What Uganda Should Be Worrying About

At the same time Uganda is threatening to make consensual same-sex relations punishable by death or life in prison, the nation is facing a jump in the rate of HIV infections. The Ugandan Parliament website reported today on a Ministry of Health briefing which disclosed that the HIV rate has increased to 7.3% in 2011 from 6.4% in 2004.

Given the rush to enact a law depriving gays of life and liberty, one might think that the driver of this increase is homosexuality. However, that is not the case. According to the article, married couples are driving the chamges.

Dr.Musinguzi warned that the HIV/AIDS rates that had gone down in the 1990s have now shot up and require urgent redress. The new statistics point at Women bearing the biggest burden of the disease with 55% of the new infections discovered amongst women.

The research attributes the trend to multiple sexual partners as the key driver to the spread of the disease. 80% of the men interviewed by health experts accepted leaving with concurrent multiple sexual partners while 68% of the women lived the same lifestyle.

The Speaker of Parliament Rt.Hon. Rebecca Kadaga who officiated at the opening of the dialogue re-echoed the need to lay new strategies to reverse the HIV/AIDS trend.

“Although a number of achievements have been made in the fight against AIDS, the epidemic seems to have shifted from single young persons to those married and in long term relationships. I am also concerned that the rich women are now more vulnerable to HIV than others. This is a worrying trend,” the Speaker noted.

Gays are a negligible aspect of the HIV picture in Uganda but the Parliament is wasting time debating homosexuality. The MPs should be spending their time worrying about the sexual behavior of straights. It is beyond belief that the Ugandan Parliament is risking donor funding over the Anti-Homosexuality Bill when the more immediate issue for HIV is infidelity among straights in long term relationships.




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  • Bernie

    I am not the least bit surprised that the level of HIV cases in the African States are increasing among heterosexuals. The same trend is occurring in the United States, is it not? This has never been about homosexuals, moreover, it has been about their denial of the facts, and their displacement of blame.

  • inca nitta

    Unfortunately, in the US as well as in the West, it is not.

  • Polygamy is both legal and accepted in Uganda. The Bible only says Bishops and Deacons should only have one wife, remember, and Muslims don’t even have those strictures.

  • Richard Willmer

    I suspect that what’s happening is that ‘single’ people, including gays, are taking precautions, whereas married people are say to themselves “it’s okay, I know and trust my partner, so precautions are not necessary.” Problem is that all too many married people (men on the whole?) have what are locally known as ‘side dishes’ without the knowledge of their spouse. The transmission path is thus ‘side dish’ to husband, husband to wife …

    One important effect, I suspect, of LGB/T/I-bashing is to make heterosexuals more ‘complacent’ (“it’s somebody else’s problem”).

    (One hears murmurs that even some of those anti-gay MPs may have such ‘side dishes’, by the way. More on that later perhaps if the Bill actually passes …)

  • Lynn David

    Yeah, HIV, their economy, and the graft that permeates Ugandan government.

  • Frank McMullan

    My understanding is that men who have sex with men, MSM, are a key vector in the transmission of HIV infection. Some of those men, of course, also have sex with women. One of the great tragedies of Santa Kadaga’s proposed Christmas present is the extremely likely further increase in the prevalence of AIDS as a result of driving MSM further into hiding and thus not dealing with the risks and effects of infection as constructively as they otherwise would. Just ONE of the great tragedies…

  • Richard Willmer

    Good point, Frank. (I have perhaps ‘hinted’ at it, but you’ve set it out very well!)