Focus on LGBTI Health in Uganda imminent? 6

Even as debate rages over whether Museveni said WERE or ARE (“homosexuals were/are not persecuted …”) in the BBC Hardltalk interview where he again admitted that homosexuality is not a Western import, there are signs that the agitation for LGBTI to be included in public health provision programs in Uganda might be paying off.

Behind the Mask reports that there are indications that “Uganda’s Aids Commission will this year make available services to homosexuals when the government launches the National HIV…”

The attention couldn’t come soon enough. As I have argued repeatedly, the struggle for human rights makes sense if those you are fighting for are kept alive. Government neglect of HIV infected LGBTI people has probably done more harm to the gay community than Bahati’s bill for the simple reason that HIV/Aids sufferers have died. Yet we are not dying from being hounded by David Bahati or Martin Ssempa. The consequences for neglecting gay men in the fight against HIV has been acknowledged in various forums such as the one reported on by the New Vision last year,  and it would appear that the impact on women that the same gay men are sleeping with has also been accepted.

So, this latest announcement would mark a step in the right direction in the fight for gay men and women to have equal access to public health provision.