April 3, 2014 | by Michael K. Lavers
Reports: Uganda HIV/AIDS organization raided

Yoweri Museveni, Uganda, gay news, Washington Blade

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveniin February signed into law a bill that imposes harsh sentences on LGBT Ugandans. (Photo by the U.K. Department for International Development; courtesy Wikimedia Commons).

Ugandan authorities on Thursday reportedly raided the offices of a U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS service organization.

Police reportedly surrounded the offices of the Makerere University Walter Reed Project in Kampala, the country’s capital. Onziema, a transgender Ugandan LGBT rights advocate, noted on Twitter that authorities raided the group’s research site for conducting “illegal homosexual research.”

The Makerere University Walter Reed Project did not immediately respond to the Washington Blade’s request for comment.

The organization notes on its website that it has conducted HIV research in the East African country since 1998. The group said it “expanded its portfolio to include prevention, care and treatment activities” in 2005 under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in February signed the so-called Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law that imposes a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex acts.

The White House announced after Museveni signed the controversial measure that it had begun a review of its relationship with the Ugandan government.

The U.S. has suspended a study to identify groups at risk for HIV/AIDS the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had planned to conduct with a Ugandan university. A CDC agreement that fully or partially funded the salaries of 87 employees of the Ugandan Ministry of Health who support the country’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic expired on Feb. 28.

Uganda receives nearly $300 million each year through PEPFAR to fight the epidemic in the East African country. The Ugandan government in 2013 received more than $485 million in aid from the U.S.

Dickson Mujuni of the RPL AIDS Foundation told the Blade last month from Kampala the anti-gay law has forced his organization to “close shop.”

“The community is very scared, very worried,” he said. “They’re underground.”

Ofwono Opondo, a spokesperson for the Ugandan government, did not immediately return the Blade’s request for comment.

Museveni on Monday defended the anti-gay law during a “thanksgiving service” in Kampala.

“We have fundamental disagreements with the west on homosexuality,” said the Ugandan president. “Homosexuality is no sex.”

The Blade will provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

4 Comments
  • Shane B Johnson

    This is so disgusting. I'm torn between PEPFAR defunding its initiatives in Kampala and depriving our East African brothers and sisters of life saving services.

  • Everyone cannot be gay. The west is over invading Africa privacy. It is serious crime in Saudi Arabia to be gay and many Arab countries yet you don’t hear criticisms from the west. Africans should unit and be strong. The west feed on crisis and when there is none, they create it. This has been the western norm and Africans should recognize this. In Venezuela, US government has admitted sponsoring the unrest by creating cuba twitter to fuel the crisis- they have just admitted to that in the recent question time. African don’t be fooled by the western aids., They steal $100 from you without you knowing and then give you $30 as aid.

  • Africa does not have to fear the West because the West funds projects that African leaders don’t. They’re too busy lining their pockets! The black man invents every kind of imbecilic excuse to kill his own people, rape his own women and starve his own children. Killing in Rwanda 20 years ago, in Mali, in Sudan, in Somalia, in Nigeria. If the West did not spend one single cent on Africa, kicked out every single African or fund HIV/AIDS drugs, Africa would wipe itself out. The self-hatred is too potent and from people who profess a love in an Almighty God!

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