Delays to China’s First Govt-backed Gay Bar: NGO

A gay bar in Dali, Yunnan set to open yesterday for World AIDS Day has been delayed due to privacy and safety concerns of volunteers. AFP reports:

The bar in Dali, a tourist town in the southwestern province of Yunnan, aimed to provide a place where homosexuals could meet in a relaxed atmosphere and get information about HIV/AIDS prevention, he told AFP by phone.

China’s health ministry warned on Tuesday that homosexual transmission of HIV/AIDS was gaining pace. Zhang, a doctor at a hospital in Dali, said raising awareness of the disease among the gay community was “extremely important.”

The bar was due to open on December 1 — World AIDS Day — with the support of the local government, which had invested 120,000 yuan (17,600 dollars) in the NGO, he said.

“Our government leader asked me whether we could open it today, but I said the volunteers did not want to,” Zhang said, pointing out that journalists and photographers had descended en masse on Dali following news of the bar’s opening.


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