV from the population is an attempt to keep HIV out of the blood supply. Otherwise, drug users and homosexuals are free from any extraordinary measures from the government to stop the spread of a deadly disease.
1 / 5 (4) Mar 16, 2010
One other point about HIV ,J, except for those poor sods who contracted the virus from a blood transfusion or accidental needle stick, it is a very preventable disease. Especially if one follows the a few of the Ten Commandments. That may take a bit of fun out of life, but hey, that's life.
1 / 5 (1) Mar 16, 2010
I think that marjon has an excellent point to make,
HIV can and does vary from country and region to country and region that it keeps changing is only one complication.

Now that health care in the states could be changing should prostitution be legal has become an issue. Perhaps those with sexual disorders can now turn themselves in and recieve health care and insurance provided prostitutes. Can you imagine the money that it would save the average consumer like Tiger Woods.
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 16, 2010
@marjon: I'm sure they could have used the FEMA death camps to hide away all of the HIV positive people, right? They don't have rights, like you christianists, so it wouldn't matter if they were just conveniently stored away somewhere where you beautiful people wouldn't have to dirty your pretty little minds about them.

You disgust me, troll.
1 / 5 (4) Mar 17, 2010
"The communicable diseases for which federal isolation and quarantine are authorized are set forth through executive order of the President and include: cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, and viral hemorrhagic fevers . Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was added to this list in April 2003. "
HIV is not on the list, but TB is frequently contracted by those infected with HIV.
The precedence and authority to quarantine exist. Just not for a deadly disease like HIV. I wonder why?
"When AIDS became an epidemic here, the politicians had to deal with it. Unfortunately it was dealt with as a social issue rather than a health issue. "
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 17, 2010
Thanks for showing everyone the compassionate side of christianists, marjon. Also, thanks for showing how you don't understand what "communicable diseases" means.

Didn't someone tend to the lepers? Must have been some other religion.
1 / 5 (6) Mar 17, 2010
thats treat and find a cure for the ones who don't have the "gay mental disorder"....let the ones with the mental disorder go the way evolution will take them...
nobody has a use for a pair of queer giraffes after all...
5 / 5 (5) Mar 17, 2010
nobody has a use for a pair of queer giraffes after all...
Unless one of those giraffes just happens to be a child of yours.

You're a stellar Human Being, LuckyBrandon. With people like you around, the dream of the Third Reich will never die. Sieg Heil!
1 / 5 (5) Mar 18, 2010
I would cut off a child of mine for that reason...and all of my children know that...
And btw, I'm not racist in any way whatsoever...I just have a problem with unnatural things such as this topic...
4.8 / 5 (4) Mar 18, 2010
Unnatural things...

So naturally, it follows you'd also "cut off" a child of yours if they had Down's, or were Autistic, or any number of various other congenital conditions.

Such unabashed support of Eugenics, and Social Darwinism. The Führer approves heartily!

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