Anti-AIDS programs ignore LGBTs in Africa

Published: June 14, 2013

While the LGBT community globally struggles to find funds for basic human services and HIV prevention, we are discovering disturbing trends in the allocation of  United States funds to Christian fundamentalist organizations that are often in the front lines of encouraging the further criminalization of homosexuality.

My recent visit to Uganda uncovered a disturbing trend among religious NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that have agreed to serve the populations that are vulnerable to HIV infection, including LGBT and men who have sex with men (MSM).

These NGOs signed contracts with the U.S. government to serve them, but then  they use different definitions for vulnerable populations, excluding LGBT and MSM. There is no recourse when these contracts are not fulfilled.

A recent report from amfAR shows how much the same problem is affecting eight southern African countries (Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).  The problem may be systemic in many of the countries we are supporting with PEPFAR and USAID funds, including Uganda.

LGBT Ugandans are currently excluded from receiving PEPFAR and USAID funding at any significant level to meet their needs.

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