On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed an unprecedented law criminalizing the country's LGBT citizens and allowing life imprisonment for gay sex and "aggravated homosexuality," including sex while HIV-positive. The impact this law will have on the AIDS epidemic in that country will be immediate and devastating.
US Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement calling it a "tragic day" for Uganda, condemning the new law and revealing that his country's relationship with Uganda is now under review.
“We are also deeply concerned about the law’s potential to set back public health efforts in Uganda, including those to address HIV/AIDS, which must be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner in order to be effective,” Kerry states.
Like Kerry, we know firsthand that homophobia and stigma fuel AIDS, and that love and compassion can fight it. The Elton John AIDS Foundation has been fighting AIDS in Uganda since 1994, giving over £2 million to 59 separate programmes. We were the first private funders of The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), an initiative that has had unparalleled results in preventing HIV infection, restoring hope and improving the quality of life of gay men and all those affected by HIV and AIDS in Uganda.