August 20, 2014
Concerns Over HIV Criminalization Law in Uganda
Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, has signed into law measures that impose harsh penalties for people living with HIV/AIDS, BuzzFeed reports. The HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 2014 contains provisions that could result in prison.
The punishment for “intentional transmission of HIV” is 10 years in prison plus a fine and five years for “attempted transmission of HIV.” The law also allows for mandatory testing of pregnant women and enables courts to release HIV status without consent.
A White House spokesperson did not comment, but Ambassador Deborah Birx, the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, had previously called for the bill not to become law after the Ugandan parliament passed the legislation this past May.
This new law comes after the Ugandan high court struck down the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was rejected on a technicality. Both laws have raised concerns for advocates. They assert that the HIV response would be impeded if the laws are implemented.
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