Our latest for "The Atlantic": "Zambia's Anti-Gay Obsession Is Worsening Its HIV Epidemic." This after the case of the openly gay human rights and HIV/AIDS activist who was arrested for appearing on live television and calling for the decriminalization of same-sex relations.
Paul Kasonkomona was held for four days, pleaded not guilty, and was released on bail on Thursday, April 11. The case comes at the same there has been " a frightening increase in violations of LGBT people's rights " in Zambia, according to one human rights group. The openly gay and HIV positive activist says police denied him access to "his tuberculosis and antiretroviral drugs [and] put his life at risk." Kasonkomona's plight illustrates the deeply religious and conservative nation's obsessive anti-gay animus -- which is complicating its fight against one of the world's most devastating HIV and AIDS epidemics. "
More than one in every seven adults in the country is living with HIV and life expectancy at birth has fallen to just 49 years. To complicate matters: Some researchers believe Zambia -- and other African nations -- is home to an escalating and often untreated HIV epidemic among gay and bisexual men. Infection rates are often two to three times the general population, "and in Zambia, a 2006 study revealed a self-reported HIV prevalence of 33 percent" among gay and bi men, reports PEPFAR.
Read the article HERE.
Look for more from me on politics, human rights and global affairs at The Atlantic and TheAtlantic.com in the months ahead.