“With the Aides Maghreb association, we are setting up a project to promote prevention with this category.” Not being clearly informed about the risks of HIV, homosexuals are in a way the “martyrs” of the disease.To deal with this affliction, Yahia and his team are calling for international solidarity.“But though you can feel the fresh air, basically, it’s a prison.” He says that it’s hard to free oneself up, but the cruising areas are the only places to which gays have access.Like many young homosexuals, Mahmoud faces difficult social circumstances.To date, two thousand people with HIV have been reported in Algeria.Stigmatizing people with AIDS, the population cruelly exacerbates a culture of rejection and contempt.The situation of LGBT people in Algeria is worrying.
The Pacha nightclub adjoining the prestigious El Djazair hotel (the former Saint-Georges) becomes the second headquarters of Cappucino’s aficionados. On top of that, people are open and welcoming,” says Lotfi. But, of course, cover charges remain a luxury for many young people across the country.
In all of this, nobody listens to us.” To overcome the extreme precariousness of his situation, education remains the only remedy. The more helpless I feel, the more I give myself the means to fight.” Hydra is a wealthy neighbourhood on the heights of the capital.
It is in this upscale neighbourhood where is found the main unofficial (officially, Algeria has no gay places. On the terrace, families devour shawarmas (the equivalent of kebabs Ed.), while the gays and lesbians of the capital gather upstairs.
As a result, precious few gays permit themselves to receive at home. “If we show up together at some hotels, the receptionist may find the situation fishy and prevent us from renting a room,” says the consultant. If you can’t find a place, going to cruising areas is a last resort.
And that’s where it gets complicated, even to the point of homosexuals being picked up by the police.
As everywhere, homosexuals are among the most affected.