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School of Public Health
College of Health Sciences, Makerere University

HIV/AIDS Legal Environment Assessment for Key Populations in Uganda Launched

Posted on : Friday, September 2, 2022

US ambassador to Uganda signs

For the first time, a legal environment assessment has been conducted for key populations in Uganda with regard to HIV. With the support of concerned partners and key policy makers, the expertise of researchers and the indulgence of respondents, the legal issues affecting key populations gathered during this assessment could enable a turning point in how this category access HIV services in the country. It is without doubt that people living with HIV/AIDS, especially key populations are at higher risk of HIV exposure. They continue to report stigma, discrimination, and limitations of their rights in law and practice, making action urgent. A report released at a dissemination session held on 2 September 2022, assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the legal and policy framework in Uganda in as far as it impacts the enjoyment of the right to health and access to HIV services for key populations.

The research presented at this dissemination provides new data and further evidence on the role and impact of the law on the enjoyment of human rights especially by key populations. The effect of punitive laws to human rights-related barriers to HIV services cannot be overemphasized. Similarly, the insights and data shared by respondents across the country showed concretely the stigma and discrimination that KPs experience.

This is a breakthrough initiative because it propels a multi stakeholder conversation about how to tackle the inequalities driving the HIV pandemic through a legal lens.  The assessment calls for a review of relevant laws to ensure an enabling legal environment for the national response to HIV for key populations. The recommendations made in the assessment report target reforms at strategic levels, including legal and policy, programming, awareness creation, testing and counseling, access to justice, employment equity and social welfare.

We thank all the participants to the dissemination – parliamentarians and other policy makers, law enforcement and judicial officers, members of civil society, researchers and members of key populations. We further appreciate our partners CDC for the support and commitment demonstrated in this initiative. Thank you for your great partnership and contribution towards increasing equitable and sustainable access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS services, and justice for key and vulnerable populations in Uganda.

The Conveners

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health is a cabinet-level government ministry of Uganda. It is responsible for planning, delivering, and maintaining an efficient and effective healthcare delivery system, including preventive, curative, and rehabilitative services, in a humane, affordable, and sustainable manner. 

Uganda AIDS Commission

Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) is the Government of Uganda body legally charged with coordinating the national multisectoral response against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the whole country. The Commission’s mandate is to coordinate and oversee the prevention and control of HIV and AIDS activities in Uganda. It takes strategic leadership in effective harmonization of action by the various players working on the thematic issue of HIV/ AIDS in Uganda.

Makerere University School of Public Health

Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) is a leading School of Public Health in the region. MakSPH conducts research and provides consultation services to the Government of Uganda and various national and international health organizations as well as bilateral and multilateral agencies involved in health.

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