For Immediate Release
As Uganda pushes HIV on to the presidential candidates’ agenda, PHR is calling for equal treatment for all Ugandans who suffer from HIV/ADS, including the country’s persecuted LGBT population.
"While Uganda’s efforts to tackle the AIDS epidemic are commendable, we cannot turn a blind eye to the country’s blatant disregard for the basic rights of its LGBT citizens, a population that is widely affected by the epidemic,” said Frank Donaghue, CEO of Physicians for Human Rights. "Uganda cannot make treating the disease a priority as long as it actively persecutes people living with AIDS.”
Being gay is still a criminal offense in thirty-seven countries in Africa, including Uganda, and the life of a LGBT person in Uganda is full of secrecy and fear. Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was recently beaten to death months after a Ugandan newspaper ran Kato’s picture on the front page under a headline stating, "Hang Them.” The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which is still before Uganda’s parliament, would impose life imprisonment or death for people engaging in consensual sex with someone of the same sex.
"The Anti-Homosexuality Bill legitimizes the appalling discrimination that Uganda’s LGBT population regularly suffers,” said Donaghue. "Uganda must end this damaging persecution so that the country can begin to heal and properly tackle the AIDS epidemic.”
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.