Anti-gay laws linked to low levels of HIV testing in Africa

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10/07/2019

Poor uptake of HIV diagnosis and treatment among gay men in Africa may be linked to government crackdowns on homosexuality, a paper has found. The research, published in the Lancet HIV journal, analysed data from 75 studies involving gay and bisexual men across 28 African countries. It found that only 19 per cent of gay men with HIV were aware that they were HIV positive. And of these only 24 per cent were taking anti-retroviral therapy. The therapy is vital to keeping people with HIV alive and reducing the amount of virus in the blood to undetectable levels, meaning they cannot pass it on to anyone else. These numbers fall way short of United Nations targets which call for 90 per cent of people with HIV to be tested, 90 per cent of these to be on treatment and 90 per cent to have undetectable levels of virus in their blood.

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