August 5, 2016
AVAC was shocked to learn of the attack by the Uganda police force on the LGBTI community in Uganda during their peaceful Pride celebration. Reports that police beat and assaulted Ugandan citizens who were peacefully celebrating Pride is both troubling and completely unacceptable. This kind of attack poses public health implications; studies show that when gay people face discrimination—including abuse and attacks like this—they are less likely to seek HIV testing, prevention and treatment services.
In 2012, there were 1.5 million people living with HIV in Uganda and 140,000 new HIV infections. Globally, gay men are around thirteen times more likely to become infected with HIV than the general population. Safe access to HIV prevention and treatment services for all people, everywhere, is a matter of urgency.
AVAC stands in solidarity with our friends and partners in Uganda and elsewhere who face stigma and discrimination. And we join with allies demanding that the Uganda authorities investigate this unlawful arrest. These and other incidents of discrimination and repression should be treated with gravity.
We urge the government of Uganda, and all governments around the world, to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people. Until this is done, we will not be truly able to end the AIDS epidemic.