India Health Minister: Men Having Sex with Men 'Unnatural'

| by Denise A Justin

INDIA - At a two-day National Convention of Zilla Parishad chairpersons and mayors on HIV/AIDS, beginning on July 4, 2011, Prime Minister Manmohan Signh called for a “multi-sectoral approach to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” and said there should be a “greater integration of resources in dealing with the problem,” according to

Dr. Singh added, “All Ministries concerned should have an “HIV sensitive” policy and programmes so that the marginalised populations, infected and affected by the disease, are not denied the benefits of these schemes.”

Ghulam Nabi Azad, India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, and no stranger to controversy, responded that, “MSM is unnatural and not good for India,” reported Daily News & Analysis India. Azad added, “It is a disease which has come to India from other countries where men have sex with men.”

He then explained why it is difficult for “government intervention” programs to be effective, “Such people are large in numbers in our country. But it is difficult to identify them as they do not live in clusters like female sex workers.”

Azad, 62, was born in Kashmir, India, and is married to Shameem Dev Azad, a popular Kashmiri singer.  He has held a series of high-level governmental positions and his organizational skills are said to be his forte.

In 2009 Azad unveiled his unique approach to another sensitive social issue when he advocated for late marriage, suggesting between the ages of 25 and 30, especially for women, as an ideal way to get India’s human overpopulation under control.

Azad further proposed that every household must have a TV, so that couples will busy themselves watching television programs rather than engaging in sexual activity and producing children.