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Human Rights Organizations Condemn Ugandan Law, Bill Criminalizing Homosexuality, HIV Transmission

News outlets report on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Law, enacted in February, and a bill passed earlier this week by the country’s parliament that would criminalize HIV transmission.

BBC News: Uganda’s HIV-prevention law ‘flawed’
“A bill passed by MPs in Uganda which criminalizes the transmission of HIV has been criticized by the campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW). … The government says the legislation, which President Yoweri Museveni must now sign into law within the next three months, will prevent AIDS from spreading. But in a report HRW said the bill, passed by parliamentarians on Tuesday, was a ‘step backward in the fight against AIDS’…” (5/14).

Bloomberg News: Uganda Anti-Gay Law Spurring Abuses, Rights Defenders Say
“A Ugandan law toughening punishments for gay sex has subjected homosexuals to ‘violence and harassment’ and spurred people to go into hiding or flee the country to avoid arrest, according to two human rights groups…” (Gridneff, 5/15).

Key Correspondents: Fear for HIV response as Uganda set to criminalize virus transmission
“…The legislation opposed by activists and health experts obliges a person suspected of the sexual offense to be subjected to HIV testing, mandatory testing for pregnant women and their partners, as well as allowing health workers to disclose a patient’s HIV status to those considered at-risk…” (Okiror, 5/14).

Key Correspondents: Uganda: HIV organizations feel the bite of anti-homosexuality legislation
“Barely three months after Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act was signed into law it has started to bite, with civil society organizations under investigation for ‘promoting homosexuality’…” (Okiror, 5/13).

Reuters: Uganda makes ‘intentional transmission’ of HIV a crime
“The law was passed on Tuesday, a parliamentary spokeswoman said, in response to a resurgence in HIV infections in a country that was once hailed as a success in the global fight against AIDS. Those convicted face up 10 years in prison…” (Biryabarema, 5/14).

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