September #166 : Insult to Injury - by Willette Francis

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When to START Drugs?

You Said It

Burn that Belly

In Sync with ZInc

No Butts About It


HIV a Best Seller?

Considering Cannabis

The Importance of Remembering Ryan White

Insult to Injury

World Cup Wrap Up

Back-to-School Books

Angels Redux

Crying Uncle

Fear & Loathing in Illinois

Editor's Letter


Keeping Track

GMHC Treatment Issues- September 2010

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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September 2010

Insult to Injury

by Willette Francis

An HIV criminalization bill comes after an “anti-homosexuality” bill in Uganda.

In 2009, Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati introduced an “anti-homosexuality” bill. The initial draft of the bill would subject anyone convicted of performing a “homosexual act” to a possible sentence of life in prison and some HIV- positive lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to the death penalty.

Some American evangelical groups have been accused of sowing the seeds for this bill. The documentary Missionaries of Hate makes the case that Bahati and others received their inspiration from such groups.

In May, Ugandan lawmaker Beatrice Rwakimari added insult to injury by introducing the 2010 HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Act. The bill would criminalize HIV transmission and mandate HIV testing for pregnant women and their partners, as well as drug users, sex workers and suspected perpetrators and victims of sexual offenses. The bill would also allow medical professionals to disclose the HIV status of the aforementioned people. If the bill becomes law, anyone disobeying it could be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

In response to international pressure, Ugandan officials are considering watering down the bills. However, as we went to press, it remained likely some versions of the bills would become law.

Critics of these bills claim they would fuel stigma and discrimination against both LGBT people and people with HIV/AIDS. As a result, critics say, HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care efforts would be hampered.

Such criticism shouldn’t be taken lightly. Uganda already faces immense difficulties in providing HIV/AIDS services. About 500,000 people in Uganda need treatment, but less than half are getting it.

Search: criminalization, Uganda, David Bahati, homosexuality, evangelical

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