Uganda has long received praise for its successful handling of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1990s, when it engaged civil society in its prevention efforts and worked to reduce the stigma of the disease. Prevalence rates declined as a result of government policies that promoted the empowerment of civil society, frank discussions of HIV transmission, pragmatic emphasis on comprehensive HIV prevention strategies, and improved access to treatment. However, after sharp declines, recent evidence suggests that HIV incidence and prevalence have increased in Uganda. The HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill, if enacted, would threaten to worsen this trend and undermine the progress that Uganda made in the past decade in responding effectively to the epidemic. Rather, the development of a new HIV law presents an opportunity to strengthen the framework for effective responses to HIV/AIDS.
The stated goal of the HIV bill currently under discussion is "to provide for the prevention and control of HIV and AIDS, protection, counseling, testing, care of persons infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS, rights and obligations of persons infected and affected and for other related matters." But the draft obtained by Human Rights Watch in October 2009 contains numerous provisions that contravene the right to equal protection and non-discrimination under Uganda's constitution and Uganda's obligations under international human rights law. Furthermore, these provisions will ultimately prove counterproductive to reducing the burden of the HIV epidemic in the country.
Human Rights Watch
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Report, People Living With HIV or AIDS, Women, Uganda , Africa, Counselling, Transmission And Prevention,