Ugandan President Museveni Calls for Public-Private Partnership To Fight HIV/AIDS During U.S. Meeting
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last week during a meeting in Washington, D.C., with representatives from the African Diplomatic Corps, U.S. government officials and representatives from the health care industry called for a public-private partnership to fight HIV/AIDS in Uganda, Uganda's Monitor reports. Museveni said the partnership would be crucial in furthering HIV/AIDS research and in providing antiretroviral drugs to HIV-positive people.
Museveni while in the U.S. also met with President Bush, members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Ugandans living in the U.S., the Monitor reports (Matsiko, Monitor, 11/4). In addition, Ugandan first lady Janet Museveni met with first lady Laura Bush to discuss health-related issues, including HIV/AIDS, gender and empowerment of rural African women, according to a Ugandan State House release (Musamali, New Vision, 10/31).
President Bush praised Museveni's "determined efforts" to fight HIV/AIDS and malaria, the AP/North County Times reports. Bush said that Uganda is the "epitome" of how to implement the ABC strategy -- which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms -- to "achieve concrete and specific results" in HIV prevention.
Bush also said his administration would "work with Uganda on their eligibility" for the Millennium Challenge Account, which provides financial aid to countries that meet certain requirements, such as committing to democratic reforms, economic freedoms and human rights (Loven, AP/North County Times, 10/30). Uganda already has received $10 million from the account (New Vision, 10/31).
Human Rights Watch in a letter to Bush ahead of his meeting with Museveni urged him to discuss alleged human rights abuses in Uganda, the AP/Times reports. Neither Bush nor Museveni discussed the alleged abuses (AP/North County Times, 10/30). According to a Global AIDS Alliance release, the HRW letter said Museveni's "statements and [Ugandan] Parliament's proposed criminalization of HIV transmission will only undermine the fight against a worsening epidemic by creating an environment of blame and discrimination." Paul Zeitz, executive director of GAA, said, "Ugandans deserve respect and recognition for their hard work in fighting HIV/AIDS, yet it is wrong for the sponsors of Museveni's speech to praise his leadership on AIDS" (GAA release, 11/2).