Nurses are using the Bible and culture to discriminate us from getting health care services, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) has said.

“If you visit health care centres the nurses use the Bible asking you why do you do this, the Bibles says this and culture says this and that has greatly increased stigma when it comes to accessing services”, Simon Matsikure who works with GALZ told RelZim this in Harare.

Biblically it is a sin for men to have sex with men, and it is unAfrican as well to do the same.

In Zimbabwe homosexuality is criminalized and the country’s President Robert Mugabe is on record denouncing the practice.

GALZ said discrimination of their members by the society increases the risk of HIV transmission and reverses the country’s efforts to reduce its spread.

According to government records Gays contribute 4% of the country’s HIV population.

Matsikure said their members were not visiting public health care centres when infected with HIV or sexually transmitted infections because of fear of discrimination and stigmatization.

“It’s the fear of homophobia, the fear of homosexuals and in society this is not an issue which has been publicly addressed but I think with the coming in of HIV and other health issues that complicate sexuality of key populations we have come to the table to discuss these issues ,”he said.

An HIV rights watch nongovernmental organization the Zimbabwe HIV and AIDS Activist Union Community Trust president Stanley Takaona said no one should be discriminated from accusing HIV and AIDS services.

“I terms of health ethics the nurses are not suppose to stigmatize ,but all in all we are there as a union and if they come to us with their complaints on whatever they want us to speak out on their behalf we will definitely do that.

“What we are sure about the Health curriculum and what health professionals are trained and what we are told by the Health Ministry there is no any other question whether this person is coming from whatever angle, but this is the reason why we are there as a union to stand for them, ”said Takaona.