Uganda Shuts Down HIV/AIDS Clinic

Uganda Shuts Down HIV/AIDS Clinic April 8, 2014

The horrors of that brutal new anti-gay law in Uganda are becoming more appalling by the day. The Ugandan police shut down one of the few clinics in that country that treated those with HIV and AIDS and arrested clinic staff for the “crime” of “promoting homosexuality.”

Activists in Uganda report that plain-clothes police raided a U.S. military-affiliated AIDS services clinic in Kampala today, accused it of promoting homosexuality, and ordered it to close.

The clinic has been one of relatively few health-care facilities in the city that willingly treat LGBT people. It is run by the Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP), a non-profit partnership between Makerere University and the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP).

Dozens of HIV-positive people relied on that clinic for ARV treatments.

The raid came three days after President Yoweri Museveni joined the throngs at a Parade and Thanksgiving Celebration over the country’s harsh new Anti-Homosexuality Act, which provides for seven years in prison for anyone who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage in acts of homosexuality.”

When police raided the clinic, LGBT patients fled by running out a back door, while police took photos of those that they saw there, one activist said…

The antiretroviral therapy clinic at MUWRP has been fundamental in supporting HIV-positive people by providing them with treatment and support, he said. It has also supplied LGBT community members with health consumables such as lubricants and condoms in order to encourage safer-sex practices to avoid HIV/AIDS and other STD infections and re-infections, he said.

This is totalitarian thuggery. It’s barbarism. And it must stop.

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  • If that clinic is affiliated with the US military, maybe a rescue mission would be in order?

  • erichoug

    OK, I know I am going to get a lot of backlash for this, just like I did last time but,


    I mean you already had the incredible poverty, the wars, the corruption. Then I start hearing about this:


    And as if that weren’t enough I started seeing news stories on this:


    Oh, and now theirshutting HIV/AIDS clinics in a part of the world where the leading cause of death is hmmm…let me gues:AIDS!

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with Africa?

    Please spare me the “Victims of Colonialism” bullshit. So were South America and most of ASia and you don’t see them fucking babies and selling albino limbs on the black market.

  • The real tragedy is that, in Africa, HIV/AIDS is overwhelmingly a heterosexual disease. The situation in Uganda was thus, as of the end of 2012:

    * Uganda rank 10th place in a list of countries sorted by HIV prevalence rates

    * There are about 1.5 million people with HIV, with estimates ranging between 1.4 million and 1.8 million. Of those, 780,000, or 52% of the total, are adult women. Another 190,000, or 12.7% of the total, are children below the age of 15.

    * Since 2003, HIV has been the leading cause of death among Ugandan women in their reproductive years.

    * Current estimates are that there 150,000 new HIV infections every year in Uganda, and 77,000 HIV related deaths. This works out to about 411 new infections every day, and about 211 deaths every day.

    * As is the case in most of the world, HIV in Uganda is found primarily among the very poor and those with little to no formal education.

    * Many children born to HIV positive mothers will contract the virus, either by being exposed to the mother’s blood during birth, or by being nursed (active virus is found in breast milk.) Because of a folk belief that intercourse with a virgin can cure HIV, it is not unusual for girls as young as 5 to be raped by HIV+ men. Because of the crushing poverty, many children, including boys, are pushed into prostitution as young as 12.

    * HIV rates in Uganda bottomed out in 2006, with a prevalence rate of 6.4%. It has been creeping steadily upwards since. Not coincidentally, the increase coincides closely with US Talibangelicals beginning their “African outreach.”

    It is enough to make me wish there was an afterlife judgment: I very much would like to see Lively and the rest be forced to atone for what they have wrought.

  • cptdoom

    And now the US Government has decided to suspend the clinic because of the raid. Great job Ugandan government, you just ensured people will die to ensure you appropriately hate gays.

    We are deeply concerned that a U.S.-funded health clinic and medical research facility, the Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP), was raided by Ugandan authorities on April 3, leading to the arrest of one of the facility’s employees, allegedly for conducting “unethical research” and “recruiting homosexuals.” While that individual was subsequently released, this incident significantly heightens our concerns about respect for civil society and the rule of law in Uganda, and for the safety of LGBT individuals.

    The MUWRP is engaged in efforts to improve public health and save lives. The Ugandan government is responsible for protecting all of its people, and attacks and intimidation of health care workers are unacceptable. The safety of health workers must be respected. We have temporarily suspended the operations of MUWRP to ensure the safety of staff and beneficiaries, and the integrity of the program.

  • Nick Gotts


    Your racism is patently obvious in the way you lump together a whole continent, when both laws and cultures vary enormously across it, and in the way you drag in horrors that have nothing whatever to do with the subject of the thread. And drawing attention to the role of colonialism in creating – in this case – homophobic attitudes is not “bullshit”, but recognition of historical reality. Homophobic laws and attitudes were brought to Africa by colonial powers – as indeed they were to many other parts of the world where, contrary to your ignorance, they also persist.

