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Anger at anti-gay Health Minister

India's Health Minister has derided homosexuality as an unnatural "disease" from the West, drawing outrage from activists who said the comments set back the campaign for gay rights and India's fight against HIV.

"Unfortunately this disease has come to our country too ... where a man has sex with another man, which is completely unnatural and should not happen, but does," Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a conference on HIV/Aids in Delhi.

Mr Azad insisted yesterday that he had been misquoted, though video of Monday's speech has aired repeatedly on Indian television.