October 16, 2009
AIDS Activists Fear Ugandan Draft Bill Promotes HIV Stigma, Discrimination
A draft bill before the Ugandan parliament proposes a seven-year jail term for anyone committing, aiding or promoting homosexual activity, IRIN PlusNews reports. If the measure is passed, AIDS activists fear it will force men who have sex with men (MSM) further underground and away from HIV prevention and education services.
According to the article, the bill—introduced by ruling party parliament member David Bahati—would force anyone found guilty of homosexuality to take an HIV test.
“Bahati’s proposed bill also supports stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive people, and would undermine years of efforts to tackle the epidemic,” Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe, a human rights activist, and Frank Mugisha, co-chair of Sexual Minorities Uganda, said in a joint statement. “Uganda has been considered a ‘best practice’ leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS. If [the bill is] passed, this leadership status would be put in serious question.”
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