Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Minorities matter a lot in AIDS fight TUESDAY EDITORIAL

This is the editorial that tetue is speaking about. Strange, isnt it, that the same paper that on Sunday had this Editorial, is the very paper that Tuesday has the editorial below.

Very, very strange.

Reason to be optimistic?

Maybe. Depends on who was the insitigator of the one and the other. Do we have friends in strange places? Of course the other editorial was unbelievably callous. And despite the political interference, I have always had some respect for the New Vision.

Monday, 9th June, 2008

The director general of the Uganda AIDS Commission, Dr. Kihumuro Apuuli, has observed that the gay community in the country should not be neglected while designing anti-HIV/ AIDS strategies. Kihumuro’s advice should be taken seriously.

Uganda’s success in the fight against HIV/AIDS is attributed to its openness and practical approach. Although homosexuality is a crime in Uganda which attracts a stiff prison sentence, that should not be the focus of the struggle against HIV/AIDS infection. In any case, research evidence shows that gay people are not the major drivers of infection in Uganda. But even if they were, it is wrong and self-defeating to focus on mode of infection rather than prevention. Because of the prejudice attached to homosexuality, there is a tendency to treat HIV/AIDS as a moral issue when it is essentially a public health matter.

No matter how people get infected, they have a right to treatment. The gay rights demonstrators last week were not right to gatecrash an HIV/AIDS meeting but it is equally wrong to dismiss some of their complaints as inconsequential.

Gay people need as much protection as anybody else for the simple reason that ignoring any minority group undermines the fight against HIV/AIDS. HIV does not discriminate according to the mode of infection and will continue circulating in any sexually active society if not reined in.

To date, our HIV prevention strategies have worked to bring down infection rates to about 6% but it has stagnated there, implying that new strategies are needed to reduce it further.

So far, the ABC strategy has targeted unmarried people and heterosexuals but minority groups such as gay and commercial sex workers are left out.

Strategies to address such minorities’ needs should be explored because they are part and parcel of our society and cannot be wished away. As the Rev. Can. Gideon Byamugisha correctly puts it, we cannot put conditions on who will survive and who will die. The principal agenda must be saving lives.


Anonymous said...

If Dr Apuuli said "good morning" to me, I would have to check my wristwatch to see if it really is morning as he said. Wow, I'm reeling with disbelief!

I wonder what the reaction of the Ssempas of this world will be...

gayuganda said...

I am trying to figure out the possible reasons for this.

1) They are trying to emphasize the correction of the mis-speak by Apuuli?

2)The person who wrote the editorial 2 days ago was fired, and a liberal hired?

3)The govt had a change of heart in 2 days and were born again, with a new heart.

dont know what to believe. But will try to follow it up, see what it means, this apparently eating of their own words!!!!!

Alexandra said...

I'm really excited to have stumbled onto your blog. You are talking about some real issues here, and it's amazing to hear what you have to say.

Keep Blogging!


Princess said...

Well, well, well.
The two articles are polar opposites! :D
I think you've got friends in high places! :)
*Or is the government bowing to international pressure?
It helps that the Ugandan public is particularly easy to dupe! :P

Anonymous said...

Princess, youre spot on with that word "dupe".

gayuganda said...


I am so confused I am not sure what the 'official' opinion is now.

And I am not sure what to say, except that the signals are very confusing!

Maybe we will know in the next few days. Isnt it strange that Ssempa has not come out with a demonstration? And Nsaba Buturo is silent? Somethings are hard to believe. Hope I do not hear tomorrow of some outrageous uttering from the duo...

Anonymous said...

Gug, you beat me to it. I was just holding my breath for Ssempa's reaction. Or has he too been duped so that he now agrees that gays are relevant to HIV prevention? Heehee, very confusing indeed.

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