Scroll To Top
Prevention

Japan OK Globally on HIV, Not at Home

Japan OK Globally on HIV, Not at Home

Japan is at the forefront in helping fight HIV globally, the executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in Tokyo said earlier this month. In addition, Japan is the fourth largest donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, notes Michel Sidibe, who was meeting with nongovernmental organizations and authorities on his first official visit to the country. However, Japan could lend more support to local NGOs reaching at-risk populations domestically, such as sex workers, migrants, and men who have sex with men, Sidibe points out.

"The data that we have are showing that the infection rate has been stabilized [in Japan]," Sidibe says. However, "In the [United States] and in different parts of the world, we are seeing an increase of infections among gay men."

In 1999, 160 HIV cases were acquired through heterosexual intercourse, and 195 were homosexually acquired, according to health ministry data. Ten years later the number infected through gay sex was 659, compared with 180 via heterosexual intercourse.

NGOs "know the people; they have a good mapping of hot spot areas, and their strategy to reach [people at risk of HIV/AIDS] is well-established," Sidibe says.

In meetings with Sidibe, representatives of five NGOs said their efforts are being hampered by stigma about the disease and against homosexuals.

"In Japan, gay people are stigmatized, and probably 95% of the gay people are hidden away from society," says Hiroshi Hasegawa of the Japanese Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS. "This stigmatization is the biggest barrier for [HIV] prevention."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

HIV Plus Editors

Editor

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.

Ryan is the Digital Director of The Advocate Channel, and a graduate of NYU Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing. She is also a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. While her specialties are television writing and comedy, Ryan is a young member of the LGBTQ+ community passionate about politics and advocating for all.