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Ugandan Government backs HIV/Aids Law

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Elijah Amooti
Member
Posts: 158
Ugandan Government backs HIV/Aids Law
Posted on: May 10 2010, 12:10 am


Hi  All ,
it would  be  vital  for UK policy orgarnisation to guide  poor resouce  limited  countries on  such issues as many  lack expertise in this  area  for  details please  look at  the  article  below.

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/-/688334/915268/-/wykvsk/-/index.html
Cheers
Elijah


Government backs HIV/Aids Bill
     
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By Mercy Nalugo  (email the author)


Posted Monday, May 10 2010 at 00:00

The government has backed a private members’ Bill that makes it criminal to knowingly spread the virus that causes Aids. The Bill has been opposed by human rights groups and anti-HIV/Aids campaigners who oppose harsh penalties like a 10-year jail term for whoever intentionally transmits the virus. Convicts could also suffer a fine not exceeding Shs4.8 million or both.

The State Minister for Health in charge of General Duties, Dr Richard Nduhura, last week told the parliamentary committee on HIV/Aids that the HIV and Aids Prevention and Control Bill, 2009 is necessary as it will punish those that spread the disease.

“Even if the Penal Code legislates against those that infect others with sexually transmitted diseases, we should put in place a specific law to punish those that spread Aids. There are some people who know their status but they do not want to suffer alone,” Dr Nduhura said.

The committee which is spearheading the Bill, was seeking the government’s position on the Bill that has been opposed by human rights activists, saying it violates peoples’ rights and is discriminative in nature.

The minister had earlier opposed key sections in the Bill that criminalise transmission, suggesting that applying the criminal law to HIV transmission would neither achieve criminal justice nor stop the spread of the virus. He said this would increase discrimination against people living with HIV/Aids and undermine public health and human rights. But the minister made a U-turn upon getting explanations from the committee members and distanced himself from the statement.

“We had suggested that the clause be deleted but after listening to arguments from the committee members, the ministry is convinced that the provision should be left there. I see no danger about the Bill which emphasises criminalisation of HIV,” Dr Nduhura said.

“UNAIDS has urged governments to limit criminalisation to cases where a person knows his or her HIV status, acts with the intention to transmit HIV and does in fact transmit HIV,” Dr Alex Ario, the programmes officer of the Aids Control Programme earlier pointed out while presenting the ministry’s position before the committee.
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