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December 15, 2008

Ugandan Bill to Require HIV Testing, Disclosure of Status

Under a bill proposed in Uganda, those who test positive for HIV will have their status shared with their sexual partners and spouses with or without their consent, the Daily Monitor reports. The proposed HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Bill 2008 was presented before a committee of Parliament this week.

According to the article, the bill also seeks to guarantee access to treatment and to protect those living with the virus from discrimination. The bill also requires testing for those convicted of drug abuse, people charged with sexual offenses such as rape, and sex workers convicted on prostitution charges. Ugandan HIV/AIDS activists counter that the bill will compromise the confidentiality of voluntary HIV testing.

“This criminalization will automatically affect disclosure, which has been encouraged, and it will therefore increase the level of silent transmission among the population,” said Stella Kentutis, program manager of the National Forum of People Living With HIV/AIDS Networks in Uganda.

Similar laws criminalizing willful transmission of HIV have been passed in China, Kenya, the Philippines and South Africa.

Search: Uganda, National Forum of People Living With HIV/AIDS Networks, criminalization, China, Kenya, the Philippines, South Africa


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