  • Alverant

    Yet more deaths caused by ignorant religious attitudes.

  • howardhershey

    Christians hate the sin but love the sinner to death. Literally.

  • Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with Africa?

    In case you haven’t noticed, there’s stuff like this going on outside of Africa too. (And no, it’s not happening all over Africa either.) Can you find Russia on a map?

    Hell, similar things are starting to happen right here in the USA! Take your tired-assed bigotry and shove it back where it came from.

  • raven

    As Gregory pointed out at #3, HIV transmission and AIDS cases in Uganda are almost all heterosexual!!! Like the rest of Africa and much of the rest of the world.

    1. The vast majority of patients are heterosexuals and over half are women and children.

    2. I once calculated the number of HIV cases due to heterosexual transmission at greater than 90%.

    It’s quite clear that arresting practicing heterosexuals is the only way to stop AIDS in Uganda.

  • @erichoug #2 – What is wrong is political corruption and disenfranchisement, chronic lack of basic necessities like food, water and sanitation, almost non-existent formal education, and a crushing level of poverty far beyond what most people in the developed world ever see, much less experience.

    These conditions inevitably lead to fanaticism, fueled by a desperate search to find anything that offers the possibility of improvement. All too often, that fanaticism locates a scapegoat, a group that, if it could be purged completely, will magically bring health and prosperity. This is the very same mentality that led to the many anti-Semitic pogroms in Europe: there is an outbreak of disease, Christians kill a few Jews and drive the rest out of town, the outbreak dies down. Obviously cause and effect, right? This is the same mentality that drove the Crusades, and the Inquisition. That has led to ethnic and religious conflict around the world.

    Twenty years ago “witches” were the scapegoat of choice across much of Africa. Today it is “gays.” It will probably be something else in a decade or two. How to fix this? Food. Water. Sanitation. Decent housing. Education. Opportunity. Until these things can be addressed, the cycle of desperation will only get worse.

  • raven

    Gregory iS:

    * HIV rates in Uganda bottomed out in 2006, with a prevalence rate of 6.4%. It has been creeping steadily upwards since. Not coincidentally, the increase coincides closely with US Talibangelicals beginning their “African outreach.”

    Strangely enough, at one time Uganda was a leader in the African fight against AIDS.

    Parts of the country got hit hard early on before HAART therapy was invented and prevention efforts started. In some rural areas, whole areas were depopulated.

    So with a lot of work and effort, the rise was halted and started down.

    It now looks like they’ve given up. Without constant efforts, a disease like HIV can come roaring back. This is not a good idea.

    This is what the US fundie death cult xians want. A new Dark Age.

    PS: While the US rate is stable and low, the HIV/AIDS cases are shifting. To the Southeast USA. Fundieland!!! It’s part of the fundies program to identify social problems and make them worse.

  • erichoug

    @ Nick Gotts:

    That’s funny, I don’t see any mention of race in my post. I bet if I said “SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE UNHOLY EVER-LOVING FUCK IS WRONG WITH ALABAMA !!!????” you would be A-OK with it.

    Also, blaming this sort of shit on Colonialism is both patronizing to the people of Africa, and a cheap crutch to diminish the awfulness of this shit: in the rest of the world “Well, their raping babies, but those poor dears suffered so much under colonialism, what do you expect?”

    But, please, feel free to continue to make excuses for the Homophobic, asshole, murders.

    @Ragin Bee – Really? Russia is closing down HIV/AIDS clinics and arresting the people working there? Russians is murdering Albinos and selling their body parts on the black market? Russian men are raping infants to cure their AIDS?

    Wow! I never realized Russia was so fucked up.

    There is nothing wrong with saying that there is something wrong with a particular geographic region. You lot do it all the time with the American south and feel it’s OK. I can agree with it when it pertains to laws or policies enacted by that region. And, I do understand that it does not mean that everyone in that region agrees with or even supports those laws. I am sure there are many, many people in Africa that are as opposed to this shit as you or I.

    There IS something wrong with making excuses and protecting the assholes that do this stuff and the larger society that turns a blind eye to it. The larger society that tacitly approves of it by keeping silent on it.

  • raven

    The South is the epicenter of new HIV infections in the United States …

    www. washingtonpost. com/…south…new-hiv-infections-in-the-united-states/…

    Jul 20, 2012 – Widespread poverty, a shortage of accessible medical specialists, and prejudice against homosexuals are among the causes.

    We do have our own version of Uganda. It’s called the south USA aka Fundieland or Tea Partyville.

    I suppose this is another one of the fundie’s hates. Modern civilization.

  • erichoug

    @Gregory in Seattle.

