Lawmakers in Tanzania are banning HIV/AIDS outreach programs that target the LGBT community.
The latest move comes just months after the country’s Justice Minister Harrison Mwakyembe (above) announced a move to eradicate pro-LGBT charities in order to protect the “culture of Tanzanians.” In July, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu (right) announced a ban on the sale of lube because it “encourages homosexuality.”
The Guardian reported in August:
“The sudden crackdown has come as a surprise in a country that has until recently been tolerant of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Unlike in neighbouring Uganda – where pride events were disrupted by the police last week – Kenya and Zimbabwe, gay Tanzanians have not experienced the same levels of violence and discrimination, and politicians have until now generally ignored the topic.”
According to the Daily News:
“Tanzania, which had been making progress in eradicating the HIV virus that once was rampant in the region, shut down some U.S.-funded prevention programs.
“Those programs helped provide medical care to those with HIV/AIDS, handed out condoms and provided testing to those who wanted to know their condition.”
— Stephen Abbott Pugh (@stephen_abbott) November 28, 2016
The Washington Post notes that the ban marks “the first time that a country has suspended parts of the United States’ hugely successful foreign HIV/AIDS initiative in an attempt to crack down on the gay community.”
Watch Duke Global Health Institute’s Dr. Dorothy Dow discuss HIV/AIDS stigma in Tanzania below.