<\body> Stories in America: Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS in Uganda

Monday, July 31, 2006

Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS in Uganda

I'm moderating a panel tonight about women in Afghanistan and Uganda and just ran across this sobering quote. There are millions of Margaret Namusisi's around the world:
Many thousands of Ugandan women are becoming infected with HIV, and will eventually die of AIDS, because the government is failing to protect them from domestic violence. Women whose husbands rape, physically attack or otherwise intimidate them are unable to protect themselves from infection or get access HIV/AIDS services. The government of Uganda has failed to criminalize or prosecute violence against women in the home. Through its inaction, the government contributes to Ugandan women's vulnerability to HIV infection.

"There are times when I don't feel like [sex] and tell him to use a condom but he doesn't want to. I'm on family planning. That causes disputes. When I tell him to use a condom he refuses. He accuses me of having other men. He goes away and doesn't provide. So I have sex with him so that he can look after the children and won't fight...the co-wives are dying one by one. He's still having sex with me without a condom. If I tell him to use a condom there is such a big fight."
- Margaret Namusisi, Human Rights Watch interview, January 2003


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