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India's Law on Homosexuality Needs Recourse - Hampers HIV Prevention

Denis Broun, UNAIDS India coordinator, explained how India’s legal stance on homosexuality is actually causing a setback to the fight against HIV/AIDS and is an// infringement of the human rights of homosexual men.

The law is enforced mainly to bring offenders to book, in cases dealing with sexual abuse of children. There is also fear that if the law is annulled, it may cause a setback to nailing those who commit sexual abuse against children.

According to statistics enabled by the India's National AIDS Control Organization, there are nearly 2.5 million MSM (men having sex with men) in the country. 'People are being harassed by section 377 and men having sex with men do not come forward and receive adequate prevention information,' Broun said.

K.K. Abraham, general secretary of the Indian Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS, said,' The government needs a reality check and (has) to do away with this law if it is serious about fighting HIV/AIDS'.

The order has been challenged by a 2001 lawsuit instigated by the Naz Foundation India Trust. Although The Delhi High Court did not entertain the case, The Supreme Court of India has directed The High Court to review the case once again.

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