HIV Rates Rise for Gays, Ignored by World Programs

Targeted by 1% of prevention funds
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2008 6:21 AM CDT
A gay couple attends a demonstration against homophobia in Mexico City earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
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(Newser) – Even as fewer people are dying from AIDS, new HIV infections continue to rise at alarming rates among the global gay and bisexual population, who are tageted by less than 1% of the $669 million spent on prevention worldwide, AP reports. In 86 nations, homosexual sex is considered a crime, and in seven countries it's punishable by death, according to the Foundation for AIDS Research,

It's  "very difficult" to provide services to gays "in countries that don't acknowledge they exist or criminalize them," explained one expert. Some organizations now avoid using words like “gay" or "homosexual" to skirt cultural shame connected to the labels in order to save lives. "That's why the word homosexual is not used," said a health director in India. "If anyone asks a man that, he will slap you."