Thursday, April 3, 2014

That's the Last Time I Send Money to a Nigerian Prince!

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Apr 3, 2014
The new antigay laws in Uganda and Nigeria go beyond criminalizing homosexuals:
"The [Ugandan] law also makes it a crime to fail to report anyone who breaks the law, essentially ensuring that gays will need to live secret lives. The law even makes illegal the 'promotion' and 'recognition' of homosexual relations, including by any government entity or nongovernmental organization inside or outside Uganda. And for the first time, the law targets lesbians."
HIV/AIDS in Africa is not a disease confined to the gay community, but the disease is widely blamed on gays nevertheless. Since failure to report homosexuals to the authorities is now criminal, consider this from The Week's "Everything You Need to Know about Africa's Antigay Crackdown"
"Uganda was once an AIDS success story, but that is now changing. The portion of the population that identifies as gay is tiny, but there are many more men in Uganda — and across Africa — who have sex with other men but do not identify as gay or bisexual. These men, many of them married, are now less likely to be honest with health-care providers and less likely to get the education, free condoms, and HIV testing they need. They are also more likely to contract the virus and spread it to their female and male partners. In Senegal, after several HIV prevention workers were imprisoned in 2008, the number of men seeking sexual health services in that area dropped sharply." 
And in Nigeria:
"[John ]Adeniyi [a human rights program officer at the International Center for Advocacy on Rights to Health, an HIV intervention organization based in Abuja] estimates that since the law took effect in January, the number of patients coming into ICARH for HIV treatment has dropped by over 50 percent. 'One person told me he would rather die…than come to the organization' and risk imprisonment, he says. He adds that LGBT couples living with HIV may also be discouraged from going to the doctor for couples counseling, out of fear that the doctor may turn them over to the police.
"Eight organizations that provide HIV treatment and prevention services in northern Nigeria have cut back on HIV outreach, training, and education programs, according to Dorothy Aken'Ova, executive director of Nigeria's International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights (INCRESE). 'People thought, "You know what? I don't want to be in prison because I'm providing treatment for these gay homosexual people,"' Adeniyi says. He expects more organizations will drop their programs in the coming months."

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