Singapore: LGBT+ people 'more fearful' after HIV data leak

A major leak of the confidential data of 14,200 people with HIV in Singapore could hamper a fight against new infections among LGBT+ people in the city-state, campaigners said on Tuesday. LGBT+ groups have set up support services following the breach, but campaigners said it would discourage LGBT+ people living with HIV from seeking help, fearing that their details will be compromised.

"The first hurdle for them to get tested or to approach social services is the issue of coming out. A lot of them are extremely afraid to be outed," said Jean Chong, founder of Singapore-based LGBT+ rights group Sayoni.

"A lot of LGBT people will be even more fearful to get tested and to believe in Singapore's healthcare system ... it might drive more people underground," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone. Chong said her organisation had received about a dozen calls from people whose details had been leaked and who faced "huge" risks if they lost their jobs or were ostracised.

LGBT+ campaign group Oogachaga, which has set up an online and phone counselling service, said LGBT+ people who have yet to come out publicly were most vulnerable from the leak. Read more via Thomson Reuters Foundation