Monday, November 29, 2010
Open Urgent Appeal to HIV/AIDS Civil Society in Uganda to scale-back MSM HIV bridging population Infection rates on occasion of Marking World Aids Da
Photo:Minority activists make a case for equal access to treatment before Parliamentary HIV/AIDS Committee.( L-R)Ms Macklean Kyomya (WONETHA), Mr.Kikonyogo Kivumbi (UHSPA)and Ms Daisy Nakato( WONETHA)
Kampala, November 30,201O…. We, the leaders of Minority Rights Organizations in Uganda with Special interest in reversing HIV/AIDS prevalence rates among our constituencies;
Aware of the important contribution of Ugandan Civil Society to best practices in Global management of HIV/AIDS,
In full Solidarity with you our sisters and brothers in CSO in the genuine struggles ahead to better management of HIV/AIDS Uganda,
Cognizant of the incredible contribution to past and ongoing research involving sex workers and LGBTI community in Uganda and other countries to the development and advancement of knowledge on Anti Retroviral Therapy, prevention, care and diagnostic regimes, currently benefiting Ugandans,
Underscoring the important lobbying you do for Universal access to Anti retroviral Therapy, better Pediatrics HIV/AIDS Management, putting an end to Stock Outs of Medicines in Health facilities, engendering health, Safe motherhood and Reproductive Health and Rights.
Recognizing the diversity in constituencies we advocate for,
Aware of the sensitivities associated with some of the constituencies we advocate for,
Recognising the bravery of incredible activists including Noerine and Christopher Kaleeba; Philly Bongoley Lutaaya to ending stigma, rejection, discrimination, and condemnation based on one’s sero status
DO HEREBY MAKE THIS PASSIONATE AND URGENT CALL OF ACTION TO YOU as we mark the World Aids Day 2010 under the international theme: 'Universal Access and Human Rights' to make efforts and interventions in addressing Uganda’s bridging population of HIV postive sexual minorities and Commercial Sex Workers, in an effort to scale down, the stagnant HIV/AIDS prevalence in Uganda.
The 6.4% (UAC) national HIV prevalence is not acceptable, especially given that policy makers in our country are playing the Ostrich game with this bridging population. No policy interventions, worth writing home about are in place to create senstisation, awareness, and information to sexual minorities especially homosexuals on HIV/AIDS management. Yet, Men who have sex with Men, out of social pressure get girlfriends or wives to publicly display their masculinity.
MSM in Uganda have no access to information, senstisation or awareness from public health framework on prevention, care or treatment that addresses their specific challenges. All HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness messages target heterosexuals, creating the wrong and dangerous assumption that only unprotected heterosex can result into infections.
We , therefore, specifically call on you fellow activists to:
• Show solidarity when efforts to sentise our constituencies on HIV/AIDS are unlawfully interrupted by Policy Makers like the recent cancellation of a sex workers conference at Serena Victoria Hotel. HIV/AIDS awareness and protection was on the agenda of that meeting cancelled by Ethics Minister Dr James Nsaba Buturo.
• Ask government to include LGBTI under MARPS in access to health care in the Health Sector Strategic Investment Plan III and in the HIV Health Sector HIV Strategic Plan II.
• Demand for government commitment to providing sexual minorities access to health care, awareness, information and sensitization as a public health obligation in the HIV/AIDS Control Bill 2010,currently before Parliament.
• Remind government to include LGBTI access to Health care in research activities undertaken with Public Resources.
• Implement recommendations in the National Policy Guidelines and Service Standards for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights to enable LGBTI access to health care without discrimination
• Call for the total withdraw of the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009 from Ugandan Parliament as it will cause undue interference in the management of HIV/AIDS in Uganda and some gains so far made.
