Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Ugandan President Accepts Award for HIV/AIDS Campaign, Says HIV Not Spread Through Homosexual Contact There
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, after receiving an award for the government's HIV/AIDS campaign, announced on Sunday that because Uganda "has no homosexuals," HIV is not spread through homosexual contact there, the Associated Press reports. During a Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Australia, Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon presented Museveni with an award for Uganda's "aggressive prevention campaign" against HIV/AIDS. The Commonwealth is made up of 54 nations, including Great Britain and its former colonies and dependents. Accepting the award, Museveni said, "In the African villages, once a lion comes to attack the village, you make a very loud alarm, so that the whole village comes and attacks the lion. That is what we did with AIDS." According to Museveni, HIV/AIDS prevalence in Uganda has been reduced to 6.1% from a one-time high of 28% because of his government's "simple strategy" to raise public awareness about HIV/AIDS. Museveni added that HIV is transmitted "only three ways" in Uganda: unprotected heterosexual sex, "careless blood transfusions" and "tribal customs," such as circumcisions, when one knife might be used on several individuals. Despite Museveni's proclamation that homosexuals do not live in his country, a June report from Amnesty International states that Uganda is among 30 countries with documented cases of torture and mistreatment of gay residents. Earlier in the meeting, Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced a $51.5 million donation for HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in the
Asia-Pacific region of the Commonwealth and a $5.9 million donation to African HIV/AIDS prevention programs (O'Connor, Associated Press, 3/3).
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