Fury at HIV data leak in con­ser­va­tive Sin­ga­pore

Names, ad­dresses of 14,200 peo­ple leaked

The Hindu - - LIFE -

Rico has lived with HIV for al­most a decade, con­fid­ing in only a small num­ber of peo­ple in so­cially con­ser­va­tive Sin­ga­pore, fear­ful of the re­ac­tion. Last month, he got a phone call say­ing in­for­ma­tion about his con­di­tion had been pub­lished on­line.

Mr. Rico was one of 14,200 peo­ple whose HIV sta­tus, name and ad­dress were dumped on the in­ter­net by an Amer­i­can man who is be­lieved to have ob­tained the con­fi­den­tial data from his part­ner — a se­nior Sin­ga­porean doc­tor.

“The LGBT com­mu­nity is an­gry and frus­trated with the en­tire or­deal,” said Mr. Rico, who did not want to be iden­ti­fied by his full name.

The 31-year-old said he was fright­ened that “the leaked in­for­ma­tion may change peo­ple’s per­cep­tion of me”, adding that he had not told all his friends he was HIV-pos­i­tive.

“So­ci­ety may be tol­er­ant to the LGBT com­mu­nity but I do not think they are ready to ac­cept a gay and HIV-pos­i­tive in­di­vid­ual. Not in my life­time,” he said.

While Sin­ga­pore is mod­ern in many ways, ob­servers say so­cial at­ti­tudes have not pro­gressed at the same pace as eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and are of­ten con­ser­va­tive.

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