HIV-epidemic: Something from the past? Not in Romania! Men who have sex with men are at high risk of getting infected in the post-communist country.
Searching for the entrance to the building, I discover a crumpled rainbow flag dangling in the front garden. It is the entrance to the headquarters of Romania’s main LGBTI- organization: ACCEPT. The frayed flag couldn’t embody the political situation for the LGBTI community in this post-communist country more.
Florin Buhuceanu welcomes me very warmly in his office. Without any exaggeration, Florin is the founding father of the LGBTI movement in Romania.
He organized the first ever public LGBTI event in 2004, GayFest. He’s been the face of the movement since then.
Originally, I wanted to visit Romania to learn more about the opportunities the failure of the conservative referendum on the banning of same-sex marriage brought for the LGBTI-community. But during a Skype meeting in preparation of my visit, Florin already asked me to focus on a more urgent crisis.
Lot’s of people might think HIV epidemics are something from the 80s and 90s. Nothing could be further from the truth in the case of Romania. For three months already, hospitals are running out of stock of HIV treatment in the country. The ‘men who have sex with men’-community (MSM) seems to be the most affected by this crisis. It is the only group in Romania which year after year sees a rise in infections.
Structural discrimination and mismanagement seem to be the causes of this HIV-epidemic. Read more via Gay Star News