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President Museveni's Visit Protested by HIV/AIDS Experts
Date:11/2/2007

roups like prostitutes and truck drivers and at an international AIDS summit in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2004, Museveni decried condoms as encouraging promiscuity, and lashed out at them as inappropriate for Ugandans. "I look at condoms as an improvisation, not a solution," Museveni said, adding that he preferred "optimal relationships based on love and trust instead of institutionalized mistrust, which is what the condom is all about."

* First Lady Janet Museveni said in an interview with the BBC World Service that condom distribution pushes young people into sex and recently equated condom use with theft and murder.

President Museveni also continues to perpetuate the spread of misinformation and the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS:

* Uganda's Monitor reports that on Sept. 24, 2007, during a speech to officials from 12 Ugandan universities, Museveni said of a person who contracts HIV, "Instead of being an asset, you become a burden. ... And afterwards, they announce that [the person] has died after a very long illness ... is that not treason?" According to the Monitor, treason is a capital offense punishable by death in Uganda.

* He said in an interview with the Washington Times that "AIDS is not a serious sickness ... because it's not very contagious" and that people can easily avoid acquiring the virus.

* Military spokesperson Maj. Felix Kulaije in April 2006 said the Ugandan armed forces no longer will train HIV-positive soldiers and will not consider them for advancement.

* Museveni announced that because Uganda "has no homosexuals," HIV is not spread through homosexual contact there. However, Uganda not only has homosexuals, but Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented that homosexuals have suffered systematic abuse at the hands of the government.


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SOURCE Global AIDS Alliance
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