Main | Friday, August 03, 2012

Clinton Visits Uganda To Discuss U.S. Funding Of HIV/AIDS Program

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Uganda today to discuss U.S. funding to address that nation's burgeoning HIV/AIDS pandemic. Via White House press release:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, joined by Uganda’s Minister of Health Dr. Christine Ondoa, on August 3, 2012, in Kampala, Uganda, highlighted the additional $25 million the U.S. government recently committed to help Uganda eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The U.S. government seeks to ensure that HIV-positive pregnant women receive the treatment they need to protect themselves their partners, and prevent their babies becoming HIV positive. With a population of 32 million and the world’s second-highest fertility rate, Uganda faces growing demand for health services. Uganda is among the top-five highest burden countries, contributing to seven percent of the global unmet need for PMTCT services, with more than 100,000 HIV-exposed babies born each year. HIV prevalence in Uganda rose from 6.4 percent in 2005 to 7.3 percent in 2011, with more than 120,000 new infections each year.
RELATED: Today Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen today issued a statement declaring that Uganda's surging HIV/AIDS rate can be directly traced to the work of American evangelicals who have deluged the impoverished nation with anti-gay and pro-abstinence messages. An excerpt:
“Uganda was the laboratory for evangelical polices on sex education and their risky experiment has blown up in their faces. What American ideologues have foisted on the Ugandan people is unforgivable and has caused an enormous amount of pain and suffering,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “By replacing sound science with their version of scripture, the American interlopers badly exacerbated the problem. They ought to feel deeply ashamed and stop interfering in a country where they have already done an staggering amount of damage.”
NOTE: Uganda's "kill the gays" bill, which came to be in 2009 with the help of U.S.-based evangelicals, was reintroduced in the national parliament earlier this year and remains pending. Some activists have called for ending foreign aid to Uganda should the bill ever pass.

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