One step forward, two steps back...

While the government of Nepal finds itself on the brink of embracing LGBT rights, the recent shut down of a Kathmandu AIDS hospice delivers a substantial blow to such a cause. The hospice was sponsored by the Elton John Foundation and maintained by the Blue Diamond Society, Nepal's growingly popular gay rights organization. The closure is attributed to neighborhood pressure, resulting in the forced eviction of twelve men, four of whom are in the terminal stages of AIDS.

This move further detaches Nepal from facing its growing AIDS epidemic. Thousands of men migrate to larger Indian cities searching for work, there they often visit brothels and contract HIV before returning home only to spread it to their families. This overlap between HIV/AIDS transmission and the cycle of labor is a disturbing pattern seen throughout the developing world. Programs of the Blue Diamond Society, such as this hospice, are only a handful of resources available to Nepal's burgeoning HIV population. This closure only reinforces the divisive issues the nation's new government will have to resolve after the April 10th elections.

Anti-gay bias evicts dying AIDS patients in Nepal

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