Funded by the
Elton John Foundation and the French organization NGO
Sidaction, health care officials in Kathmandu, Nepal, have
opened a hospice for HIV-positive gay and transgender
men, reports Integrated Regional Information Networks.
The hospice, located in a working-class district of
the city, is one of the few AIDS programs in Nepal targeting
gay men. Homosexuality is considered taboo in the mostly
down upon me as a transgender person," hospice
resident Devya Gurang, who is male-to-female transgender,
told the news service. "Life was and continues
to be terribly difficult. Nobody will give me a job,
and the fact that I am HIV-positive only makes things
Residents of the
hospice receive room and board, literacy training,
antiretroviral therapy, and weekly visits from a physician.
Support groups also are available.
According to the
United Nations, there are an estimated 70,000
HIV-positive people living in Nepal. Most of those infected
are unaware they carry the virus, say U.N. officials.
Most of the nation's HIV cases are occurring in
gay and bisexual men, sex workers, and injection-drug
users. (The Advocate)