Gays in Uganda need to be included in programs combating HIV/AIDS, activists told a panel compiling information for a Ugandan report to the United Nations on the country’s AIDS prevention efforts.
In the previous report, in 2010, Uganda indicated that it had no programs for men who have sex with men because they were an illegal population.
Under current Ugandan law, homosexual activities are punishable by imprisonment for life.
The South Africa-based news and advocacy organization Behind the Mask reported on gay-rights advocates’ statement that the fight against AIDS is weakened by excluding homosexuals from treatment programs:
The gay activists from MARPS Uganda Network (Most at Risk Population) and UhspaUganda told a national stakeholder’s validation meeting for the UN General Assembly (UNGASS) 2012 report at Hotel Africana in Kampala that exclusion of homosexuals from HIV/AIDS programming hampered country specific response in bringing down infections.
According to the Ugandan ministry of health, 7.7 percent of the country’s women and 5.6 percent of men are HIV-positive.