Africa / Commentary

Will anti-gay Ugandan derail Global Fund efforts?

Dr. David Kihumuro Apuuli (Faiswal Kasirye photo courtesy of The Monitor)

Dr. David Kihumuro Apuuli (Faiswal Kasirye photo courtesy of The Monitor)

An anti-gay Ugandan is about to join the board overseeing the work of the Global Fund, according to an informed source in Uganda.

The Global Fund, one of the primary supporters of the fight against HIV/Aids worldwide, has been working in recent years to dismantle the barriers that exclude LGBTI people from receiving adequate health care.  That effort could be derailed if an opponent of barrier-free health care becomes influential on the Global Fund board.

A Ugandan friend writes with that unpleasant news:

This year’s homophobic Christmas gift to us is the appointment of Dr. David Kihumuro Apuuli, the former director general of the Uganda Aids Commission (UAC), to the Global Fund board in Geneva. He is to represent Eastern and Southern Africa effective next year.

During his tenure at the top of public health policy-making at UAC in Uganda, homosexuals and sex workers were excluded from access to health.

Uganda’s Aids response worsened from an overall prevalence of 6.4 percent to 7.3 percent, where we are still stuck today. (See coverage of that below.)

Kihumuro believes only in ABC and prayer. He also believes homosexuals should die of HIV because they are living a morally and ungodly life style. I have criticised him one-on-one and publicly for this.

David Bahati (Photo courtesy of NTV)

Ugandan member of parliament David Bahati, who first proposed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in 2009. (Photo courtesy of NTV)

So, today I met him and Mr. David Bahati in Munyonyo on the sidelines of the just-ended Global Fund Uganda CCM retreat. I told him I was happy for him but would openly oppose him if he exported his homophobia to Geneva.

During his tenure, Uganda had a culture of exporting homophobia to the region.

I hope he has had a change of heart.

Related coverage:

Anti-gay forces sabotaging Uganda’s fight against HIV/AIDS (April 2012, Changing Attitude)

Uganda Activists Press for Gay Inclusion in National HIV Plan  (September 2011, South Florida Gay News)

Obama’s Evangelical Gravy Train: Despite the president’s promise to cut funding to discredited HIV and pregnancy prevention programs, taxpayer dollars are still bankrolling anti-gay, anti-choice conservative religious groups (July 2014, The Nation)

The current Global Fund board representatives from Eastern and Southern Africa are:

Anita Asiimwe, Global Fund board member from Rwanda.

Anita Asiimwe, Global Fund board member from Rwanda.

Board Member – Anita Asiimwe. Head of Clinical Services, University Teaching Hospitals, Rwanda. Anita Asiimwe is a specialist in Public Health disciplines with vast experience in designing and implementing strategies to tackle HIV/AIDS pandemic and other infectious and non-infectious diseases. A medical doctor by profession, she previously served as Minister of State in charge of Public Health and Primary Health Care.

Alternate – Benedict Xaba. Government of the Kingdom of Swaziland. Benedict Xaba was elected Member of Parliament in September 2008 then appointed Minister for Health in Swaziland from 2008 to 2013.

3 thoughts on “Will anti-gay Ugandan derail Global Fund efforts?

  1. Pingback: Hurrah! Uganda prepares to rein in anti-gay anti-Aids agency | 76 CRIMES

  2. Pingback: Resignation adds uncertainty to Aids battle in Uganda | 76 CRIMES

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