Tanzania forbids anti-HIV programs because ‘it is illegal to be gay’

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Tanzania has suspended programs aimed at tackling the spread of HIV because they actively oppose homosexuality and punish it with a long-term imprisonment (up to 30 years). 25% of gay and bisexual men suffer from HIV in the country, but because of the country’s conservative anti gay policy and a relatively small number of HIV-positive people among the general population, Tanzanian health officials don’t consider it to be necessary to educate people about HIV.

The government confirmed: “We have suspended MSM (men who have sex with men) community-based interventions pending review.” Warren Naamara, director of the UNAIDS program in Tanzania told the Washington Post: “These interruptions in treatment are very dangerous. In the short term, there are people who won’t go to [health] service centers, and if they aren’t on anti-retrovirals, what happens? It’s a major concern.”

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