Malawi is contributing to the spread of HIV by denying gays their rights, a chair of the Stop AIDS Campaign wrote on Sunday in The Guardian newspaper.
Alan Smith of the British-based Stop AIDS Campaign was responding the recent decision by Malawian court to sentence a gay couple to 14 years in prison because they took part in a commitment ceremony.
"The denial of human rights of all kinds has a very negative effect on the AIDS response," Smith wrote. "Men who have sex with men are at risk of HIV transmission in all regions of the world, including Africa. The more marginalised they become, the higher the risk, and this decision -- which runs contrary to stated government policy on HIV and the rights enshrined in the constitution of Malawi -- will drive them further away from the information and services essential to an effective HIV response."
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