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Friday 24 February 2006
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UGANDA: President warned on US anti-AIDS policy


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


JOHANNESBURG, 30 March (PLUSNEWS) - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's support of US HIV/AIDS policies could jeopardise strides made by his country against the pandemic, an international rights group has warned.

In a study focused on Uganda, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said young people were increasingly being taught that abstinence until marriage was the only way to prevent HIV infection, and that condoms were for the promiscuous.

"These abstinence-only programmes leave Uganda's children at risk of HIV - abstinence messages should complement other HIV-prevention strategies, not undermine them," Jonathan Cohen, an HRW AIDS researcher, told Reuters.

Although the East African country has been widely praised for reducing its HIV infection rates from 30 to around six percent, HRW maintains that numerous independent studies have proved abstinence programmes to be "ineffective and potentially harmful".

[ENDS]

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Links
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· AEGIS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance


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