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Uganda criminalises HIV transmission

On Tuesday Uganda passed a law that criminalises the transmission of HIV and made it legal for medical staff to disclose a patient’s HIV status with or without their consent, Independent Online reported

According to government spokesperson, the law was passed in response to a resurgence of the virus in the country that was once lauded for its successes in fighting the spread of the virus.

Those convicted under the new law could face up to 10 years imprisonment.

But rights activists have said that the new legislation would deter people from testing voluntarily and stigmatise infection with the virus.

They also note that the law does not appear to spell out what constitutes “wilful and intentional” transmission, and whether this would specifically exempt someone who had sex without knowing that they were HIV-positive, or who used a barrier such as a condom.

“Evidence from the Ugandan Ministry of Health shows clearly – criminalisation of HIV doesn’t work,” said Asia Russell, Uganda-based director of international policy at Health GAP, an HIV advocacy group.

Source: Independent Online

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