    I was going to say something smartass about this but I actually think you and I are nearly on the same page.

    You basically said what I said but in a longer form and without specifically calling out the whole region.

    I remember when I was a kid seeing all the telethons to help the starving children in Africa. That was in the 70s and 80s. The west has pumped billions of dollars into Africa and the continent still has the same rampant problems they had back in the 60’s

    Meanwhile, Asia and Latin America, Regions that were largely similar to Africa in these areas, have developed and grown. Most of Asia now is prosperous and politically stable. Same with South and Central America. That isn’t to say that those areas don’t have their issues and challenges. But, they also don’t have the same level of absolute batshit crazy that Africa has.

    I completely understand a lot of the issues, corruption, poverty, hunger, lack of opportunity, lack of education, lack of sanitation but why is this STILL a problem? You can no longer blame this stuff on Western Colonialism. As I said above, it is patronizing to the people of Africa and, I know I will get shit for this, slightly racist. It sees them, not as whole and intelligent human beings, but as some sort of lesser creature that is unable to overcome it’s past and lives in a perpetual state of victim-hood.

    I support Gay rights, civil rights and womens rights in all and every situation. I do not believe that any one group of people is inherently better or worse than any other group. And I believe that striving for a just and equitable society should be the goal and hope of every thoughtful person. Bigotry of any stripe leads to corruption, criminality and the other problems mentioned above. So the only way to have a peaceful, prosperous and stable society is to strive for equality.

    But, I still want to know why Africa continues with this sort of crazy?

  • erichoug

    @Raven – I really appreciate you proving the point I made to Nick Gotts.

  • scienceavenger

    How to fix this? Food. Water. Sanitation. Decent housing. Education. Opportunity

    Add modern roadways and refrigeration. A grotesque amount (by first world standards) of African produce and other goods spoil before ever reaching market.

  • scienceavenger

    That’s funny, I don’t see any mention of race in my post.

    Yeah, and there’s no mention of “seperation of church and state” in the consitution. You don’t have to say “n*gg*r” for your coment to be dripping with racism.

    I bet if I said “SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE UNHOLY EVER-LOVING FUCK IS WRONG WITH ALABAMA !!!????” you would be A-OK with it.

    Arguments based on speculation are crap. Further, you do know that Africa is far FAR larger, and more diverse,by an order of magnitude, than Alabama right? Because pretending it isn’t is the sort of thing that got you accused of racism in the first place.

    There is nothing wrong with saying that there is something wrong with a particular geographic region.

    No, but there is something very wrong with taking an ENORMOUS diverse region, and talking about it as if it were all the same. It dehumanizes the people and cultures there, and there’s a word for that you don’t care for…

  • scienceavenger

    Also, blaming this sort of shit on Colonialism is both patronizing to the people of Africa, and a cheap crutch to diminish the awfulness of this shit:

    Riiiight, and blaming the bad behaviour in the ghettos on our history of slavery and institutionalized racism is patronizing to the people there and a crutch that keeps them from basking in the dignity of work, amirite?

    History matters. The awful evil shit that happened then matters. It has real effects on real people living today. You don’t get to ignore it merely because its inconvenient or too complicated for your world view.

  • scienceavenger

    You can no longer blame this stuff on Western Colonialism.

    Why not? Some arbitrary timer go off in your head? Those events occurred in a blink of an eye ago as far as human history goes. To pretend all effects should be wiped clean by now is ignorance on a scale of, well, talking about all of Africa as if it were all the same.

  • zenlike

    Apparently, Africa has become an entirely separate part of the world, not influenced by:

    – Western evangelists going on missionaries and spreading their hate;

    – Western and Chinese corporations providing a crutch for corrupt local elites so they can steal most of the natural resources;

    – international capitalist institutions like the WTO and Worldbank constantly screwing over third world countries;

    – international pressure from the USA and EU to implement full barely-regulated capitalism;

    – constant international mingling in internal markets through dumping.

    Thanks, erichoug! I wasn’t aware!

  • thinkfree83

    Something the Western media often fails to mention about many African countries is how many ethnic groups they contain. In Nigeria, there are more than 250 ethnic groups and about as many languages. In Uganda, there are about 40 ethnic groups, none of which forms a plurality. Because of the arbitrary way that colonialists drew the borders for Africa, what you have are a bunch of people with nothing in common who have been forced into a political union. One reason why there is so much conflict in Africa is because of tribal fights over resources and identity. Given this environment, it is often easier to build coalitions through shared religious values than national identity. The people of Uganda may not be able to agree on what it means to be Ugandan, but they can all agree to hate the gays, especially if their American “friends” are willing to give them money. To point out the role that American evangelicals are playing in Africa is not racist or condescending, it is merely connecting the dots and seeing where the money is going. It’s all politics, plain and simple.