An important and crucial HIV conference aiming to provide support and information in HIV/AIDS support has been blocked by Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo.
The first Annual Conference on Key and Priority Populations in Uganda was originally scheduled to take place from May 9 to 10 in the city of Kampala, has been reportedly blocked by the minister, for promoting “homosexuality and other dirty things.”
Aiming to provide “key insights, advances and partnerships in HIV/AIDS interventions for key and priority populations,” including sexual minorities, sex workers, drug users and fishing communities, the event has now been postponed, if not cancelled altogether.
Lokodo, who is known for persecuting the LGBT+ community, told the Daily Monitor that he had personally blocked the event because it intended to promote “uncultured behaviours” such as homosexuality.
“My duty is to stop anything that will position the moral fabric of Ugandans. I realised that there was something dirty when I saw leaders of the conference like Nicholas Opiyo of an organisation known as Chapter 4 and Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG),” Lokodo claimed.
However, despite Lokodo’s statement, Dr. Nelson Musoba who is the Director of the Uganda Aids Commission, who were co-hosting the event, described the situation somewhat differently to the minister. While he acknowledged receiving a complaint from Lokodo, Musoba said he had postponed the conference “because we want to increase its scope and make it better.”
Musoba added, “I will meet Lokodo again to help him understand the purpose of the workshop.”