The Executive Director of UNAIDs, Winnie Byanyima on Tuesday met President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe.
Among the key issues the two discussed included the gay rights in Uganda.
Disclosing what transpired during the meeting, President Museveni warned western partners, not to provoke the big majority by fronting homosexuality as something that is appreciated.
“I have just been discussing with someone before I came here to join you. The discussion was why homosexuality is still an offence in Uganda .I was telling Honorable Winnie Byanyima we have been careful and never in a hurry to amend that law because for us we are social actors and we act for social political aims. Some people are saying let’s amend that law [criminalizing homosexuality] and decriminalize it,” Museveni said during the inauguration and swearing in of the new Principal Judge Flavian Zeija and new Supreme Court Justices minutes later after meeting Byanyima.
Museveni further revealed that even though the law still criminalizes the vice, in reality Uganda tolerates homosexuals.
“But our position is that homosexuality has always been here and that’s why we have words like ebisiyaga in Luganda. The homosexuals were always known and weren’t hunted. They were ignored. They were very few. But now, some groups in the world want us to advertise and acclaim homosexuality as an alternative way of life. We have advised our Western partners, not to provoke the big majority by fronting homosexuality as something that is appreciated, demanding for the change of the law.”
Museveni, Winnie discuss HIV/AIDS:
In the same meeting, Byanyima thanked thanked President Yoweri Museveni for his immense contribution in the HIV/Aids fight.
Byanyima, giving an overview of the state of affairs in the HIV/Aids fight, told Museveni that efforts should be placed on messages of prevention if the war against the pandemic is to won.
“Prevention has not had much attention. It needs to be boosted. For example there are medicines that can be taken when at high risk of infection. Not enough people know about this,” she said.
She added that focus could also be placed on specific groups that are at high risk of infection or transmission like sexual minorities and commercial sex workers.
“It is important for health service providers to do their part and attend to these minorities without being judgmental. Moralising should be left to moralists,” she said.
Byanyima, who was accompanied by the UNAIDs country director, Karusa Kirangu, briefed President Museveni on the upcoming International Conference on AIDs and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA).
Uganda won the rights to host the 21st edition of International Conference on AIDs and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa, which will take place next year, 2021.
President Museveni welcomed and thanked Byanyima and her delegation for supporting preparations for the upcoming conference. He pledged government’s support in organising the event.
The President also said the laws and regulations guiding the operations of the Uganda Aids Commission would be reviewed to ensure smooth and effective operations at the agency.
The meeting was also attended by the State Minister for Health, Joyce Moriku.
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