Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/19/2014 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Virus spreads among community that has long been stigmatized by medical community

Homosexual men in Vietnam - those who identify as being gay or bisexual, or men who have sex with men, or MSM are now at a greater risk for both AIDS and the HIV virus. Homosexual men in the country are marginalized and hidden due to societal stigma.

The new spread of the disease is most prevalent in Vietnam's two largest cities: Hanoi, with a population of 6.5 million people and Ho Chi Minh City, home to 7.4 million people.

The new spread of the disease is most prevalent in Vietnam's two largest cities: Hanoi, with a population of 6.5 million people and Ho Chi Minh City, home to 7.4 million people.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/19/2014 (5 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Vietnam, gay men, HIV/AIDS, stigma


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The evidence clearly shows that MSM in Vietnam are a population at a higher HIV risk that requires focus," Christopher Fontaine, an adviser for the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Vietnam, said.

"Out of all of Vietnam's sub-epidemics, the epidemic among MSM appears to be rising the fastest."

Starvation never takes a vacation --

The new spread of the disease is most prevalent in Vietnam's two largest cities: Hanoi, with a population of 6.5 million people and Ho Chi Minh City, home to 7.4 million people.

According to the 2012 Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance (IBBS) survey, the HIV prevalence rate of MSM in Hanoi soared from 11 to 20 percent, while in Ho Chi Minh City it more than doubled from 6 to 14 percent between 2006 and 2009.

MSM with HIV are primarily seen as an urban problem. High levels of stigma toward men having sex with men across is aiding in the spread of the disease, health experts warn.

"Although same-sex relationships aren't illegal in Vietnam, they are not well accepted by Vietnamese society," Fontaine said. "Men who have sex with men must enter an underground system in order to form sexual relationships. This is a huge barrier to reaching them with HIV services."

Vietnam still lacks an accurate countrywide HIV prevalence rate for MSM as IBBS data was only collected in four "hotspot" cities, three of which had rates of over 10 percent.

One young Vietnamese man has been careful not to reveal his HIV status or sexual orientation. He's afraid of double stigma in a country where people with HIV face discrimination and traditional parents often disown homosexual offspring.

"In my situation, I decided not to share my status," he said. "I'm not sure what kind of difficulties I will face as a gay man with HIV."

The situation makes it particularly hard for outreach workers to debunk false or low perceptions of HIV risk found within Vietnam's MSM population, estimated at 285,000.

"New infections are increasing for MSM but there are a limited number of them seeking services," Son Minh, executive board member of the Vietnamese Network of MSM and Transgender People says.

"It's our biggest concern since we cannot educate them on safe sex."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

MASSIVE FAILURE - Good money after bad in Obama opium strategy Watch

Image of Afghan farmers work their fields, just as they have since the time of Alexander the Great.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite American and Coalition expenditures in Afghanistan, that country has produced a record crop of opium. The crop is important because it is often used to finance extremism in the far-flung region. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United Nations Office on ... continue reading


Six times as many people are executed in China as the rest of the world COMBINED Watch

Image of New figures show that China may execute six times as many people as the rest of the world combined.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Dui Hua Foundation, a San Francisco-based human rights group, said that China executed 2,400 prisoners last year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Chinese government is sensitive about their executions, though the number of executed prisoners has decreased ... continue reading


How would you like to handle acid with your bare hands? For many in Bangladesh, this is their only option Watch

Image of A Bangladesh man handling toxic material without any protective equipment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is a dark side in the growing labor sector of Bangladesh, one that makes workers look decades older than they are. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sharif Hossain is just one of the workers affected. The 35-year-old has worked in the city of Old Dhaka's ... continue reading


New Indonesian president promises a 'people-centric' government Watch

Image of Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, during his inaugural parade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Indonesia got a new president, Joko Widodo, a 53-year-old man who was sworn in on October 20 after Bambang Yudhoyono stepped down after having served two five-year terms. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The man from the Javan slums already has a plan for his ... continue reading


Even state-recognized church in China targeted for persecution Watch

Image of The Chinese government has infringed upon the freedom of its citizens, including gross violations of human rights and targeting churches.

By CNA/EWTN News

The state of religious freedom in China is moving from bad to worse, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), responding to a new report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. (CNA/EWTN News) - "There's a huge gulf now" between China and the Catholic ... continue reading


Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging on blasphemy charges Watch

Image of In spite of international outrage and hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition for her release, Asia Bibi lost an appeal to have her sentence overturned. She now faces death by hanging.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Pakistani Christian woman has been sentenced to death by hanging following accusations that she made blasphemous comments about the prophet Mohammed. While harvesting berries in 2009, 46-year-old Asia Bibi got into a fight with a group of Muslim women who ... continue reading


Persecuted Indonesian Christians worship in strip mall Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Evangelical Christian Church in Bekasi, Indonesia is held in a most unusual place. Driven from traditional houses of worship on account of hardline Islamists, many Christians here have taken to worshiping in out-of-the-way places, such as this strip mall.  LOS ... continue reading


It's getting harder to be a Christian in Indonesia - hardline Muslims prevent the opening of churches, burn others Watch

Image of Indonesian Muslims demonstrate against Christians on Christmas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians in Indonesia are facing increasing persecution as hardline Muslims gain more influence in government. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country and is moving increasingly towards Sharia law. JAKARTA, INDONESIA (Catholic Online) - Indonesia is the ... continue reading


Aware of Islamic State, Filipinos pray daily for Pope Francis' safety during January visit Watch

Image of General Gregorio Catapang Jr. asked in a statement that all Catholic service members to also pray a rosary daily for the Pope's safety when he visits the Philippines from January 15 to 19.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Gregorio Catapang Jr. asked in a statement that all Catholic service members to also pray a rosary daily for the Pope's safety when he visits the Philippines from January 15 to 19. Military and government ... continue reading


Jesuit social activists meet to ask -- have we failed the poor? Watch

Image of Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace Teesta Setalvad drew the Jesuits' attention to the emerging socio-political situation in India that imperils Dalits, Adivasis and minorities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A recent convention of Jesuits engaged in social work in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka met in Bhopal. The question asked was, following decades of work, have we failed the poor? Much remains to be done, and a clear, ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 3:2-12
2 You have surely heard the way in which God ... Read More

Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
2 Look, he is the God of my salvation: I shall have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:39-48
39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter