A Communist newspaper for young people reports that homosexuality is on the increase in the Soviet Union and says it should continue to be treated as a crime to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Moskovsky Komsomolets, the official paper of the Communist Party's Komsomol youth league, gave no estimate of the number of homosexuals. But it said higher divorce rates have disturbed the process of sexual identification.
The report on homosexuality was a rare disclosure for the Soviet media and an apparent example of Kremlin leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's policy of glasnost, or openness, concerning social problems.
However, the report held fast to traditional Soviet policy, maintaining that homosexuality can be eradicated with education and upbringing.
"The comparison will not please some people, but this can be treated by the same methods as alcoholism is treated," the newspaper said.
It warned that diseases are spread by homosexual contact, including AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome. AIDS, which is epidemic among homosexuals in the United States, is a deadly condition that destroys the body's immune system.