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Anti-gay attacks will lead to rise in HIV cases, warns Christian Aid

The increasingly targeted attacks on gay people in a number of African countries, which are thought to have led to the murder this week of outspoken Ugandan gay activist, David Kato, will contribute to an increase in HIV infections, says Christian Aid.

Kato, whose name and photograph recently appeared on the front page of anti-gay Kampala-based newspaper Rolling Stone, under the headline ‘Hang Them’, was beaten to death in his home, Ugandan police confirmed yesterday.

Nina O’Farrell, Head of HIV at Christian Aid, said today:  ‘It is vital to defend the rights of specific groups who are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection, including gay people, who also suffer from heightened stigma and discrimination, which in many cases makes them less likely to have access to HIV treatment, care and support.

‘Our work is founded on Christian faith and inspired by hope. We believe that all people are created equal, with inherent dignity and infinite worth. We act to change an unjust world, helping people to claim the rights owed to them by virtue of their humanity.’

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If you would like further information please contact Emma Pomfret on email epomfret@christian-aid.org or Sarah Wilson on  swilson@christian-aid.org. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950  

Notes to Editors:

1. The term ‘gay people’ in the press release above is intended to encompass lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups.

2. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

3. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

4. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

5. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid

6. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk