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- Replace programs that promote abstinence-until-marriage
to the exclusion of other effective HIV prevention strategies. Use
instead comprehensive programs that provide complete, factual, and
unbiased information about HIV prevention, including information about the
correct and consistent use of condoms. Encourage bilateral donors to
redirect funding away from abstinence-until-marriage programs towards
comprehensive programs. Until such time as abstinence-until-marriage
programs can be replaced, ensure that nothing in these programs undermines
effective strategies for HIV prevention.
- Integrate the draft Abstinence and Being Faithful
(AB) policy into existing HIV prevention strategies to avoid any conflict
between them. Remove any information from the policy that suggests
that teaching young people about safer sex contradicts, confuses, or
undermines the message of abstinence. Recognize in all HIV prevention
programs and policy documents that marriage does not provide a guarantee
of safety against HIV.
- Rescind the recommendation of compulsory HIV testing
for couples intending to marry found in the AB policy. Consistent
with public health and human rights standards, encourage instead universal
access to voluntary HIV testing and counseling.
- In school-based programs, ensure that school teachers are
adequately informed about the prevalence of sexual activity among young
Ugandans and qualified to provide objective, unbiased HIV prevention
information and counseling to sexually active pupils and students.
Ensure that such messages (including about condoms) are not contradicted
by political leaders. Take steps to supplement HIV prevention messages
given in school assemblies with in-class lessons and activities promoting
assertiveness, self esteem, and other life skills outlined in the school
curricula. Involve pupils and students in the implementation of
school-based HIV prevention programs and the evaluation of materials.
- For secondary school HIV prevention materials, ensure
scientific accuracy and age-appropriate HIV prevention information, in addition
to messages of abstinence. Remove references to non-marital sex as a
form of deviance. Ensure that materials also assist young people who
cannot legally or who do not marry, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender youth. Finalize curricular materials and take measures to
avoid granting effective veto power to any particular religious or
political point of view.
- Ensure that HIV prevention programs conducted
out-of-school provide complete, science-based information. Enforce a
requirement of scientific accuracy for the delivery of all HIV prevention
information, whether by secular or faith-based organizations. Enact a
clear policy opposing human rights violations against grantees or
sub-grantees of HIV prevention funds, including virgin censuses,
discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and
discrimination against those who hold opposing religious views.
- Ensure that the special needs of vulnerable
populations, including orphans and children affected by AIDS, internally
displaced persons, street children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender persons, are explicitly recognized in national and local HIV
prevention policies and programs. Recognize the inherent limitations
of abstinence-until-marriage messages for these populations and withdraw
support from these programs accordingly.
- To reduce womens vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, enact and
enforce laws that protect women and girls from violence and
discrimination. These include laws that criminalize marital rape and
that guarantee womens equal property rights. Ratify the protocol on
womens rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
- Recognize the link between the spread of HIV/AIDS and
discrimination based on sexual orientation, including the criminalization
of same-sex relations. Repeal sections 140, 141, and 143 of the Penal
Code which criminalize same-sex relations between consenting adults and
are sometimes used as a justification for failing to provide life-saving
HIV prevention information and services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
- Take urgent steps to ensure an adequate supply of free
and low-cost condoms in Uganda to assist HIV prevention efforts. In
light of the recent recall of government-funded condoms due to apparent
quality control problems, urgently seek relief from international donors
to fill the condom supply gap. Make publicly available all information
about the condom recall, the steps the government is taking to address it,
and how the public can obtain free condoms in the interim. Consistent
with the National Condom Policy and Strategy (2004), ensure that all
sexually active or potentially sexually active individuals, not just
select populations, are targeted by condom promotion campaigns.
To the U.S. Congress
- Repeal sections 402(b)(3) and 403(a) of the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act. These
provisions require the expenditure of 33 percent of HIV prevention funds
on abstinence-until-marriage programs that exclude consideration of other
approaches to HIV prevention. In light of existing government-funded
evaluations showing abstinence-only programs to be ineffective and
potentially life-threatening, enact legislation prohibiting the
expenditure of federal funds on these programs pending further research
- Redirect U.S. funding for abstinence-until-marriage
programs to proven interventions that guarantee young people complete
information about HIV prevention, including the use of condoms.
