(DELHI, India) -- India's minister of health, Ghulam Nabi Azad said he was misquoted after saying that homosexuality was "unnatural" at a HIV/AIDS conference in Delhi on Monday, according to BBC News.
Although homosexuality was legalized in India in 2009, discrimination against the homosexual community in the country is still common.
Azad was criticized by activists for calling homosexuality "a disease which has come from other countries."
"Even though it is unnatural, it exists in our country and is now fast-spreading, making it tough to detect," the health minister said at the conference Monday.
Gay rights activists are now calling for Azad to apologize for the remarks, one even telling BBC News that Azad is "ill-informed" and "living on another planet."
But Tuesday, Azad said in a news conference that his quotes were taken out of context.
"My reference was to HIV as a disease," Azad said, according to BBC News. "As health minister, I know [male homosexual sex] is not a disease."
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio