Gays Not Part of Uganda's HIV Treatment Plan

By admin

Originally published on Advocate.com June 03 2008 12:00 AM ET

The head of
Uganda's AIDS commission, Kihumuro Apuuli, claims that
despite his belief that homosexuals are responsible for
increasing the number of HIV infections in the
country, they will not be targeted for treatment,
Reuters reported. Apuuli stated that a lack of money
prevents him from providing any attention or treatment
to gay people.

"Gays are one of
the drivers of HIV in Uganda, but because of meager
resources, we cannot direct our programs at them at this
time," Apuuli told Reuters in the capital, Kampala, on
Monday.

Instead, he
said, he is primarily focused on treating prostitutes,
soldiers, and the transient workforce. More than a million
of Uganda's 27 million people are already
HIV-positive.

Apuuli’s
statement reflects the government’s antigay
sentiment. Section 140 of Uganda's penal code calls
for a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for
homosexual conduct. Section 143 punishes acts of
"gross indecency" with up to five years in prison, while a
sodomy conviction carries a penalty of 14 years to
life imprisonment.

In 2007, James
Nsaba Buturo, the country's minister for Ethics and
Integrity, said the government is committed to preventing
LGBT people from "trying to impose a strange, ungodly,
unhealthy, unnatural, and immoral way of life on the
rest of our society."

Apuuli's comments
come just before an AIDS conference is scheduled to
begin in Kampala on Tuesday. (The Advocate)