Gay men seen dying from AIDS due to Africa’s homophobic laws

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10/07/2019

Thousands of gay men in Africa are likely dying from HIV-related illnesses every year due to homophobic laws that stifle their chances of being tested and treated, said researchers behind a study published on Monday in The Lancet HIV journal. A study of the data of 45,000 gay men in 28 African countries including Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria found only one in four living with HIV were taking medication. Half had taken an HIV/AIDS test in the past 12 months and researchers said the low rates were due to anti-LGBT+ laws in many African countries, which promoted stigma and discrimination and neglected HIV/AIDS programmes targeting gay men. “We found countries that had more repressive anti-LGBT laws or harsher penalties for same sex relations had lower levels of HIV testing,” said Kate Mitchell, one of the researchers at Imperial College London who was involved in the study.

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