Ugandan HIV Campaign Targets "Cheaters"
January 25, 2013
The U.S. non-governmental organization AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has launched a controversial HIV prevention campaign in Uganda, urging married people and individuals in long-term relationships to use a condom if they cheat, and to have an HIV test if they think their partner has cheated on them. The Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC), the government agency in charge of HIV/AIDS efforts, disagrees with the AHF campaign messages and has directed AHF to remove the billboards. UAC's official policy recommends "Abstinence, Being faithful, and consistent, correct Condom use" (ABC) in combination with biomedical interventions. Studies estimate that 43 percent of new HIV infections in Uganda occur among couples in long-term relationships.
The "cheating" campaign has stimulated intense discussion among Ugandans on social media and on the streets of Kampala. Critics like Christine Shimanya, an associate vicar at Church of Resurrection, believe the campaign encourages infidelity, while proponents counter that the campaign is realistic. HIV activist Milly Katana stated that "multiple, concurrent partnerships" are a major cause of HIV incidence in Uganda. Both sides agree that old HIV prevention messages are stale, and fresh messages are necessary to motivate Ugandans and prevent new HIV infections.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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