It is somewhat a good topic to think about. In fact a good question would be.
How is it like to be LGBT who is HIV/AIDS positive in homophobic countries like Uganda and Nigeria?
The fact that stigmatization of HIV/AIDS victims has from time to time been evident ever since its discovery in Africa in the early 1980s. A good example would be Uganda where many of families have at least lost a family member, a relative or a friend to AIDS. It should be remembered that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, in Uganda AIDS was seen as a curse spelt to any one by those who hate him or her. It was assumed to infect by body contact, breathing same air, drinking or eating from the same utensil among other beliefs that prevailed on the topic
It was not until around 1987 to 1990 when the late Ugandan Philly Bongole Lutaaya come out as the first HIV/AIDS victim to declare him self to have the HIV/AIDS virus and preaching for love to all those that had got infected and telling every one not to think that it is a shame to be infected. He is considered the first Ugandan and African to openly declare himself infected of the AIDS. It is such people that really brought a very big change in the way Ugandans and Africans thought about AIDS. He is remembered for his song “Alone and Frightened” which was in light of the AIDS scourge. In fact many learnt that one being infected did not mean the end of the world.
Despite all this effort, there was a section of people that were left out in this campaign and these are the LGBT community that was even much more marginalized on this matter.
It was really so terrible to be HIV positive because of the stigma that was brought into people due to lack of cure to this scourge and despite the fact that Philly had come out to preach love for all AIDS victims in order to get them out of the state of denial of which many still live with to this date, it was as if he was telling Ugandans to love only those that were straight and infected. It should be noted that during this time, also existed LGBT people who had got infected but due to isolation, discrimination and stigmatization of this community in Uganda in those days, no LGBT could come out and say he is LGBT and sick. It could give him or her double discrimination or segregation for being LGBT and infected with HIV/AIDS.
The fact that sensitization helped a lot for people to get much more informed about this matter with the help of the international community by use of donors money to carry out sensitization of the masses on the matter.
However it should highly be noted that all these programs target the heterosexuals simply because in the media only the propaganda was talking about safety strategies pinpointing out straight people. Many of the homosexuals feared much more to come out to have a word of advice on safety tips in this kind of arrangement since nothing was put under this package for them. This in a way increased the rate at which the HIV virus was spreading in the LGBT community in the country. It is even astonishing that the Ugandan government is still reluctant to realize the urge to bring up a package that would encompass the LGBT community as well in the fight against the high prevalence rates of this scourge.
Various projects that are not segregating ones sexual orientation where trying to make a change by encompassing LGBT in this HIV/AIDS relief program.
Examples such as Makerere Water reed Project, among others have worked so hard to see that there is equal treatment of HIV victims; however the government has sabotaged such arrangements by closing down all those organizations that have brought a change in fighting HIV/AIDS and branding them as “promoters” of homosexuality due to their services to LGBT. When such incidences occur towards the LGBT community, what is expected is to deepen and sink the infected LGBT victims into the closet and die a silent grief.
One should bear in mind that many of the grass root LGBT persons in countries like Uganda, and Nigeria among other homophobic countries live a life of survival, fear and isolation. And those infected live a state of denial until they are sick to the point of no return to have medication if they had a chance to have it.
One can not easily go to a medical doctor and explain what is happening to him or her for the reason of safety since these new laws punish all those that know about LGBT and keep silent about him or her. Doctors too fall into this category as per the new laws.
Therefore at least much pressure should be exerted on these countries to at least formulate a policy that encompasses every one regardless of his or her sexual orientation. Basing on the contents in the new law specifically the ‘Anti Homosexuality’ law in Uganda, there is anticipated increase in the rise of the prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS simply because many of the LGBT persons are going to stay with no relief drugs like ARVS, free condoms and more so they are going to make a lot of infections to others that are not infected.
You and i should sit down and ask ourselves. What have we done to make this trend from happening as yet predicted upon the kuchus living in hiding after the new Anti Homosexuality laws introduced?