Tanzania: Fighting social stigma to prevent HIV spread

Staggering AIDS death toll has forced conservative Tanzania to help gay people long rejected by its health system. In a country where obtaining legal rights for gay people is not likely to happen soon, they are using a public health crisis to demand recognition. Tanzania has the 4th-highest number of deaths from AIDS in the world, and the HIV infection rate among gay men is more than four times the national average - yet stigma prevents many from seeking treatment.

As one man said: "In the government hospitals, we face discrimination. Instead of treating us, they'll call people over: 'Come and see, we have a gay here.' Then they'll say, 'We can't treat you. Get out of here.'"

While gay men are rarely, if ever, prosecuted under the law in Tanzania, the social stigma it perpetuates can be deadly. A new program is working to change that. Read more via Al Jazeera