Uganda Drafts Law to Execute HIV Infectors
Last week a story circulated on the Reuters wire from India about an HIV positive woman forced to abort her fetus and a man with AIDS stoned to death. Now comes this story out of Africa and I sadly expect USA HIV/AIDS groups, of which there are hundreds, maybe thousands, to remain utterly mute.
In 1999, an HIV-infected 30-year-old man named Fred Mwanga shocked the country when he raped a three-month-old baby in a Kampala suburb.
Even more upsetting, Mwanga's action was not an isolated incident. The rate of HIV-infected adults sexually abusing the nation's most vulnerable citizens is rising. As these ill men prey on the minors, they spread the deadly HIV virus. Already one in 10 Ugandans is HIV-positive or has full-blown AIDS.
Now, however, the Ugandan government is drafting a bill to execute offenders who knowingly infect minors with HIV.
If passed, any HIV-infected person who performs a sexual act with another person who is below the age of 18 years commits a felony called 'aggravated defilement' and, if convicted by the high court, will be executed, Elioda Tumwesigye, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on HIV/AIDS said in August. Defilement refers to the act of sex with a child 18 years or younger, with or without consent.
People like Mwanga could face death if Parliament passes this legislation.
Human rights groups in Uganda believe the bill is off target. Instead of putting unnecessary emphasis on death sentences, more effort should go to fighting HIV/AIDS and in AIDS awareness campaigns, they say. [...]
What will it take for USA HIV advocates to realize that silence = death for many people with HIV or AIDS around the world and for the well-paid advocate to loudly call attention to and condemn the abuses faced by PWAs beyond our borders?