Press statement

UNAIDS expresses concern over proposed ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ in Uganda

Geneva, 10 May 2011—UNAIDS is concerned over the renewed consideration by the Ugandan Parliament of an ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill.’ UNAIDS considers the criminalization of people based on their sexual orientation a denial of human rights and a threat to public health in the context of the HIV response.

“Uganda’s early leadership in the HIV response under President Museveni helped reverse the rising tide of the epidemic across the country,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. “Respect for the rights of all people, including those most vulnerable to HIV, led to the effective roll-out of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill risks undermining this progress and robs affected Ugandan citizens of their dignity and human rights,” he added.

Under the proposed law, anyone convicted of a homosexual act would face life imprisonment; accused individuals who are HIV-positive would be subject to the death penalty; and all citizens would be required to report any ‘homosexual activity’ to the police. Sex between men is already illegal under Uganda’s existing laws and punishable by imprisonment for up to 14 years.

As the world prepares for the 2011 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS in June to commemorate 30 years of the HIV epidemic and commit to the vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths, UNAIDS calls on governments to ensure that their laws uphold non-discrimination for all people affected by HIV.

Seventy-nine countries and territories around the world continue to criminalize same-sex behaviour. UNAIDS urges these countries and territories to review and repeal laws that discriminate against sexual minorities.

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