Monday, April 6, 2009

Zambia: Jesuit Aids Activist Says, End Criminalisation of Homosexuality

Bad laws, like faulty condoms and unsafe medical supplies, can spread the virus.

via, by Rodrick Mukumbira

A Zambian AIDS activist and Jesuit priest, Michael Kelly, has called for the decriminalisation of same-sex relations, and said that the existence of laws banning such relations was fanning the spread of HIV.

"The continued prevalence of such laws is driving people in same-sex relations underground, and making authorities stubborn to the fact that even prisoners are having sex in prison," Kelly told a workshop on the role of the media and parliamentary involvement on HIV and AIDS, held in the Zambian capital on 17 March.

The priest said that instead of "criminalising" sexual orientation, southern African countries should follow the South African example and legalise gay partnerships, "to ensure access to prevention and treatment, as well as the involvement of these people and prisoners in the battle against the epidemic".

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