Gay HIV positive man fears prison if deported

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A HIV patient fears he will be jailed for being gay if sent back to Malawi, a tribunal has heard.

The man – who cannot be named for legal reasons – claimed he needed to stay in the UK because treatment for HIV positive patients is much more advanced here.

He originally moved to Coventry on a short-term visa – but is now appealing against a Home Office decision to deport him, reports The Birmingham Mail.

He said: “The Government in Malawi has no respect for homosexuals and I will be prosecuted if I am sent back there.

“I know several gays who have been persecuted.”

The man said he feared his parents would find out he is HIV if his identity was made public, and that the Malawian authorities would “single” him and those closest to him out.

He also revealed he was in a relationship with a man from the UK and produced medical evidence to show he was being treated for HIV at the George Eliot Hospital, Coventry.

“People here are kind,” he said, citing reasons for wanting to stay.

“Life here is much better than where I came from.”

The Home Office, however, has questioned his sexuality.

A Government official quizzed: “You did not reveal you were gay during interviews with the Home Office?”

She accused him of not providing enough evidence about his sexuality, but conceded: “He could be gay.”

Homosexuality remains a criminal offence in Malawi – with a new anti-LGBT law coming into effect earlier this year.

Campaigners in Malawi and other African countries have claimed that homophobic legislation is causing gay men to conduct their sex lives in secret, making it hard for health professionals to reach them with information that could protect them from and prevent HIV and Aids.