Out of all the citizens living in Italy, about 90% are Catholic. In the Catholic religion, gay marriage is forbidden, however, a person who is homosexual is allowed in the Church (not married). The Italian government, naturally, does not allow gay marriage in the country and recently refused to accept the union of three couples in the highest court of the country. The Vatican, while not part of the country (it has its own government), does influence the Italian culture. In an issue a few years ago, a group of citizens in Italy who supported gay rights protested outside important buildings of the Italian government. Despite many protests and groups like this, the government of Italy is still against the “push” towards accepting same-gender marriages (even though many other European countries have passed laws supporting them).
Does the view of a country on homosexuality influence its HIV/AIDS rate? An interesting question. According to AVERT, an international HIV/AIDS charity, Italy had one of the highest rates of infection in all of Western Europe. In another statistic, it showed that 37% of infection in Western Europe was transmitted through male-male relationships. This means that perhaps a large amount of people that were affected in Italy were affected through same-sex relationships. However, there are about one million more women than men in the population of almost 60 million. Back to the original question, what does this show about laws concerning homosexuality versus the HIV rates in the country? To form your opinion, visit sites such as GeoHive for population data and AVERT, as mention before, for international HIV/AIDS information. For information about HIV/AIDS specifically, visit PBS.org.