Forum Urges Asia to Decriminalise Homosexuality

Hong Kong hosted a three day forum on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Asia where candidates urged other Asian countries to follow China’s example and decriminalize homosexuality.

Beijing’s decision in 2001 had helped to minimise the spread of in China, Zhen Li, from the Tong Zhi awareness group, told the forum.

“Between 2005 and 2008 China made huge progress (in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS among homosexuals) in addition to working with civil society as partners,” Li said.

However, elsewhere in Asia “highly prohibitive legal frameworks” against homosexuality were aiding the spread of an HIV epidemic among homosexual men, the forum’s organisers said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the WHO urged for increased AIDS prevention strategies for gay men in Asia:

A December 2007 review found that in Cambodia and Vietnam, homosexual men were more likely to contract HIV compared with the general population, while in China the risk for homosexual men was 45 times higher than for men in general.

According to the WHO, Asia has the world’s largest number of “men having sex with men,” estimated at 10 million.

See also past CDT posts on AIDS in China.

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