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Feminist News


April-01-05

Rights Group Accuse US of Jeopardizing Uganda's Fight Against AIDS

Current US abstinence-only programs are reversing the gains made by Uganda in their fight against AIDS, a leading human rights organization said in a new report issued this week. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that as a result of current US policies, the Ugandan government has removed critical information about HIV/AIDS from primary school curricula, including information about condoms, safer sex and the risks of HIV within marriage. Materials for secondary-school include false information regarding latex condoms stating that they have microscopic pores that can be permeated by HIV.

As the largest single donor to HIV/AIDS programs in Uganda, the United States is using its unparalleled influence to export abstinence-only programs that have proven to be an abject failure in its own country, reports HRW. Ugandan teachers have been told by US contractors not to talk about condoms in schools because the new policy is abstinence-only. The President of Uganda has also publicly condemned condoms as an inappropriate method to prevent HIV/AIDS.

One million Ugandans have died from AIDS, 78,000 in 2003 alone, reports IRIN News.

Media Resources: Human Rights Watch The Less They Know, the Better: Abstinence-Only HIV/AIDS Programs in Uganda 3/30/2005; IRIN News 3/30/05; BBC News 3/30/05; The Monitor (Kampala) 3/31/05