Friday, August 22, 2008

Ugandan AIDS Commission Chief says homosexuality must be stamped out in schools

Can you believe this guy? When I see headlines like this my blood boils. If anything needs to be stamped out it's the ignorance about disease and sexuality. Ugandan AIDS Commission Chief, Dr Apuuli attended the recent international conference on AIDS in Mexico. His view on homosexuality was criticized by other nations. Take a look at this...

UK Pink News reports: Dr Kihumuro Apuuli, the Ugandan AIDS Commission Chief, has warned the education ministry of that country that homosexuality is "rife" in schools. Dr Apuuli also urged the education ministry to stamp out homosexuality, and said that parents and guardians must aid them in this, The New Vision reports. "The practice [of homosexuality] is common among young people between 15 and 24 years," he said.

Uganda is one of those countries that has embraced an abstinence-only approach to educating their citizens about sex and diseases. Which of course has not been effective.

These policies are relatively new to Uganda. When the Bush administration came to power it's foreign aid policy insisted countries do this or else the countries would receive no monies. Sadly, it seems that men like Dr Apuuli were all too willing to go along. Dr Apuuli has become part of the problem. "We had quite adverse publicity in Mexico," he said. "Many speakers condemned our country but I believe we have strong values in terms of behaviour and what we think is right."

So being "right" is what matters to Dr Apuuli? He calls himself a doctor but does not have a firm grasp on the science of human sexuality. His religiosity is the driving force behind his self-imposed ignorance and bigotry. Lisa Power, Corporate Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), made a good observation when she told

"One of the main foci of the conference was the problem in places where there is stigma attached to gay and bisexual men and HIV positive people. Basically, until you stop persecuting these people, you can't prevent the spread of HIV. This is a problem particularly in some places in Latin America and Africa."

If Dr Apuuli continues to blame homosexuality for the spread of a virus then a whole generation of Ugandans will be dead.

*Image is for illustrative purposes.