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Athens mayoral candidate says he is HIV positive

17 february 2014, 12:26
Gregory Vallianatos. Photo courtesy of youtube.com
Gregory Vallianatos. Photo courtesy of youtube.com
One of Greece's best-known proponents of gay rights, who is running for mayor of Athens, on Sunday said he is HIV positive in a taboo-breaking move, AFP reports.

Gregory Vallianatos, a 58-year-old journalist, made the announcement on his Facebook page.

"I defend the right of every citizen to be gay... same as the right of everyone who is HIV positive, such as myself, to say or not to say so," he wrote.

Most users commenting on the posting praised Vallianatos courageous, while others criticised the revelation as a bid for votes.

Greece will hold municipal elections in May.

An independent candidate for mayor, Vallianatos is one of few prominent Greeks who is openly homosexual.

Gays in Greece lack many of the basic rights and legal provisions enjoyed in other European countries -- they are still fighting for the recognition of same-sex marriage, access to IVF treatment and the right to adopt.

Hate speech is rife and the influential Greek Orthodox Church is strongly opposed to same-sex relations, despite laws to protect employees from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and the fact that Gay Pride parades have been held in Athens since 2005.

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