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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

New Delhi

Gay sex unnatural, says health minister
Rhythma Kaul, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 05, 2011
First Published: 01:13 IST(5/7/2011)
Last Updated: 01:20 IST(5/7/2011)

Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has made another controversial statement, this time calling homosexuality “unnatural sex”. Two years ago, he had exhorted the nation to watch more late-night television and have less sex to control the galloping population.

Azad’s latest statement came at the National Convention of Zila Parishad Chairpersons and Mayors on HIV & AIDS, which was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

He was speaking about reaching out to people in “high-risk” categories for HIV infection, including female sex workers, injecting-drug users, migrants and men who have sex with men.

“Now is the time to reach out to the masses if we want to bring down HIV numbers, especially among high-risk category people such as those indulging in unnatural sex, like men who have sex with men (MSMs),” Azad said.

The minister said that female sex workers were still traceable, but there is a population of these men that is hard to trace and is at risk of spreading the disease.

Reacting to Azad’s remarks, Anand Grover from Lawyers’ Collective, who is also the UN special rapporteur on health, said, “It’s unfortunate, regrettable and totally unacceptable that a minister of his stature, who has been familiar with HIV for at least two years, is still insensitive to vulnerable groups such MSMs, who have done commendable work in reducing the transmission of new infections.”


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