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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Worlds News
by Karen Hawkins
2001-06-27

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Gays banned from UNAIDS Round Table

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission ( IGLHRC ) is blasting a decision by UNAIDS to ban its staffer from speaking at the Human Rights Round Table at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS.

The Commission was reportedly the only gay and lesbian group that was to speak at the Round Table. According to a UNAIDS representative, some governments objected to the presence of an NGO representing gays and lesbians. IGLHRC said that delegations from Sudan, Syria, Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt, and several other nations requested the ban.

"Barring a gay human rights group from a UN gathering on AIDS and human rights is a travesty of the whole purpose of these meetings," said Karyn Kaplan, the banned Commission staffer. "We need real solutions for this epidemic, and that starts with talking about the people who need help. The countries that want to keep us out persecute gay people and help foster the stigma that allows AIDS to spread."

South Africa ended 2000 with 4.7 million HIV infections

With 4.7 million HIV/AIDS infections at the end of last year, South Africa leads the world in the number of people living with the virus, UNAIDS reports.

India has the second highest number, with 3.7 million, followed by Ethiopia, 3 million, Nigeria, 2.7 million and Kenya, 2.1 million.

The United States was 11th on the list, with 850,000 infections.

At 36%, Botswana had the highest adult prevalence—the percentage of the population between the ages of 15 and 49 who are HIV-positive. All of the countries in the top 15 of adult prevalence are on the African continent.

The United Nations released the figures in advance of its special session on the global AIDS epidemic.


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