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Uganda Police Raid U.S.-Funded AIDS Research Program

April 9, 2014

This article was reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Ugandan police raided a U.S.-funded HIV research organization for supposedly promoting homosexuality. The Makerere University Water Reed Project (MUWRP), a joint venture between Makerere University and the U.S. Military HIV Research Program, temporarily halted operations to seek clarification of police actions. The raid puts a strain on the already fragile relationship with Western donors since Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed anti-homosexuality laws in February.

Police confirm the arrest of at least one person and claim they have been following employees of the organization, according to Spokesperson Ibin Senkumbi. The new law can sentence an offender up to 14 years for a homosexual act. Additional convictions or a conviction for someone who is HIV-positive could hold a life sentence.

MUWRP said that hundreds of HIV patients who rely on the organization for antiretroviral drugs will be affected. The U.S. Embassy in Kampala is handling further communication for the organization. HIV activists assert the United States is not putting enough pressure on Uganda for passing the law, even though the United States suspended $4 million of aid to Uganda's health division. The World Bank, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands halted approximately $120 million in aid after passage of the law.

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