Indian Health Minister Sees Homosexuality as ‘Disease’

Indian Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks during a press conference in New Delhi, India, July 5, 2011. Photo: AP

Just when you thought the world was finally starting to get it…this idiot opens his mouth and a big pile of poop falls out. Think before you speak much?

HIV and gay-rights activists are sharply criticizing India‘s health minister for his remarks labeling homosexuality as a disease.  The comments reflect entrenched attitudes in a country that only lifted a criminal ban on homosexuality two years ago.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s controversial remarks came during a conference on fighting HIV and AIDS held Monday night in the Indian capital.

“There is unfortunately a disease in the world and in this country,” he said, where men are having sex with other men.  The government minister says such acts are “completely unnatural” and shouldn’t happen, but they do.

Azad contends that health workers find it more difficult to reach out to homosexual men than to other high-risk communities, such as female sex workers.

AIDS activists have criticized the comments in terms ranging from “uncalled for” to “absurd and dangerous.”    They say the impropriety of the remarks coming from India’s top public health official was compounded by the fact that he made them at a conference on fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Roy Wadia is executive director of the Mumbai-based Heroes Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  He says such public statements are not helpful in his efforts to educate the public on HIV/AIDS.

“Clearly he is in a minority when it comes to these points of view in his own government,” said Wadia.  “We certainly expect he will be taken to task for this, but the most important thing is for him to really be educated.”

About 2.5 million people are infected with HIV in India. Wadia says Azad’s use of the terms “unnatural” and “disease” in relation to homosexuality make it more difficult to provide scientific information to the people who need it most.

“Stigma and discrimination attached to HIV as a whole make it very hard for us to face the HIV challenge – not only in India, but even in the West, you’ll find that stigma is at the heart of the HIV challenge,” Wadia added.

Gay pride parades like this one that took place last year in the streets of New Delhi have become a more frequent occurrence as public attitudes move in the direction of acceptance.  But change comes slowly; it was only two years ago that India’s supreme court struck down a criminal ban on homosexuality lingering from the British colonial era.

Activist, Unplugged from the Matrix. Action for Freedom!

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Posted in Human Rights
2 comments on “Indian Health Minister Sees Homosexuality as ‘Disease’
  1. […] Indian Health Minister Sees Homosexuality as ‘Disease’ ( […]

  2. Shd says:

    Sure it is possible. There is no devitinife proof that sex in general causes the transmission of HIV. If HIV spread even 1 in 50 sex acts on average between a positive and negative couple, most people would have it by now. It would spread that quickly. It could be that HIV will only spread during sex if blood is present, and not other sexual fluids. The researchers don’t know for certain, because there is a huge difficulty finding a way to test it. There could be other conditions on it. Researchers don’t know and don’t have a way to find out. Then there are a lot of people who wouldn’t contract HIV even if HIV infected blood was injected directly into them.Then there are many studies of positive and negative couples. They don’t see many new infections, certainly not anywhere near what is expected. Generally a plausible theory of why is presented like condom use or sexual practices, etc, but there are no definite answers of why to this question. Essentially this subject is a can of worms, a container holding slimy hard to hold organisms that are always proving difficult to use.

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