Uganda summit excludes gays from discussions of AIDS

Billboard welcoming parliamentary summit to Uganda

Billboard welcoming parliamentary summit to Uganda. (Photo courtesy of London Evening Post)

Gay men in Uganda have an estimated HIV infection rate of 13.7 percent, but homosexuals were not allowed to discuss the issue at the recent parliamentary summit conference in Uganda because “homosexuality is illegal here,” Ugandan parliamentary spokeswoman Helen Kaweesa said.

Two of the topics for the Inter Parliamentary Union summit in the Ugandan capital of Kampala were “HIV/AIDS and the law” and “Reducing to zero new infections,” the website Behind the Mask reported.

Gay rights activists sought observer status for those two discussions, but Kaweesa said the request was rejected because homosexuals  “would divert the attention of the entire summit.”

Kaweesa told a group of gay rights activists seeking accreditation to observer status to two of the summits deliberations on  that homosexuals would not be accepted into the discussion because they “would divert the attention of the entire summit.”

The conference, held from March 31 to April 5, was a gathering of about 2,000 delegates from parliamentary democracies worldwide.

LGBT rights activist Flavia Kyomukama said the exclusion of homosexuals was counterproductive,  because the goal of zero new HIV infections could not be achieved when homosexuals fear to go to hospitals because of homophobic laws.

Recently released figures from the Ugandan government estimate the rate of HIV infections at 6.7 percent of the total population, up from 6.4 percent five years ago. The infection rate among women is estimated at 7.7 per cent; among men, 5.6 per cent.

In addition to discussions of the ongoing crisis in Syria and the recent coup in Mali, health issues played a prominent role in the summit, including discussions of malnutrition in young children; access to health for women and children as a basic right and health services at times of conflict, the Ugandan Daily Monitor website reported.

The theme for the summit was “Parliaments and People: Bridging the Gap.”

That theme was designed to “broaden our thinking about the people and [enable us] to serve them better,” Ugandan member of parliament Mariam Nalubega said.

About Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart, a 40-year journalism veteran, is publisher and an editor of the "Erasing 76 Crimes" blog. More profile information on Google+. Colin Stewart, un vétéran du journalisme de 40 ans, est éditeur et rédacteur en chef du blog "Erasing 76 Crimes." Plus d'informations de profil sur Google+.
This entry was posted in Africa (Sub Saharan), Anti-LGBT laws and legislation, International pressure for LGBT rights and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Uganda summit excludes gays from discussions of AIDS

  1. Pingback: Grants fight AIDS where homosexuality is illegal | 76 CRIMES

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  4. Pingback: Uganda activists fear harsh HIV law will boost AIDS | 76 CRIMES

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