Paul Semugoma, M.D., Uganda
I'm Dr. Paul Semugoma. I work in Uganda with KULHAS, which is Kuchus [gay men] Living With HIV/AIDS.
What is life like for HIV-positive gay men in Uganda? It's not easy, because they are living in a kind of double closet.
In Uganda, gay men living with HIV/AIDS are very closeted. They have a double stigma, due to the fact that they are gay and to the fact that they are HIV positive. The community has discriminated against them, so they want to hide the fact that they are positive. They don't want anybody else to know, so it's kind of a tough life. When they get sick, they don't have anybody to help them. They can't fall on the community for help, and at the same time, when they go back to their family, their families can cast them away because they are gay.
It's a tough life, and they might reveal to their families that they are positive, but they don't reveal that they are gay. Sometimes they might reveal to their community that they are gay, but they don't reveal that they are HIV positive. So they lead a double- or triple-standard life, which has to be balanced somehow all the time. That is their kind of life.
We hope that it can be changed. We are working on changing that. But at the moment, that is what it is.