By Anthony Bugembe
PEOPLE living with HIV/AIDS have rejected the proposed HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill 2008.
The draft Bill criminalises the intentional transmission of HIV and AIDS. According to Section 37 of the Bill, a person who intentionally transmits HIV and Aids to another person commits an offence.
â€œWe should avoid creating scenarios where people living with HIV/AIDS are looked at as either criminals or potential criminals,â€ said Paddy Masembe, the executive director of Young People Living with HIV/AIDS.
Masembe said the draft Bill undermines several critical issues. These include vulnerability and needs of women, young people, prisoners, people with disabilities, migrants, sex workers and the age of informed consent for HIV-related medical treatment and interventions.
He was representing the National Forum of People Living with HIV/AIDS Networks in Uganda during a discussion in Mengo recently.
Lillian Mwoleko, the regional coordinator of the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, expressed concern over compulsory HIV testing for pregnant women and their partners.
â€œNo one, especially women, should be forced to disclose his or her status given the consequences of doing so. They include stigma, discrimination, violence and abandonment.â€
Masembe urged that the process be halted as they hold wider consultations with stakeholders.