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Tanzania stops 40 health centers from offering AIDS services

By The Associated Press  -  The Associated Press

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) Tanzania's government has stopped 40 privately run health centers from providing AIDS-related services, accusing them of catering to homosexuals.

Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said Thursday the government believes that non-governmental organizations are using the centers to promote gay sex.

In Tanzania, gay sex is criminalized and punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

The HIV rate among gay men here stands at 30 percent, according to government figures.

Mwalimu also said Thursday the government was expanding HIV/AIDs services at 3,000 other health centers across the country.

The announcement comes about six months after the government threatened to deregister pro-gay civic groups it said were harmful to the "culture of Tanzanians."

In September, the government temporarily suspended HIV/AIDs outreach projects targeting gay men.

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