Fear of homosexuals scuttles Uganda AIDS conference

A planned conference in Uganda about reining in the country’s AIDS epidemic has been delayed and may be cancelled because of government concerns that it might promote homosexuality.

Online banner for planned AIDS conference in Uganda.
Online banner for planned AIDS conference in Uganda.

These are links to preparatory announcements about the now-delayed or canceled conference:


The LGBT rights coalition Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) issued this statement about the decision:

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) a network of lesbian gay bisexual transgender and intersex organisations in Uganda is saddened by the postponement of the First Annual Conference on Key and Priority Populations.

Logo of Sexual Minorities Uganda
Logo of Sexual Minorities Uganda

According to information sent by the National Organizing committee, the First Annual Conference on Key and Priority Populations Conference that was scheduled for 9th – 10th May 2018 has been suspended after the Uganda AIDS Commission Director General met with other government officials who needed more information about the intentions of the meeting. After the meeting, it was agreed that the Director General suspends the conference until the outcomes have been clearly clarified.

This annual conference was meant to highlight work done towards elimination of HIV/AIDs across Uganda and beyond, create opportunities for networking and feedback and contribute to a growing international body of knowledge on key populations and priority population programming. Key populations and priority programming is an integral part of wider HIV/AIDS programming in Uganda and there’s a wealth of activities engaging these groups that need to be highlighted.

We are appalled that the government cancelled the event on basis of alleged promotion of homosexuality.

Sexual Minorities Uganda calls upon:

  • The Friends of SMUG, Civil Society and other allies in Uganda, across Africa and the globe to closely watch the space for any developments.
  • The Government of Uganda, we urge you to join us in the fight against HIV/AIDS without exclusion.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]


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