HIV / AIDS News – 2019

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HIV / AIDS News

January

 

How stigma prevents Delhi’s gay men from getting tested for HIV

Societal pressures, stigma and ‘a lot of shame’ push gay sex underground, meaning NGOs must come up with innovative ways to reach members of at-risk community

When the news broke that India’s Supreme Court had struck down a colonial-era law making gay sex illegal, the reaction in Delhi was jubilant, with public celebrations erupting across the capital.

Fast forward four months, and HIV/Aids charities are finding the old stigma and prejudice against members of the LGBT+ community are stubbornly refusing to go away.

Although attitudes towards gay relationships have softened in the past two decades, a 2016 survey found that even among young people more than 60 per cent of respondents believed homosexuality was wrong.

That translates to “a lot of shame” among men who have sex with men (MSM), says Abhina Aher from the India HIV/Aids Alliance, a leading charity supported by the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF).

The Alliance has identified MSM as a key at-risk group being left behind in the country’s response to HIV, threatening India’s goal of meeting the UN’s “90-90-90” pledge by 2020. HIV prevalence rates are around 16 times higher in this group compared to the general public.

Intense societal pressure to get married at a young age makes the matter worse, Ms Aher says. Alliance estimates that 60 per cent of their MSM clients also have wives, making it very difficult to get them to open up about unsafe sex practices.

Continue Reading & Watch Video:

https://www.independent.co.uk/aidsfree/dehli-gay-men-hiv-testing-aidsfree-india-lgbt-a8720721.html