Encourage the U.S. Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator to revise
sections of the U.S. global AIDS policy that make false claims about the
effectiveness of abstinence-only programs and promote abstinence-until-marriage
as an HIV prevention strategy for young people. Ensure that
age-appropriate information about condoms and condom promotion strategies
are provided to all youth and not limited to high-risk populations.
- Request and publicly disclose information from the
global AIDS office about all international funding for
abstinence-until-marriage programs. Include regional and
national-level funding as well as grantees and sub-grantees. Enforce
policies prohibiting the use of U.S. federal funds for religious
proselytizing, political purposes, or the provision of medically
inaccurate information. Ensure that all HIV prevention programs for youth
are evaluated according to their short and long-term impact on young
peoples sexual knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors, as well
as trends in HIV transmission, and make these evaluations public.
- Request and publicly disclose information from the
global AIDS office about all international funding for HIV prevention
programs for young people other than abstinence-until-marriage programs.
These include programs that combine abstinence messages with factual
information about condom use and safer sex, seek to enhance womens sexual
autonomy and empower them to refuse sex and insist on fidelity or condom
use, and/or address human rights violations that increase womens
vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, including in marriage.
- Urge the removal of any scientifically inaccurate
information from HIV prevention materials in Ugandan secondary schools.
Withhold any funding for materials that provide false or misleading
information, and support the publication of texts that contain complete
and science-based HIV prevention messages. End support for HIV prevention
materials, programs, or organizations that present heterosexual marriage
as the sole legitimate context for sex or that directly or indirectly
present marriage as providing safety from HIV infection.
- Evaluate the provision of HIV prevention messages in
schools, with particular attention to whether teachers are censoring
sensitive information contained in approved texts. Encourage
political leaders not to contradict information in school materials.
Ensure that U.S.-funded training programs do not discourage teachers from
discussing condoms or otherwise promote an abstinence-only agenda. In
U.S.-funded training sessions, remind teachers to answer all students
questions about safer sex and condom use, as stipulated in approved texts.
- Evaluate the impact of U.S.-funded HIV prevention
programs for Ugandan youth. Include an evaluation of whether these
programs affect young peoples knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and
behaviors related to sexual activity. Review existing programs to ensure
that no HIV prevention money is being used for reasons other than
intended, and investigate any misuse of HIV prevention funds, such as for
partisan political activities, religious proselytizing, or virginity
testing. Withhold support from projects that so misuse HIV prevention
- Take immediate steps to counter all misinformation
about condoms, including by government and private actors. Withhold
funds from organizations that make false or misleading statements about
condoms or actively discourage them as an HIV prevention strategy.
Together with other donor governments, immediately import a sufficient
number of condoms to ensure an adequate supply for free condoms until such
time as safe and tested condoms are available through the national
- Provide a full accounting of existing funding for youth
HIV prevention programs. This should include programs administered
regionally through Track 1.0 and in national programs through Track 2.0 of
PEPFAR. Withhold funding from any grantee or sub-grantee that uses U.S.
HIV prevention funds to provide false or misleading scientific
information, engage in religious proselytizing, engage in partisan political
activity, or discriminate against individuals based on their sexual
- Cooperate with requests by individuals or government
agencies to make publicly available all information on
abstinence-until-marriage programs. Provide information about
national and regional funding for these programs, grantees and
sub-grantees, and details about their activities. Establish a public
mechanism for monitoring the effectiveness of HIV prevention programs, and
include a wide range of civil society groups in this process.
- Review existing HIV prevention programs in Uganda. Ensure that funding is not provided to individuals or groups that deny young
people factual information about HIV prevention, discriminate against
marginalized communities such as sexual minorities, or use HIV prevention
funds to engage in religious proselytizing.
- Develop a public position on U.S.-funded
abstinence-until-marriage programs. Evaluate the impact of these
programs on the availability of effective interventions such as
comprehensive sex education, life skills programs that emphasize girls
empowerment and negotiation skills, and programs that address HIV risk
among especially vulnerable communities. Evaluate the feasibility of
compensating for this loss through increased funding and technical support
to proven interventions.
- To reduce womens vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, support
legal reforms that protect women and girls from violence and
discrimination. Reforms should include protections against marital
rape and unequal access to property. Support programs that promote women
and girls sexual autonomy and economic empowerment, including job
training and credit programs.
- Work with the government of Uganda to address the
current condom supply shortage. Together with other donors,
immediately provide a sufficient number of condoms to cover the current
shortage until such time as safe and tested condoms are available through
the national distribution program.