For God and My Country
For details and partnership on this appeal,
Plot 4A, Kimera Road, Ntinda, Kampala ( Next to Quality Supermarket)
Tel: cell. +256 752 628406, Office: + 256 (0)392911830,
Contact Person: Kikonyogo Kivumbi, Executive Director, Uhspa-Uganda
Uganda Health andScience Press Association ( UHSPA-Uganda)
Women’s Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA)
Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum-Uganda
Dr Paul Semugooma, MD
Frank & Candy -Uganda
Rain Bow Health Foundation-Mbarara
Friday, November 26, 2010
'What's wrong with Lesbian Sex?' Asks Ugandan High Court Judge
Kampala- November 26, 2010
A High Court Judge in Uganda has questioned the legality and assertions that two women in an intimate sexual relationship were “against the order of nature.”
In a first to casting a shadow of doubt and unconstitutionality on the draconian Ugandan Penal Code criminalizing same sex relationships in Uganda, Justice Kibuuka Musoke wondered Friday in Kampala what wrong two intimate women in Love commit.
“Two women…..Tell me counsel; …….what order of nature is violated here?!” Justice Musoke, asked a defense lawyer in a case in which three alleged gays sued a Ugandan tabloid for violating their Constitutional Rights.
The defense lawyer had told a packed court that two of the plaintiffs (names with held) were lesbians, committing acts against the order of nature, and promoting homosexuality.
He cited several internet sites where the photos of the plaintiffs are alleged to appear as gay activists. The defense lawyer also struggled to tell court that the plaintiffs had appeared in several local publication and media, but that they (plaintiffs) had not brought any legal action against the other publications. He cited New Vision, Bukedde and the Observer newspapers.
But Justice Kibuuka Musoke quashed his accusing libido. “If a thief comes to my the first time and escapes, does it mean I can’t make an alarm the second time?!” the Justice wondered.
Earlier this month, a Ugandan newspaper, the Rolling Stone, published pictures of alleged gays and lesbians. The paper also published residential addresses, favorite pubs and detailed personal information, with a call to the mobs to lynch them.
Justice Kibuuka Musoke overruled the defence lawyers libido to crossexamine, the first plaintiff “ to measure the amount of pain she experienced by the publication of the story.”
The judge said pain is not only physical, but can also be mental,anxiety and fear. “ It is disallowed. Court is not satisfied with reasons advanced to cross examine the first applicant,” the Judge noted.
Dr Henry Onoria, the lead counsel and Mr. Francis Onyango (UHSPA member) defending the plaintiffs told court that the rights of the three alleged gays to privacy, dignity, freedom of movement and association had been threatened by the publication of the story on alleged or perceived. Dr Onoria prayed that court awards Shs 150million as compensation and costs of the case to his clients and a permanent injuction against the Rolling Stone from further publishing names of alleged or actual homosexuals. The case comes up December 13,2010 at 3pm
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010
American Pastors donate US$ 30,000 for gay hatrade newspaper
FOUR American Evangelical Christian Pastors have donated US$30,000 to an HIV/AIDS organisation along Sentema road in Kampala to facilitate the publishing of the Rolling stone tabloid,advocating for hatrade,violence and death against Ugandan homosexuals.The move is to ensure that the money is not frozen by the High Court on Rolling stone account, following a recent high court order against the paper.The latest issue of the rolling stone photographed above claims homosexuals carried out kampala bombings,and were behing al-shabab attacks in Kampala in July 2010.
This time round the pastors are working behind an American trained Ugandan Catholic priest attached to Nalukongo Vulnerable peoples home along Ndeba road in Kampala who is a board member of the NGO. It is not clear if the catholic priest is working as an individual or has institutionalised blessing. If he has institutionalised go-ahead, it will be a departure from the Uganda Joint Christian Council Position, opposing the killing of homosexuals in Uganda. A source close to the HIV/AIDS organisation said the money was wired from Centenary Bank Blue Room branch to the NGO's account (names with held)last week. Uganda has 41%catholics of the 33 million people. The joining together of strategy is a new development in circles advocating the passing of the kill-the-gays-bill. In the recent past an aggressive campaign by radical US evangelical christian pastors to impose their illiterate agenda on Ugandans when they introduced the Anti Homosexuality Bill in Parliament after sponsoring Ndorwa west MP,David Bahati was damaged by strong local and international LGBTI lobbying pressure. One of the campaigns tagged The Call saw demonstration in the United States against a pastor who was importing his hatrade for gays into Uganda.
