24 July 2008

A too familiar storyline

Yesterday's IRIN article, "Homophobia fuelling the spread of HIV," outlines an eerily familiar course of events surrounding HIV transmission rates among African men who have sex with men (MSM).

To be blunt, the situation sounds remarkably like that in the United States in the 1980s, right down to the criminalization of gay sex part. You have governments that don't act (though admittedly most African states lack the public health resources the U.S. had even 20 years ago), politicians who don't care, and a small but fierce group of activists trying hard to make a dent in the problem.

In short, the story was tragic in this country then (and still is), and the same is true in Africa and elsewhere. It's times like these when the international development community could probably make some significant impacts, but seems disinterested. Somebody prove me wrong. Please.

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