New AIDS Guidelines Target Global Discrimination of Gays

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GENEVA (AFP) - The World Health Organisation published Tuesday new global guidelines for expanding AIDS treatment, focusing for the first time on homosexuals, who face discrimination in many countries."If we do not pay major attention to the epidemic in key populations, we will not be able to eliminate HIV" -- the virus that can lead to AIDS, said Gottfried Hirnschall, WHO director of the HIV/AIDS department."Men having sexual relations with other men" as well as transsexuals represent those who were "disproportionately affected by the epidemic of HIV about 30 years ago and it continues to be so," Hirnschall said at a press conference in Geneva.He added that the UN health agency has even seen a resurgence of the HIV epidemic, especially in industrialised countries."The dramatic fact is that MSM (men having sex with men) are estimated to be 20 times more likely to be HIV infected than the general population," he said.In some countries and regions, up to 40 percent of homosexuals are estimated to be HIV positive, according to the WHO.Given the sobering statistics, the WHO said it was launching new guidelines, aimed at the specific health needs of homosexuals. …