Alarming rate of HIV/AIDS infection among LGBTI

Kathmandu (Pahichan) October 27- People from LGBTI community have been found to have high risk of HIV/AIDS.  According to the National Centre for AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Disease Control (NCASTD), around two lakhs persons of LGBTI community in the country are vulnerable to HIV infection.

At a seminar organised by the Blue Diamond Society, an organization working for rights sexual minorities, a senior health officer of the NCASTD informed that of 22, 900 persons with HIV positive in Nepal, 18 per cent are LGBTI people. According to him, HIV vulnerability among LGBTI is alarmingly high in the south Asia.

Mahesh Sharma, an expert working on the field of HIV/AIDS, informed that HIV prevalence among sex-workers has been declined to 2 per cent, however, the prevalence rate on LGBTI is mounting. The prejudices existing in the society and behavior of the service providers are major reason for why the HIV vulnerability to LGBTI is increasing.

A Social activist from UN AIDS, Bina Pokhrel, informed that UN aims to touch HIV prevalence up to 90 per cent by 2020 and 95 per cent till 2030. According to her, Kathmandu and Pokhara have been selected to carry out the programmes for reducing vulnerability of HIV.

ManishaDhakal, acting Director of BDS, argued that HIV affected LGBTI people have been suffering double jeopardy as they already have been marginalised for their ‘gendered identity’ by the society.