May 21, 2010
Ugandan HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Act Criticized
The 2010 HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Act, introduced May 19 in the Ugandan Parliament, criminalizes HIV transmission, mandates HIV testing for certain people and requires medical personnel to disclose the HIV status of those people, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
“The bill contains measures that have been proven ineffective against the AIDS epidemic and that violate the rights of people living with HIV…. Like the anti-homosexuality bill, the HIV/AIDS bill tramples on rights and encourages stigma and intolerance,” said Joe Amon, HRW’s health and human rights director.
The group is advocating that the bill’s punitive and discriminatory provisions be removed in order to protect the rights of people with HIV/AIDS.
The bill mandates HIV testing for pregnant women and their partners, suspected perpetrators and victims of sexual offenses, drug users and sex workers. Medical personnel would be allowed to disclose a person’s HIV status.
Under a “general penalty” clause in the bill, anyone who disobeys the law could be imprisoned up to 10 years.
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