Legal Changes Needed to Stem the Tide of AIDS in Uganda
April 15, 2003
Ugandan Member of Parliament and human rights activist Dora Byamukama said recently that radical changes to the law, including laws that allow widows to be "inherited" by other family members, are urgently needed to halt the spread of AIDS. Social problems such as marital rape, wife inheritance and "bride price" must be outlawed to stem the spread of AIDS, she said. "The man pays the bride price [to her family] for the woman and women are then seen as the property of the husband. If a husband dies of HIV, an older brother or relative inherits the wife." Byamukama said the wife, who is highly likely to have HIV herself, would then pass it on to her "inheritor." Debt, poverty and HIV/AIDS are inextricably linked with external borrowing, ensuring that most of the country's earnings go straight towards servicing debts rather than redressing other problems, she said. She called for policy changes to improve protection for health workers and to protect the jobs of HIV-infected workers who take time off for medical appointments.Adapted from:
Australian Associated Press
04.10.03; Heather Gallagher
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.