July 6, 2011 9:45:19 am
Homosexuality is not a disease but a personal sexual orientation,UNAIDS said,disagreeing with Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s remarks on the subject.
“Consistent with WHO’s disease classification,UNAIDS does not regard homosexuality as a disease. There is no place for stigma and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe said in a statement here.
At a convention on HIV/AIDS,Azad had said that “the disease of ‘Men having Sex with Men’ (MSM),which was found more in the developed world,has now unfortunately come to our country and there is a substantial number of such people in India”.
Though the UNAIDS statement does not make any mention of the Health Minister or his remarks,Sidibe lauded efforts by India’s National AIDS programme to provide HIV services for men who have sex with men and transgender people.
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He said,”India’s rich tradition of inclusivity and social justice must include men who have sex with men and transgender people.”
Azad was found missing at the concluding ceremony of the two-day conference today.
The minister’s remarks has drawn flak from the gay community and activists working in the field.
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