A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report reveals that the Ugandan government’s failure to address rape and attacks on women by their husbands increases women’s risk of contracting HIV. HRW asserts that “Ugandan women are becoming infected with HIV, and will eventually die of AIDS, because the state is failing to protect them from domestic violence.”
The group also warns that Uganda’s recent success in stemming HIV/AIDS will be short-lived if it does not protect women from being abused or raped by their husbands. Many of the women that HRW interviewed feared violent repercussion from their husbands for receiving HIV/AIDS services, including testing, counseling and treatment.
HRW is urging the Ugandan government to make women’s health and equal rights in marriage a central component of its AIDS programming. Uganda is one of the 14 countries that will receiving five years of increased AIDS funding from the United States.