This time round, the NGO has bosted that the President is likely to pronounce himself on the issue of homosexuality during his seeking re-election campaign trail.
A source at the HIV/AIDS NGO said some of the money would be used to organise a seminar for Catholic youths in Mukono at a school called Namagunga to encourage the youths to " only vote for politicians who make their anti homosexuality agenda" public. Radio announcements have been placed on CBS radio for youths to register.
In another development, Sheikh Shaban Mubajje,yesterday during Iddi el Fitri prayers at Old Kampala, Gaddafi mosque said all leaders who do not pronounce themselves on homosexuality shall be suprised on the voting day in February 2011. His tone was repeated by Sheik kakeeto of the Tabliqs sect during their prayers at Clock Tower mosque. Although the two factions of muslims do not see eye to eye over alleged sell of muslim property in Kampala, Sheikh Mubajje suggested they ( Mubajje group) would conduct an indpendent census of muslims to politically demad government pronounce itself on the gays bill.
He said the Uganda National Bureau of standards was " doctoring" muslims statistics to silence them on matters of national importance " like homosexuality when they say we are a minority"
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Open letter to Uganda government on intentional ommission of LGBTI from accessing health care under HSSIP Policy
PICTURE CAPTION LGBTI and Sex workers rights activists join a match through the streets of Kampala (June2010) to demand increades funding and equal access to health care from leaders to be elected in next years's Presidential elections. The Ministry of Health has since intentionally omitted LGBTIs from HSSIPIII
November 7, 2010
The Permanent Secretary,
Ministry of Health,
P.O. Box 7272
RE: OMISSION OF SEXUAL MINORITIES FROM ACCESSING VITAL HEALTH SERVICES UNDER MARPS IN HEALTH SECTOR STRATEGIC PLAN III
Uganda Health and Science Press Association (UHSPA-Uganda), a network of groups and individuals working to mainstream minority rights in Uganda’s Public Health Policies and laws is concerned about the omission/ exclusion of sexual minorities from accessing vital health services in the soon to be launched Health Sector Strategic Plan III.
Although UHSPA participated in the Civil Society Joint Assessment of the HSSPIII, we have founded fears that the policy has not catered for health needs of sexual minorities under MARPS. The omission of this vulnerable group poses a threat to Uganda’s management of HIV/AIDS as the HSSPIII was our best hope as a country, for starting awareness, senstisation and information to sexual minorities, particularly LGBTI especially on HIV/AIDS.
While it is true that there are observed consistence of HIV infection rates among the married heterosexuals, the 2010 UNGASS Report for Uganda clearly shows that there is no policy intervention in our public health infrastructure to address vital access to health for sexual minorities. A PDF link to UNGASS 2010 is here: http://data.unaids.org/pub/Report/2010/uganda_2010_country_progress_report_en.pdf
Uganda as a current member of the United Nations Human Rights Council cannot afford to jubilate the vulnerability of some sections of its population by keeping them off the health access radar as clearly indicated in the UNGASS Report 2010.
Under state obligations to developing national health policies, Uganda agreed and committed to state parties responsibility in accordance with article 12.1 of the ICESCR (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) to observe “the right of every one to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” Under the same state obligations, Uganda also agreed under Article 12.2 to “steps to be taken by state parties…… to achieve the full realization of this right,” under which the HSSPIII is conceived.
The right to health which HSSPIII intends to omit for sexual minorities is closely related to and dependent upon the realisation of other human rights as contained in the International Bill of Rights. By virtue of article 2.2 and article 3 of the ICESCR, the covenant proscribes any discrimination in access to health care and underlying determinants of health, as well as to means and entitlements for their procurement.
Besides, the Ministry of Health’s own National Policy Guidelines and Service Standards for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights recognizes sexual orientation and defines Sexuality as a “ central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. It is experienced through thoughts, fantasies and perception.”
This communication is to express our concerns and fears on the omission of this vulnerable group from HSSPIII, and also request for a meeting to find a common way forward.
Kikonyogo N. Kivumbi
Cc: Uganda Aids Commission
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